Financial support

Use the links on this page to access information on how to manage your money whilst your abroad, including what to do if you find yourself in a position of financial hardship.

Accessing cash

UK bank cards

Most UK bank cards will allow you to withdraw money from ATM machines abroad, allowing you to continue all your banking arrangements via your bank account at home. Do check on the charges incurred, however, as they can vary from bank to bank and can be considerable if you make a large number of withdrawals.

Pre-paid currency card

An alternative to using your credit or debit card to access money abroad is to purchase a pre-paid foreign currency card. This is a chip-and-pin-protected card which you can top up by cash, debit card, credit card or bank transfer, and then use to withdraw money or make purchases overseas. The principal advantage of a pre-paid card over a credit or debit card is that, when withdrawing cash from an ATM overseas, you will typically be charged a fixed withdrawal fee rather than a percentage commission. 

However, as with credit and debit cards, fees and charges do apply, so investigate the different options carefully to determine which is the most convenient and inexpensive method of accessing your cash while abroad. Providers of pre-paid foreign currency cards include the Post Office (Travel Money Card), FairFX (Euro Currency Card, US Dollar Card and Anywhere Card) and Travelex (Cash Passport).

Bank accounts

You may wish to open a local bank account, for example if you are receiving a salary or to receive your CAF in France. If you know you will need an account, think about getting one before you go through your home bank - HSBC for example can offer accounts in 49 different countries. Be aware that if you are only in the country for a short time (5 months for example) then you may have difficulty opening an account. 

In general, to open a bank account abroad you will need some or all of the following documents

  • Valid passport
  • Local residency permit*
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of student status
  • A sum of money to deposit

Erasmus Grants

Updates regarding your Erasmus grant payments will be emailed to you directly. Please remember that the Erasmus grant should not be relied upon as a source of income and should be looked upon as a supplementary amount. You should therefore make arrangements to have enough funds to cover you for your arrival and first month or so. 

Erasmus+ funding arrangements are subject to change following the UK's departure from the EU. Please note, the UK will only participate in Erasmus until May 2023. More information about the Erasmus+ grant can be found on our Erasmus+ pages

Financial Support

If you find yourself in a position of financial hardship, or are worried that you might be facing this at some point in your year abroad, it is important that you the UCL Student Funding Office as soon as possible so that they can offer you appropriate support. You can also find information on the UCL Financial Support pages