The information on this page should address most of the key areas of study abroad finance. It is vital that you consider your financial situation in good time before your departure.
All students participating in the Study Abroad programme are required to fund the following themselves:
- Daily living costs
- Travel costs
- Student service fees required by their host university (to gain access to campus facilities, printing credit, etc)
For information on the cost of tuition fees for your time abroad please visit our Tuition fees and financial help webpage.
Tuition fees and financial help
If you are required to purchase mandatory health insurance from your host university, information on how to claim a reimbursement can be found on insurance pages.
Reimbursement of mandatory health insurance
It is extremely important that you draw up a realistic budget to help you handle your finances whilst away on your year abroad. To help you do this, the Study Abroad Team have put together a simple spreadsheet which you can use to help you outline expected costs.
Download Study Abroad Budgeting Worksheet
You should pay particular attention to ensuring you have sufficient money for your arrival costs, accommodation deposits and first month's rent; purchase of bedding, utensils; orientation costs, tickets for start of term events etc. The Student Loan can only be paid early for students who are starting their term a full 25 days before the UCL term starts, therefore there can be a significant period of time between arriving at your placement abroad and your Student Loan being paid.
You should also have a source of emergency money which you can access in the event that you experience problems with your funding. The simplest way to arrange emergency fallback money is to apply for a credit card before you go away. Make sure that it has a sensible credit limit and then keep it somewhere safe (ideally not in your wallet or purse in case it is stolen) and only use it when you have a genuine need.
If you cannot get a credit card or do not wish to, make sure that you have access to a fund specifically set aside for emergencies, or make an agreement with a parent, guardian or other friends or family for an emergency loan should you need it.
UCL Student Funding are there to support UCL students in financial hardship, and can assist students who find themselves unexpectedly in a difficult situation; however, it is important that you take responsibility for your own financial arrangements and do your best to make sure that you have a fallback plan just in case.
British Council Language Assistants
Students who take up a British Council English Language Assistant position are paid a salary comparable to the local rate, and/or are provided with accommodation for the duration of their placement. This will vary according to which country/town/school you will be working in, but by way of an example, language assistants in France and Germany earn c. €800 per month.
Assistants who work in EU countries will be given Erasmus status and therefore benefit, additionally, from the monthly Erasmus grant. This is only applicable until May 2023, after of which the UK will not be participating in the Erasmus programme.
Please note: Students on Erasmus placements (including English Language Assistants receiving an additional salary) are entitled to the normal statutory package of maintenance loans and maintenance grants.
Although it may well be possible to find a salaried work placement abroad, from a financial perspective it is safer to assume that your employers will provide you only with minimal expenses (e.g. assistance towards transport costs etc…) or that your placement will go unpaid entirely.
Please note: Students who are paid a salary during their work placement may not be eligible for a full maintenance loan or maintenance grant. Please contact your Regional Funding Authority for more details.