Frequently asked questions

 

  1. What is Erasmus?
  2. What are the advantages of being an Erasmus Student?
  3. What do I have to do if I want to study abroad during my degree course?
  4. Eligibility- what year of study can I go in?
  5. Where can I go?
  6. Must I be fluent in another language?
  7. How fluent?
  8. Can I study abroad if I am doing a Joint Degree/Modular Programme?
  9. Can I participate if I am a part-time student?
  10. I want to study at a European university but its semester starts during the time when I have exams. Can I still go abroad?
  11. What does it cost? - Tuition fees
  12. What does it cost? - Other costs
  13. Can I receive any help towards costs that I will incur when studying abroad?
  14. What is the Erasmus student grant?
  15. What criteria do I need to meet in order to qualify for an Erasmus grant?
  16. How much money will I receive?
  17. When do I actually receive this Erasmus grant?
  18. What about exams?
  19. How will I get recognition for my academic performance? What is ECTS?
  20. Will I have to organise my own accommodation?
  21. Will I have to give up my rented accommodation in London when I go abroad? Will the university provide assistance with renting it out while I am away?
  22. Is it possible to take my family abroad with me?
  23. Is insurance compulsory? Will the university provide me with insurance?
  24. Where can I get an ISIC? (International Student Identity Card)

 

 

1. What is Erasmus?

Erasmus is the European Commission's educational programme for Higher Education students, teachers and institutions. It allows students in Higher Education to study for part of their degree programme in another European country and to receive full recognition of this period as an integral part of their overall degree.

 

2. What are the advantages of being an Erasmus Student?

Flexibility – Experience, which encourages and develops a flexible approach to learning and working, is an excellent preparation for employment.

Adaptability - The Erasmus experience allows you to become immersed in another culture, make new friends, obtain a working knowledge of another language and develop skills that will contribute to your employability.

Maturity - You will have acquired life skills which cannot be taught and which may take others significantly longer to acquire.

Employability - The overall educational advantages of studying your subject in another country will contribute considerably to the enhancement of your employability.

 

3. What do I have to do if I want to study abroad during my degree course?

You need to ask your course co-ordinator or PAA if your course can include an Erasmus exchange programme. If it is possible, then you need to fill in an Erasmus Outgoing Student Application Form, which you can download from the "How to apply" section.

After you have completed your form and had it signed by your Erasmus Departmental Co-ordinator (refer to a current list of EDCs in the Outgoing Student Guide and on the List of Partners webpage), return it to the International Programmes Office by the 1st April for students wishing to go out in September or the 1st October for students wishing to go out in the following February.

 

4. Eligibility- what year of study can I go in?

You cannot participate on the Erasmus exchange programme during your first year of study. The length of time that you can spend abroad will be subject to the requirements of the course you are taking. You would not be able to go abroad for just one semester if any of your core modules are year-long.

 

5. Where can I go?

It depends on what department you are from and what subject area you are studying. London Metropolitan University (LondonMet) has agreements with a large number of European universities in different subject areas. To find out with which universities we have links with in your subject areas, please refer to the "Partner List by Subject Area" section.

 

6. Must I be fluent in another language?

Speaking, reading and writing English is a major asset but it can also be a serious disadvantage. Your peer group in other European countries can increasingly speak English fluently as well as their mother tongue and frequently at least one other European language. The ability to work in another language will not only enhance your enjoyment of living and working in another country but also enhance your employability.

 

7. How fluent?

For some links a good prior knowledge, such as A-level or AS-level, of the language is required. However, not all links require fluency. Many universities provide facilities for you to start learning a language and some European host universities even teach certain subjects in English. Do not let the lack of a language deter you however be realistic about your ability to manage studying in another language!

 

8. Can I study abroad if I am doing a Joint Degree/Modular Programme?

It will depend on whether LondonMet has a link with a host university for at least one of your subject areas. For example, if you are studying Computing and Business, LondonMet only has links for Business. This means that you may be able to spend one semester studying business only to complete the computing units at LondonMet upon your return. It is important for you to note that it is not always possible to organise your LondonMet course requirements to fit in with the Erasmus programme. It is recommended that you consult your course coordinator or Personal Academic Advisor (PAA) in the Undergraduate Office or Department to see whether you can fit the programme into your degree.

If LondonMet has links in both of your subject areas at different host universities, then you may consider spending one semester at one institution to study one subject, followed by the another semester at the second institution studying the other subject, for those wishing to spend a full academic year abroad.

 

9. Can I participate if I am a part-time student?

According to the guidelines set out by the Erasmus Council, only full time students are eligible to take part. If your personal and academic criteria allows you to continue your degree programme full-time during the period of the placement (to find out you will have to consult your course co-ordinator), you may be able to participate in the Erasmus exchange programme.

 

10. I want to study at a European university but its semester starts during the time when I have exams. Can I still go abroad?

It is possible although it may be tricky! You can still go abroad if you can make arrangements with your department to take your exam while abroad. This however will cost you at least 100 pounds for the privilege! You would also need to contact the partner institution to ask them whether they are willing to set the exam conditions up for you. If they are (which normally is the case), you will then need to contact our exams department to pass on all the relevant details to them, so that they can organise it for you. Your EDC or PAA should be able to help you organise this.

 

11. What does it cost? - Tuition fees

Home/EU students

Outgoing Erasmus students classified by the University as home/EU students (and eligible for student loans) who spend a FULL ACADEMIC YEAR abroad at a host university will not be required to pay ANY tuition fees to LondonMet for the 2013/14 academic year. You will not be required to pay the tuition fee to the host university either. The UK Government will meet the cost of the tuition fee for this entire period as an initiative to encourage student mobility within Europe.

If however, you prefer to study for just one semester abroad on the Erasmus programme, you will pay the normal tuition fee for the semester to LondonMet (or the part of it which is not paid by your Local Education Authority/SLC) but no fee to the partner institution.

*Please note that if you decide to undertake an optional language course at the host university for whatever period abroad, it may require a small fee that you will be responsible for paying.

LondonMet International students

If you are classified by LondonMet as an International student for tuition purposes, you will be required to pay the standard tuition fees to LondonMet. You will not be eligible to receive the full year abroad waiver or pay the local student fee tuition amount for your exchange period abroad. You are welcome to participate in the Erasmus exchange programme and like all other LondonMet students, you will also not be expected to pay tuition fees to the host university.

 

12. What does it cost? - Other costs

Obviously, during your period of study in the host university you will need to pay for your accommodation, general living costs, books and entertainment. While in some countries this may be more expensive than at home, in other countries the strength of the UK pound makes it very affordable for you to live/study. You are advised to do some research on the local living costs of the country so you can budget accordingly.

 

13. Can I receive any help towards costs that I will incur when studying abroad?

During your study period you will be eligible to continue to receive any student grant or loan to which you are normally entitled, from national or other sources, and you may also obtain an Erasmus student grant. The Student Loans Company also offers a travel grant to students studying abroad as part of their degree to help with flights and local transport. The first £303 of your expenses are not payable however.

 

14. What is the Erasmus student grant?

You may be eligible to receive an Erasmus grant, which contributes towards the extra costs arising from studying abroad, but it will not cover all normal student living expenses and it is not automatic. Erasmus grants in the UK are paid via your home institution, which receives an allocation from the UK Erasmus governing organisation for distribution to students. It must be remembered that as the grant is cash limited there may be situations in which you will not receive an Erasmus grant. For criteria and restrictions, please ask the International Programmes Office. Erasmus grants (if awarded) are paid in addition to the standard grant/loan for those students receiving one.

 

15. What criteria do I need to meet in order to qualify for an Erasmus grant?

You must:

be registered as a full time student at a UK Institution of Higher Education which holds an Erasmus charter;

spend an approved study period of between 3 to 12 months at an institution in another EU, EEA or "partner" country;

not have received a previous Erasmus/Comenius/British Council Teaching Assistant grant.

However, satisfying these criteria does not guarantee that you will receive a grant and because the grants are allocated on an annual basis your university will not be able to give you any guarantee in advance.

 

16. How much money will I receive?

In the 2013/14 academic year the amount of grant you will receive is dependent on the country in which you spend your Erasmus period/s. The countries are allocated to Band 1, 2 or 3, ranging from cheaper countries to more expensive countries:

Band 1 (€275 per month)

Bulgaria, Romania

Band 2 (€315 per month)

Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey

Band 3 (€375 per month)

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finalnd, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

Priority Country payments

Students studying in one of the following Priority countries will receive an additional, one-off payment of €400:

Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.

 

17. When do I actually receive this Erasmus grant?

The Erasmus grant is paid in two or three instalments (depending on the length of your period abroad): LondonMet aims to make the first payment within the first month of the commencement of your placement. Payment, however, is dependant on how efficiently you return all related Erasmus documentation upon arrival at your host university. The grant will be paid into the bank account nominated on your grant contract.

Students planning to study abroad for a full academic year will receive in the initial payment roughly four months of your allocation. The second four month payment will be made after the commencement of the 2nd semester period.

Students spending one semester abroad will receive three months worth of grant in the first installment.

Any Priority Country payment due will be paid alongside the first installment. The remainder of the grant owed will be payable after the Certificate of Departure and Student Reports have been completed and returned to the IPO.

Grant payments are worked out using your semester dates abroad. No grant will be paid for any duration before the start of the semester or after the end of it, including resits.

 

18. What about exams?

While abroad, you are required to comply with the examination procedures set by the host institution. This may involve written papers and/or oral examinations. Unless there are good reasons to do otherwise, the language of the examination will be the one of the host institution. In general, you will not have to pass an exam a second time at your home university to receive academic recognition for it.

 

19. How will I get recognition for my academic performance? What is ECTS?

The host university will issue you an academic transcript in recognition of your study during your period abroad, usually with an ECTS grade attached. ECTS stands for "European Credit Transfer System". It is an arrangement between European educational institutions which makes it possible for the grades you received at your host university to be translated into equivalent UK recognised grades. For further information, please consult the Guide for Outgoing Erasmus students. In nearly all cases, 30 ECTS credits will be required in order to progress to the next semester (equivalent to 60 LondonMet credits).

The translation of ECTS grades into LondonMet percentages is set and is not negotiable. Please be aware of the grade transfer system before applying for the Erasmus programme as if attaining high marks is your primary goal then an Erasmus semester might not be suitable for you.

 

20. Will I have to organise my own accommodation?

In some cases, the host university will assist you in finding accommodation. When the host university sends an information pack to you, it should include information and/or an application form regarding accommodation. Make sure you fill it in and return it to them before the deadline - as places get booked up early and very quickly - and they will do the best they can in order to help you to find a place to live.

 

21. Will I have to give up my rented accommodation in London when I go abroad? Will the university provide assistance with renting it out so that I will not lose it while I am away?

It is up to you whether you give up your rented accommodation or rent it to friends while you are on your placement. Unfortunately, the university does not provide help with subletting your accommodation. However, if you cannot find candidates to whom you could hand over your place, the Accommodation Office in Student Services might be able to help.

 

22. Is it possible to take my family abroad with me?

Yes, however, it is unlikely that the host university will have appropriate accommodation for families. Therefore, you may have to do some research on accommodation, jobs and possibly schools, prior to your departure.

 

23. Is insurance compulsory? Will the university provide me with insurance?

If you cannot afford travel insurance, then you cannot afford to go! While the International Programmes Office will organise for you to be covered by the University Insurance policy, the coverage is for emergencies while abroad only. We strongly recommend that you take out separate travel insurance for the period that you are abroad. Make sure that you have emergency coverage for a minimum of £1,000,000 medical costs and repatriation, in the event of an accident/severe illness while you are away.

Some host universities also require that you have proof of insurance before you enrol. Even if the host university do not insist on private insurance, it is extremely important that you have additional travel insurance or as a minimum, a European Health Insurance Card. More information about insurance can be found in the Outgoing Students Guide.

 

24. Where can I get an ISIC? (International Student Identity Card)

It is very useful to obtain an ISIC as it is recognised world-wide and will provide you with discounts in a large number of areas, eg. accommodation, travel, entertainment, clothing etc. You can find out more about it and you can apply for one at this web address: www.isiccard.org