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A SHU student abroad

Sunday 25 May 2014

As a Sheffield Hallam student, you have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to complete a study or work placement overseas during your second or third year. Don’t miss this amazing chance to immerse yourself in a different culture and gain unique experiences you'll always remember.

Check out our list of exchange universities and get your imagination going by picturing yourself in one of the many exchange locations which span the globe. You can expect to be there for three to 12 months depending on what you're studying, giving you plenty of time to explore and take in new sights. The experience also shows future employers that you're willing to be independent and step out of your comfort zone to face new challenges.

Although international travel is an exciting prospect, it’s normal to have concerns. We've answered some of your most common questions below.

Will it take me longer to finish my degree?

Exchanges form an integral part of your course, so everything counts towards your final degree and it won’t take you any longer to graduate. Plus they're a fantastic academic experience and can sometimes result in improved grades.

How will I afford it?

If you're worried about the cost, don’t be. European study exchanges through Erasmus+ include financial support of up to €250-€300 - and €350-€400 per month for work placements. You can spend the money on whatever you like, such as accommodation or travel expenses. And if you want to work or study outside the EU in locations such as Australia, the USA or Brazil, we might be able to help you find alternative funding.

If you already receive Disabled Student Support or the Hallam Grant, you will also receive additional funding.

What if I can’t speak the language?

If not and the language barrier concerns you, don’t panic! All our partner Universities teach and assess you in English (unless you're a languages student - in which case you learn in one of the languages you've selected). And if you want to learn the local language, you can usually get extra support.

My subject isn’t listed - can I still go?

If your subject area isn’t listed on the exchange list, there may still be opportunities to travel or work overseas as part of your course. Talk to your tutor about what options are available.

Will I be lonely?

Each partner university has its own Erasmus Society, so you'll meet people from around the globe who are in the same situation as you. It's an amazing way to make lifelong friends. But if you still don’t fancy going on your own, talk to your Uni friends about an exchange as you might be able to travel to the same place.

How can I find out more?

Talk to your college exchange co-ordinators or email and someone will get in touch with you.

The Erasmus+ or Third Year Abroad websites also contain lots of useful advice, information and case studies.

What have other students said?

Many students reflect on their exchange as the best part of their degree, and it's quite often described as a life-changing experience. But don’t just take our word for it!

LLB Law student Laura Holliday completed an exchange at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in her second year. She says, 'I can't express enough how much this opportunity has benefitted and changed me as an individual. Studying abroad is a catalyst for so many qualities such as maturity, confidence and people skills. I'm a new person in my outlook towards life and it has moulded my vision of my career.

'I have made so many friends from different countries all around the world with different backgrounds and opinions on life and I feel privileged to have been offered such a life-changing experience.'

BA Hons Marketing, Communications and Advertising student Hristo Tanev completed his third year work placement in Belgium with the global company Lhoist. He says 'Erasmus+ helped me to see new countries and meet a lot of new people from all around the world. The programme also gave me the opportunity to visit interesting and cultural places in and outside of Belgium, practice new languages and develop myself.

'I recommend being part of the Erasmus exchange programme because this is one of the best opportunities everyone can apply for. It actually surpassed my expectations.'

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