Erasmus+ Exchange / International Exchange Programme

Opportunities on European/International Exchange Programmes

As a University College Birmingham undergraduate, there are many opportunities to gain experience at a European/international institution. Exchange programmes, which involve studying part of your course with an overseas partner, offer an excellent way of broadening your learning and cultural appreciation.

The development of an international focus is a key objective in UCB course development, reflecting the nature of the competitive environment experienced by the industries we serve. We are involved in collaborative programmes with institutions and industrial bodies throughout the world.

"Whilst studying at UCB, I had the opportunity to study and work in Spain for six months as part of an Erasmus+ Exchange programme. I firmly believe this experience, along with studying a specific tourism degree, combined with my language skills, gave me the edge over other applicants applying for my current post."

Sarah Kedge, 2012 Games Strategy Executive, Visit Britain


History of the Erasmus Programme

The Erasmus programme is named after a Dutch humanist and theologian Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536) and is a European Commission's programme for Higher Education and HE/FE students, teachers and institutions. 

The Erasmus programme was introduced in 1987 with the aim of increasing student mobility within the European Community. In 2014, the programme was restructured to become the Erasmus+ student exchange mobility programme, subsequently including European Economic Area countries and the Candidate Country of Turkey. The programme provides grants to EU nationals to study part of their programme in an EU partner institution and for all credits earned in that partner institution to be recognised and count towards the programme of study in the exchange student’s home institution. Therefore, as a UCB student, you could study for one semester in Spain or France, for example, and all the studies you complete earn credits that we use to give you exemption from the equivalent number of credits/modules here at UCB. In this way, undertaking an exchange does not extend your study time with us.

Whilst the exchanges offer the opportunity to develop language skills, if you are not skilled in a particular language do not worry. Many of our partners offer study programmes taught in English.

UCB has long held an Erasmus University Charter in recognition of the extensive reciprocal study exchange programmes facilitated with 19 partner universities throughout Europe.

How you can get involved

With Erasmus+, UCB students can study for three to 12 months in a partner institution. Students from our partner institutions can study at University College Birmingham in the same way.

Typically, students exchange for one semester at the beginning of the second year of their degree or foundation degree at UCB. 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, so simply come along to one of these meetings to find out more details.

Lynn Wain is the Student Exchanges Coordinator at the International Centre located on the second floor of The Link. She can be contacted by email, telephone: 0121 604 1000 ext 2321 or in person. You can find out more general information on the Erasmus+ Student Mobility on the Erasmus+ website.

International Student Exchange Programme

UCB students can also undertake an international exchange programme with a partner institution outside the EU.

UCB has partner universities in Australia, Malaysia, Thailand and the USA, all of whom offer a similar style of exchange to the Erasmus+ programme, but with the difference being that these exchange programmes are not funded by the EU. All UCB’s partners offer study programmes taught in English.

As with the Erasmus+ student mobility programme, these exchange opportunities are targeted at degree and foundation degree students in the first semester of the second year of their studies. All credits earned in the partner institution are used to give exemptions from second year modules at UCB so that the study period at UCB is not extended.

For more information please contact Lynn Wain, the Student Exchanges Coordinator at the International Centre located on the second floor of The Link. By email, telephone 0121 604 1000 ext 2321 or in person.

Why take part in a Student Exchange Programme?

  • Stand out in the job market – overseas study is 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!  

View a list of European partners.


Erasmus+ Grants

For exchanges with our EU partner institutions, eligible students receive an Erasmus+ grant provided by the European Commission - this is paid through UCB. This grant contributes towards the extra costs that you may encounter from studying abroad. The amount for 2019/2020 is yet to be confirmed, but for 2018/2019 the grant was between €300 and €350 per month, depending on the host country.

Maximum Fees Payable by Students Undertaking Erasmus Study or Non-Erasmus Overseas Study of One Year's Duration

If you are studying on an Erasmus+ mobility project or participating in a non-EU overseas study exchange for a 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.

Important documents