How Do I Apply
As a first step in applying to go on exchange, it’s important to think about what an exchange involves – going to new places, seeing a new university and discovering new styles of learning. Are you ready to go overseas and discover a new life for yourself?
When deciding whether or not to go on exchange, you need to think about how you plan to meet the cost involved in going away, and also think about the academic planning involved in meeting your course requirements when overseas. All students need to dedicate the necessary time and attention in advance to plan their exchange well. Please note that students cannot go on non-approved programmes for Study Abroad.
How to Apply to Non-EU Exchanges
Going on a non-EU (College-wide) exchange requires you to work with three key people: the Academic Coordinator(s) in your School for everything academic; the non-EU exchange coordinator in the Academic Registry; and the Exchange Officer in your host university.
College-wide exchanges are not focused on a department-department exchange like Erasmus+ exchanges. They are open to students from most departments across College. You might be the first student from your course to go on an exchange to your host university, so your Departmental Coordinator may not have prior experience with that university or knowledge of the modules they offer in your discipline. They will be able to tell you if your department has a strict requirement for specific modules you need to complete in third year so you can be admitted to modules you want to do in fourth year.
The non-EU exchange coordinator will be able to advise you on any restrictions that might apply to students applying to study at your host institution. The Exchange Officer at the host university is able to advise on everything on the host university’s side.
- Research Universities available to you and read our FAQ section.
- Attend information sessions at the Global Room and the Academic Registry.
- Talk to your Departmental Co-ordinator to find out which type of exchange is the best option for you.
- As you get closer to the deadline – attend a walk-in Q&A Clinic to answer any specific queries you might have.
- Download an Application form, fill it out, with your top eight colleges listed in order of preference, ask your Departmental Co-ordinator to sign it, and submit it, together with your Freshman (1st year) exams’ transcript, to the Academic Registry (AR) for nomination.
Please be aware that your host university is unlikely to have a course exactly the same as what you study at Trinity, so you may have to be flexible in which departments you are sourcing courses from at your new host university: where, for example, Art History does not exist as a department, you could look at taking courses in history of art offered through a Fine Arts department!
Trinity students usually go on exchange in their third year, but start planning in advance! Different timelines apply for Engineering students.
Junior Fresh / 1st year:
Investigate the options available to you, talk to current students going abroad in their 3rd year, meet inbound international students studying abroad at Trinity and discover what makes going on exchange such an amazing experience!
Senior Fresh / 2nd year:
- Attend general information sessions
- Research opportunities – use the university partner list to research your options and speak to your Academic Exchange Co-ordinator.
- Attend region-specific information sessions
- Choose your top eight exchange destinations
Go to drop-in Study Abroad clinics with any specific queries. The deadline for application is mid-November, so keep an eye on social media for updates on clinic dates and times!
Find out which exchange destination you’ve been nominated for, and once nominated, make your application to the partner university by their deadline.
Attend mandatory pre-departure training. Apply for your visa for visa-requiring countries. Make sure you have appropriate health and travel insurance for your time overseas. Get ready to go!
June – September
Register as usual for Junior Sophister/ 3rd year at Trinity, but get ready for a completely unique experience! Oh and while you are away – keep up your grades! Credits gained during your semester or year abroad will transfer back to Trinity and count towards your final year. Remember you’re also an ambassador for Trinity when you’re abroad!
September (…a year later)
Register for Senior Sophister/ Final year at Trinity!
Studying overseas as part of your Trinity degree can be an amazing experience, but it can also involve costs you need to budget for. Students going on exchange to Asia are eligible for the Provost’s Asian Travel Bursary and many students are eligible for Erasmus+ grants to help offset the expense of studying abroad, but you will need to budget for the following costs:
- Potential visa charges
- Health and travel insurance (all students must carry adequate insurance – some universities, particularly in North America, require visiting students to take out their on-campus medical insurance policy)
- Vaccinations, if needed!
- Medical checkups
- Accommodation costs (these are often lower than in Dublin, but can vary considerably)
- Living costs (Some countries may require you to satisfy you have access to a certain amount of funding before you can have a visa approved)
- Bedding packs (cheaper to buy in-country than to try and transport a duvet cover along with your favourite teddy-bear)
- Food (do you plan on eating a lot?
- Books (these can cost considerably more in some countries
- Local transport (e.g. will you take public transport, walk, buy a bike?)
- Whether or not you’re legally allowed to work in the new country when you’re on exchange?
Research opportunities abroad. Attend region-specific information sessions Go to drop-in clinics! Apply!
Go to drop-in Study Abroad clinics. The deadline for application is mid-November, so keep an eye on social media!
Find out which exchange you’ve been nominated for! Start thinking about the applications to the intended institution
Attend mandatory pre-departure training! Get ready to go!
June – September
Register as usual for Junior Sophister/ 3rd year at Trinity, but Study Abroad for a completely unique experience!
September (a year later)
Register for Senior Sophister/ Final year at Trinity!
How to Apply to EU (Erasmus) Exchange
Students who are interested in applying for Erasmus must first be nominated. This involves approaching the Erasmus Academic Coordinator in your department/school and expressing interest in the program.
The Erasmus coordinator will then review your application based on your grades and where you wish to go. S/he will contact you directly in January/February with an offer. The Academic Registry will be in further contact with the next steps in the process.
- Apply for nomination from your academic coordinator(s) in your department. If you are a TSM student you will need permission from both departments.
- Once nominated, the Academic Registry will contact you to fill in an online form. The details are needed for your Erasmus grant application.
- Candidates will be asked to apply directly to the host university. The application procedure will be sent to you via email by the host institution. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure they submit their application by the deadline for the host university.
- Please attend the predeparture meeting for all Erasmus students. Further details will be communicated to you in April/May. At this meeting, we will discuss the paperwork you need to sign for the Erasmus grant.
- Before your departure you will be required to fill in a permission form to be signed by your academic coordinator(s) and returned to the Academic Registry. Further details will be sent to you by email in due course.
Going on Erasmus with a Disability
Students registered with the Disability Service who are applying for the Erasmus programme should contact their disability officer to discuss how best to prepare for Erasmus including disclosing a disability to a host university and seeking reasonable accommodations. This is best done as soon as possible after application and not left until the summer. Details on how to register with the Disability Service is available on the Disability Service website.
Further details on preparation, including a checklist is available at Disability Service Erasmus page. Also, the Erasmus programme may allocate additional funding to help support students with a disability, who wish to take part in an ERASMUS+ exchange, and who might otherwise be prevented from doing so.
Department exchanges and contact persons
Each department participating in the Erasmus programme has a designated Erasmus Coordinator. There may be other staff members in the Department dealing with partner universities, but the listed coordinator is the initial point of contact.
Most Departments organise a meeting for all students who are eligible to participate in the Erasmus programme and discuss with them application procedures and the course details of their different partner universities. Some Departments have an Erasmus handbook and the departmental Executive Officer/Secretary will advise you on this.
The Study Abroad staff in the Academic Registry are also available to answer any questions you have. Students can make an appointment to meet them by logging a ticket through the MyTCD portal.
Students who are interested in working abroad can apply for an Erasmus traineeship. Typically, students choose to do so during the summer.
The traineeship must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the Erasmus grant:
- You must be a registered student of Trinity College Dublin.
- It is important that the work placement/traineeship documents show that you will be working with the organisation/enterprise for a minimum of two calendar months (completed no later than 30 September 2017). If you are an undergraduate student the placement must be completed before the commencement of Teaching Term.
- You must receive academic recognition for the period of the work placement either through ECTS or as an insertion on your academic transcript. This must be confirmed by your TCD Department Academic Erasmus Coordinator by completing one of the boxes in the section for ‘the sending institution’ in the first part of the Learning Agreement for Traineeships (Before the Mobility) and by signing the section ‘Commitment of the Three Parties’ at the end of the ‘Before the Mobility’ section. (The Coordinator is the responsible person of sending institution).
- The work placement/traineeship should be full-time and must be related to your degree programme and therefore it is important that you discuss the placement with your Academic Erasmus Coordinator in your TCD department and he/she must sign the Application Form. For students who are participating in an Erasmus Work Placement/Traineeship programme through a formal TCD bilateral agreement (for example Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy) the mobility programme may already be agreed.
- The following types of organisations are not eligible as host organisations:
- European institutions (such as the European Commission and the European Parliament)
- Organisations managing EU programmes (such as National Agencies) in order to avoid possible conflict of interests and/or dual funding
- National diplomatic representation (embassy/consulate) of the student in the host country.
- You MUST have insurance that covers you in the workplace, as the European Health Insurance Card may not be sufficient. Please read carefully the section about Insurance (Article 5) on the TCD Erasmus Grant Agreement. We will require confirmation that you are properly insured.
- If you are participating in an Erasmus Study Programme at present, and are planning an Erasmus Work Placement/Traineeship in the summer months, the dates of the two Erasmus periods must not overlap (unless you are participating in a combined Study/Work Placement Programme).
- You must also provide a certificate from your employer at the end of the Work Placement confirming the dates of the employment and that you have carried out the programme of work outlined in the Learning Agreement.
- When you have completed the Erasmus Work Placement, you will be required to complete a final report form. The Erasmus team will forward this to you by email.
Students are entitled to the Erasmus grant for traineeships should they meet the criteria above. It is the responsibility of the applicant to secure their own placement abroad. The following grant documentation will need to be filled in and signed by you and/or your academic coordinator.
- Learning Agreement for traineeships
- Grant Agreement for traineeships
- Confirmation of Arrival/Departure for traineeships
Students must invest in personal liability insurance while on exchange.
If you are an Irish resident you are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there.
We encourage all students to apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The card is valid for up to two years and provides basic healthcare cover in EU countries.
Full information and an application form for the EHIC can be found on the EHIC website. Citizens Information has Travel abroad information which also covers the EHIC. If you already have a EHIC card, it may be renewed on line.
Participants in the Erasmus program should have adequate health insurance. Cover provided through the European Health Insurance Card may not be sufficient, especially in the case of repatriation and specific medical intervention. It is recommended that you extend your parents'/guardians’ personal health insurance to cover you adequately while abroad.
Students participating in the Erasmus Work Placement Programme/Traineeships must have accident insurance coverage related the workplace and should include repatriation cover.
Choosing Your Classes
Be clear about the courses your TCD department(s) require you to take in your host university. Attend any information sessions for Erasmus students planned by your Department. If there is not an information session (as in the case in the smaller exchange departments) talk to your academic coordinator.
The partner universities usually have a list of available classes for Erasmus students on their website. Read this information carefully and note any restrictions that may apply to you. You may wish to try out a couple of extra courses at your host university in the first week or two of the term/semester to see which courses you will choose. As soon as you have settled on a course loading, complete the Learning Agreement, send it to the Erasmus Coordinator at home and ask them to approve your choices by email.
It is most important to ensure that you receive sufficient credit at your host university to rise with your year at Trinity following your return from abroad. A minimum of 45 ECTS or equivalent is needed on a full year exchange to progress, semester exchanges need a minimum of 22.5 ECTS or equivalent.
Online Linguistic Support (OLS)
The OLS is a complimentary language course offered by the European Commission to all participants of Erasmus. Students are given a course in the local language of the country they are visiting and can test themselves to see their progress.
The login details for OLS are provided to students approximately 4 weeks prior to the commencement of their mobility.
Online Linguistic Support (OLS) is an online tool that consists of two parts:
- A compulsory language test that determines your language proficiency and
- Online language courses (voluntary)
The OLS language assessment is also a quick way for participants to know whether they might need additional linguistic support, to make the most out of their exchange experience. Completing the OLS language assessment before departure is a pre-requisite for an Erasmus+ exchange. However, in no case will the results of the assessment prevent you from taking part in the program. Indeed, participants with lower language skills will have a greater chance of being offered a language course, to be best prepared for their mobility.
By taking the second OLS language assessment upon return from their mobility, Erasmus+ participants will have the opportunity to evaluate how their language level has developed during their stay abroad and to quantify their progress. This must be completed before the final grant payment will be issued.
Erasmus+ OLS language courses require no installation and thus can be followed from any computer or tablet, provided that the device is connected to the Internet. There is no restriction on the number of times a student can access the course, allowing participants to study at their own pace.
Registration at Trinity College/Fees
While abroad you are still a registered student of Trinity College and you must pay the usual Trinity fees or Student Contribution. You will need to pay the sports centre levy and student contribution charge as usual. Erasmus students do not pay fees at their host university. SUSI grant recipients will continue to receive the maintenance grant while on exchange. If the exchange is a mandatory part of your degree, you may be entitled to additional support from SUSI. For further details please contact SUSI directly.
Students who are registered with the disability office may also be eligible for supplementary support.
Continuing students will be invited to register on-line for new academic year at the beginning of September. Students can access their my.tcd.ie portal with their existing username and password. All students must complete the online course registration process in full, up to and including Terms and Conditions. Please note that payment of tuition fees/student contribution alone does not mean you are registered. You must complete the online registration process in full.
As a student, you will no doubt already be aware of the need to budget. It is even more important to plan a budget before going abroad. You will be eligible to apply for an Erasmus Mobility Grant, but remember that the first instalment of this grant will not be sent to you until after you arrive in your host country.
The grant is intended as a mobility grant which helps cover travel to the country and the difference in the cost of living between that country and Ireland. It is not intended to be a maintenance grant. Students who normally live at home while at Trinity will have to consider carefully the financial implications of a stay abroad. Students who rent in Dublin often find that student accommodation abroad is cheaper than here.
Costs between one country and another vary considerably and some students live more frugally than others. An average figure for the cost of a nine month stay abroad would be approximately €6000 (not including travel there and back). Students do however have very differing needs and expectations. It is very important that you consider the financial implications of an Erasmus stay abroad and that you talk it over with your parents/guardians, or plan in advance to support yourself. Seek advice from your bank about managing your funds while abroad, and to ensure that your Bank card has been coded in such a way that it may be used in ATMs abroad. This means that if money is being sent out from home, it can be lodged directly to your account and will allow you to withdraw cash from your account while you are abroad.
Try to work out a sensible budget per month and bear in mind that the first month will bring a certain amount of extra costs e.g. deposit on accommodation, travel pass, some extra household items, phone calls, text books, other deposits etc. Many students choose to travel during the holiday periods and weekends while on Erasmus, this is another factor to consider in your budget.
Erasmus Mobility Grant
The Erasmus Mobility Grant is issued by European Commission through the National Agency in Ireland and the universities have no control over the amount allocated. In order to receive the Erasmus grant you must complete the Erasmus Grant Agreement Form and a signed hardcopy must be submitted to the Academic Registry. A scanned or photocopied agreement will not be accepted.
The amount of the grant varies from year to year and from country to country. For more information on the grant rates, please see the following website:
Full year exchange students will receive the grant in three instalments. The first instalment will be transferred to your bank account shortly after we receive both the Confirmation of Arrival form and the Erasmus Grant Agreement from you. These forms will be sent to you in an information pack before departure. You will receive a smaller payment in February. The final grant will be issued at the end of the exchange, following receipt of the Confirmation of Departure form and the completion of the Participant Report by the student.
Semester exchanges will receive the grant in two instalments, after arrival and departure according to the same terms as above.
A list of the grant documentation can be downloaded at the following links:
- Learning Agreement (studies)
- Learning Agreement (traineeships)
- Grant Agreement (studies)
- Grant agreement (traineeships)
- Confirmation of Arrival/Departure (studies)
- Confirmation of Arrival/Departure (traineeships)
The above documentation can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org Photographs are not accepted, please send scanned versions only. The grant agreement form must be posted/hand delivered to the Academic Registry service desk with original signatures.
If for any reason you withdraw from the Erasmus program earlier than planned, and after you have been issued with the first Erasmus Grant, you must contact the Erasmus staff immediately so they can update your student record.
When you return to Ireland it is important that you keep in touch with the Academic Registry. You will have to complete a Final Report for the final grant payment. Candidates will be sent an email prompt to complete this.
These conversion tables are intended to be used to convert the marks and credits of Trinity students who return from an Erasmus.
It is recommended that the tables should be adopted across College, however it is recognized that they will need to be reviewed on an annual basis and Schools/Disciplines that have more refined tables, for instance for universities within a specific country, may continue to use them if they are broadly in line with the grade categories in these tables. These new tables replace any existing College conversion schemes.