International opportunities and student mobility at ISTOM



The purpose of ISTOM is to train engineers in international agricultural development and prepare them for expatriation to developing countries. Student mobility is therefore obligatory and the curriculum includes several crucial placements outside the European Union. In this international context, in the widest sense of the term, ISTOM has undertaken the development of forms of intra-European mobility. The school holds an ERASMUS+ Charter and certain mobility, whether for studies or internships, will be organised in accordance with the Charter. In this respect, the school is developing a policy of focussing attention on the teaching quality of its partners.


Outgoing mobility

For all outgoing mobility, of any kind, students are informed verbally and in writing (through an explanatory framework document) of the procedures and conditions that apply to mobility. Depending on the kind of mobility (internship or study) and the semester in the curriculum, students complete an option sheet, an application form or a request for an internship contract. The applications are validated (or selected as applicable) by the Director of Studies or by an ad hoc commission made up of a minimum of teachers and the Studies Management Department.


 Outgoing mobility for studies

Student mobility for studies is organised on the basis of semesters, one semester being equivalent to 30 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). Students on outgoing mobility for studies follow the equivalent, in terms of teaching, of 30 ECTS (of an equivalent cycle) in the  equivalent cycle in the receiving establishment (if, in future mobility, the partners do not give ECTS, a system of equivalence will be pre-agreed and fixed in a contractual manner in an inter-institutional agreement).

A statement, drawn up by the receiving establishment must sanction the end of mobility officially detailing the number of ECTS acquired, in conformity with the standards of the credit system. All ECTS agreed in the study contract and acquired during the mobility period are recognised by ISTOM without the student needing to take other lessons or sit other examinations. This statement is used to calculate the diploma supplement, drawn up according to CTI (Technology and Innovation Commission) recommendations and the CDEFI (Association of French Engineering Schools) handbook.


For study mobility in the ERASMUS programme, reserved for semesters 5 and 9, a specific framework document is given to students in November of the year n-1 preceding mobility (this document is freely available on the internal server). It sets out the principal rules for ERASMUS mobility (scales and rules for the allocation of grants, rights and responsibilities of Erasmus recipients in particular). Students’ projects are considered by a commission composed of the Programme Director and language teachers. The coherence and quality of the educational project and the language level are taken into account when selecting projects.


Mobility for internship

All outgoing mobility for internships have corresponding ECTS (shown in the course catalogue), awarded by the class council, which count towards the validation of a semester, in the same way as ECTS acquired during mobility for studies. The ECTS acquired are awarded each semester for ease of calculation. Internship mobility is subject to a strict procedure: students are informed of this verbally and in writing (framework document). They are required to complete an application which will be examined by an approval committee, then validated by the Director of Studies. Each student has a tutor to assist in preparing for and monitoring the internship (respect of contractual commitments, educational matters related to mobility…).


Preparing for outgoing mobility

To prepare students for mobility during their studies and for professional life, English and Spanish lessons are compulsory from the first year of the first cycle. They are provided by the school itself and correspond to 14% of the total teaching volume for the first cycle. An optional 3rd language is proposed (Portuguese, German, Arabic or Chinese) by IPSL, of which ISTOM is a member. The school’s goal is for students to obtain, in English, level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages by the end of the 1st cycle (i.e. 750 at TOEIC,  the level required for the award of the diploma). Several courses in the curriculum help prepare for outgoing mobility (particularly for internships). The school organises first aid training sessions and lessons in epidemiology (basics in disease prevention) to inform students of risks related to certain destinations. 

For mobility in Erasmus studies, the minimum language level is determined between the partners in the inter-institutional agreement. The Erasmus programme (in addition to the school’s own provisions) allows the language level of students concerned by mobility to be evaluated (in the languages most commonly used in the EU). The school has a licence which allows those students who need to improve the most to take online lessons. The language level will be evaluated again on return from mobility.

ISTOM - 4, rue Joseph Lakanal - 49000 ANGERS
Phone : (+33) 02 53 61 84 60 / Fax : (+33) 02 53 61 84 61 / E-mail :


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