Frequently asked questions about study abroad

Find out answers to common questions you may have.

If your question isn't answered here, please email and we will be happy to answer it.

You can go on an exchange if you are a full-time undergraduate student at the University of Surrey. You need the support of your department, and you need to be in good academic standing. You need to be able to cover the cost of the exchange (including travel, living expenses, accommodation, visa etc), although Erasmus students will get a grant towards this.

There are also some opportunities for postgraduate students to go on an exchange, in particular in engineering for project work.

If you are a student going on an Erasmus exchange you are eligible to apply for an Erasmus grant.

UK students receiving a student loan can still claim their loan whilst they are on exchange. If you are on any element of the means tested loan you are eligible for a higher loan rate and travel grant for costs exceeding £303, plus your visa costs and medical insurance from Student Finance England.

Students going outside of the EU can apply for a BUTEX Scholarship. A grant of £500 is given to successful applicants.

PhD students going to Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan have in the past received a JASSO Scholarship which pays approximately £750 towards travel plus £380 per month of their stay. 

There are other opportunities available. Please see the international scholarships page.

Surrey students studying abroad for a full year pay £1,385 to Surrey and no tuition fees at the host University – this means you are paying less tuition fees than you would in a normal year. Students studying abroad for one semester pay standard fees at Surrey and no fees at the host university.

It is not possible to provide an estimate of how much it will cost as this depends on a number of factors. However, you will need to consider the following:

  • Accommodation
  • Travel costs
  • Insurance - additional medical insurance in some countries
  • Visa (if applicable)
  • Living expenses, eg food
  • Other costs, eg study books

Some countries (eg the USA) require proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your time abroad. You will need to ensure you find out what the current requirements are and have proof that you have sufficient funds.

As an outgoing student on study and/or work exchange you will be covered by the University's Personal Accident and Travel Insurance. Further details are available in SurreyLearn Let's Go Abroad.

You must register before you travel. 

Personal effects are covered by the University policy but students should check to ensure that there is sufficient cover for the possessions they are taking (they should look at the cover note) and if not, they should take out their own policy.

Further information on insurance can be obtained from the Insurance Office

Students who are going on an international exchange will generally need to obtain a visa. It is your responsibility to find out what visa you need and how you apply.

Visa rules vary from country to country and you should check the embassy website to see what visa you will need. Information on applying for visas will be provided in March each year once you are selected for a study place at a partner university. The following is for guidance only.

Ensure your passport is valid for a minimum of six months longer than your intended stay. For example, if you are going for a full year, you will need 18 months validity on your passport. If you are even close to these figures, you should apply for a new passport as soon as possible.

You may need a biometric passport, so if you have an older non-biometric passport you should check the requirements of the country you are visiting.

Further information about visas can be found on SurreyLearn 'Let's Go Abroad' once you have been selected for an exchange place.

You will need to make arrangements with your host university to get your transcript.

Your department at Surrey will advise you on how your credits will be transferred.

  • The International Unit of UUK has links to many resources including student experiences.
  • Global Graduates has information for students going on a study exchange abroad. It's primarily targeted at language students, but has information relevant to non-linguists too.
  • Just Landed is a useful website which covers international destinations as well as European ones. It covers things like finding housing and setting up a bank account.
  • Study in Europe has information about studying in all the EU countries, and each country-specific section has links to banks, places to look for housing, and local transport.
  • Accommodation Engine primarily helps students find accommodation abroad but also assists with other aspects of living, studying and working abroad.

Have a look at the British Council , Erasmus intern and working abroad webpages.

If you spend the first semester of your second year abroad you are unlikely to be offered university managed accommodation for your second semester at Surrey. It is best to use Student Pad or the Surrey Lettings Agency or get in contact with students who are going second semester for a house share. If you are abroad for your placement year then you will be treated the same as all other students who are returning from placement for final year accommodation. Please watch out for the emails from your Placement Tutor or the Accommodation team.

For further advice please email  

The University has its own University of Surrey Lettings (USL), a joint internal lettings agency.  To get in touch with the USL lettings team please email or phone 01483 681111. You can also request access to our University of Surrey Lettings Facebook page

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