May 01

Erasmus at Politecnico di Torino

Some time ago I posted about applying for an Erasmus program. Turns out Turin was the only option that offered enough courses that match Group T’s Electronics master ones. As a reference for people who would like to go there as well I’ll explain how we prepared for this and selected our courses.

Ideally you should start looking for courses you would like to do in Turin in January/February. Don’t forget to contact the teachers of the courses you would like to replace! Head to the International Office and request the Erasmus Request Form (click to check out this year’s form). Once you’ve filled in this form, send it back to the International Office at Group T.

Next up is getting the Group T Learning Agreement (click to see mine) and making sure you fill in the courses you want to do in Turin and the ones you are planning to do at Group T. As it’s not feasible to do the master in one year when you’re going abroad I’m spreading it over two years doing the postgraduate as well.

By the end of April you should get an email telling you the ‘Apply@polito’ form of the Polytecnico is available. Make sure to register using your email address that was given to them (preferably clicking the direct link in their email).

Apply@polito homescreen

Apply@polito homescreen

Once you’ve filled in all your personal details, you’re presented with this screen. As you can see, their registration system is quite extensive! Try to fill in all of the important matters as soon as possible. All data you’ve entered can be changed later so don’t worry if you enter something wrong. As long as you don’t ‘Save and Submit’ the application isn’t final yet.

But that’s not all! You’ll also need a whole bunch of paperwork that needs to be submitted. Here is the official explanation of all things you need:



1. Academic transcript of records
This document must be a printed list of all courses and grades they have taken to date at home university. Documents can be presented in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese and stamped and signed by officials at home university.

2. Proposal of Learning Agreement (study plan)
This form specifies the courses which they apply to and/or the final project they would like to carry out at our Institution. Please note that this is a preliminary Learning Agreement. They will choose the courses together with the Politecnico di Torino Academic Advisor at arrival. In the proposal they must choose courses ONLY from one Faculty (Engineering I or III or IV; Architecture I or II). They can not pick up courses in the study plan of different Faculties.
3. Copy of passport or ID card (EU citizens), only the page with photo and personal data.
4. For LLP/ERASMUS students:
Declaration of the “LLP/ERASMUS” status. A document, issued by home institution, confirming the status as an Erasmus student. (Example)
5. Motivation/recommendation letter.


As you can see it requires somewhat of an effort to get all papers filled in, signed and printed. Once everything is uploaded, hit Save & Submit! Now you’ll have to wait until July 10th or beyond before you hear from them again, hopefully with a positive answer!

If you have any other questions, feel free to drop a comment and I’ll try to help you if possible.

To be continued…

Jan 31

My view on… Erasmus @ Group T

Note: This was the situation in early 2012, since then Group T has improved the whole process a bit.

As the minister of Education is aiming to get at least 1/4 students out on an Erasmus experience, let’s take a closer look at how things are handled at Group T. From my point of view that is. I’m not going to discuss coming to Group T as a non-Belgian student, just the other way around, as a Group T Electronics-ICT student going abroad.

As noted on the Group T website there are several semesters you can choose from, being in my 3rd bachelor year and having a friend who was considering it I thought it’d be a cool experience to have as well. Judging from the blog and photos of my stepbrother, it sure is. Anyway, we checked out the listed partner universities, too bad the information is insufficient and rarely updated.

We started out by selecting some universities we thought were pretty good, such as the ones in Finland and the UK. Sadly the Finnish one almost had no English courses and attending classes taught in Finnish wasn’t going to work. Rejoice when we found a lot of matching courses in England! When we decided to go ask the Erasmus coordinator at Group T, she informed us the agreement was only for the chemistry department (why isn’t this information on the website?). Onto Denmark, no luck either, after pushing to call the university it appears they do not accept any more Erasmus students. The search continued..

Matching courses is quite a bit of work, we had a couple of universities that would do, however none of them seemed to be eager to accept Group T Erasmus folks. At the moment we asked to contact the university my stepbrother is at, though enthusiastic, the coordinator didn’t call right away, which I think would give an answer a lot faster than ‘waiting a week for them to respond to my email’.

I think it’s kinda unfortunate Group T profiles itself as an ‘International University College’ though going on Erasmus as a Belgian student (at least when you’re in the Electronics department) is a huge struggle to even get one university you can go to. We’ve been trying for over a month now and without any luck. It seems most of the partners do not have matching courses for the Electronics master.

First of all they should put a LOT more work into the Erasmus section of the website, add more useful, correct, accurate and important information. There are just a couple of Electronics students that applied, a couple being less than five! I’m starting to think quite a lot of people just give up after spending hours on trying to get a program together which is shot down soon after.

That being said, the professors are very helpful on the other hand. The Electronics department director tried his best to help us and some of the professors we asked were prepared to take a look at courses of other universities to see if they matched with theirs.

In the end I think Group T still has a long way to go if it truly wants to be ‘International’, at least for its native students. Promotion for this is rarely seen, only after we asked about it they put a small news post on the Group T site linking to the (outdated) Erasmus page.

I’d love to hear other Group T students and their experience with applying for an Erasmus semester as well as the story of people who returned after being away for a semester. I’m sure if more people would blog about it, or even talk about it, more students would be interested and hopefully more effort would be put into the whole program. But there are no testimonies to be found (do link me to them if you come across them though).

We’ve been waiting for about a week for a reply from Sweden but no luck yet, it seems chances for a semester abroad are slimming by every passing day.

Update July 2012: Managed to get accepted into Politecnico di Torino, check the Erasmus tab at the top of the site to see more information.