Logistical matters

Can I get in touch with other ADVANCES students before the programme starts?
Do I need to sign a contract to enrol on the ADVANCES programme?
How will I find accommodation?
How will I apply for my visas?
When does the ADVANCES programme start?
Do I get holidays?
Do I have to attend the first-year Summer School and second-year Research Conference?

Can I get in touch with other ADVANCES students before the programme starts?

Over summer, you will receive details of the other students on the ADVANCES programme and a Facebook page will be created so you can meet each other virtually and exchange information.  In addition, many countries have an Erasmus Mundus alumni association whose representatives can offer advice and suggestions.  Please visit the website of the Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association for more information. 

Do I need to sign a contract to enrol on the ADVANCES programme?

Each ADVANCES student needs to sign a ‘Student Agreement’ that sets out their rights and also responsibilities.  A sample copy is available by clicking on this link: ADVANCES Student Agreement FINAL and each candidate will be emailed an agreement containing their specific details.  We ask you to email a signed copy to us and then to bring the original with you when you start the programme. Please email if you have any queries about the Student Agreement.  

How will I find accommodation?

For Semester 1 in Lincoln, students will be offered accommodation in university buildings or else can choose to rent in the private sector, which can be cheaper.  Full details will be sent to students who have confirmed their participation in the programme.  

Moving between countries is inevitably daunting, but also a very positive experience in terms of gaining confidence and independence in unfamiliar situations.  ADVANCES students will only spend a maximum of 5-6 months in one location, which will make their accommodation search somewhat specific.  University accommodation may not be automatically available, but each ADVANCES institution can provide advice on how to find somewhere to live, including the best location and rental procedures.  In most cases, you will probably share a flat or house with local or other Erasmus students.  You may be able to arrange accommodation, view photos and organise viewings before you actually arrive in a city. 

As background information, websites are a good place to start in terms of identifying accommodation available locally, but note that the specificity of mobility during the ADVANCES course means that not all accommodation listed will be suitable:

Semester 1 – Lincoln – Student Pad website

Semester 2 – Aalborg – ADVANCES students will be supported by the International Accommodation Office of Aalborg University to find accommodation.   

Semester 3 – Lisbon – the Erasmus Office of ISCSP has long experience of supporting incoming international students to quickly and efficiently locate private-sector accommodation, including through its online accommodation listings.

Semester 4 – Nanterre – International Office website 

Semester 4 – Warsaw – International Relations Office

How will I apply for my visas?

Study visas for EU countries are subject to national legislation (even within the Schengen zone) and it will therefore be necessary to apply for a separate visa in advance of each semester of study.  Local coordinators in each university will provide information and guidance on how to apply.  Please note that the cost of the visas is not included in funding packages. 

An official offer letter and details of applying for a ‘Student Visitor’ visa to spend Semester 1 in the United Kingdom will be sent in June to all candidates who have confirmed their participation and met all conditions of their offer (for example IELTS results or provision of all application documents). 

When does the ADVANCES programme start?

Students will need to arrive in Lincoln, United Kingdom, by Sunday 18 September 2015 at the very latest.  During your first week, you will complete administrative formalities to enrol on the programme, get to know Lincoln and meet each other.  The academic programme, including a series of ADVANCES induction events involving colleagues from all consortium universities, will start on 26 September 2016.  The programme ends in July 2018. 

Do I get holidays?

Absolutely!  You will receive two weeks each for Christmas and Easter.  Between the first and second years of the programme, you will be free from mid-July until mid-September.   

Do I have to attend the first-year Summer School and second-year Research Conference?

The Summer School and Research Conference are an integral part of the ADVANCES programme and important learning events.  They will give you the opportunity to experience social work in new settings, meet a wide range of practitioners and explore new cities.  You will also meet the ADVANCES cohort in different years. Participation is therefore compulsory.