What to do before you go
Exchanges and Study Abroad
Once you’ve chosen where to go and contacted your course leader about starting your Study Abroad application, there’s plenty more to think about – from funding your time abroad, to sorting your insurance.
Funding your time abroad
If you're successful in your application to the Erasmus+ programme, you'll receive an Erasmus+ grant – although not all students travelling to Europe are automatically eligible for funding. Please check with us if you're unsure, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The grant helps to pay for any extra costs of living overseas, such as your rent, food or bills but you shouldn't rely on it as your main budget, or to cover your initial costs.
The exact amount you receive depends on your location and whether you're studying or working abroad. For example, for 2021-22, the Erasmus+ grants range from €370 - €420 for studies and €470 - €520 per month for work.
In some cases, you can receive a top-up to your Erasmus+ grant if your annual household income is £25,000 or less. For 2021/22, the top-up is €120 for studies and €20 for work placements.
If you are a student who requires additional support or has a disability, there is also additional financial support through the programme. Contact us to find out more.
Your exact living costs will depend on the cost of living of the country and city, and your personal lifestyle. It's a good idea to do some of your own research – a good starting point is to check your host institution's website or to talk to your employer.
You won't pay any extra tuition fees for participating in a study/work abroad activity if you choose to do it for the whole academic year. You're only liable to pay a reduced applicable fee to the University of Portsmouth.
You'll also have to pay any costs that a local student incurs. Most of the time, your host institution will provide you with a pre-arrival information guide, and a summary of the practical arrangements you'll need to make.
You can still apply for your tuition fee and maintenance loans as usual – but you must inform Student Finance England you'll be studying or working overseas.
Other sources of fundingYou may also be entitled to an extra travel grant for your study abroad period. Find out more about this at the UK Government’s travel grants page.
Important everyday information
- Currency: Most European countries have introduced the Euro (€) but not all of them. You can check the currency you'll need on the Europa website. Wherever your placement takes you, check the currency of your destination before you leave.
- Adaptors: Remember to check which type of adaptor you'll need when you're abroad. European electrical adaptors are 2-pin plugs, so if you're taking any devices with British electrical plugs, make sure you buy at least two electrical travel plug adaptors.
- Healthcare abroad: Apply to obtain a GHIC card before departure. The card is free. Existing EHICs will be valid until the expiry date on the card. It is strongly recommended to read the Healthcare guides for each country on the Government website.
- Insurance: Please see below information for insurance but you should make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance with sickness cover. EHIC and GHIC do not replace travel insurance.
Other things to do before you go
- Get a map and directions for the places you're going in your first few days. Have the address of your accommodation written down in the local language. Keep safe any useful numbers you might need, such as a local taxi company and your University contacts.
- Check with the host institution's International Office whether there's an orientation programme or a welcoming session. They may also have housing information too (if you haven't got a place already).
- Get a GHIC card. This gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare in the European Union (EU).
- If your TOTUM card includes the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), remember you can use this whilst abroad.
- Always keep a copy of your passport separate from the original in case something goes wrong.
- Don't take unnecessary cards/papers with you that can't be used abroad.
- Make sure you have sufficient funds/plan your finances for the first couple of weeks while you're there and avoid carrying large amounts of cash with you.
- Always keep a contact book in case you lose your phone. It can happen, and you don't want to lose any important contacts.
- Make sure you've got enough supplies of any prescription medications you are taking.
Your permission to travel and insurance while you’re overseas
When you're away on your approved placement, you'll need travel insurance. Our own Royal and Sun Alliance insurance cover is at no additional cost to you. You must complete the Permission to Travel form as part of the process.
The full details of the insurance cover, including a summary, exclusions and policy excess can be found here.
If you don't complete the Permission to Travel form, you will not be granted permission to travel and you won't be covered by the university’s insurance during your overseas placement.
You'll need to check that the University Insurance covers all your needs adequately – if it doesn't, you'll need to purchase additional private insurance.
Erasmus+ Graduate Traineeships
If you've graduated and are going overseas on the Erasmus+ Graduate Traineeship programme, you need to organise your own comprehensive travel and medical insurance with sickness cover. You also need to provide a copy of the policy to the Exchanges and Study Abroad team when you sign the Erasmus+ Mobility Grant Agreement. If you don't provide proof of valid insurance cover, we won't be able to approve you for the programme.
All students going on overseas activities must complete a Risk Assessment form. Discuss this with your Academic Coordinator for further details.
If you have any further questions or need any extra assistance, please email email@example.com.