Study across Europe and around the world
University College Birmingham offers a variety of opportunities for our undergraduate students to gain experience at other institutions across Europe and throughout the globe.
The Erasmus+ exchange programme enables higher education students to spend between 3-12 months studying in another participating country. We also work with international partners outside the EU to provide similar student mobility exchange programmes for one semester (4-5 months) but with no EU funding support.
Find out more about our partners below:
Objectives of student mobility:
- To enable students to benefit educationally, linguistically and culturally from the experience of learning in other countries
- To promote co-operation between institutions and enrich the educational environment of host institutions
- To contribute to the development of a pool of well-qualified, open-minded and internationally experienced young people as future professionals
Why take part in a student exchange programme?
Students take part in the Erasmus+ and international student mobility programmes for many different reasons. For some it is a required part of their degree, while for others it is an ideal opportunity to live in another city in for a few exciting months.
Benefits of going on an exchange programme:
- Stand out in the job market – a great addition to your CV
- Return more motivated, independent and confident
- Get a grant and have your tuition fees waived (if you go for the full academic year)
- It counts towards your degree – it’s not a gap year
- Learn a range of life-skills not taught in the lecture theatre
- Access a wider range of subject areas than in the UK
- Improve your language skills
- Gain an international network of friends
- Discover a different culture, gain an international perspective and travel
- It’s really good fun!
Frequently asked questions
When can I go?
The exchange will take place during the first term of your second year, although some partner courses start in August.
Will financial support be provided or fees charged?
For European exchanges you will receive an amount of funding which is meant to cover the cost of your travel and some living costs in the destination. This will differ from country to country. This 'grant’ should not affect any funding you may receive from your student loan or bursary.
You may be awarded an Erasmus+ grant to help cover the travel and subsistence costs (including insurance and visa costs) incurred in connection with your study period abroad. The UK Erasmus+ office will pay 70% of this funding during your exchange and a further 30% on the successful conclusion of the exchange, after you have completed an online exchange evaluation form and returned all relevant paperwork.
- Erasmus+ students – whether or not they receive an Erasmus grant – are exempt from paying fees for tuition, registration, examinations and access to laboratory and library facilities at the host institution.
- The payment of any national grant or loan to outgoing students should be maintained during the Erasmus+ study period abroad.
Please note there is no additional funding support for those students who undertake an exchange outside the EU. However, you are still eligible to apply for your student loan and/or any maintenance loan you currently receive.
What about accommodation?
The organisation of accommodation is the responsibility of the host institution in conjunction with you and may be in student halls or private housing.
For practical reasons, University College Birmingham cannot organise your accommodation from a distance. We nevertheless maintain regular contact with the Exchange Student Coordinator in each of our partner institutions.
What language will I be taught in?
A number of our partner institutions use English as the teaching language, although some do not. We will inform you of this in the various briefing sessions we organise prior to the programme commencing each year.
All the marks you gain on the exchange will be fed into your main degree or foundation degree course in Birmingham.
How do I apply?
You will need to fill out an application form. Alternatively, applications can be obtained from the International Centre on the second floor of The Link.
You will also be asked to complete a word-processed A4 sheet outlining the reasons why you consider yourself a suitable candidate for selection.
Your completed application and personal statement should be handed to our international team at the The Link. Offers will be made subject to satisfactory attendance and adequate completion of your course of academic study at University College Birmingham. Successful applicants will be notified as soon as possible.
The Erasmus+ programme provides grants to EU nationals to study part of their course at an EU partner institution. University College Birmingham students can study for three to 12 months with one of our European partners, while students from our partner institutions can study with us in the same way.
All credits students earn while studying with a partner institution on Erasmus+ are recognised and count towards their course at their home institution. For example, you could study for one semester in Spain or France, and your studies earn credits that we use to give you exemptions from the equivalent number of credits/modules here at University College Birmingham, meaning your exchange does not extend the length of your course.
Typically, students exchange for one semester at the beginning of the second year of their degree or foundation degree. You may receive funding (according to a formula based on living costs) in the form of a grant from the UK Erasmus+ office.
We hold presentations throughout the first semester of each year for all new first-year students on European exchanges. Simply come along to one of these meetings to find out more details.
For exchanges with our EU partner institutions, eligible students receive an Erasmus+ grant provided by the European Commission – this is paid through University College Birmingham. This grant contributes towards the extra costs that you may encounter from studying abroad.
If you are studying on an Erasmus+ mobility project or participating in a non-EU overseas study exchange for one full academic year, you will only pay a maximum of 15% of your UK tuition fees for that year. However, if you study abroad for a period of less than 24 weeks, you will pay the full amount.
International student exchange programme
University College Birmingham students can also undertake an international exchange programme with a partner institution outside the EU.
We have partner universities in Australia, Malaysia, Thailand and the USA, all of which offer a similar style of exchange to the Erasmus+ programme but without funding from the EU. All of our partners offer study programmes taught in English.
As with Erasmus+, these exchange opportunities are targeted at degree and foundation degree students in the first semester of the second year of study. All credits earned with the partner institution are used to give exemptions from second year modules at University College Birmingham so that your study period with us is not extended.
Find out more
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