Fees, funding and budgeting
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Plan a great study abroad experience that fits your financial needs. Consider all the costs and funding available to budget for your time abroad.
Year abroad placements
While you are studying abroad you continue to be registered as a University of Bristol student. Spend the full year studying abroad and you will pay reduced tuition fees to the University of Bristol. You will not pay any tuition fees to your host university abroad.
Check the tuition fees for full-time undergraduates studying abroad for information on the tuition fees payable to Bristol.
Semester abroad placements
While you are studying abroad you continue to be registered as a University of Bristol Student. Spend a semester studying abroad and you will pay full tuition fees to Bristol. You will not pay any tuition fees to your host university abroad.
Check the tuition fees for full-time undergraduates for information on the tuition fees payable to Bristol.
Funding for placements
Student Finance loans and grants
During your time abroad, you can continue to receive any student tuition fee and maintenance loans and grants that you are eligible for in Bristol.
The leaflet below for a full year abroad in 2021/22, provides information for students who started their studies after 2017 who will be spending a full year abroad in year 3 of their course:
Year Abroad Funding in 2021/22 (PDF, 268kB)
The leaflet below for one semester abroad in 2021/22, provides information for students who started their studies after 2017 who will be spending one semester abroad in year 2 of their course:
Semester Abroad funding in 2021/22 (PDF, 242kB)
Please note these leaflets provide information for current students going abroad in 2021/22. Year and semester abroad funding is subject to change year-on-year.
Student Finance offer a means tested travel grant for students studying abroad as part of your degree. If you are a recipient of UK Student Finance funding you could apply to claim back Study Abroad related costs that go above c.£303 (including flights, visas, insurance and vaccinations).
Follow the links below for further information from your relevant funding body:
University of Bristol funding
You may be able to continue to receive any Bristol bursaries that you are eligible for in Bristol whilst studying abroad.
Visit the University of Bristol Bursary webpage for information on Bristol bursaries available to students or contact the student funding team on firstname.lastname@example.org
Search here for other funding opportunities you may be eligible for.
All undergraduate students studying or working abroad in 2020/21 and in 2021/22 in an Erasmus+ programme country as part of their University of Bristol degree are currently eligible to receive an Erasmus+ grant.
The Erasmus+ grant is funded by the European Commission. It is a financial contribution for students to the costs of studying and/or working abroad within an Erasmus+ programme country. It is NOT a full maintenance grant but is highly valued by students while abroad.
The value of the grant varies from year to year and by country. Depending on the location and length of your study placement you could receive between €370 - €420 per month (based on 2020/21 rates) if you are studying abroad. If your annual household income is below £25,000 you may also be eligible to additional Erasmus+ funds.
To be eligible you must:
- Study or work abroad within an Erasmus+ programme country;
- Study abroad for a minimum of 3 months (90 days) or work abroad for a minimum of 2 months (60 days);
- Study or work abroad as part of your University of Bristol degree;
- Complete the relevant Erasmus+ documents as advised by the Global Opportunities team.
Following Brexit, the UK will no longer be a part of the Erasmus+ scheme. The UK government is launching the Turing scheme, providing £100 million in funding for 35,000 students across the UK to go on placements abroad from September 2021. We will publish more details here when they are available.
Other external funding
Scholarships and grants
BUTEX Study Abroad scholarship
JASSO Scholarship for students studying abroad in Japan
DUO-Singapore Fellowship Scholarship for students studying abroad in Singapore
DUO-Korea Fellowship Scholarship for students studying abroad in South Korea
Local Education Authority (LEA) funding
Some LEAs offer additional funding for spending time abroad. Contact your LEA to find out more.
Your host university
Your host university might have scholarships available for exchange students.
Some professional societies, like the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) or the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), offer travel awards to members. Check their websites and talk to your Study Abroad Academic Director for information.
Other external organisations
Depending on your personal situation, you may be able to bid or apply for funds through organisations listed on Turn2Us.
Introduction to budgeting
Take your time to research and add up the costs of different study abroad destinations. Plan and budget for how you will cover the costs before and during your time abroad.
Download our Budget Calculator (Budget Calculator (Office document, 15kB) and look at our dropdown boxes below on accommodation, travel, visas and insurance to help you plan.
Costs vary depending on where you study, for example studying abroad in Los Angeles or Paris will be more expensive than Wisconsin or Montpellier.
Accommodation options at host universities abroad will also vary. Some universities will offer on-campus accommodation options while others will offer guidance to find private accommodation or a combination of both. An increasing number of students are opting for homestays and housing co-operatives as a cheaper option to live abroad.
You will need to cover the cost of your own travel. Research the costs of getting to and from the host university abroad throughout the year and/or semester including during the holidays.
Check your passport is in date and is valid for the duration of your time abroad. Ideally your passport should be valid for at least 6 months when you return to your country of residence.
Take the opportunity to travel during your time abroad either within your host country or to neighbouring countries. Take this into account while preparing your budget for your time abroad. All students are strongly advised NOT to purchase flights or make travel arrangements until you have:
- received your official acceptance from the host university abroad;
- obtained your visa for your time abroad;
- purchased your travel insurance;
- know the dates you need to arrive by.
Refer to our Student Finance loans and grants section for information on how you may be able to claim back for travel costs.
All students going on a semester or year abroad must purchase a travel insurance policy to cover their time abroad. Students going abroad on approved placements abroad are eligible for the free business travel insurance. You should apply for insurance cover from our Insurance Office prior to going abroad. You can check the details on the policy on the Insurance office website. Should you require additional cover, you must purchase this seperately.
In addition to travel insurance, you may be required to purchase local medical insurance for certain study abroad destinations where there is no state health insurance. These destinations can include but are not limited to the USA, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Your host university abroad may require you to purchase a specific medical insurance policy. Costs vary considerably but can be as high as US$1,500 per semester for some US institutions.
Refer to our Student Finance loans and grants section for information on how you may be able to claim back for insurance costs.
Visas and proof of finances
Find out if you require a visa to study abroad in your chosen country. If so, you will need to cover the cost of the visa and any relevant application costs. UK citizens can refer to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FDCO) for information. If you do require a visa, you must budget for making the application and possibly any travel to the embassy in advance.
Be prepared to supply proof of finances as part of your application to your host university abroad for visa purposes.
Evidence of proof of finances may include some or all of the following:
- Student Finance maintenance loans;
- personal savings;
- financial support from parents/guardians.
In general, you must prove you have access to enough finances to cover the travel and living costs during your time abroad. Below is an example of the proof of minimum amount of finances often required for certain countries*:
- USA, min. US $8500 per semester or min. US$17,000 per year.
- Hong Kong, min £4000 per semester or min. £8000 per year.
*Please note these amounts are indicative and can differ between host universities abroad located in the same country.
Budget for emergencies
Although you can't anticipate all costs which may arise while you are abroad. We strongly recommend that you budget for emergencies as best you can. It is best to over-estimate on costs rather than under-estimate costs at the planning stage. Particularly taking into account COVID-19, you may need to budget for funds to cover for COVID testing and/or quarantining prior to and/or on arrival in your host country. You should consider how you can access financial support should an emergency arise.
Vaccinations and medical check
You may require pre-medical screenings and/or vaccinations as part of their entry requirements for certain study abroad destinations. If so, you are required to cover the cost. These destinations can include but are not limited to South Africa, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the USA. UK citizens can refer to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCO) for information, and you can check your host university’s exchange website.