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Excluded. Erasmus+: art students also benefit from mobility

INFOGRAPHICS. In Italy, Germany, Spain or Belgium… Art students are spoiled for choice when it comes to broadening their horizons. Every year, a few thousand benefit from the Erasmus+ programme, a good way to discover new artistic techniques.

It’s not just future managers and engineers who have the opportunity to do part of their studies abroad. Art students know it: cultural enrichment has no borders.

Until then, there were still quite a few of them to seize this opportunity, but since 2014, 8,739 students in architecture, heritage, plastic arts, performing arts, cinema or audiovisual have benefited of the Erasmus+ program. In any case, this is confirmed by the institution, which must publish its report on the actions carried out by higher education establishments under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture on June 16 and which the Student was able to obtain exclusively.

More and more art students on Erasmus+ mobility

Although art students represent only 3% of Erasmus+ mobility, departures abroad are increasing year on year. In 2014, 1,320 students took part in mobility compared to 1,516 in 2018–2019. Those who leave the most: architecture students, whose development is also the most important (+94 departures between 2014 and 2019). Four out of five students leave for study mobility rather than internship. The pandemic has all the same put a stop to these mobilities. According to provisional data from the Erasmus+ agency, only 368 art students took advantage of the program in 2020–2021.

In total, 82 French establishments are involved in these exchanges. An increase in mobility and partnerships which is also linked to the funding granted to schools. The amount has almost doubled since 2016, which also shows the will of France and Europe to pursue a policy in favor of artistic mobility.

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Mobility in Europe but also internationally

Among the favorite destinations: Italy comes first (16% of mobility) then Germany (15%) and Spain (13%). Most border countries where the culture remains quite rich. Italy is particularly popular with architecture and heritage studentswhereas art students choose Belgium more. Germanymeanwhile, represents 40% of mobility for dance and music training.

Ambre, 22, a fourth-year student at ESADSE (art and design school in Saint-Etienne), has chosen a very different destination. Since last February, she has been packing her bags in Slovenia. “My first choices were Australia and Scotland, but with the borders closed, I chose Slovenia and finally here, everyone speaks English. This is what I came to look for and I have also made a lot of progress”, she specifies. Despite the confinements and the obligation to take online courses, the student says she is delighted with her experience. “I fell in love with the country… My classes ended a week ago but I’m looking for solutions to stay longer!”

Other students can take advantage of the Erasmus+ program outside Europe. This is the case at the National School of Architecture in Marseille (13). “We have partnerships in South America and the Maghreb for example, all destinations find takers!” assures the director, Hélène Corset-Maillard.

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An undeniable artistic and cultural enrichment

For the students, these mobilities above all allow them to confront another learning model by discovering new techniques. “Students go mainly in the fourth year to to consolidate in the field of study they have chosen, believes Hélène Corset-Maillard. This allows them to take a step back. Travel is an integral part of their learning, it is in the culture of the schools of architecture. Our students are led to reflect on the cities of tomorrow, it is an enrichment for them. Some also take breaks to complete internships or even work abroad.

For Ambre, the Erasmus experience was also a great opportunity to avoid “between oneself” in France. “I didn’t make lessons my priority. Above all, I wanted to discover a culture, to be with Slovenians, she explains. We have fun discovering a new country and another establishment. I think you can put both into perspective. After four years in the same school, it’s good to see something different!” The student even thinks of finishing her course in Ljubljana, the capital, because according to her, “this opportunity will not present itself twice!”

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