There are many opportunities to travel abroad as a UK student: you might consider going abroad for some time during your studies, perhaps for an academic year as part of an arranged study placement or work scheme. You may even decide to apply to do your whole course in an international institution – there are options from full degrees to doctorate programmes. During a summer break, you might want to do some volunteering or go on a working holiday. Whether you are going to study or work, there are tax points to consider.
Broadly speaking, students studying abroad are liable to UK tax and National Insurance contributions (NIC) in the same way as other people living overseas (although students may receive sources of financial support which are generally not taxable in the UK).
See our pages on Leaving the UK for more general information on the topic.
However, students studying abroad are more likely to have certain patterns of presence and working circumstances. Below, we provide two examples of the UK tax considerations someone studying abroad might have to consider.
Please note that the foreign tax rules have been discussed for the purpose of the illustrations only and should not be taken as reflective of the true New Zealand or Australian tax positions.
See also our Studying abroad examples page.
There are a number of ways that you can get funding for your studies through bursaries, grants and loans.
Sometimes you might also get help from an employer if the course is relevant to a job that you are doing or have been offered (upon your graduation, for example). You can read about the tax position in the UK on our Training page under the heading Employer-sponsored courses.
Some employers may only award sponsorship for the final year of study. However, some employers will fund all of your studies from the first year onwards if you have impressed them while on a vacation or work experience placement, for example. So, it follows that this could cover some time studying or working abroad.
Typically, such payments are not taxable in the UK or overseas, under double taxation agreements (for more information, see our page UK tax for international students in the UK, under the heading Double taxation agreements).