Abreast the classic Erasmus project — which consists in spending some months in another European university — for the destinations in countries with less spoken languages (Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey) there is the possibility to follow a specific language course which lasts a month and is (almost) entirely financed by the European Community.
The information you find on the net are sometimes a bit messy, so I will try to summarize them here. First of all, we must say that the EILC is not completely tightened to the Erasmus, and it requires a separate application. It can happen that the application is not accepted but the Erasmus is. The application must be done through your home university: ask information at the international relations office or check on their website. If after a lot of time after the application you don’t receive a confirmation, send them an email to ask what happened.
Regarding the place, it’s not necessary that it is the same university of your Erasmus. In fact, when I went to read the list of EILC in Denmark for the second semester I had to choose the UCSYD one, because the DTU organizes them only for the first semester.
A very important thing is the credits recognition. Does an EILC give you ECTS points? The answer is: it depends. First of all you must check the information sheet and verify what it says about that. Secondly, in order to recognize it as a course (with the Learning Agreement) it is necessary that the EILC is done in the same university as the Erasmus. This is not my case so I will follow the course just to learn. It’s true that the lessons at the DTU will be in English, but I believe it’s useful to learn the language of the country in which I will live for six months.
Finally, it’s fundamental to clarify the matter of the cost. Probably you will be surprised by the fact that you will be asked a payment for the course, but actually after it will be refunded. Also, you pay for the room and board (so for the month of the course finding accommodation is not needed) while the lessons are completely free. In my case I was asked to pay about 670 euros.
How does the refund work? It’s simple: the EILC grant is worth exactly 500 euros and will be accredited only after the return in your country, at the condition of showing the course participation certificate. So as you can see the course, the food and the accommodation for a month are (almost) free: in my case about 170 euros, all inclusive. But you have to advance the money.
At this point I hope to have clarified the functioning of EILC, giving you the most important information. If you have any doubt write them in the comments.