The decision to study or work abroad is one of the most important you will make. Not only is it a process of self-discovery, but the international element that it will add to your degree and career will stay with you for the rest of your life. Study abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is also an investment. The Erasmus+ ICM Programme offers generous funding for you to study abroad beyond Europe.
One of the significant advantages of the Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility (ICM) Programme is the financial assistance it gives you to study abroad.
If you are selected for the programme, you will be given a support grant to help towards the additional costs of going on an exchange. It’s important to note that this is a grant towards your costs: it won’t cover them entirely. You will also get a grant to contribute towards travel.
The grant varies from year to year and it depends on where you are studying. Your Erasmus+ Coordinator will be able to tell you how much your grant will be before you start your placement. Here is a guide to give you some idea of what you should expect to receive:
Erasmus grant payments
(Please note: the grant rates below are for the 2019/20 academic year)
Erasmus+ Tuition fees at host institution (partner HEI)
Erasmus+ Individual support grant
No tuition fees for exchange students
EUR 700 per month of exchange1
Between EUR 360 and EUR 1,5002
Before you go on your placement, you will have to submit two documents to secure your grant/s. You are also required to complete a BACS form for Finance and a Risk Assessment form for Insurance.
Your grant agreement
Before you go on your placement, you will have to sign a grant agreement with Queen Mary, formally accepting the grant and acknowledging the obligations you enter into when you accept it. This agreement will be issued by Queen Mary's Erasmus+ Institutional Coordinator.
Your Learning Agreement
You also need to submit your Learning Agreement (which is linked to your grant agreement) before you begin your placement. This agreement includes your forecasted study plan/ modules and must be approved and signed by all three parties prior to submission (yourself, the host institution and the Erasmus+ Coordinator from your academic department).
If you do not submit these documents before you start your placement, you won’t be eligible for funding.
These are the funding rules of the European Commission.
How the support grant is calculated
The support grant is calculated from the first day you have to attend your place of study or traineeship, including any induction days etc. The end date is the last date you need to be present at your placement. (This is your Erasmus+ period.)
Payment of the grant
The support grant will be converted3 and paid in Sterling and only into UK bank accounts.
You have to be the account holder: the grant cannot be paid into another person’s account.
The grant is paid in three instalments:
1. The individual support grant awarded is a contribution towards (not to cover) your subsistence costs (e.g. accommodation, food, living expenses) during the exchange, as well as for obtaining any required visa and local insurance relative to the country of destination.
2. The travel grant is calculated following the EU Distance Calculator tool on the European Commission’s website. The distance is to be calculated one-way– ie from Queen Mary to your destination city. This one-off travel grant is intended to contribute towards (not to cover) the total cost of your outward and return journeys.
3. Queen Mary uses the conversion rate from the day it receives the grants from the UK Erasmus+ National Agency. Any financial transaction fees charged to the participant by the participant’s bank to receive, withdraw or convert the payments into local currency will be paid by the participant and cannot be claimed for reimbursement.
To maintain your status in the UK and on your Queen Mary degree programme, you continue to pay full fees as a Queen Mary postgraduate research student for the year during which your three- to five-month research mobility period takes place. No fee reduction is available.
You will not have to pay any university tuition fees (or fees for registration, examination, laboratory or library access facilities, etc) if you are on an Erasmus+ study placement.
However, you may be charged small fees for costs such as insurance, student union membership or the use of materials (such as photocopying, laboratory supplies etc) on the same basis as local students.
Tuition and maintenance grants, and student loans
If you are receiving a student loan (e.g. Student Finance England) you should contact them directly to enquire about how studying abroad will affect the amount/s you receive from them. It is recommended you do this in advance of submitting your application so that you are fully informed. You should also ask if you are eligible for any additional funding whilst studying abroad e.g. Travel Grants. Student Finance England provides detailed information about 'Funding for study abroad'.
National grants and loans and the Erasmus+ programme
Your entitlement to any national grants or loans for your study at Queen Mary must be maintained during your Erasmus+ period abroad. You must not discontinue, interrupt, or reduce your entitlement while you are on your placement and receiving your Erasmus+ grant.
The cost of living varies considerably across the world, not only from country to country but also from one city to another. In many countries, living costs are lower than in the UK, while some may be more expensive.
You will also need to pay for your accommodation, local travel and general living costs, although your Erasmus+ grant will go some way to supplementing these expenses. The Erasmus+ travel grant will also contribute towards your return airfare.
Also, you will likely need to obtain a required visa and to purchase any local insurance required by the host institution/country of destination (the Queen Mary Travel insurance policy only provides limited cover). These are both considered as costs to be covered by the Erasmus+ support grant as well.
The Student Finance section of the QS website will give you a rough guide to the cost of living in your host country as a student. This useful website endorsed by the British Council provides country-specific information for numerous destinations: https://www.justlanded.com/. Global Graduates also provide useful country information under their Destinations heading.
Your host institution's website might also have some useful information on projected living costs and budgets.
If you have any additional needs or will need any extra support on your study placement, you may be eligible for a disability grant to help you take part in the Erasmus+ programme. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
The grant helps students with additional needs who wouldn’t be able to take part in Erasmus+ without extra financial support.
The allowances are offered if your additional needs mean that you will face additional costs that would exceed your Erasmus+ mobility grant and that you can’t pay for from another source.
The grant covers your approved actual costs and you will have to provide evidence of these costs: to claim the grant, you will need to submit a statement from your doctor (‘or other authority’) confirming:
You must make your application before you start your Erasmus+ placement: you can’t apply for the grant retrospectively.
You must also maintain a full credit load for each term you are on exchange.
We want all of our students to be able to enjoy the international opportunities we offer and get the most out of their Erasmus+ placements.
If you think you might need additional support – of whatever kind – please let us know when you are considering your application, so that we can help you with your options. You can contact our Erasmus Institutional Coordinator [Link to new Contacts page] to discuss your application and your eligibility for the disability grant.
It is also a good idea to discuss what additional support you might need on your Erasmus+ placement with our Disability and Dyslexia Service.
If you think you will need any extra support on the Erasmus+ programme, we strongly recommend that you discuss your application with us as soon as possible and plan ahead: depending on your host university, any adjustments you might need on your placement may take some time to arrange.