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Focus on...studying or working overseas

Sunday 09 August 2015

Did you know that you can study or complete a 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.

Take a look at 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 the opportunity to apply for financial support of up to €280–330 and €380–430 per month for work placements. You can spend the money on whatever you like, such as accommodation or travel expenses. We've been assured that there will be no change to Erasmus+ funding for 2016–2017 or 2017–18 as a result of the UK's decision to leave the European Union.

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 may 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 faculty exchange co-ordinators or email erasmus-exchange@shu.ac.uk 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 students say about the experience

I would definitely recommend taking part in Erasmus. Living and studying abroad was such a great experience mostly because I learnt a lot about myself and what I was capable of. The Erasmus exchange programme went beyond my expectations. I made new friends from France, Mexico, United States and China - all of whom I still keep in contact today. I met and worked alongside some of the world's most distinguished academics, politicians and leaders in the global arena. I got the opportunity to travel across the Netherlands and experience a different lifestyle.

Erasmus defined 2013 for me and is an experience I will never forget! The people I met, the friends I made and the diplomats I worked alongside all made this seven month extravaganza a phenomenal experience. I would recommend this to everyone! It was truly a remarkable experience.

BA Hons Politics student Mitesh Mistry studied at The Hague University, the Netherlands

I can’t even count all the good things Erasmus brought into my life. I have been blessed with the chance of living in Berlin as well, which is an amazing city. I came across so many different cultures and points of view; it was amazing to see how different we are but how well we can still get along.

It was also the best way of improving my language skills. Also, living there motivated me a lot to want to learn more, to speak better German.

I would totally recommend it! I would do it again and again if I had the chance; it was one of the best six months of my life and I have no regrets for signing up for the programme.'

BA International Business with German student Ioana Brighila studied at the Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany

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