Dark blue background and text: "The day is here: resources exhausted, students still midway!"

Erasmus+ Overshoot Day, echoing the concept of Earth Overshoot Day, serves as a symbolic reminder of the financial struggles encountered by students engaged in the Erasmus+ programme. This milestone signifies the moment when students exhaust their Erasmus+ grant and must rely on personal funds to sustain their international learning experience.

Launched by the Erasmus Student Network and the Erasmus For All project consortium members and inspired by the pressing need to shed light on the financial realities of Erasmus+ participants, this initiative aims to underscore the shortfall in funding mechanisms. Despite the programme's noble intentions of fostering intercultural exchange during Higher Education pursuits, it falls short of adequately covering living expenses, thereby limiting accessibility.

Based on the data from the ESNsurvey XV, the calculation of Erasmus+ Overshoot Day unveils concerning trends. The average grant of €460.43 per month proves insufficient against the backdrop of average monthly living costs of €847.21. Consequently, students find themselves self-funding a large portion of their stay abroad, with grants covering only 54% of living expenses on average.

Disparities emerge starkly across participating countries. While some, like Croatia and Slovenia, report grants covering up to 79% of living costs, others, such as Sweden and Ireland, see only 33% of expenses covered. Moreover, the affordability of host destinations greatly influences student decisions, with countries like Slovakia and Poland offering lower living costs compared to Switzerland and the UK.

The repercussions of inadequate financial support resonate widely. Family contributions, personal savings, and employment before mobility emerge as primary sources of additional funding, underscoring the strain on students and their support networks. Alarmingly, a significant portion of mobile and non-mobile students see financial barriers as the biggest obstacle to participation in mobility programmes.

In response, the Erasmus+ Overshoot Day campaign advocates for sustained investment to ensure equitable access to mobility opportunities. By prioritising comprehensive financial support, irrespective of socioeconomic background or destination, it aims to empower future generations of Europeans.

As Erasmus+ Overshoot Day of an average student starting their mobility on the 1st of February 2024 arrives on April 23 2024, it serves as a call to action, urging policymakers and stakeholders to address the financial hurdles hindering the realisation of inclusive, transformative educational experiences for all.