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ERASMUS MUNDUS JOINT MASTER DEGREES
Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree, EMJMD for short is an international study program administered by an international group of higher education institutes, which awards EU-funded annual scholarships to the best candidates.
Scholarship lets students study in at least two of the program European countries, part of the study can also be held at partner countries (participating countries from where the students apply from).
An EMJMD is a study scholarship program of usually 60 (roughly equals to 1 year Master), 90 or 120 ECTS (Roughly 2 years) credits. This means that it lasts from a minimum of 12 months, to a maximum of 24 months.
Students enrolled in Masters degrees worldwide can apply.
You should also have a higher education degree or you should be able to demonstrate the equivalent level of learning as per national legislation and practices in the degree awarding countries. All students in Pakistan with 16 years of education are eligible to apply.
If you have already received an EMJMD or an Erasmus Mundus Master Course (old name of EMJMD)/Joint Doctorate scholarship (Erasmus special name for PhD scholarships), you are not eligible for an additional EMJMD scholarship. Also, you cannot benefit from EMJMD if you already have another EU scholarship.
On the successful completion of the scholarship you will be awarded either a joint degree issued on behalf of both the institutions or you will be awarded two degrees issued by respective institutions.
For financial support, you should be first admitted to the course and then be selected for an EMJMD scholarship. It is important to note that not all students get Erasmus+ scholarship. For such students, they can study in the program if they are willing to bear the expenses themselves. Those who are selected to one or more (max 3, as in one year you can apply to max 3 Master programs) Master courses can get admission in anyone with scholarship (if received) or without scholarship.
The EMJMD scholarship covers your participation costs (including the tuition fees, library and laboratory costs, full insurance coverage, travel, lounging, rudimentary stipend and any other mandatory costs related to your participation in the Masters program.
The total amount of the scholarship varies according to the duration of your course and your nationality (non-EU students receive larger scholarships). The exact amounts may vary for the upcoming batches that is 2018-2020 and onwards so the details are not worth mentioning here. However, the stipend given is enough to study in any country of Europe and live a normal life. The stipend and scholarship is received once you reach your first university for first semester in the “Home country” (your main study location, generally at least 2 semesters of your Master course). Before leaving Pakistan, you must arrange your air ticket and some related Visa expenses, however you can easily cover those costs with substantial stipend that you will receive when you will reach your university. Host University is name given to the university amongst the group of universities for any MS program where you generally go to another program country and study in that university. Some programs have non-European partner universities as well, where you can study/do internship/undertake research for some months in 3rd or 4th semester depending upon approval of your program heads. A minimum of 75% of the scholarships are awarded to candidates from Partner countries.
HOW TO APPLY
Step 1: Research and Preliminary Preparation
Students should consult the online EMJMD Catalogue (https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/erasmus-plus/library/scholarships-catalogue_en) and contact the consortium (coordinators’ contacts are given on website of each program) offering the Master Course for more information on courses and application procedures. Above link lists all the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees (EMJMDs) that will be offering EU-funded scholarships for courses taking place in the academic year 2017-2018. Most Mater programs will require applications to be submitted between October and January (Dates vary from program to program), for courses starting the following academic year.
A new batch of selected EMJMDs is added to the list each summer. Some new MS degrees have been included in the existing catalogue recently for next batch so keep yourself updated with those 38 new programs as well on https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/sites/eacea-site/files/2017_emjmd38-selection_results.pdf (if those are not yet added in the above link)as you may find more than one Master courses to apply (Max 3).
16 Years of Education (Last semester students can apply to many programs if they expect their undergraduate degrees to be completed around June, though you need to check websites of specific programs and email the coordinators to confirm this)
Proficiency in English Language is a compulsory requirement (Some programs will accept English Proficiency Letter from your University but some may make IELTS/TOEFL as compulsory to apply). To be on the safer side, take IELTS/TOEFL around October/November. They check this through interview and your application material (If you get to that stage, more on that below).
You need Passport as an Identity Document to apply, so apply for it and keep it ready around September. Most programs’ applications open in October and end variably around January, February or even March. Opening of applications and deadlines to apply vary from program to program.
All programs have different requirements the usually provide a grid of weightages or general idea of the components of application that they will consider in determining your merit. For example, ACADEMIC QUALIFICATION 20%, Experience in the same field 15%, Subject Knowledge 10% etc.
DEGREE and TRANSCRIPT (Available or should be available around June/July)
2 Letters of Recommendation (Generally, again you need to check program requirements). The formats vary from program to program, your online application will contain guidelines.
Motivation Letter (Word lengths will vary a lot from program to program). Some don’t give any limit, others may give only one paragraph.
IELTS/TOEFL (6.5 is safe on IELTS or TOEFL Equivalent/English Proficiency Letter if they take it) Make sure you take standard test early as slots are sometimes booked around deadlines of Erasmus. The results availability of such tests also take time.
CV in Europass Format (https://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/editors/en/cv/compose)
Certificate of Residence that you have not been living in Europe for last say 5 years (if you want to apply as partner country student). Otherwise, even being Pakistani you will be considered partner country applicant.
Any other documents you deem as important for your selection like experience certificates, projects, GRE scores may be if they are high, certificates, seminars/conferences/workshops attended, honors and awards etc.
STEP 3 (AFTER APPLICATION SUBMISSION)
In case you are shortlisted after initial screening of applications (complete/valid information plus merit based selection), you will be informed about your online interview through email. Skype interviews are the last step, after that you either get selected with/without scholarship and are informed via mail to confirm your admission by completing their required formalities. The dates of acceptance/rejection too vary according to deadlines. Programs with early deadlines announce results a bit earlier than others. But after selection all the students fly to Europe generally around SEPTEMBER. If you apply in 2017 September and get selected, you will go to your Home Country University in September..
Key points for increasing your chances of selection
This year Pakistan’s selection ratio was quite low i.e. 1.62% out of all applicants of Pakistan from all programs. Brazil, India etc. topped the list. Though maximum number of applications were sent from Pakistan so make sure you are up to the task. This is highly competitive and therefore highly prestigious scholarship.
Some key areas I have identified that impact a lot on your selection chances (Note: It is not a rule that these points work as we are writing or you can’t get selected if you don’t fulfill any of these criteria), it is merely for guidance purpose.
CGPA matters a lot in Erasmus scholarships (GRE is not required so CGPA sometimes is the sole factor that can win you the race or compensate for your other low areas)
English Proficiency (all Master programs are taught in English so no take it easy job here)
Relevance of the field in which you are applying and your past academic and professional background
Knowledge of the field in which you are applying (interviews are generally technical and lengthy, a kind of test too). They asked me to interpret statistical results of a publication as well along with many tougher questions.
Experience in the same field demonstrated through internships/job experience etc.
Your intent and ability to study/work in highly diverse and cross-cultural contexts (demonstrate it in your interview too if you have taken any trips/projects/job etc. with some foreigners)
Your Motivation Letter
Letters of Recommendation
Your co-curricular and extra-curricular activities
Your passion and intent to study in the field you applied to, demonstrated through motivation letter and interview plus by taking relevant courses/internships etc.)
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