How to study abroad as an Erasmus student

Eating croissants in France, drinking beer in Germany, making new memories that you’ll have for the rest of your life; studying abroad lets you become more confident and independent while learning another language. By experiencing other cultures, you can widen your horizons and meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise been introduced to. If it’s something you want to do, read on to find out how to study abroad.

Mandatory semester/year abroad

If you study one or more languages at a British university, it's likely that you’ll have to study abroad during your degree. Language students can normally choose between studying at a partner or private institute, working, and teaching as a language assistant, but this can sometimes vary, depending on your university. Talk to your year abroad advisor/course.

If you wish to study, your university will normally have a list of partner institutes you can choose from, or you can sometimes choose to arrange your study placement yourself, however you will most likely have to pay for the fees yourself.

In order to get the most out of your time abroad, talk to those who’ve been on years abroad in the past, e.g. final year language students, so they can give you their tips and tricks to best prepare yourself. Language departments normally host talks with students who have returned from their year abroad, so make sure you make the most of these and ask any questions (or at least go along to hear what they have to say).

Optional semester/year abroad

For those who don’t have a mandatory semester or year abroad as part of their degree, figuring out how to study abroad can sometimes be a little bit more complicated. Unlike with mandatory years/semesters abroad, it is likely that you will only be able to study during your time abroad and will need to do so at one of your university’s partner institutes. Your ability to study abroad, and where you can go, often depends on your course and your academic school/department, as some partner institutes may not be able to offer a course relevant to your degree.

Speak to your advisor or department head to further discuss how to study abroad and where you can go.

The Erasmus grant

If you choose to study, work or teach in a European country (or in selected non-EU countries), you will be classed as an Erasmus student and will therefore be eligible for the Erasmus grant. As an Erasmus student, you will be eligible to get 350€ to 450€ a month, depending on what you choose to do and where you choose to go. Remember, unlike student finance, the Erasmus grant is a grant, meaning you won’t have to pay it back in the future, so make sure you make the most of it. You’ll receive 80% of it upfront and then 20% when you finish, so budgeting is key as you don’t get top-ups during your time abroad, like you do with student finance.

If you’re a prospective Erasmus student, check out our articles on all you need to know about the Erasmus grant and the important things to know before you go on Erasmus.

Summer courses

If you’re not able to study abroad with your university, never fear, you can still figure out how to study abroad. There are plenty of summer courses with universities all around the world, letting you study in a new place, and potentially study something completely different. If you aren’t eligible to for a summer university study placement, you could find a language school in your country of choice which can fast-track your language skills and often provide you with typical cultural experiences.

Unfortunately, these courses aren’t eligible for the Erasmus grant and you will have to pay the fees yourself.

Where you’ll live while you’re there

Once you’ve sorted out where you’re going and what you’re doing, you’ll need to start thinking about where you’re going to live while you’re there. Some universities have student housing they can offer, but this is often limited and can be expensive. Roomlala has over 1.8 million members and offers accommodation all over the world, so why not find your home away from home with us?