Financial expenses associated with an academic placement abroad can be a source of concern for students and parents. While students do not pay tuition fees at the host university (semester fees are paid to the University of Limerick as usual), they will need to budget for flights, accommodation, food and other general expenses.
The cost of living varies from country to country. Students are advised to gather as much information as possible regarding flights, cost of living, accommodation, before choosing their destination. Certain countries or capital cities have high living costs. The extra expenditure will also depend on whether the student is currently living at home. For students who do live at home, accommodation will be a major cost; those who already live away from home will often find that accommodation costs are cheaper than in Ireland.
Students should try and save as much as possible prior to the semester abroad to pay for flights, accommodation, food, activities, trips, etc.
The Erasmus+ programme is financed by the European Commission and provides funding for students to study abroad in Europe.
The Erasmus mobility grant is intended to be a contribution towards the additional costs of the mobility, not a full maintenance grant. While students may make use of the grant as they see fit, they should not rely on the grant for all living expenses.
The Erasmus mobility grant is not means tested and should not affect students' entitlements to other grants.
The grant is disbursed following the submission of mandatory Erasmus paperwork to the UL Erasmus team.
The Erasmus mobility grant is calculated based on various criteria:
- The country where the host institution is located; for Academic Year 2021/22, the grant amounts for study placements are between €300 and €350 per month (see breakdown of monthly amounts for eligible countries in Documents section of this page)
- The exact duration of the stay abroad; students are required to submit enrolment documents as evidence of the start and end dates.
NB: The minimum duration to qualify for Erasmus funding is 3 months (90 days). The mobility grant is paid to students for the duration of their stay abroad for the purpose of their studies only (early arrivals or late departures outside of official semester dates will not be included in the grant calculation).
How to apply
All successful Erasmus applications are automatically considered for funding and you do not need to submit a separate application. Forms and instructions are emailed to Erasmus participants a few weeks prior to the start of their semester abroad.
Impact of COVID-19 on Erasmus mobility grant
Please check our COVID-19 FAQs here.
ATTN: Students who withdraw from the Erasmus programme during the academic semester abroad will be required to reimburse the Erasmus mobility grant.
Students from socially disadvantaged backgrounds who are registered with the UL Access office may avail of additional funding.
Currently, students receive an additional €180 per month on top of the Erasmus mobility grant.
Further information on EU funding can be found on http://www.european-funding-guide.eu/.
Supplementary EU funding is available for students with a recognised grave disability and/or exceptional special needs.
Applications are made through the Erasmus office (email@example.com) and then submitted to the Higher Education Authority (HEA). Supporting documents should include a detailed LENS (Learning Educational Needs Support) report from the UL disability office, with a break-down of the additional expenses that will be incurred for support during the semester abroad.
The amount awarded to the student is determined by the HEA and varies according to each applicant's needs.
Further details are available from the following website: http://eurireland.ie/i-am-a/erasmus-student/supplementary-support-for-students-with-disabilitiesspecial-needs/
Many host universities offer language courses to Erasmus students. Those courses can take place before the start of the semester or during the semester. If the host university offers a language course and a certificate is issued on completion of the course, the credits will be recognised by UL. There is usually a fee for these courses. Students should contact the Erasmus team if they are interested in taking a language course, as there may be EU funding available to reimburse fees for credit-bearing language courses. NB: the financial contribution is capped at €200.
Scholarships for International Exchanges
Erasmus International Credit Mobility (ICM) provides opportunities for staff and students to study, teach and train in countries outside Europe.
The funding facilitates:
- An expanded international offering
- Access to new regions for staff and student mobility
- The development and strengthening of partnerships
- Engaging with new fields of international research
Scholarships available for study placements taking place in the 2021/22 Academic Year:
- Bridgewater State University, MA (4 scholarships worth $4,300 each, scholarship will cover housing and medical insurance) https://www.bridgew.edu/admissions/international-exchange-partnerships
- State University of New York at New Paltz (SUNY New Paltz), NY – 5 scholarships worth $3,000 each (scholarship will cover meal plan and medical insurance) https://www.newpaltz.edu/iss/current-new-paltz-students/exchange-student-course-enrollment/
- Keene State College, NH (1 scholarship, covering meal plan and housing on-campus) https://www.keene.edu/academics/programs/
To apply for these scholarships, students must submit a 500-word statement outlining why they wish to go on study exchange to that University and what they will gain from the experience.
For further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
You will continue to be a full-time registered student at the University of Limerick and do not pay tuition fees to the host university abroad. You pay your fees to the University of Limerick as usual.
Note: Some universities may charge additional fees for student facilities such as membership of the Students’ Union. For example, some German Universities charge a semester fee (Semestergebühr) to be paid by all students, including exchange students. This semester fee (approx. €200) usually covers the cost of public transport, as well as Students’ Union and social fund contributions.
Students must register on the UL online portal in Week 1 (as per UL academic calendar) of the period abroad. The Academic Registry office will notify all students by email in the week prior to the registration deadline. Failure to register on the UL portal by Friday of Week 1 will incur a €200 fine. Students experiencing difficulties should contact Academic Registry (email@example.com).
Students are entitled to continue to receive any student loans, grants or bursaries (e.g. SUSI) that they are eligible for while studying at Limerick.
Students who qualify for Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) should continue to avail of this entitlement for the duration of the mobility period.
SUSI’s current regulations state the following:
• If you are participating in ERASMUS or a period of study abroad, in general you may continue to receive your grant as long as the period of study abroad does not exceed one year.
• If the ERASMUS/Study Abroad is not compulsory, and you are in receipt of a maintenance grant, you will continue to receive the same rate of grant that was previously awarded (i.e. adjacent or non-adjacent rate).
• If the ERASMUS/Study Abroad is compulsory, and you were previously in receipt of an adjacent rate of maintenance grant, you may be eligible for the higher, non-adjacent rate whilst studying abroad.
ATTN: Please check SUSI website for most up-to-date information.
If you are a US student in receipt of a federal loan, you should contact Margaret Gleeson (firstname.lastname@example.org) to check out your continued eligibility.
Many banks offer banking facilities to students to help finance their semester abroad. Such facilities may include short-term loans with very low APR, standard student loans, credit cards with 0% interest for the first 6 months, etc.
Please contact your local branch or the on-campus bank at UL for further information on student banking.
The on-campus bank at UL also offers advice on money management and budget planning.
Please use the provided budget sheet to work out an estimate of the semester costs.
Students should ensure that they understand what is required about payment of bills, particularly for accommodation. For instance, in University residences in Europe, students are expected to pay rent from the first to the last day of every month, even if the room is unoccupied for part of the month.
Any student who leaves bills unpaid will incur a debt and will need to discharge it. Failure to do so may result in the host university withholding the Transcript of Records, which in turn may prevent the student from graduating from UL. The student may also be referred to the UL Disciplinary Committee.