Erasmus: enabling students to study abroad

Erasmus is a student exchange programme that gives students the opportunity to study abroad at some of the best universities in Europe.

Key documents

Please note: Birkbeck does not participate in the 'Erasmus+ traineeship' scheme for outgoing or incoming students.

Information for Birkbeck students who want to study abroad

Criteria for selection 

  • To take part in the Erasmus scheme you must:
    • be enrolled on a full-time course at Birkbeck
    • be in your second year of study (or have successfully completed your first year)
    • have an overall average of 2:2 or equivalent 
    • not owe outstanding fee payments to Birkbeck
    • demonstrate a good knowledge of the language of the country you are moving to, if the courses there are not taught in English. 
  • Part-time students can also apply, but you must study full-time during your Erasmus year. You will pay full-time tuition fees and the change may affect any part-time funding or grants that you have applied for previously.
  • International and non-EU students may also apply to the scheme, but you should seek further advice about your visa status and requirements from


  • Erasmus placements are based up on reciprocal student exchange agreements between Birkbeck and the partner institution. Therefore, you will not have to pay any tuition fee to the host institution, but they may charge a small fee for registration or using certain facilities.
  • Students who spend an academic year studying abroad for at least 24 weeks will only be liable for 15% of their Birkbeck tuition fee. However, those who study for one term abroad will be charged the full programme fee. 
  • Please about Erasmus funding. 

Student loans and grants

  • Students who are eligible to apply for loans from Student Finance England or other government funding should apply for this in the usual way, but indicate your Erasmus exchange on your funding application, to ensure that you receive the appropriate amount of support. 
  • If you are awarded an Erasmus place after you have obtained funding for the academic year in which the exchange will occur, you will need to notify Student Finance England or the relevant authority. 
  • It is especially important that you organise your funding before you leave for your Erasmus exchange, so please apply as early as possible to receive your student loans and grant. 
  • Please  about Erasmus funding. 

Erasmus travel grants

  • In addition to your student funding, you may be able to receive a travel grant to cover your travel costs. Please  about how to apply for a travel grant. 

The Erasmus+ Grant

  • Students who undertake eligible activities as part of the Erasmus programme may be entitled to a grant. The grant is funded by the European Commission and you do not have to pay it back (unless you fail to complete your study abroad or withdraw before completing the minimum requirement).
  • The grant is to be taken as a contribution to your living costs and is not not be relied on to cover your travel or accommodation. The amount you will receive will depend on the country you are going to study in. 
  • The grant is issued in two instalments: 70% of the total will be paid to your UK bank account once we have received your Certificate of Arrival from the host institution; and the remaining 30% will be paid after you have complete an online Erasmus report and we have received a copy of your Certificate of Department and Transcripts, confirming your studies abroad.
  • How much will I receive?
    • Group 1 countries (high cost of living): Denmark, Ireland, France, Italy, Austria, Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Liechtenstein, Norway: €300 + €100 monthly supplement for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
    • Group 2 countries (medium cost of living countries): Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia. Iceland, Turkey: €250.
    • Group 3 countries (low cost of living): Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: €0. 

How to apply

  • Check our list of partner institutions to find the institution that best suits you.
  • To apply, you need to complete an application form, including a personal statement that outlines your motivation for studying abroad. You will also need to submit the following documentation: 
    • evidence of having obtained the required language level, if the courses you wish to study are not taught in English
    • a completed Learning Agreement that has been signed by your personal tutor
    • a copy of your most recent transcript
    • a copy of your CV
    • a copy of your passport or national ID (and any relevant visa). 
  • Your application will be assessed on academic merit, your personal statement, the proposed course you wish to study, as well as any other relevant factors.
  • Once you have gathered all the required documents, by the deadlines indicated below. 
  • You should expect to receive a decision on your application within one month. If your application has been successful, you will receive information about how to apply to the host institution.

Deadline for applications

  • Autumn term: 31 March 2016
  • Spring term: 1 October 2016. 

Information for students who want to study at Birkbeck

How to apply

  • If you would like to study at Birkbeck as an Erasmus exchange student, first check our list of partner institutions to find out if we have an agreement (download a copy of our partnership list, with details of relevant subject areas).
  • If we have a valid agreement with your university, you should contact your university's Erasmus coordinator in the first instance (contact details are on the partnership list), who will nominate you. Once we receive your nomination, we will send you an application form to complete.
  • Your application should be submitted together with your proposed learning agreement, to indicate the courses you intend to study. You must also provide the following documents (in English) to support your application:
    • your CV
    • a recent academic transcript
    • a copy of your IELTS results
    • an academic reference in support of your application
    • a copy of the photo page of your passport. 

Application deadlines

  • 31 May 2016 for term 1 (autumn) and full-year students
  • 31 October 2016 for term 2 (spring students). 

Arrangements you need to make before you arrive

  • Visa: before coming to study at Birkbeck, please ensure that you hold a valid passport and/or relevant visa. EU and European Economic Area (EEA) students do not need a visa to study in the UK. Non-EU nationals will need to obtain a visa prior to coming to the UK.
  • Insurance: European Economic Area (EEA) students are eligible to apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which will enable you to receive reduced or free medical health in the UK during your study abroad.
  • Fees and funding: as an Erasmus exchange student you will not be expected to pay tuition fees to Birkbeck, as your host institution will pay your fees. You may also be eligible to receive funding to cover your expenses and accommodation during your study abroad.
  • Accommodation: there are a range of accommodation options available to our exchange students.