Study Abroad

Funding and finance

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Funding your time abroad 

Studying abroad doesn’t always come cheap – it really depends on where you go and the country’s cost of living. 

It’s important to consider all the costs you’re likely to bear before and during your time abroad. You can read more about that here

The good news is that we have a range of scholarships and funding opportunities available to our students to give you a helping hand in your studies abroad. There are also lots of funding opportunities administered externally so get researching. Find out what scholarships are available to you and what grants you could be eligible for.

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Study abroad fees

2017-18 entry

If you're starting your undergraduate degree in 2017-18 the following fees will apply when you go abroad.

Year abroad 

If you spend a full year abroad:

  • you won't pay tuition fees to Essex for that year
  • you won't pay tuition fees to your host university

Term abroad

If you spend a term abroad:

  • you will pay tuition fees to Essex
  • you won't pay tuition fees to your host university

2018-19 entry

If you're starting your undergraduate degree in 2018-19 the following fees will apply when you go abroad.

Year abroad

If you spend a full year abroad:

  • you'll only pay 15% of your tuition fee to Essex for that year
  • you won't pay tuition fees to your host university

Term abroad

If you spend a term abroad:

  • you will pay tuition fees to Essex
  • you won't pay tuition fees to your host university
Photo of Antonio Garrido Cabrita Reis
"Next year I will be going on my Year Abroad to Tokyo."

Read Antonio's full story, or hear from Marie and Insiah about their study abroad experiences with Essex.

Read more

Funding from Essex Abroad

Erasmus grant - Europe

Erasmus plus logo

The European Commission’s flagship programme, ERASMUS+, generously provides funding for students of any nationality, who are studying (3-12 months in duration) or undertaking a traineeship (2-12 months in duration) at Erasmus+ partner institutions within Europe. Students do not need to apply and Essex Abroad will contact you if you are eligible.

Erasmus+ is a European programme managed by the British Council, which provides funding opportunities for:

  • study abroad for students

Find out about how the Erasmus+ online mobility management tool complies with the new General Data Protection Regulation requirements.

Erasmus+ may provide you with a financial grant if you study abroad at an eligible partner institution in the EU or a partner outside of the EU within the Erasmus+ outside of Europe programme.

The grant is a contribution towards the costs of living abroad, and is not intended to cover all costs whilst abroad. In 2018-19 the grant rates range from €300-350 per month depending on the country you choose. The total is calculated based on the number of months you're going abroad for, the grant rate set by the UK National Agency, and will be paid in two instalments.

An additional grant of €120 per month may apply for disadvantaged students including students with a disability and/or students from households with an annual income of £25,000 or less (as assessed by the SFE).

How to apply

You don’t have to apply for the Erasmus + grant, Essex Abroad will contact you directly with all the necessary information if you are eligible. We'll provide detailed information about when you will be receiving your grant and what documents you will have to provide and when during the pre-departure conference.

Receiving your grant

If you're studying abroad for a full year, you'll receive your grant in two instalments. For 2018-19 the instalments were as follows:

  • 80% will be paid at the start of your time abroad once you have signed your grant agreement.
  • 20%* will be paid when we receive your certificate of departure.

*The Erasmus+ grant is calculated according to your specific dates of study. If these differ to the originally intended start and end date detailed in your grant agreement, your final instalment may no longer represent an equal 80-20 split.

The grant will be paid to your nominated UK bank account. When planning your budget, remember that the Erasmus+ grant is a contribution to the costs you’ll incur abroad and is not intended to cover your whole period of studying abroad.

Terms and conditions

If you do not complete your year abroad, or withdraw from your year abroad, you will be asked to repay your grant in full.

Please note that students in receipt of an Erasmus+ grant will not be eligible to receive the Banco Santander or Essex Abroad Bursary.

Erasmus+ Update

University of Essex remains an international community where you find the world in one place. Irrespective of whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal, students currently receiving funding under Erasmus+ in 2018-19 will continue to receive the remainder of their grant.  

If the UK leaves Europe with a deal it is anticipated that Erasmus+ funding will continue for all students commencing a period of mobility during 2019-20.

Should the UK leave the EU without a deal, students who are eligible to receive Erasmus+ funding in 2019-20 and commence their activity prior to the date that the UK leaves EU, will be guaranteed to receive Erasmus+ funding.  However, any activity commencing after the date of the UK’s exit from the EU will not be eligible for Erasmus+ funding.  

For 2019-20, after receiving an institutional grant contract from the UK National Agency, delegated by the European Commission to deliver the Erasmus+ programme in the UK, Essex Abroad will contact all eligible students to provide the details of their grant and the supporting Erasmus+ documents which will be required in order to release funding. Following the completion and return of the required documents from students, grant payments will be made in accordance with the 80/20 payment rule (see ‘receiving your grant’ above for further information).

We will continue to update our website with further details as they become available. Further advice and support for our students about Brexit is available.

Banco Santander scholarships

This scholarship is awarded to students going to study in the following eligible countries:

  • Argentina
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Germany
  • South Korea
  • Mexico
  •  Poland
  • Portugal
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Uruguay
  • USA

The award of the scholarships will be competitive and awards will be made on the basis of academic merit. The award is up to £1,000 for students going away for full academic year or £500 for students going away for 1 term.

Students who have been allocated to the above countries will be notified if they are eligible and do not need to apply. Terms and conditions apply.

Essex Abroad bursary

The grant is valued up to £1,000 and will be awarded based on students’ 1st and 2nd Year grade average. It's only for students going away for a full academic year. No application is needed, students will be notified if they qualify.

Please note that students in receipt of an Erasmus+ grant or Banco Santander scholarship will not be eligible for the Essex Abroad Bursary.

Student Finance England

It's important to apply for Student Finance as early as possible if you're planning on studying abroad.

Tuition Fee Loan

You're entitled to receive your Tuition Fee Loan during the year or term you study abroad.

Maintenance Loan

You're entitled to receive your Maintenance Loan during the year or term you study abroad.

 Travel Grant

You may get a grant to cover some of your travel expenses if you normally live in England and:

You don’t have to pay back a travel grant. There are rules on eligibility and how much you’ll get. You must pay the first £303 of your travel costs - and your travel grant will be reduced by £1 for each £8.73 of household income over £39,796.

You can apply for:

  • up to 3 return journeys between your home and the overseas institution during a full academic year abroad
  • help with essential expenses, medical insurance and travel visas

You may be able to apply for your children’s travel costs if you’re a single parent.


Why choose us?
  • We have relationships with over 150 institutions worldwide 
  • We offer a range of travel grants to help support your studies abroad
  • You can choose between a year, term or summer abroad

Funding by other organisations


British Council – Fujian Scholarship

Generation UK – China Academic Scholarships – British council

Nankai University – Chinese Government Scholarship

University of Nottingham Ningbo China – CTU Scholarship Exchange

The Chinese government offers a two year programme of study for undergraduates.

  • Year one: learning Chinese. This year won't count towards your Essex degree result. Zero fees are due for this year.
  • Year two: study courses related to your degree subject in Chinese. This is treated as a standard year abroad except tuition fees will be owed to Essex for this year at the designated 'away' rate.
  • This year will count towards your final degree results.

The scholarship covers all living expenses, accommodation while in China as well as tuition fees payable to the Chinese university. Travel to/from China and visa fees aren't included and you must pay for these yourself.

How to apply and deadline

Please contact Essex Abroad office before end of November 2017 for more information:

  • complete the online application form (instructions to help you complete your application online (.pdf))
  • foreigner physical examination form (.pdf)
  • provide proof of your current student status
  • your academic transcripts
  • write a personal statement of at least 200 words, see our personal statement writing guide (.pdf) for help and advice
  • provide two academic references

Further information

You must commit to spending two years in China, as it’s not possible to leave the programme early.

If you have any questions, please email or see further guidance on the study in China website.


GoEuro European Study Abroad Scholarship will award ten scholarships of €2000 each to outbound students, enrolled at the University of Essex, planning to do a study abroad program in Europe.


Daiwa Foundation

JASSO - Student Exchange Support Programme (students are nominated by the host university in Japan)

New Zealand


South Korea

Swiss-European Mobility Agreement grants

If you are planning to study in Switzerland you may be eligible to receive up to 1,800 CHF (Swiss Francs) per semester directly from the Swiss partner university. Please review our exchange finder (search for Switzerland) for more information.


Get in touch
Get in touch
Essex Abroad Funding For more information about Erasmus+ and other funding opportunities