Financing your future is a common problem
One of the biggest obstacles to students financing their continued education is money, especially if you want to study abroad. Postgraduate degrees – and experience of living and working in another country – are increasingly essential for building and maintaining a competitive CV.
A Master’s abroad can provide excellent professional, personal and academic experience – the kind of experience that can give an individual a much-needed edge in today’s global marketplace. But continuing your education should not leave you with unmanageable debt after finishing your degree.
If you’ve been accepted to a master’s course abroad - and are looking for a way to navigate tuition and living expenses – an Erasmus+ Master Degree Loan may help.
What is an Erasmus+ Master Degree Loan?
Erasmus+ Master Degree Loans are EU-guaranteed loans with favourable pay-back terms. They’re designed to help prospective students finance their Master’s courses in an Erasmus+ Programme country while leaving as little of a lasting economic footprint as possible.
The scheme is designed to provide postgraduate students with the means to pay their tuition and living expenses – thereby allowing individuals to focus on their degree instead of managing their bank balance. The programme aims to be as inclusive as possible, working under the following guidelines:
- No need for collateral from students or parents - ensuring equality of access
- Favourable, better-than-market interest rates
- Pay-back terms that allow graduates up to two years to find work before beginning repayment.
Prospective Master students can receive a loan of up to €12,000 for a 1-year Master or up to €18,000 for a 2-year Master (or equivalent amounts in foreign currency for banks in non-Euro countries, subject to exchange rates).
Where are Erasmus+ Master Degree Loans Available?
Currently the scheme is made available to students who are resident in the following programme countries - and who are seeking to study abroad in another programme country:
- Italy (Emilia Romagna region)
Students from other Programme countries can apply to study in Spain for a Master course. The University of Luxembourg and the University of Cyprus are providing loan equivalents for incoming students from all other Programme countries to study for a Master course at these universities.
For clarity, instead of a financial loan the universities are offering in-kind services (tuition fees, housing costs, etc.) which can be repaid after graduation. As for the direct loan, the EU guarantee applies – hence no collateral is required.
This list of participating intermediaries is expected to grow as financial institutions and universities join the scheme. This will most likely be a gradual process: check this page for updates to programme availability.
Who can apply?
Prospective students must:
- Live in a Programme country
- Have completed a Bachelor-level (or equivalent) qualification before applying
- Have been accepted (before applying) to a full Master programme in another country. The university offering the programme must hold the Erasmus+ Charter of Higher Education
The Erasmus+ Master Loan intends to support full Master studies by Programme country residents in a country other than either their country of residence OR the country where they received their first qualification. Students only studying abroad for part of their Master’s may still qualify for an Erasmus+ grant.
How to apply
Prospective students should apply through the financial institution, the universities or online, submitting the following documentation:
- Certificate of completion of the last degree you have completed prior to the Master degree you are applying for
- A receipt for the enrolment fee OR documentary proof of admission and of the cost of the Master course
Each lending institution will have different terms and conditions – but all institutions will provide interest rates that are significantly lower than commercial rates. Students will therefore need to visit the specific bank or lending institution’s webpage - where they will be able to review specific terms and conditions. These are listed below:
- MicroBank (outgoing & incoming students from/to Spain)
- Emil Banca Credito Cooperativo (established in the Emilia Romagna region in Italy - outgoing students from Italy)
- QNB Finansbank (outgoing students from Turkey)
- FINS, part of Educativa Group (outgoing students from Romania)
- PBZ - Privredna Banka Zagreb (outgoing students from Croatia)
- University of Luxembourg (incoming students into Luxembourg only)
- University of Cyprus (incoming students into the Republic of Cyprus only)
The ‘Master Loans Beneficiaries Report 2018’ provides a summary of the feed-back by participating students for the 2015-2018 period.
Background information on Erasmus+ Degree Master Loans is available from the European Investment Fund.