Funding for study abroad

Students studying outside the UK as part of their UK course can apply for full student finance. Depending on when they started their course they might be able to get more Maintenance Loan while they're abroad. They might also be able to get a Travel Grant.

All 2018/19 figures are subject to approval by the National Assembly for Wales.

Maintenance Loan

The following tables show the maximum Maintenance Loan available if a student is studying abroad. The actual amount a student will get depends on their household income.


Non-final year of courseFinal year of courseExtra weeks
Courses starting before 1 August 2018 Full Reduced Full Reduced
£8,517 £4,186 £7,408 £3,060 £166 per week
Courses starting on or after 1 August 2018 £8,000 £4,000 £8,000 £4,000 £120 per week


Non-final year of
Final year of
Extra Weeks
Courses starting or continuing on or after 1
August 2017
Full Reduced Full Reduced
£8,253 £4,056 £7,179 £2,965 £166 per week

Students who are abroad at the start of an academic year won't have their support delayed by not enrolling at their UK university or college.

Students studying in China, Japan or Russia as part of their UK course for the whole of the academic year are able to get their loan and grant payments in a single installment.


Under the Erasmus+ scheme - part of the European Union's Lifelong Learning Programme - students can study part of their degree in one of 30 countries across Europe. UK Erasmus+ students normally get an Erasmus+ grant, provided by the European Commission, which contributes towards the extra costs. This is in addition to the standard grants or loans. Students should not depend on this to cover all their living costs when budgeting.

The tuition fee rates for studying overseas, on placement or on Erasmus+ can be complex. The following tuition fee rates are based on the student:

  • studying at a publicly-funded university in Wales or England,
  • having started their course on or after 1 September 2012, and
  • applying through Student Finance Wales.

2017/18 and 2018/19

The student
will be:
Maximum Tuition Fee
Loan available to new and
continuing students in
Maximum Tuition Fee
Loan available to
continuing students in
Maximum Tuition
Fee Loan available to
new students in
On Erasmus+ and

  • studying abroad
  • on a work placement abroad
£1,385 £710 (difference will be paid as a Fee Grant) £1,385
£1,385 £710 (difference will be paid as a Fee Grant) £1,385
On a placement
year of a
£1,850 £950 (difference will be paid as a Fee Grant) £1,850

*with less than 10 weeks at the student's Welsh or English university

Studying for a degree at an overseas university

If the student studies a complete degree at a university outside the UK they won't be able to get any support from us. Funding for studying a complete degree abroad will be different depending on which country the student is planning to go to. Tuition fees could be higher or lower than in the UK, and in some countries there are no tuition fees at all. Students could find studying abroad is more expensive - or less expensive - than studying in the UK. Research before committing to anything is crucial.

The level of maintenance and tuition fee support a student gets may be different from what they'd get if they studied in the UK - they may get no living cost or tuition fee support at all. They won't necessarily be able to work to support their studies.

Students may also find they need to prove they can support themselves from their own funds.

Travel Grant

Full-time students might be able to get a Travel Grant if they're studying abroad or attending a clinical placement in the UK as part of their couse. How much they can get depends on their household income.


To get a Travel Grant, students must be:

  • studying at an overseas university or college for at least 50% of any item, or
  • attending a hospital or other premises in the UK as an integral part of their medical or dental course.

They can't get a Travel Grant if:

  • they're on a work placement abroad, unless they're on the Erasmus+ scheme, or
  • they're getting any income-assessed bursaries or awards from the Department of Health.

What's it for?

Travel Grant covers reasonable travel expenses during the academic year, which means students must buy the most cost-effective tickets using the most economical and practical form of transport. For example, taking the train instead of flying and buying standard-class instead of first-class tickets.

They have to pay the first £303 of their travel costs themselves.

However, students starting their course on or after 1 August 2018 will have to pay the first £1,000 of their travel costs if:

  • they're applying for student finance that doesn't depend on their household income, or
  • their household income is more then £59,200.

They can claim for:

  • up to three return journeys between the UK and their overseas university or college
  • any travel costs for necessary attendance at a hospital or other premises for clinical training
  • the cost of a child or children's fares between the UK and their overseas university or college if it's necessary for a lone parent who's also a student to take them abroad
  • necessary medical insurance, visas and medical expenses for the purpose of studying abroad
  • 24p per mile if they have to travel by car

How do they apply?

Once they've applied for student finance, we'll automatically send the student any forms they need to get a Travel Grant.

If they're studying abroad, they should complete the Travel Abroad Expenses form and ask their university or college to complete the Course Abroad form.

If they're on a clinical placement in the UK, they should complete the Clinical Study Travel Expenses form.

They can apply for the Travel Grant at any time during the academic year. There are no limits on how many claims a student can make.

What evidence do they need to send?

Students must provide evidence to support their claims for travel expenses. They'll only be reimbursed if they send us all the evidence we ask for.

This must be photocopies of proof of payment, not just an itinerary or quote. For example, it could be a receipt for payment of flights or train tickets. Receipts in a foreign language may need to be translated at the student's own cost.

We pay any Travel Grant directly into the student's bank account, so they won't have to wait until their next payment of student finance to get their money.

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