Green Erasmus: ideas for a greener exchange

Teksti | Sini Aalto-Friman

The Green Erasmus Project (Green Erasmus | EUF ( started in 2022 in whole Europe and the duration of it is two years. In February 2022, the Green Erasmus project and researchers showcased their first reports (Green Erasmus Report) of the survey which was answered by nearly 8000 students either on mobility or that had been on mobility in the past 3 years. With students’ mobility rapidly growing in the last few decades and contributing to internationalization’s carbon footprint, it is crucial to wonder about the environmental impact of Erasmus mobility.

Kuvaaja: Yan Krukov / Pexels

The Green Erasmus project aims to improve the environmental sustainability of the Erasmus+ Programme by raising awareness across the European Higher Education sector and empowering student organizations to be the agents of change.

Green Erasmus Portal

The Green Erasmus Portal has been developed by Green Erasmus project to provide students with concrete information on how to be sustainable before, during and after their Erasmus experience. The website gives concrete tips about travel, luggage, accommodation, furniture and equipment, food, energy, waste, and recycling.

UAS Burgenland in Austria organized an international week connected to the topic of Green Mobility

I attended the international week in Austria, UAS Burgenland, a bit outside of Vienna in a city called Eisenstadt in July 2022. The international week was called Building Bridges with the topics of Green Internationalization, Sustainability and Including Nature in Teaching and Learning. The event was filled with interesting lessons, workshops, as well as with university and cultural visits.

I can share some of the topics of the week. Angelika Mayer (PH Burgenland) presented nature as a learning space and their project of a university garden.  Green spaces are enhancing learning, mental well-being and also academic performance. One example can be found here: Green space can help improve academic performance (

Antje Baumgarten (Ostfalia Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften) presented their program “Water Rebound“, which increases the awareness for the advantages of tap water, decreases the consumption of bottled water and builds an infrastructure for the consumption of tap water on the campus.

Birgit Philips (UAS Burgenland) presented her teaching project in India and shared that 13 Austrian Universities of Applied Sciences belong to the Alliance of Sustainable Universities.

Felix Bergmeister (PH Burgenland) presented their project-based learning course “Nature Peers”, where students build self-coordinated research teams, assess their living environment and come up with driving questions or challenges. Then the students decide which problem they want to address, and teams develop a plan how they will study the challenge and develop viable interventions or solutions, which are then presented and implemented.

Laurea will continue collaboration with UAS Burgenland in the form of intercultural learning by international tandem programme, where students are connected to each other online and they can get friends for life! Two students with different native languages with help each other to learn the language and about each one’s culture.

3UAS Green Exchange Ambassador and Green Exchange Guidelines

Laurea, Metropolia and Haaga-Helia have actively collaborated in the framework of 3UAS and Green Exchange. In 2022 we started the Green Exchange Ambassador program where students from these UAS are posting their experiences and thoughts regarding greener choices before, during and after their exchanges around the world. You can follow these stories on each UAS social media, in Instagram for example.

Green Exchange Guidelines have been published 2022. This guide is an easy guide with concrete tips for action for students with links.  Also note that students can get a top up to their normal grant if they travel in a greener way. This applies to teacher and staff exchanges as well. More info can be found in Laurea Intranet.

This is a great possibility to start to plan your next exchange in a more sustainable way!

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