You are more likely to have a productive year abroad if you have properly researched your placement and prepared your finances. Here are some starting points for you to consider:
Academic - When you are deciding which institution you want to study at it is important to research which modules are on offer and how these will best fit with your degree or dissertation. Your Study Abroad Co-ordinator will be able to discuss your study or work plan with you and provide advice. Your proposed plan of study should be agreed in writing with your College.
Language - If the placement is in a non-English speaking country, students should have a minimum A-Level in the language of tuition/instruction and have taken modules in the target language at the Foreign Language Centre in the first and second years.
If you fail to reach the level of language proficiency required you will not be able to study abroad in the target language. A broad range of partner universities teach in English. You should check with your Study Abroad Co-ordinator which universities you are eligible to apply to.
Accommodation - Planning and preparation are key to successfully finding accommodation for your placement abroad. Research the host university website thoroughly to ensure you are familiar with their deadlines, or get in contact and seek advice, and speak to returning students and ask advice on how they found accommodation. Study abroad advice websites such as thirdyearabroad.com can be assist in your search.
Living Abroad – The International office hosts a pre-departure event in May for all students going abroad. Attendance is compulsory and will give you the opportunity to meet with students going to the same country and institution as you. If your placement is outside Europe it is important that you research the customs and culture of your destination country. The International Office will provide suggestions for your research.
Costs - You should budget very carefully for your time abroad, factoring things such as return air fares, visas, travel and health insurance, housing, food and general living, spending money, book supplies, mobile phone bills, administration fees and photocopying. If you are in receipt of extra bursaries you will need to check that you will be eligible to receive these while you are abroad.
Please check the International Office website for further details on tuition fees for studying abroad. If you are having problems applying for your support from Student Finance England or Student Finance Wales then please contact us for advice.
Support while on your placement abroad - It is important to remember that even though you may be studying or working abroad, your College, the university and the Students' Guild are still here to support you. The nature of this support may vary, but it is important for you to know the following, and what their responsibilities to you are:
- The name of the member of staff in the home College responsible for managing the placement.
- The name of the contact person at the placement who will provide necessary pastoral or tutorial support.
- The nature of the pastoral support available to you from your home College, including calls, correspondence or visits.
The Students’ Guild Advice Unit will continue to support you while you are on your placement abroad. If you are experiencing problems of any nature while you are abroad do not hesitate to get in contact with us by telephone (01392 723520) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Assessment of your placement abroad - Your placement abroad has a number of credits assigned to it and counts towards your final degree result. Please contact your Study Abroad Co-ordinator for up to date information about assessment and year abroad weighting.
More information - The best way to find out what being on a year abroad is really like is to speak to someone who went last year. If you have had a problem with your year abroad, or you feel that your department is not doing everything to help you prepare for your year abroad, then you could contact your Course Rep, the study abroad team or the Students’ Guild Advice Unit.