Virtual Exchanges in higher education and youth

Virtual exchanges projects consist of online people-to-people activities that promote intercultural dialogue and soft skills development. They make it possible for every young person to access high-quality international and cross-cultural education (both formal and non-formal) without physical mobility. While virtual debating or training does not fully replace the benefits of physical mobility, participants in virtual exchanges ought to reap some of the benefits of international educational experiences. Digital platforms represent a valuable tool in partially answering the global constraints on mobility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual exchanges also help spreading European values. Moreover, in some cases they can prepare, deepen and extend physical exchanges, as well as fuel new demand for them.

For higher education institutions

International Credit Mobility (ICM) supports studying, teaching and training periods at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Programme and Partner countries. This sections is for Armenian higher education institutions interested in getting mobility projects with Programme country HEIs through Erasmus+ KA1 Mobility.

Calls for applications to ICM is being launched in autumn each year

The Benefits of ICM for HEIs are:

    • Increased teaching and learning capacities, attractiveness and international dimension of HEIs,


    • Ability to offer academic programmes that better respond to the needs of students from and outside Europe,


    • Attracting better and highly motivated home students by offering them opportunity to study in EU during their degree programme,


    • Possibility  to deliver international education,


    • Increased number of  teaching staff  having an international experience,


    • Extended profile and reach of the University in line with  international ambitions,


    • Internationalisation of the student body, the student culture and the alumni network,


    • Development of a multicultural and multilingual diverse student learning community, 


  • Increased employability of students which has a positive impact on positioning in some league tables. 

International Credit Mobility (ICM) is open to participant higher education institutions (HEIs) established in Programme and Partner Countries. The application form, however, can only be filled in and submitted by a HEI from a Programme Country on behalf of the partners. Programme and Partner country cooperation is based on bilateral agreements between partnering institutions, who sign Inter-Institutional agreements.

Applicant Programme Country HEI, must hold an Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) and HEIs established in a Partner Country must be accredited by the relevant national accreditation organization. Partner country higher education institutions are not eligible for an Erasmus Charter. Instead, they commit themselves to the principles of the charter and make the support they intend to offer to participants clear in the Inter-Institutional Agreement.

Since ICM is a decentralised action of Erasmus+, the applicant HEI from Programme country must submit the application to their National AgencyHEIs wanting to take part in ICM opportunities can either apply as an individual higher education institution, or as part of a “national mobility consortium”, a group of universities managed by a single coordinating HEI.

These HEIs fall into one or more of the four main categories:

  • Applicant Organisations – responsible for applying for and managing the project, but can also act as a sending organisation
  • Sending Organisations – in charge of selecting students/staff to send abroad or to manage incoming students and staff from partner countries, as well as invited staff from enterprises,
  • Receiving Organisations – responsible for receiving students/staff from abroad and offering a study/traineeship programme,
  • Intermediary Organisations – as a partner in a mobility consortium, intermediaries can be involved in supporting and facilitating the work of a consortium.

International Credit Mobility projects can last 16 or 24 months. HEIs can apply for funding to support any of the following mobility activities:

Student mobility for studying from Partner country to Programme country and vice versa.

Student mobility for traineeship from Partner country to Programme country and vice versa.

Staff mobility for teaching from Partner country to Programme country and vice versa.

Staff mobility for training from Partner country to Programme country and vice versa.


The study activities offered to students have to be part of the student’s study programme. Both sending and receiving organisations, as well as the student, must sign a Learning Agreement before the start of the activities. The purpose of the Learning Agreement is to provide a transparent and efficient preparation of the study period abroad and to ensure that the student will receive recognition in his/her degree for the educational components successfully completed abroad.

The Learning Agreement outlines:

  • the educational components to be carried out by the student at the receiving institution,
  • the educational components to be replaced in the student’s degree at the Sending Institution upon successful completion of the study programme abroad, and
  • the rights and obligations of the various parties.

The activities of staff sent abroad should be agreed on, in advance, by both the individual’s sending organisation and the receiving organisation. As above, all parties to the mobility activity must sign a Mobility Agreement, outlining:

  • the target learning outcomes,
  • the provisions for formal recognition (for example through ECTS), and
  • the rights and obligations of the various parties.

The application process for mobility projects is managed by the relevant National Agency (NA) on an annual basis. For individual higher education institutions this is the National Agency in the country where the organisation is based, and for a national mobility consortium this is the National Agency  where the consortium coordinator is based.

The Erasmus+ Programme Guide is the main source of information for these opportunities; detailed information on the award criteria, eligibility criteria, and funding rules can be found in Section B.

Armenian HEIs interested in mobility projects between Programme and Partner countries should consult the International Credit Mobility Handbook, European Commission’s useful ICM ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ Guide, and are recommended to familiarise themselves with sample application form (to be filled in by Programme country applicant).

The National Agencies or, for Partner countries, National Erasmus+ Offices (where available) can provide further information, or you can contact the European Commission.

For students and university staff

International Credit Mobility (ICM) Action of Erasmus+ Programme provides opportunities for STUDENTS as well as STAFF of higher education institutions to undertake a learning and/or professional experience in another country. A Higher Education Institution (HEI) located in Armenia, which is a Partner Country, can send its students or staff to a Programme Country HEI, and vice versa. Programme Countries are 28 Member States of the European Union (EU) and 5 Non EU Programme Countries (former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey). 

In order to participate in Erasmus+ mobility, students and university staff need to check availability of ICM places at International Relations Offices of their respective universities.  

The Benefits of ICM for Students and Staff are:

    • Mobile students live and study in another country for an certain period during their degree programme, which is a rare opportunity,


    • Reports from returning students frequently use the expression “life-changing experience”, 


    • New personal and intellectual maturity,


    • Enhanced employability due to soft skills such as flexibility, resilience, and cross-cultural communication skills,


    • Ability to adapt to new circumstances and deal constructively with differences,


    • The opportunity to experience a different perspective on academic subject, which can be brought back to discussions in home university,


    • Academic horizons are widened and may lead both students and staff to reappraise their future goals,


  • Mobility builds and develops interpersonal skills.

For Students

To study or undergo a traineeship abroad, you must be registered in a higher education institution and enrolled in studies (Bachelor, Master and Doctoral level) leading to a recognised degree.
For students in the first cycle (BA), you need to be at least in the second year of your studies to be able to participate in a study exchange.

Your period of study abroad must be relevant for your degree-related learning and personal development needs, and be part of the study programme that you are following.

Your home institution and the receiving institution must have an Inter-Institutional Agreement between them for you to study or undergo a traineeship abroad with Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility.

Your study period abroad can last from a minimum of 3 months (or 1 academic term or trimester) to a maximum of 12 months.
Your traineeship abroad can last from a minimum of 2 months to a maximum of 12 months or minimum 3 months if combined with a study period.

You can benefit of an exchange abroad with Erasmus+ multiple times but your total time abroad (study abroad periods included) may not exceed 12 months within one cycle of study. “Cycle” refers to the level of study as defined by the European Qualifications Framework (EQF):

  • First cycle (Bachelor or equivalent) EQF – 5/6
  • Second cycle (Master or equivalent) EQF 7
  • Third cycle (Doctoral or equivalent) EQF 8

For “one-cycle” courses such as medicine or architecture, you can go abroad with Erasmus+ for as long as 24 months.

Before the study abroad period:

  1. You, your sending and receiving higher education institutions must sign a Learning Agreement for studies to ensure a transparent and efficient preparation of the exchange abroad, as well as to agree on how activities successfully completed abroad will be recognised. This document sets out rights and responsibilities of the various parties.
  2. You will receive the Erasmus+ Student Charter, explaining your rights and obligations with respect to your period of study abroad.

After the study abroad period:

  1. The receiving higher education institution must provide you and your sending institution with a transcript of records confirming that the agreed programme has been completed and acknowledge the results.
  2. Your higher education institution must recognise the credits (using ECTS credits or an equivalent system) as agreed in the Learning Agreement before the mobility and count them towards your degree, without any further requirements.

Read more on the Guidelines on how to use the Learning Agreement for Studies


Before the  traineeship abroad:

  1. You, your higher education institution and the receiving organisation must sign a Learning Agreement for Traineeships to ensure a transparent and efficient preparation of the exchange abroad. This document sets out rights and responsibilities of the various parties, a detailed programme of the traineeship, information on insurance, and how your traineeship will be recognised upon successful completion.
  2. You will receive the Erasmus+ Student Charter, explaining your rights and obligations with respect to your traineeship abroad.

After the study abroad period:

  1. The receiving organisation/enterprise should send you and your higher education institution a Traineeship Certificate, normally within five weeks after successful completion of the traineeship.
  2. Your higher education institution must recognise your traineeship abroad, according to the commitments agreed upon in the learning agreement and without any further requirements..

Read more on the Guidelines on how to use the Learning Agreement for Traineeships

For University Staff

International Credit Mobility (ICM) supports teaching and training periods at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) abroad. If you are an academic or administrative staff member in an Armenian higher education, you can spend time teaching or getting training at a higher education institution in a Programme Country.

To participate in ICM for university staff, first of all your institution must have signed an Inter-Institutional Agreement with the receiving Programme Country institution. Before beginning your teaching or training period, you, your HEI and the receiving institution must sign a Mobility Agreement for Teaching or Mobility Agreement for Training. This document sets out your learning goals, rights and responsibilities and also how the teaching period will be recognised.

The teaching period must last a minimum of 5 days and maximum of 2 months. This excludes travelling time. During your stay abroad, the teaching activity must comprise a minimum of 8 hours per week (or any shorter period of stay) of actual teaching time.

The training period must last a minimum of 5 days and cannot last more than 2 months. This excludes travelling time.

For students

You will receive an Erasmus+ grant that will cover your travel and subsistence costs. It may vary according to differences in living costs between your country and the destination country, the number of students applying for a grant, the distance between countries and the availability of other grants.

Grant levels and fixed rates for exchanges between Programme and Partner countries are published in the Erasmus+ Programme Guide.
Students with physical, mental or health-related conditions may apply for additional funding after they have been selected for a mobility period.
You will sign a grant agreement with the Programme country institution specifying the duration of your mobility, the amount of the grant and other rights and obligations. Your sending and receiving institutions will decide which one will make your payments.

As an Erasmus+ student, you will be exempted from fees for tuition, registration, examinations, and charges for access to laboratories or libraries at the receiving institution. Small fees for insurance or student union membership may still apply.

You may be eligible for additional grants from your institution, government or other sources. After mobility you may also be eligible to apply for a scholarship for a Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) programme.

For University Staff

EU grants provide a contribution to your costs for travel and subsistence during your time abroad and vary depending on the receiving country and the distance between your country and the receiving country.

If your teaching or training period abroad is between Programme and Partner countries, your sending and receiving institutions will decide which one will make your payments.

Grant levels for teaching periods abroad between Programme and Partner countries are published in the Erasmus+ Programme Guide

The application process for mobility projects is managed by the International Relations Office (IRO) (other units responsible for Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility) of your higher education institution.

IROs are responsible for coordinating and arranging incoming and outgoing mobility (within bilateral agreements) at the university level and providing administrative assistance to the students, PhD candidates, and staff. 

Contact details of IROs at Armenian Higher Education Institutions can be found here

NOTE: National Erasmus+ Office in Armenia (NEO-AM) does not participate in the selection process, however, students and staff with general quires on the programme aspects can contact NEO-AM.