Study Abroad for Sussex Students

Fees and finance

Find out about funding options for your studies abroad.

How much you pay

You can add a study abroad element to your course and we're keen for as many eligible students as possible to take part.

If you study abroad for the full academic year, you will only have to pay 15% of your tuition fees.

If you choose to complete a single term abroad, you'll pay your normal tuition fees.

If you're a UK or EU student going abroad for the full academic year to undertake a Language Assistantship or approved work placement for 2018/19, you will need to pay 20% of your normal Sussex annual tuition fee.

In all cases, fees for the year abroad are payable to Sussex, not to the host institution.

You will be expected to pay for your flight, insurance, visa (where required), rent and other living expenses.

Student Finance England

Student Loan - Overseas Rate
For 2019/20 the non-means tested student loan is (all students get this part) £4,951
The means tested student loan is (some students get this part) £5,291
Full loan is £10,242
You may be eligible for a means tested loan of £129 per week for the extra 3 weeks of study in some US universities £387
TOTAL £10,629

The table above gives the basic rates for the student loan. Some students receive a maintenance grant and bursary/Chancellor's scholarship and First Generation Scholarship on top of their student loan. These payments can also be used towards the financial guarantee if the student is applying to study abroad in North America.

In addition, the Government gives a means tested Travel Grant to cover airfares (less £303) and medical insurance, immunisations and visas.

First-Generation Scholars year abroad

If you are a First-Generation Scholar, you may be entitled to a bursary for studying abroad.

If you start your course in 2018 and choose to study abroad for a year, you'll receive £2,000 during your year abroad, paid in two instalments of £1,000 in September and March.

For more information, please see the First Generation Scholarship pages.

Other financial support available

The UK government offers a means-tested Travel Grant to cover airfares and medical insurance, immunisations and visas. For more information please visit: https://www.gov.uk/travel-grants-students-england/overview.

There are other UK Student Finance companies offering travel grant with different criteria:

If you already have funding from Student Finance

In the event you have already studied at another Higher Education Institution where you received funding from Student Finance, you should check with them how many years of funding you have left.

For example, with Student Finance England you have a maximum of five years of eligibility; if you received two years of funding prior to starting your degree at Sussex (even if one of them was half-completed), you would only be eligible for another three. This would mean, if you were to study abroad for a full additional year, you would need to self-fund your year abroad.

Living costs for studying abroad

North America

Students are understandably concerned about the cost of studying abroad in North America and although you will need to pay for your airfare, visa and medical insurance the most important part of your preparation for your study abroad is securing your US visa. Students will have to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds available before the visa can be issued. The amount of money that has to be guaranteed varies according to which campus you attend. The California, Miami, Georgetown and Brooklyn campuses require a higher financial guarantee but all the universities will expect you to guarantee more than you receive from the Student Loan. This financial guarantee will need to be completed in the December or January of your second year. Now is the time to start to save!

Please note that the cost of the US university’s insurance will be included in their financial guarantee.

Full time English students (Wales, Scotland and Ireland are slightly different) are eligible for a UK Government Student Loan paid at the higher "Overseas Rate" and some students who are means tested may receive a maintenance grant and/or bursary on top of their student loan. In addition, the Government gives a means tested Travel Grant to cover airfare, medical insurance, immunizations and visa costs. EU students are only eligible for a tuition fee loan.

Most students use their Government Student Loan as part of their guarantee, the remainder of the amount to be guaranteed can be made up from either personal funds or from funds guaranteed by your parents or members of your family. This money has to be in an account or various accounts as original bank statements will be required.

For details, refer to the Student Loan - overseas rate table above.

Europe

For full information about studying abroad in Europe, please visit our Erasmus+ Programme site.

Brexit update

Brexit update (updated 31st January 2019)

With the UK due to leave the EU at the end of March 2019, many students will have questions around how this will affect their planned study abroad placements in Europe. The UK’s continued participation in Erasmus beyond March 2019 is one of the things being discussed in the Brexit negotiations.

If the UK parliament passes the Withdrawal Agreement before the UK leaves, we should be able to offer an Erasmus+ grant to students planning to study abroad in another European country in 2019/20. However, if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement in place, it is unlikely that UK universities will be able to offer Erasmus+ funding to outgoing students due to study abroad in 2019/20. While a 'no deal' scenario could mean that UK universities would no longer be eligible to be part of the Erasmus+ programme, we are working closely with colleagues at our partner universities to ensure that we would still be able to exchange students and staff members.

Despite this uncertainty, the National Agency for the Erasmus+ programme in the UK, the British Council, is encouraging UK universities to apply for 2019/20 funding in the usual way. Please click here for updates on Brexit on the Erasmus+ website.

Canada

If you are studying in Canada for more than 6 months the Canadian High Commission will require proof of means of financial support that demonstrates that you can support yourself and any accompanying family members while you study in Canada. For example, proof of a bank account in your name, your bank statements for the past four months, a bank draft in convertible currency, or proof of payment of tuition and residence fees. The minimum amount you need to guarantee for the Canadian Study Permit is $10,000 (Canadian dollars).

Australia

Living costs are a minimum amount set for visa purposes. Living costs vary depending on where you will be living and studying. It is your responsibility to determine what your own costs will be to live and study in Australia

Asia

The cost of living in Asia varies as to the specific country where you will be studying. Generally Hong Kong, Japan and Korea will be more expensive than Malaysia and Thailand. However, campus accommodation at all destinations will be cheaper than private accommodation and tends to be very good value particularly in Hong Kong.

Financial Guarantee

Who needs to provide a Financial Guarantee?

Students who are going to universities in the United States will be required to show evidence of funds available. If you are entering the US on a US passport then you will not be required to show funds. However, you should be aware of the projected costs of studying at that institution.

Students studying in other countries should check the Student Visa/Study Permit website of the country where you will be studying as you will need to show that you have sufficient funds to live in that country when you apply to their Immigration Department. This guarantee will not be as high as the US one.

Why do I need to complete a Financial Guarantee?

The US Government requires all US universities to determine that individuals can meet expenses without resorting to unlawful employment or public funds whilst studying there.

To be issued a Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Student Status (I-20) or a Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Exchange Visitor Status (DS-2019), you must be admitted into a full-time programme and provide a financial guarantee for educational expenses.  

The Certificate of Eligibility, either the I-20 or DS-2019 will be sent to you by your exchange university.  This is an important document and is the first step to securing your non-immigration visa for the US.

Who determines the figure that has to be guaranteed?

The amount of money that has to be guaranteed varies according to which campus you attend. Each campus will set the figure that they estimate you will need in order to live and study there.  This amount is not necessarily what you will spend.

What does the figure cover?

The figure will cover the cost of renting an on-campus room, the meal plan, the mandatory US health insurance for that institution, books and general living expenses.

The figure does not cover tuition fees as you do not pay these to your exchange institution.

Do I have to pay this money direct to the US institution now?

This money is guaranteed and shows proof that you have the funds for your period of study abroad.  You will not need to pay this figure in one instalment.  If you leave a debt in the US they can go to the person acting as your “sponsor” or “guarantor” to retrieve the money.

When will I have to complete the Financial Guarantee?

The financial guarantee is an important part of the application process for every US university and that means that you could be completing your guarantee in January, February or March before your study abroad begins in August.

How do I guarantee the funds?

The host institution states the figure to be guaranteed during the application process. Usually you will be given a Financial Guarantee form to complete where you will specify the various sources.  The funds do not have to be from one source.

Nearly all students will use their UK Government student loan as part of their guarantee and you will need to submit a copy of your current loan letter (you will not have the actual loan letter for the year that you are abroad at this point).

The basic loan figure for your year abroad is paid at a higher rate and you can use this rate in your calculation.

When you have converted your loan to dollars, including your maintenance grant if you are have one, plus the First Generation Scholarship (if you are eligible) you will see how much the “short-fall” is and this amount will need to be guaranteed from other sources: parents, other family members, you own savings.

When you complete the Financial Guarantee form your guarantor will have to sign it and supply an up-to-date bank statement or building society statement showing that the funds that have been guaranteed are available.  The bank statement must not be more than 3 months old, it must show the name of the bank and have the name and address of the account holder on it. Alternatively, your guarantor could request a letter from their bank stating that they have £xx available. There may be a charge for this. 

If there is not a form for your guarantor to sign then the person will have to provide a letter confirming the amount that they will guarantee. It must have their address, be dated and signed and give the name of the student and the amount in dollars that they are guaranteeing.

The US institution will not accept salary slips or share certificates.

Brexit update (updated 31st January 2019)

With the UK due to leave the EU at the end of March 2019, many students will have questions around how this will affect their planned study abroad placements in Europe. The UK’s continued participation in Erasmus beyond March 2019 is one of the things being discussed in the Brexit negotiations.

If the UK parliament passes the Withdrawal Agreement before the UK leaves, we hope to be able to offer an Erasmus+ grant to students planning to study abroad in another European country in 2019/20. However, if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement in place, it is very unlikely that UK universities will be able to offer Erasmus+ funding to outgoing students due to study abroad in 2019/20. While a 'no deal' scenario could mean that UK universities would no longer be eligible to be part of the Erasmus+ programme, we are working closely with colleagues at our partner universities to ensure that we would still be able to exchange students and staff members.

The Sussex Abroad team has put together this set of FAQs for students who are due to study abroad at another European partner university in 2019/20.

Despite this uncertainty, the National Agency for the Erasmus+ programme in the UK, the British Council, is encouraging UK universities to apply for 2019/20 funding in the usual way. Please click here for updates on Brexit on the Erasmus+ website.

Erasmus Grant for students currently abroad

Students are likely to be eligible for the Erasmus grant if they are registered at a UK institution of higher education and are spending an approved study period abroad or carrying out an approved work placement (including language assistantship) as part of their degree programme. The study placement should last between three and 12 months in another EU, EEA or 'partner' country; the work placement can last a minimum of two months. Students should not have received an Erasmus grant for the same type of placement (study, work or postgraduate) in a previous year.

The Erasmus Grant is inteded to be a contribution towards the extra costs of studying abroad. Students still need to have their normal adequate funds for daily living, including travel and accommodation. The cost of living varies considerably accross Europe and students are advised to find out how much their year abroad is likely to cost them before they leave.

The Erasmus Grant is calculated according to the length of the study/work placement period. It usually consist of two instalments, the first payable in October / November and the balance at the end of the academic year. The source of Erasmus funding is the European Commission, which distributes funds to institutions across Europe through each country's National Agency. In the UK the National Agency is the British Council. The amount that student receive varies in accordance with funds received from the National Agency. In 2016-2017, students received up to €280/330 per month according to which country they would be studying/working in.

Study placement students whose household income is less than £25,000 may be entitled to an additional Widening Participation payment of €100/month. If you think that you should be receiving this, email David Brimage: d.brimage@sussex.ac.uk.

Receipt of the Erasmus Grant does not affect a student's entitlement to their normal student loan for the period of their stay abroad.

Rates for students currently completing a study placement

CountryStudent study mobility
Monthly grantMonthly supplement for students from disadvantaged backgrounds

Group 1 countries (high cost of living)

Denmark, Ireland, France, Italy, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Liechtenstein, Norway

€330 €100

Group 2 countries (medium cost of living)

Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Iceland, Turkey

€280

Group 3 countries (low cost of living)

Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Rates for students completing a work placement

CountryMonthly grant

Group 1 countries (high cost of living)

Denmark, Ireland, France, Italy, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Liechtenstein, Norway

€430

Group 2 countries (medium cost of living)

Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Iceland, Turkey

€380

Group 3 countries (low cost of living)

Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

First Generation Scholarships for Study Abroad

The University of Sussex has developed a generous scheme, the First-Generation Scholars Scheme, which provides support if your household income is less than £42,875 per annum. This support is in addition to any loans and grants from the Student Loans Company.

If you are eligible for a Social Work or NHS bursary you will not receive the financial lement of the First-Generation Scholars scheme.

If you are receiving this scholarship and studying abroad for the full year in 2017/18, you will receive £3000 cash award in that year abroad which will be paid in two £1,500 instalments in September and January.

Summer School scholarships

Every year we offer scholarships to students taking part in a Summer School programme in Asia and Europe. For more information email Ester Aventin: E.Aventin@sussex.ac.uk.

QSMoveON Stand Out Scholarship

For students going to Europe in 2019/20, QSMoveOn are offering the chance of a scholarship of up to €4,500. For information on eligibility and how to apply for the scholarship, please follow this link.