Has anybody had experience of applying for the Travel Grant with Student Finance?

Student Finance supposedly offer a Travel Grant which can pay for three return flights, important medical insurance and visa costs-minus the first £330. Does anybody have any experience of applying for it? Is it easy to get? Do they pay it quickly? is the £330 only for flights or does it include medical insurance, too?

This question was asked on 14th September 2014 and has been read 5250 times.

  • Lauren Stevens · 6 years ago

    I got the Student Finance year abroad travel grant form from my university and saved it until after my year abroad. In July I sent the form after calculating my total expenses, including study abroad insurance, travelling to Madrid for the English Language Assistant introduction course, travelling to my designated city, going back home for Christmas, returning after Christmas and coming home after my work placement. Student Finance replied in August saying I needed evidence, so I printed all my receipts for the above and sent it off shortly after. I'm still waiting for a response.

  • Ethan R Wilkinson · 6 years ago

    I have to admit that I was very surprised with how quickly they processed my application and paid me.

    I called them to make sure that I was eligible and what was covered e.g. I went abroad with my wife and we had a baby abroad (that's another story, for another day!) so I wanted to know if the travel grant covered their travel as well as mine. It doesn't - it only covers the student applying for it (just in case that helps anybody else!). After the £303 that I had to put toward it I got paid around £50 (better than nothing) and it was paid to me at the end of August. I submitted the claim at the end of July - it took them about 4 weeks to process it

    Make sure that you submit evidence for everything you claim - they even accepted me printing off receipts/emails with evidence.

  • Emily Lowe · 6 years ago

    Like Lauren, I saved my form until the end of the year and filled it out when I was back permanently from my year abroad (I received the form the summer before I left). Due to family bereavement, I did end up going from Southern Spain back to England more times than I expected. Being in Córdoba, I had to pay for the train as well as flights. I sent off as much evidence as I could gather in the first instance. Bear in mind that you can only claim up to three return journeys. Make sure you save payment confirmations for flights with proof of payment to send to SFE. 

    I was pleased when I received about £190 (you have to pay the first £303), however, SFE did not deem my evidence for my train tickets as sufficient proof of payment and did not reimburse me for this. This was frustrating as the RENFE website is difficult to navigate and it is hard to obtain proof of payment if time has passed after your ticket was booked. My advice would be for anyone wanting to claim back money for RENFE train tickets in Spain to keep your ticket safe if you bought it in the station (as it shows payment details), and if you bought it online, request a receipt when your order has been confirmed (tickets appear in PDF, there should be an option on this page to get a payment summary). Also, I paid for these in Euros, but when I asked SFE they told me to change the amounts into GBP at the current exchange rate.

    I feel that the criteria for evidence for the Travel Grant isn't very clear so if you have any doubts, call them before sending off evidence that might not be relevant or useful. I was pleased with the amount I was rewarded and was sent another form should I want to try to redeem my rail costs by providing better evidence.  

  • Romy Higgins · 6 years ago

    I claimed back my travel expenses after my year abroad.  I made sure to keep all my receipts for the metro to uni and my plane tickets, as well as my coach journeys to and from the airport in England.  It took a bit of time to fill the form in and check what I could claim for (eg only 3 return flights during the year).  I put the form in euros and they converted the amounts into pounds for me.  I got the money within a month and after the £303 you have to pay yourself I got about £450 back, so well worth it!

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