Erasmus: studying abroad

The Erasmus Programme is an EU exchange student programme that has been in existence since the late 1980s. Its purpose is to provide foreign exchange options for students from within the European Union and it involves many of the best universities and seats of learning on the continent.

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 programme at Birkbeck
    • be in the second year of study or have successfully completed your first year before the proposed mobility
      be in good academic standing with an overall average of 2:2 or equivalent
    • not be a fee debtor to the College
    • be able to demonstrate a good knowledge of the language of the mobility if the courses will not taught in English
  • Part-time students can apply but must agree to study full-time during the Erasmus+ year. Please be aware that changing to a full-time mode of study will affect the level of tuition fees you are liable for and any part-time student funding or grants that you have applied for previously.
  • International and non-EU students may apply but should seek further advice regarding their status with the International Student Administration team to check which visa(s) they would need to apply for to study abroad.


  • Erasmus exchanges 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 contact for further information about Erasmus funding.

Student loans and grants

  • Students who are eligible to apply for student funding from Student Finance England or other governmental funding should still be able to apply for this in the usual way. Once you know that you will be completing an exchange abroad, you should indicate this on your funding application to ensure that you receive the appropriate level of support.
  • If you are awarded an Erasmus place, after you have already obtained your student funding for the academic year that the mobility will occur, you will need to notify Student Finance England or the relevant authority that your study status has changed.
  • Please ensure that you submit your student funding applications as early as possible to avoid any delays to you receiving your student loans and grant. As the academic year and term dates can vary according to the country of the mobility or the institution abroad, it is especially important that you organise your funding before you are due to leave for your study abroad.
  • Please contact for further information 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 contact for further information about Erasmus funding.

The Erasmus+ Grant

  • Students who undertake eligible activities as part of the Erasmus+ programme may be entitled to an Erasmus+ grant. The grant is funded by the European Commision and you do not have to pay this 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 of the mobility.
  • When will I receive the grant?
    • You will receive the grant in two instalments. The first payment of 70% of the total grant will be paid to your UK bank account once we have received your Certificate of Arrival from the host institution.The remaining 30% will be paid after you have complete an online Erasmus report and we have received a copy of your your Certificate of Department and Transcripts confirming the 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 + Monthly supplement for students from disadvantaged backgrounds: €100
    • 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
  • Please contact for further information about Erasmus funding.

How to apply

  • You can only apply to study at a partner institution, so check our list of partner institutions to find out which is best for your needs.
  • If you would like to apply for the Erasmus+ scheme, you will need to complete an application form and include a personal statement which outlines your motivation for studying abroad. You will also need to submit the following documentation in support of your application:
    • evidence of having obtained the required language level for the mobility 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
    • your most recent CV
    • a copy of your passport or national ID (and any relevant visa)
  • Your application will be assessed on your academic merit, personal statement, the proposed course you wish to study as well as other relevant factors to the application.
  • Once you have gathered all the required documents, please email these and your application to 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 further 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 to study with us. 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 students do not need a visa to study in the UK. However, if you do not hold EU nationality, you 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 and will pay your fees to your home institution as usual. As an Erasmus+ participant, you may be eligible to receive funding to cover your expenses and accommodation during your study abroad.
  • Accommodation: There are a range of accommodation options that are available to our exchange students.