What is a free mover?
Features of a free mover mobility
When studying abroad, you basically have two options:
- Long-term mobility
- Short-term mobility
Historically, economists and other social scientists have put great emphasis on what has to be considered as short-term and what otherwise belongs to the long-term. Here, as a useful turning point, we can consider one year.
Hence, long-term mobility is when the stay abroad period lasts for 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 possibilities? Studying abroad for less than a year can be done through:
- Organized mobility
- Independent mobility
Organized exchanges are an incredible opportunity for students. They allow partially or fully subsidized study abroad periods for thousands of young adults all over the world. International experiences are notably value adding activities for the society, hence some really useful programs were born, such as the Erasmus, Fulbright or Nordplus ones. Governmental and extra-governmental entities finance massively those programs through scholarships, that are 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 institutions.
Independent exchanges are an alternative to organized exchanges. Not every student is able or willing to take part to an organized exchange, as those scholarships can be difficult to obtain or completely unavailable, pre-made agreements bound applicants to few destinations, and strict participating conditions can deter many scholars.
Pros and cons
Free mover mobility is short-term and independent. As such, it has its own 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 that the hosting institution accepts independent short-term mobility applicants. If you want to take a look to some destinations, on wearefreemovers you can find country guides for more than 50 countries and a University Finder with more than 500 destinations!
High accessibility. As said, organized mobility it’s expensive for institutions, making it sometimes inaccessible to many motivated students that don’t fit into the requirements asked to join such programs. For example, your university offers only a few spots to outgoing students and you miss the train because of your GPA. Well, don’t worry, there’s still a possibility for you to go abroad. There are a lot of destinations to choose from. I truly believe that the most important thing for a student is the experience of studying abroad, no matter the place. It is sad to know that many students just don’t have such an opportunity: the goal of wearefreemovers is to guarantee high accessibility to short-term mobility to them.
On the other hand, free mover mobility has its own disadvantages, like:
Costs. I would say that this is the biggest deterrent factor for students willing to study abroad as free movers, as they have to pay fees at the hosting university. However, as said in the previous paragraph, wearefreemovers was created with the goal of providing potential free movers with the highest selection of institutions at the lowest fee. You will discover that studying abroad for a semester is not that expensive. Just use the University Finder and discover how many affordable destinations could be the right ones for your next experience abroad!
Problems with your university’s international office. It can happen that 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 by the international office or other responsible entity at your home university. A free mover mobility can be treated just like an organized mobility period without the pre-made organization, but with the same crucial documents like 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 that, who knows, can take advantage of this situation and establish future partnerships with destinations selected by their outgoing free movers.
So, what is a Free Mover?
By definition, a Free Mover is a student participating in credit mobility outside an organised student mobility program. A Free Mover chooses a host institution and organises his/her credit mobility at that institution. A Free Mover can pick a destination all around the world.
Studying abroad for a semester has never been easier
With wearefreemovers.com you have the opportunity to arrange a full semester abroad, or even an academic year, without the need to apply to any organized study abroad program. Studying abroad is a life changing experience, but only few students know how to prepare 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 mean: credits obtained during this kind of mobility are recognized by the home university and count towards the achievement of the university degree of the applicant. So don’t worry, you are going to 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 before.
It’s not all about fun though: study abroad experiences are considered as 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 have the opportunity to live a unique experience that is going to make you grow as an individual.