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Taking your studies international

Week 41

17 June 2019

It’s not just degrees with ‘international’ or ‘tourism’ in their title that might give you the chance to study abroad. Most universities will offer all students the opportunity to broaden their horizons by studying for a semester, or sometimes even a year, at a partner university in another country.

Studying at university can provide you with many opportunities during your degree: work experience, internships, volunteering and networking are just some of many. But, have you thought about the possibility of taking your studies to another country?

Why study abroad?

  • You'll be able to immerse yourself in another culture.
  • You'll add an international dimension to your CV, which could make it stand out from others when you're looking for jobs.
  • Many companies operate globally, so you'll already have experience and be prepared for working in a global environment.

These are just a few reasons to consider it!

How it works

Most universities will have an international department that arranges study abroad placements. The opportunities offered by each university may vary, but many will have relationships with partner institutions who run similar degree courses that are closely mapped to theirs.

Some courses may be taught in English, some in the language spoken in that country – a great way to improve your language skills at the same time!

Normally, you'll have to have completed one year of higher education study, and of course you’d need your course leader to agree as well.

Ask your uni's international department about Erasmus+. This is an EU programme that can help you take your studies abroad. You can choose from 32 countries, if your uni has an agreement with them, including: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey.

What about visas and funding?

The international department at your chosen uni should be able to give you advice and guidance on whether you need a visa and, if you do, what type.

The Erasmus+ scheme can provide a grant for eligible students - this would be paid through your chosen uni. This grant goes towards your living costs while you're studying abroad - for 2018/19 the grant was up to €300 to €350 a month, depending on the country you decide to study in.

Don't want to study abroad as part of your degree? There may be other options!

If you don’t want to take time out from your degree in the UK to study abroad, but would still like the experience, ask your uni’s international department if they offer opportunities to apply to an international summer school. Some of Solent’s partner institutions offer this, and it means you can study abroad for a short period of time over the summer holidays – mixing your academic studies with meeting new people and exploring a new country.

Also, your course may offer international trips as part of the curriculum – Solent’s BA (Hons) English degree has offered students opportunities to visit Budapest to soak up the culture, while architectural technology students are working on a three-year project with four other European universities to look at timber construction in high-rise buildings..

Don't just take our word for it!

Hear from some Solent students about their experience studying abroad and how it’s benefited their studies and future career plans.

Jane Revell - BA (Hons) Social Work

Patrick Egan - BA (Hons) Media, Culture and Production

Tasks for this week:

  • Find out if your chosen uni offers international placements.
  • Check if your course offers optional trips abroad as part of the curriculum.