Erasmus Undergraduate Exchanges

The Sciences Po Exchange is the only school-wide undergraduate Erasmus exchange programme on offer at the London School of Economics. We currently do not have an agreement with any other institution for undergraduate Erasmus exchanges unles they are organised by your department and are unable to arrange agreements on the request of individual students.

Can LSE support my work placement under Erasmus?
LSE does not currently support work placements in the EU under the Erasmus+ programme.

Impact of Brexit on Erasmus Exchanges

At present, the UK's participation in Erasmus is expected to continue until 2020.  However, this is liable to change and will depend on the outcome of the Brexit withdrawal deal.  It is possible that should a "No Deal" Brexit take place, that the UK will not participate in Erasmus beyond 2020. 

If you are interested in applying for the exchange with Sciences Po you should be aware that:

  • It will only be classified as an Erasmus + exchange if the UK continues to participate in Erasmus from 2020
  • If the UK is no longer participating in Erasmus +, applicants to the Sciences Po exchange for the 2020- 2021 will not be eligible for an Erasmus grant
  • If we are no longer in Erasmus, the School is likely to continue our long-standing relationship with Sciences Po but the exchange will likely be a similar format to other non-Erasmus exchanges such as UC Berkeley.

We appreciate that this will be disappointing and may affect the decision of some students to apply for the exchange, but we strongly recommend that as we do not have an Erasmus agreement beyond 2020 at present, applicants should apply on the basis that they will need to self-fund the exchange.


Sciences Po

Sciences Po is France’s leading university in the social sciences.

The Sciences Po exchange is the only school-wide undergraduate Erasmus exchange programme on offer at the London School of Economics. We do not have an agreement with any other institution for undergraduate Erasmus exchanges and are unable to arrange agreements on the request of individual students.

Briefing Presentations

The presentations from the briefing on the 11 February are now available.

LSE presentation

Sciences Po presentation 

If you still have any other questions please contact the Erasmus Team:

  • Drop in sessions: Tuesday 11am - 12pm during term time
  • Electronically: Submit an enquiry.

Information on how to apply can be found further down the page.

What is the Sciences Po Exchange?

Ten students will be selected to spend two semesters (one academic year) at one of Sciences Po’s seven campuses. Each campus has its own academic speciality, please see the table below for details.

More information about the Sciences Po Exchange can be found here.

Sciences Po campus information: PDF.

How good will my taught language have to be?

From the PDF above you can see that programme language depends on your chosen campus; it is possible to take courses in English at most of the campuses.

Students who are not taking courses in their native language will undergo an Online Linguistic Support (OLS) assessment. Those students who are considered to need more language support will have to take part in the OLS scheme throughout the year.  We encourage all of our students to use the exchange as an opportunity to improve their language skills.

Details of the specific language requirements for each campus can be found here.

An explanation of the language requirements can be found here.

What courses will I be able to take?

You will select your first courses before you go to France (usually June – August depending on the campus) and select your second set of courses by January in the following year. It is not always possible to take all of your first selection courses, so have second and third selections in mind. The course catalogue varies between campuses therefore, information regarding course can be found in the webpages of each specific campus.

Information on the course registration process can be found on the course registration page.

Before viewing the course catalogues which can be accessed here please bear in mind that before you select your courses you will need to:

  • Ensure you don't take courses that directly overlap with courses you have taken or are going to take at LSE
  • Meet any academic conditions or pre-requisites set for admission to the courses you select.
  • (Recommended) discuss your course selections with your Academic Mentor.

How does the scheme work financially?

You will need to make a payment towards your tuition fees at LSE whilst you are on the exchange.  

  • UK/EU students: £1,350 (We will confirm this for EU students as it may be dependant on the outcome fo Brexit)
  • International students: £4,500

If you are eligible for funding through the Student Loan Company, you will be able to apply for a loan to cover these tuition fees. 

As with the UK, the cost of living will vary depending on which campus you are studying at, with Paris being the most expensive. Information on the cost of living can be found here.

Financial support available

  • If you are a UK/EU student and receive support from Student Finance, you will continue to be eligible for support but will need to notify them of your exchange year.
  • If you are a UK/EU student in receipt of a LSE Bursary, your award will be renewed at its current rate for the year in France (subject to assessment by the Financial Support Office). This does not include LSE scholarships.
  • If the UK continues to participate in Erasmus +  in the 2020- 2021 academic year, all students will be eligible for a mobility grant under the Erasmus scheme. This grant is intended to assist with travel and living expenses during your exchange.  It will not cover the costs of the exchange in full.  
  • Additional Erasmus funding is available for those students on Widening Participation (household income of less than £25,000) or with specific needs. We are particularly keen that this cohort of students access this opportuntity.  Please get in touch for more information.
  • International students who have loans or scholarships from their home country, will need to check with their lender/sponsor whether they can be applied to the year in France, although LSE can help with official documentation.  Sciences Po is an accredited institution for US student loan purposes.
  • The additional bursary from LSE is no longer available for undergraduate exchanges.  

Where would I live?

You will receive support from Sciences Po housing services at the campus you are attending, but it will be your responsibility to find a place to live. This is more difficult in Paris where there is a housing shortage.

For details go to: Sciences Po: Living in France.

What about healthcare and visas?

The LSE insurance policy may cover you during your exchange year.  You will need to inform the Erasmus Coordinator if you wish to explore this option. UK/EU nationals will be covered by their European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC), but international students may need to obtain further medical insurance.

For more information about healthcare in France please see here.

Implications of Brexit: It may be the case that if we have a no-deal situation that the reciprocal healthcare agreements under EHIC will no longer be valid.  This is likely to increase the cost of health insurance.  We will keep you updated when we have information.

Schengen Visas

If you are a Tier 4 visa holder, you may require also require a visa to study in France. Further details can be found on the Sciences Po immigration pages.

How will the exchange affect my Tier 4 visa?

From January 2018, the Home Office amended their rule which stated that you cannot extend your Tier 4 visa in the UK following the addition of a study abroad year.  However, it was only amended to show when the exchange was an integral and assessed part of the programme.  This does not apply to the Sciences Po exchange and LSE will be required to withdraw sponsorship of your Tier 4 visa whilst you are on exchange.

You should note that the time your Tier 4 is valid and any time waiting for your Tier 4 visa to be cancelled whilst overseas will still count towards the cap on degree level studies.

You will be unlikely to obtain a new Tier 4 visa in time to be able to undertake a summer internship.

Who can apply?

  • All LSE students who are currently in the second year of their undergraduate programme plus undergraduate PPE students in their third year.
  • We would normally expect you to have passed all your first year exams without needing to retake any of them, although the panel may be prepared to consider exceptions to this.
  • Please note that if you are offered a place on the scheme but fail one or more of your second year exams, you might be asked to withdraw from the scheme.
  • Your department must give permission for you to attend the exchange and their decision is final.  Your department reserves the right not to give permission for you to attend the exchange if they feel it would be more benficial for you to remain at LSE or you have a record of poor attendance. We strongly recommend that you discuss your plans to participate in the scheme with your Departmental Tutor or Academic Mentor before submitting an application.

How does this fit with my LSE degree studies?

  • The Sciences Po year is additional to the requirements of your LSE degree. Having completed the year at Sciences Po you then return to LSE to study the final year of your programme. 
  • The exchange year does not count towards your final classification. However, Sciences Po will issue you with a transcript giving details of your results.
  • By completing a full workload (which equates to 30 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System [ECTS] credits per term), you will be eligible to receive Sciences Po's Certificate in Social Science and Humanities.

How do I apply?

You must submit the application form by Friday 28 February 2020 by 11:59pm. If you require additional time because you have a Learning Inclusion Plan, please let the team know and we will look into how we may be able to help.

Ten students will be nominated by a selection panel to participate in the Sciences Po Exchange.  

You must discuss with your department that you intend to apply for the scheme and they will advise whether they feel that this is a suitable option for you dependant on your progress and attendance.

Tips for answering the questions

In assessing your application the panel will be considering whether:
  • You have undertaken suitable research, for instance by visiting the Sciences Po website.
  • A detailed explanation of why you would like to study at your first choice of campus and how the year at Sciences Po would contribute to your future plans.
  • Do not make your answers overly clichéd - we want you to be yourselves but you do need to answer the questions.
  • Be clear on what you hope to achieve or benefit from the exchange. 
  • Remember you are selling yourself as the best representative for LSE at Sciences Po. 
  • This is an application for an exchange not employment; internship applications which have been modified are unlikely to be accepted as they will not cover the correct information.
  • Your referee should come from your home department. The selection panel reserves the right to check details with your referee. Reference from outside your home department are will not be accepted.

If you are selected as one of the final ten students you are agreeing and required to complete the following documents (some before, during or after your exchange) for the European Commission in order to receive your grant.

  • Finances form
  • Online Linguistic support* (dependant on the language you will be taught in).
  • Grant Agreement*
  • Learning Agreement*
  • Final Report*

*This paperwork must be completed by the given deadlines otherwise it is in direct breach of your exchange contract with the British Council. Failure to complete the documents may result in no grant payment or a full re-payment of the grant.

Is Sciences Po the only undergraduate exchange available?

The exchange at Sciences Po is the only school-wide European exchange available for LSE students under Erasmus+.  

However there is also an LSE exchange with the University of California, Berkeley. This is a special arrangement between the LSE and Berkeley. More details about this opportunity are available on the Global Engagement web pages. The Erasmus Team are no longer involved with the selection process for UC Berkeley.  This has now been taken over by the General Course Team.

If you are either a Social Anthropology or Anthropology and Law student or BSc Management student you may wish to explore your departmental exchange opportunites.  

The School is increasingly expanding it's exchange provision at departmental level.  Final details are yet to be confirmed, but we will update this page in due course.

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