Going on Placement or Studying Abroad

The following information outlines the financial arrangements that are in place for students in receipt of student support from either Student Finance Wales or England who are:

  • Studying abroad as part of their course, OR
  • On a work placement/sandwich placement as part of their course

If you fall into one of the above categories you need to adhere to the following information to ensure you receive payments.

All Students
You must inform your relevant Student Finance Team that you are studying abroad/on a work placement during the academic year. You should send written evidence that this is part of your course and whether it is paid/unpaid. Your Campus Student Admin Team will be able to support you with this upon request.

Tuition Fees
You must still apply to your relevant Student Finance Team for fee support even though you are studying abroad/on work placement. If you are eligible for support then this will be paid directly to the institution. Similarly if you have to contribute to your fees you must make arrangements for payment with the institution.
If you will be attending University for less than 10 weeks, you may be charged lower fees for that academic year
Student Finance England maximum fee rates are the same, but the support available will be Tuition Fee Loan only, not Grant. New Student Finance Wales students starting from September 2018 onwards will also receive Tuition Fee Loan support only.

Maintenance Support
As long as you have told your relevant Student Finance Team that you are on placement/studying abroad and as long as the Student Loans Company have received your loan request form, your student loan instalments should be paid into your nominated bank account. Contact your Campus Admin Team if you would like to request an earlier payment.

If you are studying abroad please see what support may be available to you

There are different rules if you will be attending an Erasmus exchange.

Prior to academic year 2015/16, ERASMUS students were not eligible to receive a tuition fee loan for their study and/or work placement year abroad, and neither the UK HEI nor the HEI abroad charged the student tuition fees.

This has changed from academic year 2015/16 for all new and returning students who commenced a course on or after 1st September 2012. This change means that 2012 cohort students who take a study or work placement year abroad as part of the ERASMUS scheme may be charged tuition of up to £1,385 at a publicly funded HEI.

Students undertaking a period of study abroad under the ERASMUS scheme are assessed in the usual way for living cost support, in that they qualify for overseas rates of loan for living costs and extra weeks loan, and if eligible, grants for living and other costs.

If you are on placement, the amount of maintenance support available to you will depend on the type of placement you will be undertaking and how many weeks you will be attending University during the academic year – you may receive a reduced rate of Maintenance Loan only – see below:

Student Finance England 2018/19 MAXIMUM RATES OF FULL YEAR REDUCED LOANS (Sandwich years)

Parental home £1,976
London £3,700
Elsewhere £2,635

Student Finance Wales 2018/19 MAXIMUM RATES OF FULL YEAR REDUCED LOANS (Sandwich years)

Parental £2,625
London £4,920
Elsewhere £3,500

Students on certain specified unpaid placements in the public or voluntary sectors are potentially entitled to grants for living costs subject to means testing even if the periods of full-time study in the academic year are less than 10 weeks.

Placements that attract this support are:
a. unpaid service in a hospital or in a public health service laboratory or with a clinical commissioning group in the UK;
b. unpaid service with a local authority in the UK acting in the exercise of its functions relating to the care of children and young persons, health or welfare, or with a voluntary organisation providing facilities or carrying out activities of a like nature in the UK;
c. unpaid service with a local authority acting in the exercise of public health functions in the UK;
d. unpaid service in the prison or probation and aftercare service in the UK;
e. unpaid research in a UK institution or, in the case of a student attending an overseas institution as a part of his course in an overseas institution;
f. unpaid service with a Special Health Authority, the NHS Commissioning Board, the National Institute for Care and Excellence, the Health and Social Care Information Centre, a Local Health Board; a Health Board or a Special Health Board in Scotland; or a Health and Social Services Board in Northern Ireland

Please contact your funding body directly or a Money & Support Adviser if you have any queries, or if you are funded by a different authority e.g. SAAS or SFNI, as different rules may apply.