Global Opportunities

Finance

It is important that you consider the financal implications and commitments of studying abroad as part of your Queen Mary degree. Please use the tabs below to find useful information about finances for the International Exchange Programme.

Tuition fees

Queen Mary tuition fees

You will continue to pay tuition fees to Queen Mary while you are on the IEP. 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.

2019/20 Queen Mary tuition fees (2020/21 fees will be posted when available):

Duration of exchangeHome/EU student     Overseas student   
Full year abroad GBP 1385 50% of tuition fees (full-time rate)
One semester abroad 
(spending at least 10 weeks at Queen Mary) 
Full tuition fees
Full tuition fees    

Tuition fees at your host university

You will not have to pay any university tuition fees (or fees for registration, examination, laboratory or library access facilities, etc) at your IEP host university, whether you study abroad for one semester or for the full academic 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.

For many IEP destinations, students will be required to demonstrate they have access to a specified amount of funds to ensure they can support themseleves while abroad. Please note that you can’t use evidence of future potential earnings for this purpose. Whatever the source(s), your funds should be available when you complete your host university’s forms. The International Exchange Programme Manager will be available to advise and assist students with regards to financial matters relating to study abroad.

Working on a student visa

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 institute will advise you on your employment opportunities upon arrival.

Please contact the International Exchange Programme Manager should you have any questions.

Student loans and grants

Tuition and maintenance loans

If you are a Home/EU student receiving a student loan (e.g. Student Finance England), you should contact Student Finance 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 exchange period 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 (International Exchange Programme Manager), 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.

Also, in certain countries the academic year runs across two semesters rather than three, in which case Queen Mary can ask Student Finance to pay your second and third instalments together.

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 studentenquiry@qmul.ac.uk, 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.

Please visit the Advice and Counselling's guidance for Undergraduate Funding for study or work abroad.

Travel grant

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 below 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 IEP period abroad should not affect any Queen Mary scholarships or bursaries you hold, but it is always worth checking this with the International Exchange Programme Manager.

Other national grants and loans

Your entitlement to any national grants or loans for your study at Queen Mary must be maintained during your IEP period 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 the IEP abroad, 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.

Evidence of sufficient finances

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: you may either email studentenquiry@qmul.ac.uk, call 020 7882 5079 or visit in person (ground floor of the Queens’ Building).

Visa application requirements

As part of the application process, you will need to show that you have access to sufficient finances to support yourself for the period of your exchange programme. Your host university will specify an amount they think you will need to survive as a full-time student at their institute.

You will be asked to provide evidence to prove you have the funding. Only when this has been received and verified by the host university 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 programme:

• If you will be supporting yourself, you will need to provide bank statements or bank letters to show you have sufficient savings.

• If you will be supported by family or friends, you will need to provide bank statements/letters from your guarantors.

• If you who will be supported by a student loan, you will need to provide letters from the relevant authority confirming the amount of funding you will have available. Therefore, if you receive a Student Finance loan, you should apply for this as early as possible so that you have your financial evidence in good time for your visa application.

If you have further questions, please contact the International Exchange Programme Manager.

Queen Mary Study Abroad Bursary

We want all of our students to be able to enjoy the international opportunities we offer and get the most out of their IEP period abroad. 

To achieve this, Queen Mary has created a Study Abroad Bursary fund to assist international exchanges for students who couldn’t otherwise meet the costs of an exchange programme abroad.

Any student who would qualify for a Queen Mary bursary is eligible for this award and will be considered for it simultaneously when applying for an IEP destination. Individual awards are one-off payments in the range of approximately £750-£2000. Consideration will be given both to economic need and academic performance. Recipients going on exchange during the 2020/21 academic year will receive confirmation of the award in February 2020 following selection.

To maximise the value of the Queen Mary Study Abroad Bursary, all home/EU students receiving a Queen Mary Bursary for their degree as well as a loan from Student Finance should also systematically apply for the Travel Grant from Student Finance and confirm to the Global Opportunities Office once they have done so, as evidence of seeking maximum potential financial support and forecasted budgeting for their exchange. The Global Opportunities Office as well as Advice and Counselling can assist you if you have any difficulty in applying, please don't hesitate to contact us if you are having trouble.

Please contact the International Exchange Programme Manager for any further details about the Study Abroad Bursary.

Living expenses

During your period 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) your funding sources and 2) the cost of living in your potential destination (see section below), which will allow you to complete a budget wisely and accurately. 

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.

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.

Estimated living costs at IEP host universities

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.

For IEP destinations, 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.

You can download a fact sheet with estimated living costs at IEP host universities Finance Sheet [DOC 15KB]. All of the figures quoted in the Finance sheet for only for guidance and refer only to expenses likely to be incurred by a full-time student living and studying abroad.

These figures do not include the costs of air travel or expenses you may incur inbetween semesters (e.g. accommodation and travel).

Students' experiences suggest that these estimated cost-of-living figures tend to be on the low side. Feedback from previous students would suggest that you should should budget for £1,500 – £2,000 on top of these amounts.

Additionally, the below websites can give you a rough of the cost of living in various countries as a student (search by destination), and your host university’s website might also have some useful information on projected living costs and budgets.

Travel grant (Student Finance)

If you are home/EU student going on a period abroad through the IEP 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).

  • You can apply to be reimbursed for up to three return journeys from the UK to your host institution or workplace during a full academic year abroad;
  • You cannot claim for the first £303 you spend; and
  • You may also be able to claim for visa costs, medical insurance, and a mandatory medical.

How to apply

  • To apply, you will need to visit one of the below links relevant for you if your Student Finance loan is through England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.
  • You will need to check your eligibility by completing the process online (your eligibility will be income-assessed); remember to declare that your placement abroad will be an integral part of your Queen Mary degree programme.
  • If you are from England, Student Finance England (SFE) will normally first send you a Course Abroad Form (see section above "Tuition loans and grants" for more details), followed automatically by a Travel Grant form if you are deemed eligible. Students from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales should consult the relevant process via the below links.
  • You will be asked to provide evidence to support your travel expenses claims, showing proof of payment and confirmation of what you purchased, for example an e-receipt for payment of flights, therefore you must retain all receipts.
  • You should complete this process to apply for a travel grant as soon as possible once you have purchased your outbound airfare to know for which other costs you are eligible to claim reimbursement, yet you can do so at any time during the academic year (you won’t have to wait until your next instalment of Student Finance for reimbursement of your approved costs to be paid).   

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.

External funding

When you apply to the IEP, the International Exchange Programme Manager can provide you with details of any additional sources of external funding that may be available to you relevant to your potential destination.

Further information

For up-to-date financial advice, please visit our Advice and Counselling Service’s Money pages. International students can find additional financial guidance here.