So you’re going on a year abroad. Guess what, me too! I haven’t yet had chance to write about it but next academic year (2017-18) I will be heading off to another country for a whole year. Currently I’m hoping to go to Latin America somewhere, but we’ll see what happens.
It can be quite a confusing process, there’s so many applications to fill in and you might find yourself wondering if it’s something you can even afford. I hope this post will reassure you that there is in fact a lot of financial assistance available if you know where to look.
Student finance England
If you’re doing a year abroad, you can get funding from the UK government. Here is a breakdown of the funding that student finance England offers. Students in Scotland and Wales may receive a different funding package, so it’s worth checking what the rules are where you live.
If you’re doing the following you may receive a grant towards your travel expenses:
- Studying in another country for a year as part of your course.
- Participating in the Erasmus study programme.
- Going on an Erasmus work placement.
You don’t have to pay back the travel grant, but it is dependent on your household income. You must pay the first £303 of your travel costs. After that, the amount you receive will be reduced by £1 for every £8.73 of income over £39796. So, if your family earn under that amount you will only have to pay the first £303 of travel costs. This is great if, like me, you are planning to study outside of Europe and flight prices are high.
You can apply for:
- Up to 3 return journeys between the UK and your study destination throughout the year.
- Help with expenses, such as travel insurance, vaccinations and visas.
- Travel costs for your children if you are a single parent.
To apply for the travel grant you should fill in your student finance application as usual, letting them know you’ll be studying abroad. You will then be sent a form to fill in which will determine if you are eligible to receive the grant. If you are, you must keep copies of all your receipts to send to student finance so they can reimburse you the money.
Tuition fees and maintenance loan
You will receive the same financial package that you normally get, even if you are studying abroad. This includes grants, loans, the special support grant and Disabled Students Allowance. To apply, fill in your student finance forms, ticking that you are going on a year abroad.
The Erasmus programme
The Erasmus programme enables students to work or study in the EU for a year. You can even combine the two options, working for a semester and studying for one as well. As a Coventry university student, you will receive certain benefits by participating in the programme.
Studying through Erasmus
If you choose to study through the Erasmus programme and are a Coventry University student, you will receive the following:
- Between 250 and 300 euros per month.
- A free language course with Linguae Mundi
- No tuition fees for the year!
Check out the British Council website to find out the amount of funding you’ll receive in each country.
Participating in an Erasmus work placement
If you want to work on your year abroad, and choose to go away as part of the Erasmus programme you could receive the following:
- Between 350 and 400 euros a month
- A free language course of your choice.
- No tuition fees!
All information regarding Erasmus at Coventry was taken from the university website, keep checking back for up to date info.
Coventry University Grants
Coventry university provides certain grants to students who are going on a year abroad.
The no hidden extras grant is open to students who are undertaking an international or UK placement during their degree. In order to apply you must:
- Be a first year receiving the maximum student finance maintenance loan.
- Be a second or third year in receipt of either the full or partial maintenance grant from student finance.
- Be a first, second or third year in receipt of the special support grant.
You can receive:
- £100 for a trip with a duration less than 30 days.
- £500 for a trip that lasts over 30 days.
To apply you must fill in an application for a CGE grant and attach proof of student finance. For example, if you’re going abroad in the year 2017-18 you must give the CGE proof of your student finance for that year. For more information, you can visit the Coventry University website.
As you can see there is quite a lot of financial assistance available if you are going on a study or work placement abroad. Each university will offer students slightly different financial aid packages, so it’s worth contacting your uni to find out exactly what they can offer you. Personally, I can’t wait to fill in my application and head off to another country, it’s been far too long since I did that!