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Erasmus: enabling students to study abroad

Coronavirus update: Due to the coronavirus situation, we are advising against Birkbeck students from undertaking international mobility in 2020/21. We will keep the situation under review through the 2020/21 academic year.

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

The government confirmed that the UK will no longer be a partner in Erasmus now that the UK has withdrawn from the EU. The UK will set up a replacement student mobility scheme, the Turing Scheme. Despite withdrawing from Erasmus, current projects which we have received funds for can continue to their end date. Student mobilities are therefore available during 2021/22 academic year (subject to coronavirus travel restrictions). 

The Turing Scheme

We await full details of the Turing Scheme, the application process, the activities that will be available to students, the processes for establishing institutional agreements, and the scale of what the College will be able to apply for.  

Key documents

Information for Birkbeck students who want to study abroad with Erasmus

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.
  • Your course may have other selection criteria that are used to determine your eligibility to take part. Please ask your programme team about the criteria they use.
  • International and non-EU students may also apply to the scheme, but you should seek further advice about your visa status and requirements from.
  • Please note: Birkbeck does not participate in the 'Erasmus+ traineeship' scheme for outgoing or incoming students.


  • 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.
  • Undergraduate 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. Postgraduate and MPhil/PhD students will be charged the full 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.

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 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: €330 per month.
    • Group 2 countries (medium cost of living countries): Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia. Iceland, Turkey: €280 per month.
    • Group 3 countries (low cost of living): Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: €0.
    • An additional €100 monthly supplement is provided for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. This applies for students with an annual household income of £25,000 or less.  

How to apply

  • Check with your Programme Director if your course includes the opportunity for you to study abroad and, if so, the institutions with which they have partnerships.
  • Your programme team will advise you on the application process. The advice below outlines the usual process, but your programme team may require you to follow their process instead before submitting your application to the host institutions for consideration. 
  • 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 2021/22

  • Autumn term: 31 March 2021 
  • Spring term: 1 October 2021.

Foreign travel advice

Information for students who want to study at Birkbeck with Erasmus

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 advise you if you are eligible to apply. 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 2021/22

  • 31 May 2021 for term 1 (Autumn) and full-year students
  • 31 October 2021 for term 2 (Spring) students.

Arrangements you need to make before you arrive

Information for disabled students who want to study abroad with Erasmus

Criteria and contacts