What is a free mover?

Features of a free mover mobility

When studying abroad, you have two options:
• Long-term mobility
• Short-term mobility

Historically, economists and other social scientists have greatly emphasized what should be considered short-term and what otherwise belongs to the long-term. Here, as a helpful turning point, we can consider one year.
Hence, long-term mobility is when the stay abroad period lasts more than one year, while short-term mobility is a study abroad experience of one year or less.

Why should you be interested in a short-term mobility period? Well, not everyone has the possibility or the willingness to study abroad for more than one year.

So, what are your opportunities? Studying abroad for less than a year can be done through
• Organized mobility
• Independent mobility

Organized mobility is an incredible opportunity for students. It allows partially or fully subsidized study-abroad periods for thousands of young adults all over the world. International experiences are notably value-adding activities for society. Hence, some valuable programs, such as the Erasmus, Fulbright, and Nordplus ones, were born. Governmental and extra-governmental entities finance those programs massively through scholarships, usually awarded to students based on merit. Participants are followed by their university during the application process, and exchanges are based on pre-made bilateral agreements between participating institutions.

Independent mobility is an alternative to organized mobility. Only some students can or are willing to participate in an organized mobility program, as their scholarships can be challenging to obtain or completely unavailable. Furthermore, pre-made agreements bind applicants to a few destinations, and strict participating conditions can deter prospective applicants.

Pros and cons

Free mover mobility is short-term and independent. As such, it has its advantages, such as:

Complete freedom of choice on the destination. That’s right! You can go wherever you want as a free mover, with the sole condition being that the hosting institution accepts independent short-term mobility applicants. If you want to look at some destinations, on wearefreemovers you can. Try one of our 50+ country guides or the university finder to find your next destination among 500+ top-notch higher education institutions.

High accessibility. As said, organized mobility is expensive for institutions, making it somewhat inaccessible to many motivated students who don’t fit into the requirements asked to join such programs. Your university may offer only a few spots to outgoing students, leaving you behind because of your GPA or any other prerequisite. In case you are stuck in that situation, don’t worry: there is still a possibility for you to go abroad, with many exciting destinations waiting for you. I genuinely believe that the most essential part of a student’s academic career is the experience of studying abroad, no matter the place. It is sad to know that many students don’t have such an opportunity: the goal of wearefreemovers is to provide them with a simple, independent, and feeless tool to kick-start their study abroad experience.

On the other hand, free mover mobility has its disadvantages, like:

Cost. This is the most significant deterrent factor for students willing to study abroad as free movers, as they must pay fees at the hosting university. However, they may be lower than you think, with some countries accessible to free movers. Wearefreemovers was born to provide potential free movers with the highest selection of institutions at the lowest fee. The service is free. Use the university finder to discover how many affordable destinations could suit your next experience abroad!

Problems with your university’s international office. It can happen that your university is not willing to let you go abroad. Why? Because, most of the time, this kind of mobility is not well-known by academic institutions. Lack of regulation, knowledge, and internationalization can lead to a denial of your proposal from your international office or any other responsible entity at your home university. Free mover mobility can be treated like any organized mobility program, with the same crucial documents as the Learning Agreement and the Transcript of Records. Easiness and freedom from any third party’s constraint can make an independent mobility period appealing to you and your home university, which could be willing to let you leave without having to rely on many organized mobility programs to satisfy its students’ international ambitions.

So, what is a Free Mover?

By definition, a Free Mover is a student participating in credit mobility outside an organized student mobility program. A Free Mover chooses a host institution and organizes their credit mobility at that institution. A Free Mover can pick a destination anywhere in the world.

Studying abroad for a semester has never been easier

With wearefreemovers, you can arrange an entire semester abroad, or even an academic year, without applying to any organized study abroad program. Studying abroad is a life-changing experience, but only a few students know how to prepare for a recognized study abroad semester by themselves. Yes, you read it right: recognized. A successful free mover semester is not only a study period spent abroad without any means: credits obtained during this kind of mobility are recognized by the home university and count towards achieving the applicant’s university degree. So don’t worry; you will study and take exams like you are already doing at your home university, but in a new, challenging environment, with new people and new opportunities never explored.

Study abroad experiences are considered extremely valuable by employers. You can increase the prestige of your curriculum by choosing a top-rated university, and even if you don’t care about job opportunities or prestige at all, you can live a unique experience that will make you grow as an individual.