Unlike their counterparts on mainland Europe, UK students would rather stay at home than experience Erasmus.
The number of UK students attending universities in other countries under the European Union's Erasmus programme fell again last year, compared with an increase of 7 per cent in the total from all countries and a rise of 11 per cent in Germany.
Figures provided by the UK Socrates Erasmus Council show that 7,975 UK students went abroad for study in 2002-03, down from 8,466 in the previous year and 9,014 in 2000-01.
This seems a wasted opportunity and we would urge career advisers to make sure that students are aware of the full range of benefits to be gained from the Erasmus programme.
Do they know, for example, that Erasmus is available in all subjects - not just languages? That they can choose from opportunities to study in 2,000 institutions in 31 countries? That Erasmus grants can assist with costs while they are abroad - and that they pay no UK tuition fees during that time? That they can obtain academic credits to count towards their degree?
Erasmus is a means of developing language skills, gaining the confidence to live in another country, travelling throughout Europe, acquiring an international network of friends
not to mention having fun!
Find out more from the Erasmus website at: www.erasmus.ac.uk
You can also obtain multiple copies of a leaflet for potential participants by calling 01227 762712 or by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org