FAQs

  1. Am I eligible for study abroad?
    The International and Erasmus+ Exchange programmes are available to current students at the University of Birmingham where this is permitted as part of your University degree programme and where you meet the criteria set out by your department. You should also have enough prior knowledge of the overseas institution's language of instruction to be able to fully engage with university level study. The Medical and Dental School does not offer study abroad placements.
  2. Can I study abroad, if it's not included in my degree programme?
    It may be possible to change to a 4 year degree. Speak to your department and exchange tutor before you complete a change of course form.
  3. Where can I go?
    The University prides itself on its ability to offer students a wide array of study abroad opportunities.  The Erasmus+ exchange programme is for students that want to study at one of our partner universities in Europe. With a handful of exceptions, where you can go depends on which department you study in and which universities they have exchange agreements with. For International exchange, your destination may depend on the course and criteria set by your department but where your course is more flexible, we have agreements with over 300 partner institutions across the world. Visit the intranet for the full list of partners who are accepting exchange students in this academic year. Note that those marked with an asterisk are in high demand. 
  4. Who is my exchange tutor?
    Your exchange tutor will guide you through the application process and approve your chosen subjects of study. You can find the contact details for your exchange tutor
  5. How are places allocated for Erasmus+?
    Your exchange tutor will guide you through the application process and approve your chosen subjects of study. You can find the contact details for your exchange tutor
  6. How are places allocated for International exchange?
    The way we allocate places is fully transparent and done in collaboration with your exchange tutors. We will use your average academic results from your first year, your personal statement and your academic references to produce a ranking to allocate places.
  7. For International exchange: Why do I need to choose three preferred destinations?
    The process is very competitive so all students should select three different destinations and ideally three different countries, if your academic programme permits. No more than two of the three universities you choose should be marked with an asterisk on the list as these are destinations in high demand.
  8. Can specific personal considerations be taken into account when I am allocated a place?
     We take seriously specific considerations that are important to you so if you have personal reasons for requesting a specific destination (e.g. finance, relatives, religion, sexual orientation, disability) please highlight how this has influenced your preferred choice in the personal statement.
  9. For Erasmus+ exchange: When will I find out the destination I have been allocated?
    As every department has a different application process, we advise you to discuss this with your exchange tutor. However, the deadline for informing the Study Abroad team via the online application form of which Erasmus institution you've been allocated to is Friday 13 January 2017.
  10. For International exchange: Will I be allocated to one of my three preferred destinations?
    We will always endeavour to secure a place for 100% of students who apply, but due to high demand in some countries, we cannot guarantee a destination in your top three. For example, we only have approximately one place for every five applications in competitive destinations such as USA, Canada, and Australia.  We encourage you to consider how you might compromise ahead of receiving your allocation. 
  11. For International exchange: What if I am allocated to a destination that isn't in my top three?
    We encourage you to think ahead how you might compromise on your destination. 98% of our returning students tell us that they have had ‘the best year of their life’ regardless of their destination. We have many partner universities in non-English speaking countries where programmes are taught in English. We know that students who challenge themselves to choose non-traditional destinations have a truly rewarding experience and gain significant personal development skills.
  12. For International exchange: When will I find out the destination I have been allocated?
    We aim to allocate all students a place as soon as possible however it’s a complex process and as such we cannot provide a specific date. We will be in touch with you via your University of Birmingham email address to confirm your allocation. We expect that this to take place in January but will update this date as soon as we can.
  13. Who can I contact to check on my application process for International Exchange?
    Unfortunately, we cannot provide updates on individual cases, please be rest assured that the team will contact you about your application once an allocation has been made.
  14. Who can I contact to check on my application process for Erasmus+?
    Unfortunately, the Study Abroad team cannot provide updates as the application process is handled by each department. Your exchange tutor will be best placed to answer any questions.
  15. How much does it cost to study abroad?
    Home/EU students studying abroad for a year will pay 15% of their fees to the University of Birmingham and no fee to the host University. International students pay 50% of their fees to the University of Birmingham with no fee to host University if studying abroad for a year.  Your host university will be able to guide you in expected living costs whilst you are abroad, however for a general guide you can check living expenses between different countries using the Expatistan website.
  16. For Erasmus+ exchange, how much Erasmus funding will I receive?
    As an Erasmus student, you are entitled to receive a grant for your time away at a participating Erasmus institution (work or study). The grant is paid to the University of Birmingham and aims to subsidise part of your year abroad. As a UK Erasmus student you are entitled to receive €280-330 per month during your study abroad depending on whether your host country is classed as a low or high cost of living destination.
  17. For Erasmus+ exchange, when will I receive my grant?
    Grants are paid in two instalments into the bank account you have nominated on your Erasmus paperwork. The first instalment is paid in November/ December time (this usually represents 70% of the total grant amount) and the second instalment (this represents the remaining 30% of the total grant amount) is paid after you have finished your placement. Payments are made in pounds sterling. Students are advised that the purpose of an Erasmus grant is to assist with the additional costs of undertaking an exchange. This means the money received is designed to supplement rather than replace your usual source of maintenance support.
  18. Am I eligible for Student Finance loan and/or grant whilst I am abroad?
    You can still apply as normal for your tuition fee loan and you may be eligible for a higher rate of maintenance loan and grant. Please contact Student Finance England for more information.
  19. Who pays for my travel and accommodation costs?
    You are fully responsible for your travel costs to your host institution as well as your accommodation whilst you are abroad. You can still apply as normal for your tuition fee loan and you may be eligible for a higher rate of maintenance loan and grant. Please contact Student Finance England for more information.
  20. How will I find accommodation for my period of study abroad?
    Whilst the idea of finding your own accommodation may seem daunting at first, with a little research you will quickly discover your options. Every country and host university is different so we encourage you to contact returning students via your departmental Exchange Tutor. Do check your host university website and their social media channels for exchange students as these can be a very helpful resource.
  21. Will I need a visa?
    EU Students travelling inside the EU will not need a visa. International students will need a visa to study. Please contact the host country Embassy in London and research information on the internet.
  22. For International exchange, what should I include in my personal statement?
    For all applications to an international partner, you will need to include a personal statement of a total of 500 words which outlines why you have chosen those three specific universities. You may include academic reasons, extra-curriculum reasons or personal reasons for you choice. We advise that you research your chosen universities to back up your choice and explain why you have chosen each particular university. Focus on the departments, their ethos and reputation and perhaps the common links to your own studies or research interest? Why have you chosen a particular course? Do these universities offer any specific clubs or societies; are they in a particular location? Do you have personal reasons for needing these universities (e.g. finance, relatives, religion, sexual orientation, disability)? Why should we choose you to go that university?
  23. For International exchange, how do I know what modules are taught and in what language?
    Please look on our partner institution websites as many have module catalogues you can access online. You can also check the University of Birmingham website.
  24. How do I know what modules I should choose?
    Your exchange tutor will advise you and will also need to approve them.
  25. What if I get allocated a place and decide not to proceed with a year abroad?
    If you decide not to proceed with a Study Abroad experience having discussed with your exchange tutor, just let us know as soon as possible so that we can reallocate your place.
  26. During my year abroad, do I still need to register as a University of Birmingham student?
    You should register as normal even if you will be spending a year abroad. You will be notified by email so continue to check your university email address and follow the instructions given.
  27. For International exchange, am I able to contact partners directly with questions about Study Abroad?
    Until your placement has been confirmed we request that you do not contact our partner Institutions directly. Please ask your Exchange Tutor in the first instance or the Study Abroad team who are best placed to answer your questions. If there is a specific situation where we need to contact a partner in advance of a confirmed placement, this should be done through official University of Birmingham channels, via the Study Abroad Team or your Exchange Tutor.