Financial Planning

Costs

Erasmus does not come free, and the costs vary from country to country, and according to the period of time you spend abroad. While you are not charged for tuition at the host university, you will need to budget for flights, accommodation, food and other general expenses. Some countries are more expensive than others, as are some cities, and the level of extra expenditure involved will also depend on whether you are currently living at home. If you are, you will find that accommodation will become a major cost. However, if you are already paying rent here in Galway, you will probably find that accommodation costs are cheaper abroad than they are here in Ireland. In some countries you may be entitled to some financial assistance towards the cost of your rent. For example, in France you may be able to get a substantial rent rebate of up to approx. 50%. Your host university will have details on the procedure for applying for this. A rough estimate of costs for a 9-10 month period abroad could be around €7,000 including rent, food, books and other essentials. However, much will depend on your own particular needs and budgeting skills. You will also need to keep in mind travel costs, including two return flights, as most students who are away for the full academic year return home for the Christmas holiday period. Some students may find that they have to pay a fee to the host university for special language classes for Erasmus students.

Funding/Mobility Grants

On the plus side you may receive an Erasmus mobility grant towards the cost of your study visit. The grant amount will be either €200 or €250 per month, depending on your destination country. If approved to receive a grant, you will receive a certificate of Erasmus status from the International Affairs Office and you may be required to show this to the authorities at your host university. You should complete an Erasmus Grant Application Form, available from the International Affairs Office.

If you are currently on a County Council/Local Authority/SUSI maintenance grant you can usually continue to avail of this while abroad. Where the maintenance component of a grant or scholarship has been based on the assumption that you are living at home, the increased ’away from home’ grant may be paid to you while you are abroad. The grant awarding authority may require a letter from the department which is nominating you, indicating that your period of study abroad is "compulsory" and "an integral part of the course" that you are doing. As your maintenance cheque is sent to the Fees Office in NUI Galway you will need to inform the Fees Office, in writing, of where you wish your grant cheque to be sent while you are abroad. You do this by filling out the form you will find on the Fees Office website. Please note that you will also have to make arrangements with the Fees Office regarding signing for the Government Free Fees scheme; this should be done when you return to Ireland at the end of your year abroad and before you resume your final year studies.

Now that you are aware of the costs you are likely to encounter you can start planning ahead. Discuss everything with your parents or guardians well in advance. Start saving early to ensure that you have adequate funds to support yourself while you are abroad. (Note: All EU citizens are entitled to work in other EU member state.)

Students with disabilities or special needs may be entitled to apply for extra funds from the Erasmus programme. Please contact the International Affairs Office, NUI Galway for further details.

Important

Please note that the minimum duration of an Erasmus study visit is 3 months. If you do not complete this minimum duration, you will be obliged to return your mobility grant to the International Affairs Office, NUI Galway.
If for some reason you have to withdraw from the Erasmus programme after you have been issued with your grant, please inform the International Affairs Office, NUI Galway, immediately. You must also inform the Admissions Office and the Fees Office at NUI Galway.

Piggy Bank

How the grant will be paid: your Erasmus grant will be paid in two instalments, the first and largest of these at the beginning of your study period, and the remainder after the satisfactory completion of the study period, provided all paperwork is in order and the online final report has been submitted. The money will be transferred to your Irish bank account and students will be notified by e-mail when the payments are being made.

Some important forms need to be completed in relation to your grant, and you should ensure that you return these promptly to the International Affairs Office:

  • Certificate of Arrival - your grant can only be paid when this form has been returned to the International Affairs Office, so please don't delay in getting it signed and stamped when you arrive at your host university. Please go to the News and Updates page for a link to this and more information.
  • Individual Acknowledgement of the Student Mobility Grant form: you must sign one of these forms in respect of each grant instalment you receive, and return the form to the International Affairs Office, NUI Galway to confirm receipt of your grant. Please go to the News and Updates page for a link to this document..
  • Certificate of Confirmation of Attendance, which should be completed, signed and stamped by your host university at the end of your study period abroad. This certificate must be returned to the International Affairs Office, NUI Galway, as proof that you have attended the host university for the duration of your approved study period. A copy is provided in your information booklet, and you can also download it from our News and Updates page.

Your final grant instalment cannot be paid until this and all other paperwork has been submitted to the International Affairs Office.

Other important documents which you will need to comploete and return:

  •  Learning Agreement (see "Academic Procedures") – return this to your departmental coordinator at NUI Galway and update in Semester 2 if necessary.
  • Student Final Report - you will receive a request for this by e-mail from the European Commission, and you will have to complete the report online.
  • Student Narrative Report – not compulsory, but very useful and greatly appreciated by future students! 

PLEASE REMEMBER that the relevant paperwork must always be returned to this office in a timely fashion; successive grant payments will not be made in cases where there is paperwork outstanding.