EU/UK flag
iStock © jmiks
The Erasmus scheme offers students in the UK and
Europe a chance to study across the continent

The Erasmus Programme is a student exchange programme that has been operating in the European Union (EU) since 1987. Erasmus serves students in the UK and across the EU, providing you with foreign exchange options at some of the continent's best universities. At any given time, over 4,000 students are involved in the Erasmus programme, and since its inception, over 3 million have taken part. To help you become one of them, we here at The Complete University Guide are here to help:

When and how long can you go for?

  • If you're studying at another EU university, you'll be allowed to stay for a minimum of three months, and a maximum of 12.
  • You can only take advantage of the Erasmus programme once you're in your second year of study or later.

Where can you go?

  • There are over 1,000 institutions that are partners of the Erasmus scheme, so there is certainly no shortage of options!
  • A year abroad can often be directly linked to your course, or even be a mandatory requirement, and in these circumstances you'll often need to spend your time abroad in a specific country. For example, if you're studying a foreign language at university, you'll more than likely need to take an Erasmus placement in a country that speaks that language.

When should you apply?

  • If you're interested in studying on the Erasmus programme, you should contact your academic adviser or your university's Erasmus office as soon as possible. 
  • The deadline for studying abroad in the following academic year are often in the winter term, however each university will have their own rules.

What about fees and financial support?

  • When studying abroad as part of the Erasmus programme, you will pay no additional fees to the university you visit. In fact, if you study abroad for the full academic year, you will pay a maximum of 15% of your UK tuition fees that year! If you study abroad for a period of less than 24 weeks, you will pay the full amount.
  • On top of any existing grants or loans in place through your current university, you can receive grants of between €250-300/month to contribute towards accommodation and living expenses. 
  • You can also receive an additional €100/month if you have already qualified for additional support for higher education, and further financial support if you have special needs.
  • Many countries will have lower living costs than the UK, however some (in Scandinavia, for example) will be more expensive to live in. While you're abroad, you'll be responsible for paying for accommodation and everything else in day-to-day life, so make sure you're aware of these costs before choosing where to study.