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Flexible curriculum

The EuroScholars program offers a flexible curriculum individually built around each student's academic needs. The student and the Research Project Supervisor at the host university agree on the content and credit value of the different components of the curriculum. What the research / study program will exactly comprise of, depends mainly on the student’s academic level (undergraduate, graduate), previous education, and research experiences. Active dialogue between these parties give both the opportunity to look for the best possible match in research. Also, this gives the student the opportunity to create a curriculum that leads towards his or her personal academic objectives and to get the most out of the EuroScholars experience. This makes the program unique for every student. This flexibility means students will have less difficulty in integrating the EuroScholars curriculum into their US / Canadian curriculum and students can make the best use of the opportunities host institutions offer in combining research with coursework.

EuroScholars' standard course descriptions

In order to ensure the quality of education and research, EuroScholars has developed the following course descriptions to provide a general idea of expected work and outcomes for each component of the program.

Course Descriptions:

Supervision by leading experts

The Research Project Supervisors at the host universities are leading experts in their field of research. Almost all of the participating European universities are part of the League of European Research University (LERU), of which membership is granted to institutions that excel in academic research. Quality of supervision and conducted research can thus be assured.

Formalizing the agreements, transcript & credit transfer

All four parties, the student, the student's home institution, the research project supervisor and the host institution, will have to agree on what the examination requirements are for receiving ECTS-credits and on how the credits are transferred. All this is to be formalized in the EuroScholars Learning Agreement that will also include information on the personal learning goals of the student.

IMPORTANT: students must be attached to a U.S. or Canadian home institution while participating in the program. The student's home institution must complete the Learning Agreement after acceptance into a project, even if credits will not be transferred to that institution. Some specific projects may list additional requirements in their project descriptions. Transfer of credits is decided by the students' home institution..

There are several standard elements in the curriculum regardless of the host university:

  • a Language a/o Culture Course/s (classes)
  • a Methods & Literature Review (independent study)
  • and the Research Project (including a paper or article).

The Language a/o Culture Course/s will give the student basic knowledge of the language and culture of the host country. In most institutions the student will enroll in a regular scheduled course with other international students. The Method & Literature Review will provide the student with the opportunity to best contribute to the Research Project by independently reviewing scientific literature on the area of research.

EuroScholars proposes 2 different basic curriculum options to assure that the characteristics of the program are best represented (academic research and language and/or culture).

Students can earn up to a maximum of 30 ECTS in total for one semester of participation. The credits per component and for the full program will vary. A full-time credit load must be maintained by the student. Whether a student chooses option 1 or 2 also depends on if the preferred host institution offers courses in English in the field of study and or in that specific semester. The basic element is always the participation in the Research Project participation.

Option 1

  • Language a/o Culture Course/s (classes + exam) *
  • Participation in Research Project including article/presentation/paper (research), including Methods & Literature Review

Option 2

  • Language a/o Culture Course/s (classes + exam)*
  • 1 Elective course in the field of research ( classes + exam) **
  • Participation in Research Project including article/presentation/presentation (research), including Methods & Literature Review

* At Leiden University, the Language course is provided by the Academic Language Center who has a collaboration or an affiliation with the university but is not part of the university. Therefore, the language course will not appear on the official transcript of Leiden University. Some North American institutions might therefore not accept the credits for the language course. Students are strongly advised to check this with their study advisor before setting up the learning agreement. If applicable, the student can request the Research Project Supervisor to add extra elements to the research project in order to earn the missing credits in order to meet the requirements of the home institution. The language course typically appears on the official transcript from the following host universities: University of Geneva and KU Leuven. Students are advised to check the more detailed information on the language courses on the university profile pages of Leiden University, KU Leuven, University of Geneva.

** Option 2  is not possible at all universities or in all academic areas as it depends on the availability of courses taught in English at the European Host Institution. At some European Host institutions, the credits for the elective course is between 2-8 ECTS. Students are strongly advised to check this with their study advisor and Research project supervisor before setting up the learning agreement in order to meet the requirements of the home institution. The number of credits can then be adjusted if applicable.

European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

Credits are given in ECTS at almost all European universities. 30 ECTS represents the workload of a semester of full-time study. 1 ECTS equals 28 hours of study, including preparing for and attending classes, reading books, writing papers, studying for tests, presentations and exams. ECTS are awarded if all examination requirements that have been set beforehand have been met. The number of ECTS varies per course or project.

For EuroScholars students the number of ECTS per program element are specified and confirmed through the Learning Agreement. Where a student is not participating in an existing course, with set examination requirements, clear agreements should be made and formalized in the Learning Agreement.

Transcript & credit transfer

The curriculum, examination requirements and credits to be awarded for successful completion are formalized in the Learning Agreement. The document will be completed by the student and signed by four parties: the student, the research supervisor, the home institution and the host institution (for general approval). The Learning Agreement will thus be the basis for credit transfer.

After completion of the semester abroad, the student will receive an official transcript from the host university, listing the course(s) and research taken and grades and credits received during the study period. With the transcript, credit transfer can take place. The student's home institution decides if and how the obtained credits will be transferred.

Note: The language course typically appears on the official transcript from the following host universities: University of Geneva and KU Leuven. Students are advised to check the more detailed information on the language courses on the university profile pages of Leiden University, KU Leuven, University of Geneva.

Start & end date

The academic calendars vary at the different EuroScholars universities. In general, a student applies for the Spring or Fall Semester. But individual arrangements can be made and may, for example, depend on when the Language a/o Culture Course(s) is/are offered.