Fees, funding and budgeting for a year or semester abroad

Consider all the costs for your year or semester abroad. Find out more about tuition fees, available funding and what you need to budget for.

Tuition fees

While you study or work abroad, you are still registered as a University of Bristol student. You will continue to pay tuition fees to the University of Bristol but do not need to pay tuition fees to the partner university abroad or your work placement.


Take time to research and add up the costs of different destinations. Plan and budget for how you will cover the costs before and during your time abroad.

Download our Budget Calculator (Office document, 15kB) and click on the drop down boxes to see what you should budget for.


Costs vary depending on the destination. For example, staying in Paris will be more expensive than in Montpellier.

Accommodation options will also vary. If you are studying abroad, some universities offer on-campus accommodation options, while others offer guidance to find private accommodation, or a combination of both.

As a cheaper option to live abroad, you may also consider opting for homestays or housing co-operatives. Research accommodation costs and cost of living on our list of study abroad university places. You can also use websites such as Numbeo.


You need to cover the cost of your own travel. Research the costs of getting to and from the university abroad or your work placement throughout your stay. Budget for any additional travel within your host country or to other countries while you are abroad.

Do not buy flights or make travel arrangements until you have:

  • received your acceptance from your host university abroad or work placement;
  • obtained your visa;
  • have valid travel insurance;
  • know the dates you need to arrive by.

To claim back travel costs, check your eligibility for the Student Finance travel grant.


You must have valid travel insurance to cover your time abroad. With an approved placement, you should be eligible for the University's business travel insurance. We will give you details on how to apply, before you go abroad. If you need additional cover, you must buy this separately.

In addition to travel insurance, you may need to buy local medical insurance for certain destinations such as Australia, South Africa, New Zeland and the USA.

Your host university or work placement abroad may need you to buy a specific medical insurance policy. Costs vary but can be as high as £1000 per semester for some US universities.


You will need a visa to study or work abroad in most destinations.

You will need to budget for:

  • cost of the visa (if any)
  • application costs (if any)
  • travel to the embassy (if required)
  • translation or legalisation of official documents (if required)
  • criminal record certificate (if required)
  • medical certificate (if required)
  • additional insurance cover (if required)

If you are a UK citizen, you can refer to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FDCO) for more information.

Proof of finances

In order to get a visa, embassies or consulates will require you to demonstrate that you are able to cover your living costs for the duration of your placement. 

Evidence of proof of finances may include your Student Finance maintenance loan, personal saving and/or financial support from your parents or guardians. In general, you should be able to prove you have access to enough money to cover your living costs abroad.

Below is an example of the minimum finances often required*:

  • Europe, minimum £5000 per semester or £10,000 per year.
  • Asia, minimum £5000 per semester or £10,000 per year.
  • North America, minimum £8000 per semester or £16000 per year.

*These amounts are indicative and can change year-on-year and differ between each university abroad or type of visa.

Emergencies and unexpected costs

Although you can't predict all costs which may arise while you are abroad, we recommend that you budget for emergencies and unexpected events as best you can. For example, a country might suddenly mandate a hotel quarantine for all new arrivals from the UK due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). It is best for you to over-estimate costs rather than under-estimate costs at the planning stage.

You should also consider how you can access financial support in an emergency.

Vaccinations and medical check

You may need a medical check and/or vaccinations for certain destinations abroad.
These can include but are not limited to:

  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Korea

Check NHS Fit for Travel and Travel Health Pro to find out which vaccinations you will need before you travel.

Contact us

If you have a question or for more information about going abroad.

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