Deciding to study or work abroad is not just a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - it is also an investment in your future. We are here to help you understand your options and to plan ahead with as much information as possible.
Like all investments, it is important to consider and understand the financial implications and relevant commitments of going abroad as part of your Queen Mary degree. Once you arrive at Queen Mary, you will be able to learn more about financial support, budgeting and financial requirements for your preferred destinations, with support from both the Global Opportunities Office and our Welfare Advisors in the Advice and Counselling Service. We work together to help our students to understand the real costs of an exchange and to apply for destinations that suit their individual circumstances.
Please consult the general finance information in the dropdown sections below, applicable for most students.
Then you can find specific information on different funding sources in their individual sub-pages via the left-hand menu.
If you are going abroad for one optional semester, you are responsible for paying full tuition fees to Queen Mary for the year during which you are abroad (with minimum 10 weeks of that year spent at Queen Mary).
If you are spending the full academic year studying abroad, you pay a reduced tuition fee to Queen Mary.
Students paying overseas tuition fees pay 50% of their programme fee. Students with home fee status pay 15% of their programme fee.
For full details please visit Advice and Counselling's guidance for Undergraduate Funding for study or work abroad.
You will not have to pay any university tuition fees (or fees for registration, examination, laboratory or library access facilities, etc) to your host institution, whether you study abroad on exchange for one semester or the full year.
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.
Please visit the Advice and Counselling's guidance for Undergraduate Funding for study or work abroad.
You should consult your eligibility 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 on this webpage for more details.
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 exchange abroad should not affect any Queen Mary scholarships or bursaries you hold, but it is always worth checking this by contacting the GO Team.
Your entitlement to any national grants or loans for your study at Queen Mary must be maintained during your exchange abroad. You must not discontinue, interrupt, or reduce your entitlement while you are on your placement and receiving your Erasmus+ grant. However, before taking up your place on Queen Mary's Outbound Student Exchange Programme, you should contact your funding bodies to ensure that your exchange abroad will 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.
In some countries, you may be required to show that you have the money to support yourself financially for the whole academic year/period of your exchange before you are allowed into the country. In these instances, Student Finance can pay the full amount of the Student Finance loan for the year on your first instalment date (unless quested otherwise). As only the university can make requests to Student Finance for special payment arrangements, 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).
If you are a Home/EU student going on an exchange 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 if your application is successful, the grant comes in the form of retroactive reimbursement of approved expenses; you do not receive money up front.
Student Finance provides detailed information and instructions about the funding available for study abroad at the following sources:
Please contact Advice and Counselling if you are having difficulties applying.
During your exchange abroad, you are responsible for covering all of your living expenses, such as travel, accommodation, food, health insurance, campus charges while you study abroad, etc. In order to prepare financially for an exchange that is financially responsible, you must consider: 1) the cost of living in your desired destination (see section below) and 2) your funding sources; these will allow you to make financially-sound decisions and complete a tentative budget wisely and accurately.
Important: You must factor inflation and the increasing cost of living into your budgeting when consulting the figures in the below document. They are only estimates and will fluctuate with changes in the global economy.
Participation in any exchange programme can cost you more in financial terms than remaining at Queen Mary for the year, so it is of the utmost importance to research this in advance. The cost of living varies considerably not only from one country to another but also from city to city. In some countries, living costs are lower than in the UK, while some may be much more expensive. 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 (please see earlier guidance to complete a budgeting spreadsheet).
You can download this Estimated Costs of Living by country [PDF 336KB] guidance document (updated October 2023) to understand how much it would cost to study on exchange at your preferred destination countries. All of the figures quoted are for guidance purposes only and refer only to required expenses likely to be incurred by a full-time student living and studying abroad. These figures do not include the costs of air travel, personal, leisure or tourism expenses you may incur. Student feedback also suggests that these estimated cost-of-living figures tend to be on the low side, so you may want to budget for 10% on top of the quoted amounts.
Additionally, the below websites provide a rough of the cost of living in various countries as a student (search by destination), and your host institution’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 page 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.
As advised in the "GO Abroad: Get Ready To Apply" E-Learning module available via our QMplus page, you are strongly encouraged to complete a budgeting spreadsheet for your period abroad with the help of Advice and Counselling Service. This form is available for download here; you are encouraged to complete this as a preliminary step in order to help you assess if you can afford to complete an exchange at your desired destination/s and also for your desired duration. Submitting a completed budgeting spreadsheet is also encouraged as a step in the Pre-departure process.
As part of the partner's application process, you will need to show that you have access to sufficient finances to support yourself for the entire duration of your exchange programme. Your host institution will specify an amount they think you will need to survive as a full-time student with them.
You may be asked to provide evidence to prove you have the funding (this will be a requirement for certain IEP destinations). Only once this has been received and verified by the host institution will they issue you with the document that you will need to apply for a visa.
The evidence required will depend on how you will be funding your exchange abroad:
If you have further questions specific to your destination, please contact the GO Team.
It is your responsibility to check if your student visa allows you to work in your destination country. There will be restrictions to the amount of hours you can work and you may be restricted to where you can work (eg. in the US, your employment usually must be on campus). Any work done must not conflict with your academic programme of study. Your host institution will advise you on your employment opportunities upon arrival.
Do bear in mind that you should not count on obtaining part-time employment when planning your finances, no matter the destination.
If you ARE eligible to work, you should also consider if you would be willing to devote those hours to working, which would take away from time you could spend studying, adapting to a new academic system, socialising to meet other students, discovering your new host city (and country), etc.
For up-to-date financial advice, please visit our Advice and Counselling Service’s Money pages. You can also visit their page on financial guidance for International students.