This blog was created as part of the Erasmus Mundus Crossways in Cultural Narratives Masters programme, which is the only one of the EU approved and funded Erasmus Mundus Masters programmes to specialise in traditional humanities with a modern languages background. The Crossways Consortium comprises 6 top-class European universities.

For further information, please check the programme's official website and the universities' websites on the Useful Links section on the left. If you wish to have a specific question answered, please click on Email here and submit your query.

Mundus students, here you will find regular posts regarding the universities of the consortium, tips, activities, events, pictures, etc. Apart from checking it regularly to keep yourself up to date, a good way to use the blog is through the search device. We already have a significant amount of information on some universities of the consortium, so if you want to find information on a specific city, type its name in the search field (top left). You will then see all posts related to that specific city (because each post title contains the city's name in it). You can also type "General" in order to find information concerning everybody.

Monday, 24 December 2007

General: Merry Christmas!

A very merry Christmas and a 2008 full of discoveries, 
new languages, cultures...! 

Sunday, 23 December 2007

More on accommodation in Sheffield

Here's a question Poonam sent to out mailing list and the replies she's got so far. If anyone would like to add anything, please email me (by clicking on "Roberta" on the left) or leave a comment here.

Hi guys,

I hope everyone's doing great...What plans for the holidays?

I actually need some advice from the students in Sheffield. I received my offer for University accommodation and its at Opal Two (self-catered), on George's Close. Is any of you currently staying there, or know people who stay there? What is it like? I have the details but it would still be helpful to have first-hand information from someone whos actually there.

Also, the rent is around 1,975 Pounds for the 5-month period. From what I've heard so far, this is pretty expensive right? Or are most Uni residences this high-priced?

I plan to check out websites for private housing (Should've done it earlier!!)...Any other sources apart from gumtree and sheffield forum?

Finally, I wanted to ask you guys (the ones in private housing), if your room is available for rent for the 2nd semester period alone and if your landlord is currently looking for a tenant. I remembering Hilda's blog post, but the place seems quite a distance away from the Uni...Lorenza, you mentioned before about your place earlier, is it still available???

Do let me know as soon as possible, I have limited time to decide!!!!!

Thanks and happy holidays!


It's VERY expensive, and apparently most university accommodations are that pricey. I stay in private accommodation but it won't be available next semester :( I do know that Opal 1 and 2 are brand new and nice.

Have you checked the university website? http://www.shef.ac.uk/housing/privatehousing

Hi Poonam,

Nice to hear from you and I understand the restlessness regarding accommodation, especially here in Sheffield where not many Crossways people have been here before compared to other cities in the mobility track.

Perhaps you already know that Opal Two is one of the newest flats, and one of the most expensive ones. I have not seen the interior, but i assume it will be quite similar to other flats like Brocco Flats, Victoria Hall, Opal One and even Central Quay, which I have seen before. Actually I didn't see much difference, really, normally there are 6 rooms in one flat sharing a kitchen, some provides crockery/cutlery but some do not, microwave/oven are often provided. TV depends. Most of the flats are en-suit rooms, u pay each time u use the washing machine. Places like Victoria Hall n Central Quay, u need to apply for internet connection separately, n it adds up to your bill. I still do not understand why it has to be so expensive.

I have taken private accommodation, but unfortunately the place that I am staying now is not available. However, another house which I stayed before last year may be available. (it's about 300 m from the Arts Tower)

Currently Izabela's friend and another Chinese girl are staying there, but if I am not mistaken Izabela's friend is leaving. You could contact Izabela for more details, she stayed in that house before, with me. and the landlady. There's no internet, but the house has everything ann it's really impressive, bills included, 50 pounds/week for small room, 65 for big room. 

Hilda's house is far, but by taking the tram, her walking distance is shorter than my house to the uni. I am afraid that I do not have the info that u need exactly, but i hope it will be helpful in anyway. 

I wish you have a happy holiday wherever you are spending your time in this festive season. 

Good luck in your quest for accommodation! 

Best wishes,

As you have asked me about the Uni Accomodation, well rent is really high, i m staying in the uni accomodation "Brocco flats" which is closer to Opal2. As far as Opal 1 or 2 are concerned they are gud and expensive. If u think its better u move into private accomodation. And if u go the uni website there are some sites where u can find details abt the private accomodation. I think u can mail Roberta, Becky, Hilda or lorenza bcz they are in the private accomodation.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Raisin Weekend at St Andrews

      by Sakshi Tandom

Here is a sneak peek of an old St Andrews University's tradition. We consider ourselves lucky to be a part of it... Foam, Fun, cheerful smiles, colourful and funny dresses, nonchalance, that's how the raisin weekend is in St Andrews. As a part of this informal academic tradition, you are adopted by your seniors and become part of a proud Academic Family. This ritual is usually for undergraduates but being a new comer, you have a right to find your parents. As we are Master Mundus students, one of the Cultural Studies student adopted us.

On the Raisin Sunday, the academic mother throws a tea-party, and that's where the whole family gets together. You get to meet your Academic siblings. The next morning the Academic Mother dresses you up in a scary and inventive outfit and the Father gives a Raisin receipt. Loaded with all this, you enter the quad for the foam fight. Don't FORGET to buy your weapon in advance as shaving foam's are all sold out in the town . it starts with a parade on the North Street where the whole town gathers to watch you and then you reach the quad armed with shaving foams and fight till you become unrecognizable.


Friday, 14 December 2007

Accommodation in Perpignan

      by DONG Zhihong (Delphine)

I'm the one of the student staying in Perpi, the accommodation here is the "studio"(ensuited) in the campus; all the mundus students stay in the same building. We have a kitchenette (fridge and cooking stand), but no pans, dishes, forks. You have your own WC room with bath coin. They offer the sheets and you can change them regularly as indicated. The cost is around 320 euros (perso charges no included); you can connect in the library (wifi). There's the students' restaurant for lunch (2.80euros/meal), a supermarket just nearby.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Sheffield: Faces to the names

Mundus meeting in Sheffield... Farewell meeting, actually :(

From left to right: Hilda, Becky, Lorenza, Giri, Prof Pascal Mercier, Izabela & myself

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

French visa from the UK

I just got my French visa, so I thought you guys could use some tips on it, in case anyone is applying from the UK. It requires some work (as usual), but it's really easy. So here's a step-by-step guide:

- Call the French consulate to book an appointment (0207 073 1248 from 9 to 12pm, Monday to Friday)

- Take with you the following documents (those are the documents needed for Brazilians. I believe they shouldn't be very different for other nationalities, but it's wise to confirm)

  - your passport
- 2 copies of the Long stay visa form (download it here)
- 2 3x4cm pictures
- letter from the University of Sheffield saying you're a student here (you get it at the Ssid)
- Certificat de Scolarite provided by Universite de Perpignan
- a letter saying you'll have accommodation provided (it was written in the Certificat this year)
- proof of health insurance (the letter we received from ACE is enough)
- proof of means, that is, bank extracts and letter confirming we have a grant. Those letters we received at the beginning of the programme (Certificate of participation and the others are enough)
- I took a copy of my mobility track letter as well

Don't forget to take PHOTOCOPIES of all documents. The fee is about £35 (varies slightly depending on the exchange rate), and you should have the exact amount in cash.

The appointments are usually scheduled for 8.30am. I arrived at 7.30 and there was already a queue. This is the worst part - standing there for an hour in the cold and in the rain. After that, it takes about 40 min to an hour (I was the first one in queue for the long stay visa, though, it should take longer if you arrive later) and you get your visa on the same day.

For more info on the Long stay visa, please check the French consulate official website

General: On dissertation topics and supervisors

Dear all,

I know everybody must be very stressed out now having to choose your topics and supervisors. (The deadline is 20 December, don't forget!) I myself got worried about who would be my supervisor in my next university (Perpignan). I wrote to Prof Girard and he was very reassuring, so I thought you guys could use some reassurance too :)

Here is his reply:

What happens in the next few weeks is that all supervisors (once they have helped their students to fill in the form we refer to as "dissertation registration form") send them to Culpin and Pollock. Then all forms are redistributed to local coordinators according to where students are going during semester 2. Each coordinator then starts to short list all possible co-supervisors for the incoming studnets, which means that on your first week here or there you already have 3 or 4 possible professors and then you choose the one which pleases you most.

It is not just a matter of field of research, it might depend on the language chosen for the dissertation, or the period involved or even personal tastes.

So do not worry, for the time being fill in the form as well, as acurately and as precisely as you can (it can be very short) with your professor / supervisor and then let's keep the ball rolling.

Could you say also to students coming to Perpignan that they have nothing to do or worry about as regards accomodation is concerned. Flats are booked and when they arrive they will go and see Cheryl or even go directly to the résidence universitaire and eveything is prepared for them.

Friday, 7 December 2007

General Information on the Schengen Visa

forwarded by Becky Chen

The following are Member Countries of the Schengen Convention: AUSTRIA, BELGIUM, FRANCE, GERMANY, GREECE, ITALY, LUXEMBOURG, THE NETHERLANDS, PORTUGAL, SPAIN, NORWAY, DENMARK, ICELAND & SWEDEN. If you intend to visit one of the “Schengen Countries” on business, as a tourist or on a personal visit, you must first obtain a Short Stay Entry Schengen Visa which is valid for all the Schengen countries and which enables you to visit any or all of the above mentioned countries and move freely in all of the Schengen Countries during one trip within the validity of the visa.  A Schengen Visa is not appropriate if you wish to remain in a Schengen Member State for longer than 3 months in any six months or take up employment or establish a business, trade or profession. Apart from the short stay entry visa there are 2 other types of Schengen Visa: Airport Transit Visa which allows holders to pass through the international transit zone of an airport of a Schengen Country without giving access to the national territory of the Schengen Member Country.  Transit Visa which enables applicants to pass through the territory of one or more Schengen Member Countries on their way to another country,

Please note that the documents required for both the Airport Transit Visa and the Transit Visa may differ from those required for the Short Stay Entry Visa.


Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of return from your trip. It cannot be damaged and any alterations/extensions must be endorsed by the Home Office or relevant Embassy. Your passport must have minimum two blank facing pages for visa stickers / stamps. 

UK Visa Requirements - non UK passport holders

Your UK Visa must be:

Valid UK residency visa (such as work permits, working holiday visas, spousal visas, student visas to name a few) endorsed in your current passport. Home Office letters will NOT be accepted as proof of visa. 

Have total validity of more than 6 months to be considered a residence permit. 

Valid for at least 3 months beyond the return date from your trip. 


Where to apply for a Schengen Visa:

If you wish to visit only one Schengen Country you must apply for the visa at the Embassy or Consulate of that Country.  If you wish to visit several Schengen Countries you must apply for the visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the Country of your main destination.  If you intend to visit several Schengen Countries but do not have a main destination you should apply to the Embassy or Consulate of the first Schengen Country that requires you to have a visa. Visa applications are only accepted if the applicants are resident in the United Kingdom. 


Please note, all persons wishing to apply for visas to visit Portugal MUST have made a prior APPOINTMENT BY EMAIL OR FAX before attending and submitting their documents in person at the Consulate. The email to make an appointment is  HYPERLINK "mailto:consulado@manchester.dgaccp.pt" consulado@manchester.dgaccp.pt and the fax number is 0161 236 20 64. Applicants MUST NOT come to the Consulate without first making an appointment using the email address or fax number provided.


PLEASE NOTE: The Consulate General is closed on Portuguese National and English Bank Holidays.  The Consulate-General in Piccadilly Gardens and the nearest train station is Piccadilly Station.  If you are not sure if you require a visa to visit a particular Schengen Country or if you need further information please call the Schengen Visa Information line of that Schengen Member Country.  Please check with the different Embassies or Consulates for their Office hours and national holidays.



Please note that only applications with the following general and relevant additional supporting documents will be accepted. In some cases further documents might be required at the time of your interview. 



Please Note: If do not have the required photocopies, when attending your appointment your application will not be accepted and you will be required to make a new appointment.  

Completed application form, duly signed by the applicant.  (All the questions must be answered otherwise the application will not be accepted.);

Proof of current occupation in the U.K.

Certificate of travel insurance for the duration of stay in Schengen. PLEASE NOTE: Proof of travel insurance must be shown when applying for a Schengen Visa. 

If employed, a recent letter from the applicants employer,  if self-employed, from the applicants solicitor/Accountant/Bank Manager or the Chamber of Commerce;

Letter from School, College, University or from the parent/legal guardian if under 18years of age;

If the applicant is a student in the U.K. a recent letter from the relevant School, College or University confirming applicants status/attendance;

If the applicant is an “au pair”, nanny or domestic, a letter from the employer and the employer’s passport;

Recent passport-size photograph; ( Must be colour with white background, no blue or other colours will be accepted)

Passport or Official Travel Document accepted in all Schengen Countries.  Please ensure that it has a blank page (on both sides) for the visa sticker.  All documents must be valid for at least three months longer than the validity of the visa;

Resident visa/ permit for the U.K. valid for at least three months beyond the intended stay; PLEASE NOTE: The resident visa/permit MUST be stamped on the passport you are applying for the Schengen Visa.

Proof of the purpose of the visit;

Visit of family, relatives or friend require a recent letter from the applicants host and a declaration of support signed by the Portuguese host and legalised by a Notary Public.


Evidence of Board and Lodging/provisional Hotel booking covering all of your stay in the Schengen Countries, introduction letter from the Travel Agency or Tour Operator, Personal letter of invitation from the applicant’s Host; 

Evidence of sufficient funds to support the applicants stay, e.g. recent Bank Statement, Travellers cheques, Credit cards only with a recent credit limit statement, Cash and cheque books of accounts in foreign currencies.


Official letter of invitation from the applicants foreign business partner or host explaining in detail the nature and duration of stay as requested and evidence of Board and Lodging/confirmed Hotel booking.  An invitation fax from the Company/Firm or Organisation must be submitted on application it must specify the date of the visit and the nature of the business in Portugal.


Provisional ticket booking must be presented on application. However on issuing the visa a confirmed and non-transferable onward or return ticket (airline/train/ferry/coach) as well as a visa for onward destination.  If you are driving, a registration document, proof of legal ownership of vehicle, and insurance papers as well as sufficient cash to cover the cost of petrol.   Please note that the above documents MUST be presented when requesting your visa. PLEASE DO NOT BUY TICKETS. 


Visit of family, relatives or friends require a recent letter from the applicants host and a declaration of support signed by the Portuguese host and legalised by a Notary Public.


The cost of a Schengen visa depends, at present, on the tariff as laid down by the issuing Country.

For Portugal the fee is £24.18.  Visa fee is payable by cash only, cheques are NOT accepted.  The fee is payable on application and non-refundable under any circumstances. If you require o passport to be posted back to you a self addressed pre paid registered envelope must be provided when applying for the visa.

A Schengen Visa will be issued free of charge to the spouse and children of a citizen of an EU Country upon presentation of the original marriage certificate (duly translated if the marriage did not take place  Great Britain) and the EU Citizen’s passport.  For the children the original full birth certificates are required too.   

The appointment is not transferable

An appointment does not guarantee a visa

If you miss your appointment you must apply for a new one repeating the process.


Please Note: Nationals from the following list of countries should allow several weeks from the date of appointment for the processing of their application:

Nationals from: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bahrain, Burundi, China, Colombia Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Hong Kong CID, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Korea (North), Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Palestine, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Somalia.

This information may be subject to modification without prior notice.

No liability will be accepted by the Consulate General for the possible consequences of any change in procedures or requirements.


Consulado Geral de Portugal em Manchester

1 Portland Street

Manchester M1 3BE

Email: consulado@manchester.dgaccp.pt

Lisbon: Documents for the Portuguese Student Visa

   forwarded by Becky Chen

1) Visa application duly and fully completed (in legible capital letters or type written)

2) Passport valid for more than 3 months beyond the Visa expiry date.

3) Clear photocopy of the relevant pages of the passport (applicant’s data and previous Schengen Visas granted)

4) 3 color photo, with less than 6 months (size; 3.5cm X 4.5cm)

5) Certificate of Good Conduct issued by the Consular Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia

6) International Medical / Health insurance (€30,000.00) – decision from the European Commission, dated from the 22.12.03.

7) Medical record certified by the Ministry of Health Malaysia and by the Consular Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia.

8) If Proof that the Applicant was offered a place in a Portuguese school / University (registration on the school / university) 

9) Proof of own economic means or parents economic means or Scolarship award – monthly allowances.

10) Airplane bookings, with booking reference and contact details of the Travel Agency / Agent and airline for the intended journey. Details of any other means of transport should be also provided.

11) Proof of accommodation details and contact of the place of stay in Portugal.

Lisbon: Applying for the Portuguese visa in the UK

     by Becky Chen

Please find info at 


I also copy here the information from my email communication with the consulado:

Please find attached a file with all the required documents and application form.

(Application Form and Information for Visa Schengen)

Additionally, you must also bring:

- Document issued by the institution where you are going to attend classes under the Erasmus Programme;  

- Applicants must also deliver document proving availability of means of subsistence in Portuguese territory or, in case of scholarship-holders, documentary evidence of its existence.

If you are looking for the info of Portuguese Embassies outside UK, please check out:


Personal Experience:

Depending on one’s nationality and sometimes due to unexplained reason, getting a visa could be more complicated than imagined. There are questions from my Mundus colleague who intend to apply for Portuguese visa, and I guess perhaps I could share my experience here.

Before leaving Malaysia, I had got the information from the Portuguese Consulate in Kuala Lumpur regarding what is required in order to obtain a Portuguese student visa. According to the requirement, I should have a Certificate of Good Conduct issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia. 

Among the 3 countries of my mobility track, this Certificate is not required by the British and French embassy, only by Portuguese. I was relieved to have done it earlier, because even though the Portuguese Consulate in Manchester did not state that I should provide this Certificate, but upon my application, I showed them the certificate and they said they need it- the original copy. They also took the original copy of letter from Universidade Nova de Lisboa. 

My country is not listed as one several weeks are required to process the visa, however upon my application, I was told that at least two weeks are needed because they have to ‘wait until Friday to send all the applications to Lisbon’, and that day was a Tuesday. If in case you need your passport by your side, it is possible to inform them and they would notify you when the visa is ready to be stamped into your passport, as in my case.

NOTE THIS: The one important thing that you may want to check with the Consulate is whether they issue a PORTUGUESE STUDENT VISA, or + SCHENGEN?

Until I happily obtained my Portuguese visa, I was told that even if I am flying to Spain for one day, I need to apply for a Spanish visa! Well, the officer in the Consulate explained to me that for UK-Portugal, Portugal-UK, multiples entries are allowed. But once I step on the soil of Portugal, I need to have a Schengen visa to fly to another EU country. This is once again confirmed by the Portugalia Airlines that even if they allowed me to fly with their company, the Italian frontier will not allow me to enter. Another Mundus colleague from India has mentioned to me his similar experience with the Portuguese Student Visa.

To sum things up:

if you could, get all the information about visa requirements from the embassies at your home country and prepare the documents early.

The Scout motto: Be prepared. 

If you are in Sheffield, the right place to go is the Portuguese Consulate in Manchester, not London.

Getting started in Perpignan - part 4

      by Poonam Ganglani

The next few days were spent equipping myself with a few more household essentials—kitchen utensils, dishes, house appliances, stationery and a few other things. That’s when I discovered (and am still discovering) Lesson number eight: There are a good number of places around the University with a wide range of choices at reasonable prices-Baboo (about 10 minutes away from the main entrance of the University), LeClerc (about 15 minutes away from Quick) and Au Chan (about 10 minutes away by bus). Be sure to check out these places, they have a lot of useful things including electronics, electrical appliances, clothes, shoes and loads of other things.

The week passed quickly and the warm Perpignan sun on Saturday morning lured me to venture out to Centre Ville and discover the place on my own. I asked my way around and finally got into the right bus, a very important Lesson number nine: Take bus number 8 at the bus stop opposite the main entrance of the University to get to Centre Ville, and the same bus at the bus stop beside FNAC at Centre Ville to get back. Buy yourself a bus card for 6,5 Euros that permits you ten trips and don’t forget to ask for a Guide Bus at the Tabac where you buy the card.

The day passed quickly wandering through the ins and outs of Centre Ville, strolling down the small lanes with quaint buildings, each time making a mental note of the places to come back for another day. That finally brings us to Lesson number ten: There’s lots to see here at Perpignan….museums, chateaux, historical monuments, the seaside, the mountainside…Famous favourites include Le Castillet, Musée des Beaux Arts Hyacinth Rigaud, Palais des Rois de Majorque and Colliure among others.

There’s so much more to share about how the whole Perpignan experience has been so far, how things have changed  between that anxious day on my Lufthansa flight and this moment right now, completely settled in and sharing my thoughts with you on the Mundus blog…. but it’d be much more fun for you to discover the rest on your own, so I’ll stop here!

Allez Ciao et A Bientôt!

                                                                                                                       - Poonam Ganglani

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Strike in Perpignan

University professor and postgraduate students held seminar in a disused night-club as they are denied access to the campus of the University of Perpignan, France (November 2007)

A so-called students' strike has been going on for four weeks in France and postgraduate students unanimously beg their professors to teach them despite official banning.

Students in Perpignan, please feel free to comment on it - either by adding a Comment here (link below) or by sending me some thoughts to be published.