Study abroad, placement and mobility


On the 23 March 2020, the FCO COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory notice was updated, and the UK Government is now advising all UK nationals travelling abroad to come home while commercial flights are still available.

The University's insurance provider, UMAL have released an update to clarify that if you remain in country, against current FCO advice, your insurance cover is at risk. Note that UMAL are one of the largest insurers for all UK universities and so there are clear consequences to this, not least of all for any medical cover.

The University will meet the costs of your return flight home. Full details of the travel provider, Key Travel are below.


If we don’t answer your question

If you have a question which is not answered here, please submit a query and a member of staff will be in touch.

Go to enquiry form  

Coronavirus webinar for study abroad students

We will be running a webinar for study abroad students every Tuesday at 1330hrs (BST) where the Global Mobility team will be available to answer any questions you may have.

Please register to join the webinar on Zoom

You can also submit your questions in advance of the webinar.


Travel

  • How to book your travel with key travel

    If you would like to return home early, you can book through the University travel provider: Key Travel.

    Key Travel have a list of all Ulster students currently on an international study or work placement (outside of ROI).

    Immediate travel requirements

    During UK office hours

    Mon-Fri 8.45-17.30 / Sat 9.00-13.00

    Call +44 (0) 161 819 9773

    Outside UK office hours

    If travel needs to take place urgently

    Call + 44 (0) 20 7843 9602

    You will need to advise that you are an Ulster student covered by Repatriation – confirming your location, travel needs and contact details.

    Non-Immediate travel requirements

    Email  ulster@keytravel.com

    Subject line should read “Repatriation Ulster 2020 + name & date of required travel”

    You will need to advise your travel need and contact details

    Key Travel will be prioritising requests by date of travel not by date of request


Study Abroad/ Erasmus

  • I am on an Erasmus+ study placement but would like to return home early. What should I do?

    The COVID-19 situation is moving quickly, and we understand this may be causing disruption to your placement or you may have concerns about remaining abroad.

    On the 23 March 2020, the FCO COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory notice was updated, and the UK Government is now advising all UK nationals travelling abroad to come home while commercial flights are still available.

    The University's insurance provider, UMAL have released an update to clarify that if you remain in country, against current FCO advice, your insurance cover is at risk. Note that UMAL are one of the largest insurers for all UK universities and so there are clear consequences to this, not least of all for any medical cover.

    The University will meet the costs of your return flight home. Full details of the travel provider, Key Travel are below.

    1. Please follow advice from local healthcare authorities, the FCO and your host university so you know it is safe to travel.
    2. Notify your host university and confirm whether it will be possible to complete any remaining lectures/assessment remotely.
    3. Contact your accommodation provider if applicable
    4. Contact your Ulster studies advisor who will be able to provide you with information related to alternative assessment or credit transfer in relation to your DIAS. No student will be disadvantaged in terms of assessed outcomes as a result of a period of disruption and where required the University Policy on Assessment in Times of Disruption will be applied.
    5. Notify the Global Mobility team at Ulster (erasmus@ulster.ac.uk) who will be able to confirm what documents you need to complete before returning; this will include the ‘After’ mobility section of your Learning Agreement. The Global Mobility team will also confirm what your total Erasmus+ grant is and whether any repayment will be required.
    6. Make arrangements to return home and book flights. If you have not already booked a return flight, you can choose to book this via Key Travel.
  • I am on an ISEP placement but would like to return home early. What should I do?

    The COVID-19 situation is moving quickly, and we understand this may be causing disruption to your placement or you may have concerns about remaining abroad.

    On the 23 March 2020, the FCO COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory notice was updated, and the UK Government is now advising all UK nationals travelling abroad to come home while commercial flights are still available.

    The University's insurance provider, UMAL have released an update to clarify that if you remain in country, against current FCO advice, your insurance cover is at risk. Note that UMAL are one of the largest insurers for all UK universities and so there are clear consequences to this, not least of all for any medical cover.

    The University will meet the costs of your return flight home. Full details of the travel provider, Key Travel are below.

    1. Please follow advice from local healthcare authorities, the FCO and your host university so you know it is safe to travel.
    2. Notify your host university and confirm whether it will be possible to complete any remaining lectures/assessment remotely.
    3. Contact your accommodation provider if applicable
    4. Contact your Ulster studies advisor who will be able to provide you with information related to alternative assessment or credit transfer in relation to your DIAS. No student will be disadvantaged in terms of assessed outcomes as a result of a period of disruption and where required the University Policy on Assessment in Times of Disruption will be applied.
    5. Notify the Global Mobility team at Ulster (studyabroad@ulster.ac.uk) who will be able to confirm what documents you need to complete before returning as well as confirm details of any outstanding ISEP fee.
    6. Make arrangements to return home and book flights. If you have not already booked a return flight, you can choose to book this via Key Travel.
  • I am on a Study USA placement but would like to return home early. What should I do?

    On the 20 March 2019, the British Council and Department for the Economy made the decision to recall all Study USA students from the US and we thank you for taking swift action to return home. They also provided the following:

    “We appreciate that many of you are concerned about finishing your course of study and being able to successfully complete the year. Some US colleges are able to provide online classes, but for others this is proving tricky to do. In order to ensure fairness and equality of access to remote learning, and that no student is disadvantaged at this time, the Department has asked that we halt all further classes and assessment with the US colleges for your cohort.

    This means that you do not need to access online classes or take any assessment remotely. Instead, you will successfully graduate from the Study USA programme if you meet the following criteria:

    • To date, have achieved the minimum 3.0 GPA
    • Complete the end-of-year project required by Ulster for your DIAS
    • Complete the Personal Development Portfolio including multi-media presentation.

    Whilst we appreciate that many of you were keen to engage in the distance learning, this will no longer be required. You are, of course, welcome to complete your classes online for your own interest if you wish.”

    The Global Mobility team at Ulster have made a note of your return.

    You should now comply with the instructions above and contact your Ulster studies advisor who will be able to provide you with information related to alternative assessment or credit transfer in relation to your DIAS. No student will be disadvantaged in terms of assessed outcomes as a result of a period of disruption and where required the University Policy on Assessment in Times of Disruption will be applied.

  • My host university has postponed the semester. Should I return home early?

    Many Universities are taking these measures as a precaution even though there may be no known cases of COVID-19 on their campus at the time. If your teaching has been postponed, we strongly advise that you return home. There is, at present, no clear indication when many universities will recommence formal teaching and further disruption is likely. No student will suffer academic disadvantage as a result of having to cut short their placement in the current circumstances.

    On the 23 March 2020, the FCO COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory notice was updated, and the UK Government is now advising all UK nationals travelling abroad to come home while commercial flights are still available.

    Details of the University insurance

    The University's insurance provider, UMAL have released an update to clarify that if you remain in country, against current FCO advice, your insurance cover is at risk. Note that UMAL are one of the largest insurers for all UK Universities and so there are clear consequences to this, not least of all for any medical cover.

    It is important to note that if you choose to remain in your host country until teaching resumes, against FCO advice, your insurance cover is at risk. UMAL have indicated that some exceptions to this may be possible and can be assessed on an individual basis, but at the moment, there is no clarity on what constitutes as an exception or how quickly an assessment can be made. The Global Mobility team or your placement tutor will be in touch with you directly if you have indicated that you wish to remain in the host country.

    If you choose to remain in your host country until teaching resumes, please contact your Ulster studies advisor as well as the Global Mobility team at Ulster (studyabroad@ulster.ac.uk) with details of the new semester start dates as well as your updated in-country contact information.

    If you are abroad, you must follow the advice of local authorities and also follow the latest FCO travel advice. You must be ready to comply with local isolation, testing or quarantine requirements, and will need to rely on the local health system. Details of the University insurance cover are provided below

  • My host university has indicated that they will now be teaching courses online for the rest of the term. What should I do?

    Many Universities are taking these measures as a precaution even though there may be no known cases of COVID-19 on their campus at the time. If your teaching is now being delivered remotely or online, we strongly advise that you return home. There is, at present, no clear indication when many universities will recommence formal teaching and further disruption is likely.

    If you choose to remain in your host country until teaching resumes, please contact your Ulster studies advisor as well as the Global Mobility team at Ulster (studyabroad@ulster.ac.uk) with details of the new semester start dates as well as your updated in-country contact information.

    If you are abroad, you must follow the advice of local authorities and also follow the latest FCO travel advice.

    You must be ready to comply with local isolation, testing or quarantine requirements, and will need to rely on the local health system.

    Details of the University insurance

    The University's insurance provider, UMAL have released an update to clarify that if you remain in country, against current FCO advice, your insurance cover is at risk. Note that UMAL are one of the largest insurers for all UK Universities and so there are clear consequences to this, not least of all for any medical cover.

    It is important to note that if you choose to remain in your host country until teaching resumes, against FCO advice, your insurance cover is at risk. UMAL have indicated that some exceptions to this may be possible and can be assessed on an individual basis, but at the moment, there is no clarity on what constitutes as an exception or how quickly an assessment can be made. The Global Mobility team or your placement tutor will be in touch with you directly if you have indicated that you wish to remain in the host country.

  • I have chosen to remain in my host country, is there anything else I should be aware of?

    Details of the University insurance

    The University's insurance provider, UMAL have released an update to clarify that if you remain in country, against current FCO advice, your insurance cover is at risk. Note that UMAL are one of the largest insurers for all UK Universities and so there are clear consequences to this, not least of all for any medical cover.

    It is important to note that if you choose to remain in your host country until teaching resumes, against FCO advice, your insurance cover is at risk. UMAL have indicated that some exceptions to this may be possible and can be assessed on an individual basis, but at the moment, there is no clarity on what constitutes as an exception or how quickly an assessment can be made. The Global Mobility team or your placement tutor will be in touch with you directly if you have indicated that you wish to remain in the host country.

    If you are abroad, you must follow the advice of local authorities and also follow the latest FCO travel advice. You must be ready to comply with local isolation, testing or quarantine requirements, and will need to rely on the local health system. You should contact your airline, tour operator and travel insurer to find out what support they can offer.

    You can subscribe to FCO email alerts for the country/territory you are in via the ‘Get email alerts’ link on each travel advice page. You should also consult the latest PHE Public Health matters guidance.

    FCO teams around the world are working urgently to ensure that overseas governments have appropriate plans to enable the return of British and other travellers and crucially, to keep borders open for a sufficient period of time to enable returns to take place on commercial flights, wherever possible. The UK government is also working with airlines to ensure as many people as possible can get commercial flights home and welcomes the efforts they are making.

    If you are a UK national who needs emergency help from the UK government while overseas, you can contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission or the FCO in London on 0207 008 1500 for help or advice 24/7.


Travel Cover

  • Covid-19 Outbreak Travel Cover – Students remaining overseas

    If you are able to continue your work or study placement overseas and it is safer for you to remain in situ rather than return home, then travel cover will continue to operate and will also cover reasonable costs of sustenance, travel and accommodation necessarily incurred until the end of your original planned placement duration.

    If you are still unable to return home by the end of your original planned placement duration, travel cover will continue to operate but you must contact Global Response before the end of the original period of your placement in order to assess whether there are any other options available for your return home. It is important to be aware that travel cover for any curtailment/disruption claims will only operate if they are non-Coronavirus related.

  • I have returned home and did not book my travel through Key Travel. Will the University Travel Cover reimburse me for my return flight home?

    The University can provide financial reimbursement for your return flight home.

    If you booked your return flight/travel home independently, please follow the below instructions:

    • Complete parts One and Two in full of the Repatriation Claim Form using Microsoft Word.
    • Scan / photograph all supporting receipts.
    • Insert date and tick the box at the bottom of the page.
    • Email a copy of the form and supporting receipts to d.taggart@ulster.ac.uk (Subject: Covid-19 Student Travel Repatriation)

    Erasmus+ students

    If you are an Erasmus+ student who has incurred additional costs, other than flight/travels (i.e. rent), please gather as much evidence as possible in relation to the additional cost incurred, including evidence or attempts to obtain reimbursements from the third parties (such as email attempts to gain reimbursement of an accommodation bond, extra rent paid, etc).

    Email these directly to studyabroad@ulster.ac.uk

  • I have returned home. Does the Travel Cover include any additional costs I have incurred such as rent in my host country?

    Currently, University Travel Cover does not cover unused, pre-booked accommodation etc. but our provider is monitoring the situation and may revise this in the future.

    If you are an Erasmus+ student, there may be some financial support available through your Erasmus+ grant. Please contact erasmus@ulster.ac.uk for more information.


Fees & Funding

  • Is there financial support available if I need to return home early?

    On the 23 March 2020, the FCO COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory notice was updated, and the UK Government is now advising all UK nationals travelling abroad to come home while commercial flights are still available.

    If you require financial assistance, the University will be able to support with the cost of a return flight to Northern Ireland. In the first instance, please confirm your return travel arrangements as per the guidance above. If you have not already booked a return flight, you can choose to book this via Key Travel. Full details are in the questions below.

    If you have any questions, please get in touch with the Global Mobility team (studyabroad@ulster.ac.uk)

  • Will I need to repay my Erasmus+ grant if I return home early?

    Erasmus+ funding is awarded by the European Commission who have strict regulations concerning the allocation and award of student funding. Your Erasmus+ grant has been calculated based on the exact number of days you will be on your placement abroad (as specified in your learning agreement) and you will have received 80% of this funding when you arrived in country with the final 20% paid to you when you return home and have submitted final Erasmus+ signed documentation.

    Should you return home early, your Erasmus+ grant will be recalculated based on the revised number of days you have been in country. You will be required to return any funding that was overpaid to you. The Global Mobility team will confirm details of this with you if applicable.

    If, however, you are continuing your study through distance learning or online, you will be eligible to retain your grant for this period of time also. Please get in touch with the Global Mobility team if you are continuing remote study.

    Given the COVID-19 situation, the British Council have confirmed that in these exceptional circumstances, they will allow you to retain funding for your placement even if it is shorter than the minimum duration (60 days for a traineeship, 90 days for a study placement). For example, if your placement was only six weeks long (rather than the eight weeks you intended), you will now be able to receive pro-rata funding for that period. Without this exception, you would have been required to return all of the funding as your mobility did not meet the minimum Erasmus+ duration.

    Please get in touch with the Global Mobility team if you have any questions (erasmus@ulster.ac.uk)

  • Will I be liable for other costs such as programme fees or accommodation in my host country if I return home early?

    If you have signed accommodation contracts in your host country, you may still be liable for these costs.

    Please get in touch with your host university and housing provider in the first instance and explain your decision to return home.

    For Erasmus+ students only, the British Council have also indicated that consideration can be given to additional costs incurred such as additional rent costs. If you have returned home early, but have incurred additional costs, such as rent on a property in your host country, please get in touch with the Global Mobility team with appropriate evidence of the cost incurred, such as receipts (studyabroad@ulster.ac.uk).

    If you are an ISEP student with any outstanding programme payments, you will still be liable for these. Please get in touch with the Global Mobility team if you have any questions.


International Work Placements

  • I am on an international work placement but would like to return home early. What should I do?

    The COVID-19 situation is moving quickly, and we understand this may be causing disruption to your placement.

    On the 23 March 2020, the FCO COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory notice was updated, and the UK Government is now advising all UK nationals travelling abroad to come home while commercial flights are still available.

    The University's insurance provider, UMAL have released an update to clarify that if you remain in country, against current FCO advice, your insurance cover is at risk. Note that UMAL are one of the largest insurers for all UK universities and so there are clear consequences to this, not least of all for any medical cover.

    The University will meet the costs of your return flight home. Full details of the travel provider, Key Travel are below.

    1. Please follow advice from local healthcare authorities, the FCO and your placement employer so you know if it is safe to travel.  Do not travel without consultation.
    2. If it is possible to travel and you want to return home the University will reimburse the cost of your return flight.  In that case please make arrangements with Key Travel.
    3. There may be other financial costs incurred if, for example you have a tenancy agreement with penalties if you need released early, the University will not cover these costs.
    4. Make contact with your placement tutor or placement co-ordinator on campus at Ulster University.
    5. If you have pre-booked flights for a later date, consult your airline and advise Ulster University of those plans.
  • I am currently on a work placement in Ireland and my employer has advised I work from home. Should I return to Northern Ireland?
    1. If you feel that a return (for whichever length of time) to home is necessary to maintain your health and wellbeing, the University supports your decision.
    2. Make contact with your placement tutor or placement co-ordinator on campus at Ulster University.
    3. Ensure your employer is updated with your contact address and knows your plans.


Academic