The Department of History of Art and Architecture encourages students to undertake a full or half an academic year at a university abroad through the Erasmus, ELAN, or other, non-EU programmes.
Exchanges are available to Senior Freshman or Junior Sophister students but note that you must apply the year before you leave (see How to Apply, below).
Applicaants for the Erasmus programme are required to secure a minimum of 58% in the History of Art in the year prior to their proposed period of study abroad. ELAN requires a 2.1. Competition for non-EU places is College-wide, so you will usually require at least a 2.1 in Junior Freshman and/or Senior Freshman years.
In general, priority goes to year-long applications, but you should discuss options with the Departmental Study Abroad Coordinator. Every effort is made to give as many students as possible their preferred option. However, in the case of places at host universities being over-subscribed, students with the highest-ranking academic performance in the history of art will be given first refusal.
Three types of Exchange Programme are offered to History of Art and Architecture students:
- Erasmus exchanges established by the History of Art and Architecture Department with several leading European universities
- ELAN exchanges, also to leading European universities, as part of the European Liberal Arts Network
- Exchanges arranged centrally by College to some of the most prestigious universities outside Europe
The Erasmus Programme is an EU student exchange programme established in 1987. It permits students in their SF or JS year to study for up to a year in another EU University as a contribution to their Trinity College degree. The Department of History of Art and Architecture has arrangements with the following Universities:
- Université Paris-Sorbonne, Paris IV
- Freie Universität Berlin
- Università di Pisa
- Universidad Complutense de Madrid
- Koç Üniversitesi (Istanbul)
- Ecole du Louvre (Single Honors students only)
Students are required to attend lectures in the language of the host institution (except for Koç Üniversitesi, which teaches in English) and must possess the necessary linguistic fluency. Outgoing Erasmus students must discuss their Sophister subject choices with the Head of Department before departure to ensure consistency with Departmental regulations.
It is essential that you research your options at each of the collaborating Universities and that you discuss your proposed exchange. To approve your selection, the Department must be satisfied that you will attain the appropriate level of art history education at the host institution. You will also discuss with the Study Abroad Co-ordinator the credits you need to pass while abroad to continue in your chosen pathway and to progress with your year on your return to TCD.
Note that if you are a Joint Honours student, both Departments must approve your exchange, but you can also choose from the list of collaborating Universities in either Department. You must discuss your application with Co-ordinators in in both Departments.
The European Liberal Arts Network is an interdisciplinary network of European higher education institutions designed to promote the mobility of students and scholars in the field of the arts and humanities. The following universities are members of the network:
- University of Bristol (England)
- Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal)
- Universität Graz (Austria)
- Universität Heidelberg (Germany)
- Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)
- the Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris (France)
- Charles University Prague (Czech Republic)
- Universidad de Salamanca (Spain)
- Università degli Studi di Siena (Italy)
- Uppsala Universitet (Sweden)
- University College Utrecht (Netherlands)
Students from TCD may participate in an exchange with any ELAN university. These are part of the EU’s Erasmus network, and students receive the same support as students participating in any other Erasmus programme. (Note, however, the term and conditions for students going to Bristol will depend on the outcome of Brexit negotiations.) Student exchanges can be for one term only, for the whole year in the same institution or for two terms in two different institutions. TSM/joint honours students must study both of their subjects while abroad.
To qualify for an ELAN exchange, you must have an overall II/1 grade from your first year of study at TCD.
Several of the partner universities teach modules through the medium of English. These are: Charles University Prague, Utrecht University College, University of Bristol, University of Graz, University of Siena and Uppsala University. Previous cohorts of TCD students have successfully spent the year in each of these institutions. For the other partners, some knowledge of the local language is advisable.
Students visiting ELAN partner institutions, while continuing study of their own discipline(s), can also enrol in interdisciplinary modules or undertake a supervised programme of study exploring questions of broad importance in the humanities and society today. In some institutions short-term internships can be arranged for students while abroad. You are encouraged to think about an independent study project which you can undertake while abroad. This can be a preparatory exercise to the dissertation which you complete in your final year at TCD. Your chances of being accepted are greater if you devise such a project, though a project is not a requirement, except for students who wish to study in Paris. For further information, see the ELAN web pages at , or contact TCD’s ELAN coordinator, David Ditchburn.
It is also possible to go on an exchange outside Europe, but these non-EU exchanges, or ‘College-wide’ exchanges, are not run by the History Department and, instead of competing with your fellow History students for a placement, this scheme is open to eligible students from all Faculties at Trinity. These exchanges are agreed at College level with universities in the USA, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, etc. Trinity’s ‘College Wide’ (or non-EU exchanges) are academically competitive and allow students to demonstrate their initiative, flexibility, and willingness to adapt to new cultures.
We strongly encourage students thinking of going on non-EU exchange to investigate and research all of their options before choosing to which exchanges to apply. While non-EU exchanges can be integrated into many degree pathways, there are some restrictions. Please also note that the deadline for non-EU exchanges tends to be very early, so you should regularly check their web pages for updates: https://www.tcd.ie/study/study-abroad/outbound/apply/
Course Requirements whilst Abroad
Students going abroad normally take modules to the equivalent of 60 ECTS. The absolute minimum requirement for a full-year exchange is 45 ECTS in History of Art (and 22.5 ECTS in History of Art for half a year abroad) but students are strongly advised to take more than the minimum 45 ECTS in case of failure in some elements. Joint Honours and others taking two subjects must obtain a minimum of 22.5 credits in each subject in order to rise with their year (and those on half-year exchanges at least 12 ECTS in each subject while abroad).
Make sure that you are clear about the modules your TCD Department(s) require you to take in your host university. Make sure you attend any information sessions for Erasmus students planned by the the History of Art and Architecture Department (and your other Department if you are Joint Honours, etc) and Trinity’s International Office. Meet with your Department Coordinator before you go away and you may be able to fill in part of your Learning Agreement (see below) at this stage. The Department of History of Art and Architecture in general will not accept non-History of Art modules: however, modules can be discussed with the coordinator as there is generally some flexibility within reason (for example, relevant language classes). As soon as you have settled on a module loading, complete the Learning Agreement, send it to your Department Coordinator at Trinity and ask him/her to approve your choices by email. It is most important to ensure that you receive sufficient credit at your host university to rise with your year at Trinity following your return from abroad.
NB: When selecting modules, you must bear in mind that your transcript showing all grades obtained must be returned to the Department of History of Art and Architecture Office and the Study Abroad Coordinator by 31 August 2022 at the latest. Without your grades from the year abroad it will be impossible to register in Trinity for the new academic year. It is your responsibility to meet this deadline.
The Learning Agreement
The Learning Agreement is an important document which sets out your study programme at your host university. With the guidance of your Trinity Study Abroad Coordinator you must fill in the modules which you wish to study at your host university and the ECTS weighting for each module. It must then be signed by the Coordinator at your host university, by you, and returned for final approval and signature by your Trinity Coordinator. Your Trinity Department should hold a copy of the Learning Agreement for its records, and forward a copy to the Trinity International Office for signature by the Institutional Coordinator.
It is a requirement of the European Commission that all students participating in the Erasmus Programme must complete this Agreement to gain credit for the year. The Learning Agreement will be included in an information pack sent to you before departure. It also ensures that there will be no misunderstandings regarding module choices at the host university when you return to Trinity. Among other data, this agreement details the courses of study and credit weightings of these which you will be taking at the host university. There is a section of the form which allows for any reasonable changes to your courses of study while abroad.
Erasmus Mobility Grant
The Erasmus Mobility Grant is issued by European Commission through the National Agency in Ireland and the universities have no control over the amount allocated. The amount of the grant varies from year to year and from country to country. In some of the other EU countries the government subsidises study abroad schemes, so students from those countries are likely to receive larger grants than the usual Erasmus grant.
Students who are away for five months or more will receive the Erasmus Grant in three instalments. The first instalment will be transferred to your bank account shortly after Trinity receives both the Confirmation of Arrival form and the Erasmus Financial Agreement from you. These forms will be sent to you in an information pack before departure. The second (smaller) 'top-up' grant will be transferred in mid-March. The final (smaller) grant will be issued at the end of the academic year. Students who are away for less than five months will receive the Erasmus Grant in two instalments.
If for any reason you withdraw from the Erasmus Programme earlier than planned, and after you have been issued with the first Erasmus Grant, you must contact the International Admissions and Study Abroad Office to organise a reimbursement of the Erasmus grant, or part of it.
Registration/Fees at Trinity College
While abroad you are still a registered student of Trinity College and you must pay the usual Trinity fees or Student Contribution. If you are eligible for the Fee Remission scheme, you will pay the Student Contribution. Erasmus students do not pay fees at their host university. If you are a non-EU national spending a year abroad as an Erasmus student, full tuition fees must be paid to Trinity College. You will be able to pick up your Trinity ID card in College at any time following completion of online registration.
How To Apply
At the start of Michaelmas Term 2022, all Freshman students will be invited to attend a meeting with the Study Abroad Coordinator for History of Art and Architecture. At this meeting, the various programmes and application processes will be explained. If a Joint Honours student, you might have two of these meetings to attend. You will also receive an Expression of Interest upon which you will indicate your preferred location(s) for exchange. This must be returned to the Coordinator by the end of week 9 of Michaelmas Term (Friday 11 November 2022). Early application for exchanges is recommended, given the competition for places.
At the start of Hilary term, the Departmental Coordinator will contact you directly with the result of your application and, if successful, an offer of exchange.
By 20 February, the Departmental Coordinator contact Academic Registry nominating the students who wish to take up an Erasmus or other exchange. The Registry will then contact you to guide you through the next stages in the process, which will include completing an online form.
Only once this stage is complete do you apply to your host university. The application procedure will be sent to you via email by the host institution. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure they submit their application by the host university’s deadline. Check the website of your host university to make sure you are aware of any admission deadlines, to check if they have an application form, and if you can apply for accommodation at the same time.
Subsequently, Trinity’s Erasmus office will organize a pre-departure meeting for all Erasmus students. Further details will be communicated to you in April/May 2023. At this meeting, we will discuss the paperwork you need to sign for the Erasmus grant.
To apply for ELAN, please contact Dr David Ditchburn for a formal application form It is likely that this will be required by early January 2023. The ELAN board meets in the final week of February to consider all exchange applications. They will ordinarily be able to inform you if you have been successful in your application by the first week of March.
As non-EU exchanges are established and run at a College-wide level, the History of Art and Architecture Department has little direct role in the application process (though it will have to approve your choice). For the most part, you will deal with College’s Study Abroad office. Information sessions explaining the programme are normally arranged for mid-October. In practice, the deadline for non-EU exchanges tends to be considerably earlier that that for EU exchanges. Therefore, please consult, as a priority, the relevant College web pages.
Dr Peter Cherry
Study Abroad Coordinator, History of Art and Architecture
This information is provided as a general guide for students. Information on exchanges is constantly being updated, so it is vital to consult the Trinity Study Abroad website in the first instance for the most up to date information on the exchange programme.