If you're a current student, you may be eligible to spend a period of time studying or working abroad as a credited part of your degree.
There are many very worthwhile personal and professional benefits to having a period of study or work abroad. These can include an increase in confidence, intercultural communication and organisation skills.
According to research produced by Go International in March 2015, most students who work or study abroad experience the following benefits:
- Students who work or study abroad are less likely to be unemployed when they graduate, compared to students who don’t do an overseas placement.
- In most subject areas, students who do an overseas placement are likely to earn a higher graduate salary compared to their non-mobile peers.
- Students who do an overseas placement, especially students from widening participation backgrounds, are more likely to graduate with a First class degree compared to their non-mobile peers.
Who can go?
Southampton Solent University is seeking to increase the number of students able to undertake overseas placements, but the opportunities available will depend on students' individual circumstances. In general, you must:
- be enrolled as a student at Southampton Solent University,
- have completed at least one year of higher education but are not in final year, and
- have the agreement of your course leader.
Where can I go?
Southampton Solent University has bilateral agreements with universities around the world. You can see the full list of partner universities, the majority of which teach in English.
Some placements with our partner universities will be better suited to students on particular degree programmes. Please contact the study abroad and exchange team to discuss your options.
While the academic partnerships office will assist as much as possible with advice and general information on non-academic issues, it is your responsibility to arrange transport, transfers, accommodation etc.
For students going abroad in 2017/18, the deadline to apply is 17 March 2017.
Please note that some partner universities may have different deadlines. Closing dates for North America and Canada are earlier to allow time for obtaining visas. Please contact us to learn more about a particular university.
If you wish to study in North America, please note that you will require a visa. It is your responsibility to make arrangements to obtain a visa in good time before your departure.
United States of America visa information
Canada visa information
If you are a student from a non-EU country and you require a visa to study in Europe, you must ensure that you apply for one in good time for the country you are willing to go to on exchange. The international student support adviser in the Student Hub will be pleased to advise you in this matter.
If you would like to know more, you can join our mailing list.
European work placements
Work placements under the Erasmus programme provide an excellent opportunity to gain first-hand work experience in an international environment.
Depending on the availability of funding and provided you fulfil the eligibility requirements, you may be entitled to some funding under the EU-funded Erasmus work placement programme. It's essential that you initially discuss this matter with your Erasmus coordinator.
As with studying abroad, once you've completed your final exams you will be unable to take part in the Erasmus scheme. There are, however, other schemes available and the Academic Partnerships Office can advise you on these.
If you decide to spend a period abroad studying or working under the Erasmus Lifelong Learning Programme you may be eligible to receive a grant. The amount of this non-means tested, non-repayable grant is paid in Euros and varies from year to year.
If you do not complete your approved period abroad you will be liable to pay back the difference as the grant is worked out on a daily basis, rounded up to the nearest quarter month.
Find out the latest grant rates
To be eligible for an Erasmus grant you must:
- Be enrolled as a student at Southampton Solent University
- Spend an approved study or work period of between three to twelve months in another EU, EEA or candidate country
- Be responsible for your transport, accommodation, insurance, and other associated costs. The grant is only meant to be a financial contribution towards your living costs. It is essential, therefore, that you ensure you have sufficient funds to cover your time abroad until you receive your student loan or Erasmus grant.
Please also note:
- Students on study exchange under the Erasmus programme do not pay tuition fees to the partner institution. There is additional funding for students with severe disabilities or exceptional special needs to cover associated costs on their Erasmus placement. For further information please get in touch with the academic partnerships office.
- If you are from an EU country, you may want to contact the student finance European service for advice on EU funding and fee loans, please see our EU student funding page. Further information can also be found on GovUK.
- Students going to North America under a bilateral agreement will not receive a grant as these countries are not part of the Erasmus programme. However, there are no tuition fees payable to the partner institution. Please note that you will require a visa and that process can be expensive and time-consuming, you need to start thinking about this early.
What do students say?
When BA (Hons) Journalism student Ed Sawyer spent a year studying at the Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool, Antwerp - he realised that Europe might be where he wants to pursue a career:
"Studying in Antwerp and working in Brussels, I loved being surrounded by so many different cultures and nationalities. People were friendly and loved meeting English students. Belgium is split between the Dutch north and the French south, and I was lucky to live in both; Antwerp in the north and Brussels in the south.
"My year abroad changed my life. Before I thought I'd only live or work in the UK, but now I plan to either return to Belgium or move to Prague, Czech Republic next year. I built up my contacts during my year abroad and have already been offered work in Europe after graduation.
"My advice to students considering studying abroad? Go there expecting things to be different and be excited to be part of it."
Oleta studies international tourism management and spent a semester at the University of Alicante during her second year.
Oleta's semester abroad helped her to build confidence, make international connections and find a passion for travel writing.
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