Studying Abroad

Studying abroad is an excellent opportunity to broaden your academic knowledge, immerse yourself in another culture and gain employability skills that will be highly valued by employers.

Studying abroad usually means a one- or two-semester exchange placement at another university in Europe or further afield. Many of our partners have agreements where classes are taught in English so you don’t need to worry about the language barrier.

Erasmus+ is the European Commission’s programme for higher education students, teachers and institutions. It forms part of the European Union’s Lifelong Learning Programme and supports co-operation between the universities of 31 countries, allowing students and staff to study or work in one of the participating countries.

The University of South Wales has been awarded an Erasmus+ University Charter by the European Commission for the period 2014-2020. As part of the application for the Erasmus University Charter, the University has developed an Erasmus Policy Statement. This ensures that the programme is visible and inclusive to both students and staff and ensures high quality in our student and staff placements.

If you are a student based in the UK, you may be eligible to take your studies overseas for 3 to 12 months as part of the programme.


There are a number of basic requirements for eligibility and there are conditions of payment which you must consent to before you receive any money. Important things to note are:

  • To qualify, you must be registered on a full-time course at the University at undergraduate or postgraduate level, for which the placement abroad is recognised towards your final degree
  • All students going abroad must be enrolled at USW during their time abroad
  • Minimum time spent at host institution is 3 months or 90 days
  • If you do not complete your Erasmus+ placement and return early to the UK you may be required to repay all or some of your Erasmus grant.
  • You must have completed at least 1 year in a higher education institution
  • You must be a full-time student during the planned period abroad. For part-time students wishing to participate in the scheme, you MUST register as a full-time student for your intended period abroad to be eligible for an Erasmus grant.
  • The grant holder will not be benefiting from any other European Commission grant during the Study period.

How to apply.

Some Faculties have opportunities to travel further afield on study exchanges, such as to the USA, Canada or Mexico. As these opportunities vary from one Faculty to another, you will need to speak to your course tutors to see what opportunities may be available to you.

Our Erasmus/Exchange partner institutions sometimes offer short courses for international students taught in English during vacation time. These are normally advertised on the partner institutions’ websites. Some of these courses are assessed for academic credit but they would not form part of your degree as they are not part of the exchange scheme. The University of South Wales does not endorse these courses and has no control over their content. If you are interested in undertaking one of these courses, please contact the relevant overseas institution(s) directly.

While studying abroad, you continue to pay your tuition fees to the University of South Wales, not to the partner university. If the exchange is for the full academic year, your tuition fees will be reduced. They will not be reduced if you are away for only part of the year.

There are no tuition fees for the year spent with The Anglo-Mexico Foundation as you are not gaining any academic credit.

If you are studying in Europe, an Erasmus grant is available to assist with the extra cost of studying and living abroad.

You can normally access your usual student maintenance grants and loans. In addition, some local authorities provide a travel grant for students studying overseas. Please check with your local authority and the USW Student Money Advice Team.

An idea of the cost of living abroad can sometimes be found on our partner institutions’ websites. Remember that as an exchange student you will not pay tuition fees to the overseas university, although you may have to pay fees such as the cost of materials, medical insurance or an orientation fee (this will vary depending on the institution).

If you will be going abroad in the second half of the academic year, think carefully before tying yourself into a year-long contract for accommodation in the UK.