The Impact of ERASMUS Exchanges on the Professional and Personal Development of Medical Students

Paweł Żebryk, Piotr Przymuszała, Jan Krzysztof Nowak, Magdalena Cerbin-Koczorowska*, Ryszard Marciniak, Helen Cameron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ERASMUS program is one of the most popular student exchange projects, particularly among the students of Central and Eastern European countries. However, limited research is available with regard to its influence on the professional and personal development of its participants. The study aimed at investigating the experiences and impact of the ERASMUS program on different domains of the personal and professional life of medical students. A questionnaire containing closed and open-ended questions was distributed among 269 former participants of the ERASMUS program from the Poznan University of Medical Sciences to collect qualitative and quantitative data regarding the topic. The response rate was 41%. Mastering professional foreign language skills was the most frequently reported benefit of ERASMUS (94%), followed by a change of approach towards learning by exposure to innovative teaching techniques, character, professionalism and cultural competency development, impact on the migration decisions of the students, as well as the opportunity to compare healthcare and educational systems across countries. Additionally, 57% of respondents stated that ERASMUS impacted their career plans, and few indicated that it had affected their specialty choice. Approximately 28% of respondents have worked abroad in healthcare or research since graduating. Participation in the ERASMUS program proved to be a unique opportunity for professional and personal development.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13312
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 by the authors.
Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
This article is an open access article
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  • ERASMUS program
  • Medical curriculum
  • Medical education
  • Medical students
  • Professional development
  • Student exchange program


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