European exchange

What is European exchange?

Please note that COVID-19 restrictions are affecting European exchange.

Usually, European exchange enables you to study or work in Europe as part of your degree programme, for a full academic year. Most mobility opportunities operate as an exchange and Heriot-Watt University has links with a wide range of institutions across Europe. You will not pay tuition fees to the institution you study at abroad and most students are eligible for an European exchange mobility grant.

However, due to the global restrictions around travel, semester 1 and 2 of 2020/21 are closed for applications.

Activities within the European exchange programme are currently carried out with the support of European Commission funds and aim to promote student and staff mobility in higher education within Europe.

If you are interested in opportunities outside of Europe, please see our Exchange page.

If you are currently studying at a university outside of the UK and are interested in taking part in an European exchange Exchange to Heriot-Watt, please see information for incoming exchange students or contact

Tuition fees are not paid to the institution abroad as Heriot-Watt operates within a framework of mutual agreements..

Erasmus+ and the new Turing Scheme

Although the UK government has decided not to participate in the forthcoming 2021-27 Erasmus+ programme, this has not affected Heriot-Watt's participation in the 2014-20 programme. Our projects have been extended to 36 months, meaning that we are still able to provide grants for student mobility projects up until 31 May 2023.

The new Turing Scheme is the UK Government's replacement to Erasmus+ and was launched in 2021. It is available to support mobilities taking place from September 2021 onwards. Unlike Erasmus+, support for placements is not restricted to activity taking place in Europe. This means, if we are successful in our bid for funding, that we can support students on placements all over the world.

Where can I study?

We have links with a wide range of institutions across Europe and where you can study will depend on the exchange agreements signed for your degree programme.

To help you decide where would be the best place for you, take a little time to consider these questions:

  • What country am I interested in studying in? Why does it appeal to me?
  • Do I want to develop my language skills or be in an English speaking country?
  • Would I prefer to be based in a city, or a large or small town?
  • Would I like to study in a large or a smaller university?
  • Do I want to be where other Heriot-Watt students are?
  • What interests/activities do I want to develop around my studies? Where is the best place to achieve this?

Visa information

The Global Student Office team will be able to provide you with all relevant and up-to-date visa information.