The decision to study or work abroad is an important decision. 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.
Going abroad to study or work is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - it is also an investment in your future. Like all investments, it is important to plan ahead with as much information as possible. We are here to help you understand your options and prepare. The Erasmus+ Programme also offers generous funding for you to study or work abroad.
One of the significant advantages of the Erasmus+ Programme is the financial assistance it may give you to study or work abroad. If you are selected for the programme, you may be eligible for a 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.
Please note that the rates below are for the 2019/2020 academic year. The UK will participate fully in Erasmus+ during the 2020/2021 year and grant rates are expected to be confirmed in late spring/summer 2020.
The Erasmus+ grant varies from year to year and it depends on where you are studying/working. Below is a guide to give you an idea of what you may expect to receive (please also note that a month in grant terms equals 30 days):
Erasmus+ grant monthly payments
Group 1 countries (high cost of living)
EUR 420 per month
EUR 520 per month
Group 2 countries (medium cost of living)
EUR 370 per month
EUR 470 per month
Group 3 Countries (low cost of living)
Before you go on your placement, you will have to submit two important documents to secure your mobility grant funding, in addition to a BACS form for Finance and a Risk Assessment Form:
1. Your Erasmus+ Grant Agreement
Before you go on your placement, you will have to sign a grant agreement with Queen Mary, formally accepting the mobility grant and acknowledging the obligations you enter into when you accept the grant. This agreement will be issued by Queen Mary's Erasmus+ Institutional Coordinator.
2. 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 must be approved and signed by all three parties prior to submission (yourself, the host institution and your School/Department Erasmus+ Coordinator).
If you don’t 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 mobility grant is calculated
The 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.) You may receive a grant for a part or the entire duration of your stay.
Payment of the grant
The Erasmus+ grant will be paid in Sterling and only into UK bank accounts. You have to be the account holder; the grant can’t be paid into another person’s account.
The grant is paid in two installments. Should you received a grant:
If you are a student in receipt of certain types of student loans or eligible for a full grant or loan, a supplementary grant amount, or top-up grant, may be available to help you fund your Erasmus+ period. This is available to eligible undergraduate Home/EU students only (provided they are means tested by Student Finance England), with household annual incomes of £25,000 or less.
You don’t have to apply for this grant; we will let you know if you are eligible for it.
Queen Mary tuition fees
If you undertake an Erasmus+ study placement or traineeship and you are spending the whole academic year abroad, you pay a reduced tuition fee to Queen Mary. For details of Queen Mary’s tuition fees, please view these online here.
Your Queen tuition fees in 2019/20 are:
|Placement||Home/EU student||Overseas student|
|Full year study||GBP 1385||50% of tuition fees|
|Full year traineeship||GBP 1385||50% of tuition fees|
If you are only going abroad for one semester, you are responsible for paying full tuition fees to Queen Mary.
Tuition fees at your host university (study placements)
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 loans
If you are a Home/EU student 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 make it clear to them that your placement abroad will be an integral part of your Queen Mary degree programme.
If you receive and accept a Conditional offer to study abroad (typically you receive this late February/early March), once you declare this placement abroad to Student Finance by applying through your online account (check the deadlines carefully), you should be sent a Course Abroad Form by Student Finance directly (this is the case for Student Finance England; students from Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales should consult their relevant loan providers).
Before you're scheduled to go abroad, take this Course Abroad Form to the Global Opportunities Office to be completed, who will complete and include the official dates of your mobility period. Once completed and signed, you should scan a copy of this form for your records and then need to send it to the address indicated by Student Finance so that they can process your application.
The timing of when you should complete this as well as the deadline to submit to submit to Student Finance will depend on your degree programme; this could be anytime between March and mid-summer (if you have to wait until your academic results are published in July to know if you may progress onto your next year). Providing you apply to Student Finance on time (typically by the end of June but check with Student Finance directly), you should automatically receive your first Student Finance loan instalment 25 working days before the start of the Queen Mary academic year. Submitting the form late could delay the payment of your instalment/s.
The second and third instalments of your Student Finance will be paid at the start of Queen Mary's Semester 2 and the exam period. Queen Mary can ask SFE to bring forward the first instalment of your Student Finance loan if you are required to travel abroad to start your study more than 25 working days before the start of the Queen Mary academic year (referred to as 'course start date'), yet this is unlikely for most European destinations.
If your personal circumstances or timing of your placement abroad compel you to request special payment arrangements, only Queen Mary will be able to request this on your behalf directly with Student Finance. For any such request, please contact the Student Enquiry Centre if you need advice about this: send an email to email@example.com, call +44 20 7882 5079 or visit the SEC in person (ground floor of the Queens’ Building).
Please note that there is a special overseas rate for your Maintenance Loan (you will not be eligible for the same amount as you would be in London). Please check with Student Finance for more details.
You should consult your eligility for additional funding from Student Finance for your upcoming period abroad (e.g. Travel Grants, cost of medical insurance or compulsory medical, cost of visa for host country). Please see the Travel Grant section for more details.
Bursaries and scholarships
If you are eligible to receive a Queen Mary Bursary, you can receive this during your study abroad year, as long as you continue to be eligible for income-assessed Student Finance.
Your Erasmus+ mobility period abroad should not affect any scholarships or bursaries you hold, but it is always worth checking this with the Erasmus+ Institutional Coordinator.
Other 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+ mobility period abroad. You must not discontinue, interrupt, or reduce your entitlement while you are on your placement and receiving your Erasmus+ grant. The Erasmus+ grant is not incompatible with receiving national grants or loans, however before going abroad, you should check with any of your funding bodies that your exchange abroad and receiving an Erasmus+ grant for this do not affect their contribution. As with Student Finance, you should make it clear to them that your exchange abroad will be an integral part of your Queen Mary degree programme.
The cost of living varies considerably across Europe, 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 (e.g. Copenhagen, Denmark). It is important to understand how not only your expenses but also your income will change during your period abroad, as this will make your budget while abroad different from your budget as a student in London.
From the 2019 outgoing student application round for all mobilities taking place in 2020/21, you will be strongly encouraged to complete a budgeting spreadsheet for your period abroad with the help of Advice & Counselling Service. This form is available for download here and will also be encouraged during pre-departure workshops.
During your period abroad, you will need to pay for costs such as your accommodation, travel and general living costs, although your Erasmus+ grant will go some way to supplementing these expenses. Remember that an Erasmus+ grant contributes towards but does not cover your expenses during your period abroad.
The QS website will give you a rough guide to the cost of living in Europe as a student.
Your host university’s website might also have some useful information on projected living costs and budgets.
If you receive a maintenance loan through Student Finance, please note that there is a special overseas rate for your Maintenance Loan (you will not be eligible for the same amount as you would be in London). Please check with Student Finance for more details. Do also consult the other sections on this webpage to better understand how your period abroad affects a student loan and for what other sources of income you may be eligible to apply for or receive.
If you are home/EU student going on a placement abroad and have a loan through Student Finance, you should consult your eligibility for additional funding from Student Finance for your upcoming period abroad (e.g. travel grant, medical insurance, visa). You can apply for an income-assessed travel grant from Student Finance to cover reasonable travel costs to your host institution as your exchange is an integral part of your degree programme (i.e. buying the most cost-effective tickets for the cheapest form of transport). Please note that any travel grant funding received is compatible with an Erasmus+ grant.
How to apply
Student Finance provides detailed information and instructions about the funding available for study abroad at the following sources:
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 to discuss your application and your eligibility for additional funding (see below).
As soon as possible, it is a good idea to discuss all kinds of additional support you might need to go abroad with our Disability and Dyslexia Service. With your permission, they can get in touch with our office to see how you might be best supported if you are interested in going abroad.
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. Please know that these discussions in no way affect the merit of a future mobility application you may submit, but rather discussing in advance will help us to best advise you on optimal destinations or plan ahead to see what support may be available at a potential destination that you are interested in.
Extra funding support
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.