If you will be on a work or study abroad placement in a European country, you may be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant to supplement your student loan.
What is the Erasmus+ programme?
Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport. It has the overall aim of increasing student mobility across Europe and investing in knowledge, skills and competencies which will benefit individuals, institutions, organisations and society as a whole by contributing to growth and ensuring prosperity and social inclusion in Europe and beyond. One of its main objectives is strengthening linguistic skills and supporting language learning.
The Erasmus+ programme is financed by the European Commission and there is generous funding involved. The British Council is the 'National Agency' for the administration of the Erasmus+ scheme in the UK. The British Council act on behalf of the European Commission, which is the underwriting agency for the Erasmus+ programme. Further information can be found on the Erasmus+ website.
At the University of Leeds:
- the Study Abroad office looks after Study Abroad placements and the staff training and teaching scheme.
Read about the programme on the Study Abroad website.
- the Careers Centre looks after Work Placements abroad.
Read about Erasmus+ work placements on the Careers Centre website.
There is sector-wide concern about the UKs future membership of the Erasmus+ programme due to the result of the referendum to leave the European Union. Therefore you are encouraged to read up-to-date advice about any impact this may have on your eligibility for the Erasmus+ funding and the future of undertaking a work placement or studying at a partner university in Europe here.
The information below is relevant to students studying abroad in the 2019/20 academic year.
Erasmus+ grant amount
If you are studying or working abroad as an Erasmus+ student, and comply with all relevant paperwork requirements, you are eligible to receive a non-repayable Erasmus+ grant. This is regardless of your level of study or nationality. More information on paperwork needed for Erasmus+ purposes can be found on the 'Erasmus+ Exchange Requirements' section below.
The Erasmus+ grant is awarded in addition to any student finance that you are eligible for. Read more about student finance on a placement abroad year on the tuition fees and loans page.
In addition to the Erasmus+ grant, students from disadvantaged backgrounds receive an additional widening participation monthly supplementary grant. In 2018/19 an additional monthly supplement of €120 was paid to Erasmus+ study students and an additional €20 per month was paid to Erasmus+ work placement students who could demonstrate that their household income was £25,000 or less.
If you are a student with a physical, mental or health-related condition that would make your participation in Erasmus+ impossible without extra financial support, you can apply for an additional 'Erasmus+ special needs support grant' to help finance extra costs associated with your condition. This grant is intended to help you take full advantage of an Erasmus+ mobility experience. Examples of areas eligible for support include (but are not limited to): adapted accommodation, travel assistance, medical attendance, supportive equipment, adaption of learning materials, an accompanying person.
Monthly grant rates and Widening Participation top-up rates can be viewed on the Erasmus+ website.
Switzerland and GE3 study placements
If you are studying or working in Switzerland, or studying at a European university via the Global Engineering Education Exchange Consortium (GE3) you are not eligible to receive the Erasmus+ funding. However, if you are studying at a Swiss institution you will usually receive comparable funding directly from your host institution. Further enquiries about the parallel Swiss exchange programme should be made to the Study Abroad Office. There is no parallel scheme for GE3 students.
The British Council provide the overall funding to the University of Leeds in two allocations in Euros. The exchange rate used to convert the Euro allocation to sterling is the daily rate used by the University of Leeds when converting the Euro allocation provided by the British Council. Therefore, the rate is likely to change between the first and final allocation.
The University of Leeds will guarantee Erasmus+ funding for a maximum of initially 70% of the fully certified duration of your placement period. After your placement has ended, the University of Leeds will make a final top-up payment of up to a further 30% depending on the level of funds made available by the British Council. The amount you receive will be calculated based on the eventual length of your placement and will be adjusted accordingly based on dates supplied on your 'Certificate of Attendance'.
Monthly grant rates vary depending on the destination country and year of study so the projected grant rates in the table below are provided as a guide only. These rates do not include the additional Widening Participation supplement.
|Placement Length||Estimated Country Rate||Guaranteed first instalment||Top-up payment if university is fully funded||Top-up payment if university has a shortfall in funds of 10%||Top-up payment if university has a shortfall in funds of 15%|
|4 months study||€300||€840||€360||€240||€180|
|4 months work||€400||€1120||€480||€320||€240|
|9 months study||€300||€1890||€810||€540||€405|
|9 months work||€400||€2520||€1080||€720||€540|
Provided that the required paperwork has been submitted in a timely manner, we expect eligible students to receive the grant as follows:
- If spending semester 1 or a full year abroad - first instalment of the grant in the autumn. The "top-up" instalment is paid at the end of the academic year.
- If spending semester 2 or the third term abroad - first instalment around the time you leave to study abroad or have started your work placement. The "top-up" instalment is paid at the end of the academic year.
- Widening Participation grants for Erasmus study or work placement students will be paid as a mid-placement payment, usually in February if spending the full year abroad.
For all recipients, the Erasmus+ grant can only be paid into a UK bank account in your own name. Make sure you have entered your bank details into Minerva.
Multiple Erasmus+ payments
You are allowed to claim a grant for multiple Erasmus+/European exchange periods up to a maximum of 12 months in total at each degree level, so if you are learning two languages and participating on two Erasmus+ placements (work or study) you may not be able to benefit from the grant for the duration of both periods abroad.
Leaving early and grant repayment
You may be asked to repay part of your Erasmus+ grant if you leave earlier than expected, or if the 'Certificate of Attendance' that you receive at the end of your placement abroad suggests you were studying abroad for less time than you received the grant for.
If the University of Leeds overpays the grant for any reason, e.g. due to miscalculation, misleading or incorrect information or because of any errors made by payment staff, then you are required to repay the relevant amount of grant money. This is because the grant is provided to assist students in both studying and working abroad each year and must be distributed in a consistent, fair and transparent way. Any grant money incorrectly retained by one student prevents that grant money from being given to another student.
Erasmus+ exchange requirements
If you will be on a study placement abroad for the full academic year, the Study Abroad team provides an Erasmus+ paperwork pack in July. The pack will be sent to your permanent address and will contain more information on documents required and deadlines for paperwork to be submitted.
If you will be on work placement abroad, your School needs to approve your work placement and pass on your name to the Careers Centre, who will email an application form to your University of Leeds email account a few weeks before your placement starts. For more about the Erasmus+ work placement application and deadlines, please see the information on the Careers Centre website.
The Erasmus+ funding is generous. However, there are strict rules about the various documents and processes you need to complete or supply throughout the year to obtain the grant. Your Erasmus+ period will be deemed incomplete if the documents and processes outlined below are not completed or returned to the University of Leeds by the deadline given, and any Erasmus+ funding received to date will need to be returned to the University.
Documents needed before before the 1st grant payment is made
|Document or Process||Study||Work||Deadline|
|Pre-departure checklist||Yes||No||Before placement commences|
|Work placement application form||No||Yes||At least 4 - 6 weeks before you plan to start work at each placement|
|Proof of work placement document||No||Yes||You must provide a signed document (e.g. University Tripartite Agreement or Job Contract) which shows your start and end dates|
|Register with the University of Leeds||Yes||Yes||After 1st August|
|Grant Agreement||Yes||Yes||Your personlised Grant Agreement will be provided to you approximately 2 months prior to your placement commencing. It must be returned prior to your start date|
|Learning Agreement||Yes||No||Within one month of your placement commencing|
|Traineeship Agreement||No||Yes||Within one month of your placement commencing|
|Online Language Assessment||Yes*||Yes*||
Before placement commences
*The OLA is compulsory only for students studying or working in the host language. The languages assessed can be found here.
|Bank details on Minerva||Yes||Yes||
After the 1st August, click here for instructions
Documents needed before the top-up grant payment is made
|Document or Process||Study||Work||Deadline|
|Certificate of attendance||Yes||Yes||As close to the end of your placement as possible (no later than mid-August).|
You will receive an automated email from the EC's feedback software close to your expected date of completion.
To be completed no later than 3 weeks after your end date.
|Transcript of records||Yes||Yes||Shortly after receipt from your host university/organisation.|
|Online language assessment||Yes*||Yes*||
Towards the end of your placement.
*The OLA is compulsory only for students studying or working in the host language. The languages assessed can be found online here.
Study Placement: A personalised email will be sent to you outlining the total grant you will receive based on the confirmed dates of attendance and funding allocation from the British Council.
Work Placement: If there is a shortfall in funding you will receive a personalised email outlining the revised expected payment.