SOAS University of London

International Students

Outgoing SOAS Students


With the UK due to leave the EU at the end of October 2019, we understand that many students will have questions around how this will affect Erasmus+ mobility placements in Europe. The UK’s continued participation in Erasmus beyond October 2019 is one of the things being discussed in the Brexit negotiations. While we hope that SOAS will be able to continue our involvement until the end of the current project in 2020, this will likely depend on developments over the next few months.

If the UK parliament passes the Withdrawal Agreement before the UK leaves, it might still be possible 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. A 'no deal' scenario could also mean that UK universities would no longer be eligible to be part of the Erasmus+ scheme. 

We will keep students informed of any developments about participation in the Erasmus+ scheme as these become clearer and this page will be updated as further information is announced.

Last updated: 30 July 2019

How can I take part in the Erasmus Programme?

If you are enrolled at SOAS on a full-time degree programme and wish to study in another EU or EEA country, you can apply to participate in the Erasmus programme. 

The School must have a formal agreement with an appropriate partner institution in one of the eligible countries, it must be in the subject area(s) of your degree and the institution must have an Erasmus Charter. Your Erasmus placement can only be taken at one university - not at multiple institutions.

Steps you will need to follow:
  • Investigate the Erasmus institution you are planning to go to
  • Prepare a proposed study package which covers at least 60 ECTS points and the subjects you would have studied at SOAS. You should be able to find lists of available modules on the webpage of the Erasmus institution you wish to study at and you can contact them directly if you need further information.
  • Obtain support and approval from your Undergraduate Tutor - they will need to sign the relevant part of the SOAS application form.
  • Complete the SOAS application form - and submit before the deadline below
  • Ensure that your language proficiency is sufficient
  • There are a limited number of Erasmus placements each year so early application is advised.
Placement Year 18/19 17/18 16/17 15/16 14/15
Number of Enquiries ongoing 22 12 23 25
Number of Applications ongoing 11 4 7 9
Number of Student Mobility Placements & Grants Available **5 (3 available for competitive application, 2 reserved)**tbc 5 5 5 5
Number of Outgoing Students *tbc 3 2 4 5
Countries hosting Outgoing Students *tbc France, Turkey France France, Turkey France, Netherlands, Turkey

If you are provisionally selected you will be contacted to complete an Erasmus Learning Agreement and the Erasmus Student Mobility Grant agreement.

Who can apply?


Undergraduate students can only participate in the Erasmus exchange in Year 2 of their three-year undergraduate degree and can only study abroad for a full academic year (not just one term).  In order to apply, interested students should contact their academic advisor in Term 1 of their first year.

Undergraduate students following four year language degrees which involve a language year abroad are unable to be able to participate in the Erasmus scheme since you will already be spending a year away from SOAS.


Unfortunately, given the structure of the full-time Masters degrees at SOAS, it is not possible for Masters students to apply to the Erasmus programme. 

Research degree students may be able to take part, and for periods of between three and twelve months. Applicants should apply in Term 1 of the year before their proposed Erasmus exchange.

What other criteria do I need to satisfy to be eligible to undertake an Erasmus placement?

You must:

  • be registered on a full-time degree programme at SOAS
  • pass all Year 1 courses (without September retake examinations) and be eligible to progress to Year 2 of the SOAS degree
  • not be on a 4 year language degree (with year abroad) or the LLB as these degrees are not eligible for Erasmus
  • be an EU national or a national of an EEA country
  • not have received a previous Erasmus grant
  • have a strong working knowledge and competency in the language of the proposed placement institution if courses there are not taught in English
  • submit a satisfactory rationale, detailing the academic reasons for wishing to undertake the year of study at the Erasmus university rather than at SOAS
  • complete the SOAS Outbound Erasmus application form, detailing your proposed study package to a total of 60 ECTS points, by the deadline below

Will the Erasmus study period count towards my final degree?

If you undertake an Erasmus placement, you will receive formal academic recognition for your study period abroad. Undergraduates who successfully complete an Erasmus year abroad will be credited with four course units to count towards their overall degree requirements (in a way similar to how first year study is credited). However, actual marks achieved during the Erasmus placement will not be counted and students’ degree classification will be based on their final year marks (for further information, see your degree regulations). 

For research degree students, the placement period counts towards the overall registration period of the student’s degree.

What subjects can I study?

As indicated above, the Erasmus study placement period counts towards your degree. It is not an additional year or a year out, either in academic or funding terms. Undergraduate degree students must study courses that their department(s) and the relevant Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) are prepared to accept as equivalent to (but not necessarily the same as) the four courses they would have studied at SOAS during that year. Where the curriculum determines that compulsory courses must be studied, equivalent courses must be studied during the placement. The Associate Dean will need to be satisfied that the non-standard syllabus will permit the student to undertake Year 3 courses in the SOAS syllabus on return.  The student must supply a strong academic rationale for a variation from the normal Year 2 syllabus for his or her degree.

How fluent must I be in the language of the country I wish to study in?

Although you would expect to improve your language skills during an Erasmus placement, you will almost certainly need to have a working knowledge of the language in advance to enable you to study your degree subject(s) in that language. Your department(s) and Associate Dean will bear this in mind when considering your study proposal. Some European partner institutions do teach certain subjects in English - see the Outbound Erasmus Institution subject areas attachment on this page.

How are applications assessed?

The assessment of the application will be based on:

  • the completed SOAS Outbound Erasmus application form, detailing your proposed study package to a total of 60 ECTS points
  • the statement of the rationale for wishing to undertake an Erasmus year 
  • current academic progress and Year 1 course results
  • as well as other relevant information in the application form

The School will wish to be satisfied that there are bona fide academic reasons for wishing to undertake the Erasmus year; that the Erasmus university must be able to provide a year of study as close as possible in standard and content to the equivalent year of the SOAS degree;  that students will be able to cope in a different learning and teaching environment and will have a reasonable chance of successfully completing the year of study;  and that the completed year will permit smooth progression to the final year of the degree back at SOAS.

What does it cost? 


Undergraduate students who spend a full year in a partner institution in 2018-19 will pay a reduced Home/EU tuition fee of £1385 to SOAS for that year and no tuition fees to the partner institution. 

Research students pay tuition fees to SOAS in the normal way but do not pay tuition fees to the institution they are visiting.

Other costs

Obviously, during your period of study in the partner institution you will need to pay for residence and general living costs and entertainment. While in some countries this may be more expensive than in the UK, in many countries the reductions for students means that it costs no more, and often significantly less, but this does vary so you need to check on costs. 

Student grants and loans

During your study period you will be eligible to continue to receive any student grant or loan (including from the Student Loans Company) to which you are normally entitled, from national or other sources. 

The Erasmus Student Mobility Grant

You may be eligible to receive an Erasmus grant which contributes towards the extra costs arising from studying abroad but it will not cover all normal student living expenses and it is not automatic. Erasmus grants are paid by SOAS, which receives an allocation from the UK National Agency (the British Council) for distribution to students. It must be remembered that as the grant is cash limited there may be situations in which you will not receive an Erasmus grant. In return students are asked to write reports on their experience.

The mobility grant will be paid in two instalments. The first payment is made once we have confirmation that you have enrolled at your receiving Erasmus Institution. The second payment will be made at the end of the placement subject to you providing the necessary documentation and completing your Erasmus report.

For 2018/19 the monthly equivalent rate is predicted to be €330 for higher cost of living countries. 

How do I apply?

This completed application form should be submitted to:  Outbound Erasmus Administrator, School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London), Registry, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG as soon as possible but no later than 18 April 2018.

All candidates will be notified by e-mail regarding the outcome of their application by the end of June.  If you have not heard from us by mid-July, please contact the Outbound Erasmus Administrator at

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Outbound Erasmus Application form

Complete and return to the Outbound Erasmus Administrator 

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Outbound Erasmus arrival and departure form

Outbound Erasmus arrival and departure form. 

Complete and return to the Outbound Erasmus Administrator at

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Outbound Erasmus Institution subject areas

Please open to review the subject areas you can study at our Erasmus partner institutions.

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