Benefits to studying abroad
Studying abroad represents an incredible opportunity to broaden your horizon, get a new perspective on your subject and gain experience and skills that are valued by employers. Employers are increasingly looking for people with experience of living abroad, cultural awareness and knowledge of another language.
If you're currently studying or working overseas or on an Erasmus+ placement, or considering taking up overseas placements, see the latest travel advice.
Spending time abroad will help to show that you are adaptable and willing to take on a challenge. If you’re thinking about studying abroad, your options are to:
- do a whole degree course abroad
- study abroad as part of your UK degree
Doing your degree with an overseas university
There’s plenty to think about if you’re considering doing a full degree course abroad, including finding the right course and funding your studies.
Studying abroad as part of a UK degree
Most universities offer students the opportunity to spend a semester or year studying or working abroad, either through an exchange agreement with a university overseas or through a dedicated scheme.
Although you will usually spend time studying abroad if you are taking a language degree, studying abroad isn’t just for language students. Many European universities offer a range of courses in English even if you can't speak a foreign language (although learning the language will help you in everyday life).
Erasmus scheme and EU exit
Under the Erasmus scheme, you can study for part of your degree in one of 33 European countries. You will receive a grant from the European Union and if you stay for a year (at least 24 weeks excluding weekends and the usual holidays), you won’t have to pay UK tuition fees for that year.
For more information about the opportunities available, visit the Erasmus website or contact the Erasmus co-ordinator at your university or college.
For updates on the arrangements for the transition period following the UK’s exit from the EU, which allows for the UK to continue to fully take part in the current (2014-2020) Erasmus+ programme, see:
IAESTE provides course-related work placements for technical experience
The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience scheme, IAESTE provides course-related work placements to science, engineering and applied arts undergraduates in over 80 countries worldwide. Most placements are for eight to 12 weeks between June and September.
The scheme is managed by the British Council and more information is available on their website.
Study USA programme
The Study USA programme provides students attending a college or university in Northern Ireland, with the opportunity to study business or business at STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology and Maths) for one full academic year in the USA.
It is open to full-time EU undergraduates, studying for a third level qualification (degree, Foundation degree, HND, HNC) in any discipline.
Applications for Study USA are now closed. Applications for 2021-2022 will open in Autumn.
For more information about the programme, including how to apply, eligibility and costs, visit Study USA on the British Council website.
Many international study options, for example, in the US, Australia and outside the European Union, are based on two-way arrangements between particular universities and colleges. To find out about options available to you, contact the International Office or Study Abroad office-at your college or university.
Academic recognition for your studies abroad
If you study for a period in a European Union country as part of your UK degree, your studies should receive full academic recognition from your home institution under the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).