The ERASMUS programme is a European student exchange programme established in 1987 offering university students a possibility of studying or working abroad in another European country for a period of at least 3 months and maximum 12 months. The name Erasmus is given to the memory of the Dutch Renaissance humanist Erasmus (1469-1536), who had been a student and lecturer in various European countries.
The Erasmus+ scheme is funded by the European Commission as part of the Lifelong Learning programme. It exists to promote student and staff mobility in higher education, principally within the EU, although some non-EU countries also participate.
Between 1987 and 2014 over three million students from institutions across Europe took part in the Erasmus programme. The programme is open to 33 countries: Member States of the European Union, EU candidate countries and EFTA / EEA members.