Frequently asked questions
Who is eligible?
Current students enrolled at Birmingham City University are eligible to apply to undertake a period of mobility. You will need to speak to your Course Director or Study Abroad / Erasmus+ Coordinator about the best time to undertake the proposed mobility. Contact your Course Director or Study Abroad / Erasmus+ Faculty Co-ordinator to check the best time for you to participate. Please note that if undergraduate students participate in a semester abroad, this must usually be undertaken in their second year of study.
Students of any nationality can undertake an Erasmus+ mobility although international students will have to consider visa implications of the UKVI and the host destination.
Part-time students are eligible to participate in Erasmus+ providing they study full time during their mobility period.
Please note, deadlines will apply each academic year.
How long can I spend abroad?
You must discuss your interest in participating in a mobility with your Course Director or Study Abroad / Erasmus+ Faculty Co-ordinator and obtain approval for your application.
Erasmus+ mobility for study must be a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 12 months per study cycle. Erasmus+ traineeships must be a minimum of 2 months and a maximum of 12 months per study cycle.
What if I don’t speak a foreign language?
Don't let it put you off! Most of the courses we have links with abroad are taught in English. One of the main objectives of the going abroad is to improve linguistic ability so if you do decide to go abroad it is well worth considering learning a little bit of the basics before you travel.
It may be worth checking whether the partner institution offers any pre-sessional language courses. Although your classes will probably be taught in English, it will only enrich your experience to learn some of the local language! All students have the opportunity to register with Rosetta Stone free of charge. Please contact the Graduate+ Team for further details.
Erasmus+ students may be given access the Online Linguistic Support (OLS) before travel. This is an online platform, designed to improve the knowledge of the language in which an Erasmus+ participant will work or study before and during their stay abroad.
How much does it cost?
Students are responsible for the costs of participating in a mobility abroad, such as accommodation, travel, visa, insurance and living expenses. You won’t have to pay tuition fees on exchange to the partner university, but you will pay your tuition fees to BCU as normal. Please be aware that some countries have specific requirements relating to insurance and you may be required to purchase an additional policy at an additional expense e.g. Australia and the USA. This can be costly, so please bear this in mind when selecting your destination.
Students studying abroad can continue to apply for their student loan and potentially be entitled to apply for travel grants to cover some of your travel expenses if you normally live in England. There’s a different process if you’re a student from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. For further information see the Student Finance England website.
Students applying for an Erasmus+ mobility may be eligible for a grant. This is based on a monthly rate calculated in Euros which varies depending on the type of mobility, the duration of your period abroad, and the country you are studying or working in. The grant is not means-tested and the amount varies slightly from year to year. In recent years students have received between €280 and €400 per month, depending on the cost of living in their hosting country. You will need to be aware that the receipt of your grant will depend on you fulfilling the necessary documentary requirements throughout the period abroad.
If you are a student from a low income household who wishes to participate under Erasmus+, you may be entitled to further funding. Additional grants are available for students with special needs who wish to participate in Erasmus+. Please contact the Go Abroad Team at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information if you believe you are eligible.
Will I need to pay university fees?
You won’t have to pay tuition fees on exchange to the partner university, but you will pay your fees to BCU as normal.
Some partner institutions do charge for some services which are not included in their tuition fee costs but these should be highlighted to all students by the partner university upon application. Students are responsible for the costs of participating in a mobility abroad, such as accommodation, travel, visa, insurance and living expenses. Please be aware that some countries have specific requirements relating to insurance and you may be required to purchase an additional policy at an additional expense e.g. Australia and the USA. This can be costly, so please bear this in mind when selecting your destination. For more information please contact the Go Abroad Team.
Will my period abroad count towards my degree?
You will need to discuss and agree this with your Course Director and/or Study Abroad / Erasmus+ Faculty Co-ordinator, but usually you would be working towards obtaining credits at the partner institution. If you are to obtain credits, the modules will need to be agreed with your Course Director and/or Study Abroad / Erasmus+ Faculty Co-ordinator to ensure you can meet the learning outcomes of your BCU degree.
What happens once I've been accepted?
Once you've been accepted to participate in a mobility you will receive further information from your Faculty and the Go Abroad Team about the practicalities of your period abroad, including how to apply, accommodation, travel and insurance requirements. You will also be required to complete a Learning Agreement to agree the details of your time abroad.
Erasmus+ mobilities will require the necessary documentary to be completed and submitted. All these forms will be sent to you before you travel. It is essential that you complete these as receipt of your grant depends on this.
Will I get accommodation?
Generally our partner institutions offer accommodation to rent within the campus or with local contacts to find your own accommodation. The partner university you plan to apply to will provide further details, but accommodation may not be guaranteed.
Can I apply with my friends?
In many of our partner universities there is more than one place available for students. You may be able to apply with friends but please note that places are subject to availability and handled on an individual basis.
You will be welcomed to the partner university by their support services and the international teams, helping you to adjust to the new environment and to make new friends. There will be plenty of opportunities to get to know new people and to interact with local and international students, so we encourage you to make your own decision about what and where is best for you!
Can I apply for a scholarship?
Students may be helped by a Faculty-specific International Travel Scholarship. These may help students obtain funding to participate in projects abroad. Please contact your Faculty to find out more.
Otherwise, you may be able to apply for an external scholarship. See our Other International Opportunities page for details of current scholarships available.