I went on my Arabic year abroad in my second year to Syria, where I studied at the Damascus University. At first, it felt strange having to leave Exeter so soon, but there were many advantages – most importantly, that being immersed in the language from early on meant speeding up the learning process! Although we were ‘thrown in at the deep end’ it meant that we improved our language abilities in a way that wouldn’t have been possible in a classroom.
It was a privilege to spend time in a country with such a rich and diverse culture. Meeting new friends, exploring endless new places, gaining cultural insight from living with a Syrian family... I feel so lucky to have experienced so much and to have unforgettable memories that I will always treasure. I returned to Exeter with great confidence and full of passion for my language studies!
My year abroad has certainly enhanced my university experience. I would encourage anyone to embrace this wonderful opportunity open to you – it may force you out of your comfort zone, but it’s true that the scariest things you do often turn out to be the best things you do!
Poppy Mason Taylor, BA French and Arabic.
Your experience at the University of Exeter can reach far beyond the South West of England: we offer a range of study and work experiences across Europe and internationally through a number of recognised schemes.
Why study abroad?
As well as having a fantastic experience and memories which will last a lifetime, students who have studied abroad demonstrate initiative, independence, motivation and, depending on where they stay, may also have gained a working knowledge of another language – all qualities employers are looking for.
Last year almost 500 Exeter students studied at one of over 200 partner universities worldwide.
Study abroad destinations
For a full list of the destinations available, please see our 'where can I study abroad' pages.
Entry requirements for Study Abroad
The entry requirements for our programmes with study abroad can be found in the individual programme page for each programme. Students wishing to spend half a year abroad can discuss the possibilities with their department during the first year of study. Permission to take part in study abroad will depend on your academic progress, your language ability and the places available in your chosen country.
Summer schools and other short term study opportunities
Exeter students can also take advantage of international study opportunities during the summer vacation. Last year more than 100 Exeter students participated in summer schools or other short term programmes in a wide range of countries.
Information for incoming overseas students
If you are an overseas student wishing to study at Exeter for one year as a contributing element towards your degree, either as part of an international exchange or as an independent student, you should consult our Study Abroad website. European independent students should apply through the Admissions Office.
European study and work opportunities
My study abroad took me to the University of Stuttgart, the heart of Automotive Engineering in Germany. There, I completed two projects: a thesis on flame simulation and a report on nuclear power- which allowed me to tour around a nuclear facility!
Work aside, I became more competent in speaking German; went to many parties which included "Max Kade nights" at a student penthouse and many German festivals such as Frühlingsfest. I thoroughly enjoyed my time; gaining a plethora of skills highly relevant to not only my Engineering degree but in language and in the challenge of living abroad. I would highly recommend it to anyone seeking adventure.
John Pardy, MEng Hons Mechanical Engineering.
Erasmus study opportunities
Under the Erasmus scheme students can exchange with well-respected partner European university as an integral part of your degree programmes.
If you are studying modern languages or following a degree ‘with European Study’ you will spend the third year of a four-year degree studying in Europe. The destinations currently available are listed on our Opportunities Abroad pages as a guide. Through the European Credit Transfer Scheme you will gain full academic credit for the courses that you undertake while abroad.
Language is an important element when studying in Europe. You will have to be sufficiently competent to study effectively in the language of your host institution. If you’re based in Exeter classes in the Foreign Language Centre will help get you up to speed or refresh existing skills.
Some partners offer teaching in English including those in the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Malta and Turkey. This is particularly relevant to students based at our Penryn Campus in Cornwall who don’t have access to the Foreign Language Centre in Exeter. Although you won’t need to speak another language in class you will still need to function in everyday life and so you might want to take some language classes in your host country.
Erasmus work placement
The EU-funded Erasmus Work Placement scheme promotes employability and mobility across Europe. Students taking part in this scheme spend between three and 12 months on a work placement in Europe as an integral part of their studies, gaining work experience and academic recognition for that work. Because you will need to be competent in your target language this option is especially relevant to modern language or ‘with European Study’ students, but it may also be an option available on other programmes. Previous participants have worked in a variety of areas: marketing, translation, law, TV production, fashion and with charities. Students have used the opportunity to test their future career aspirations and in the process have gained a wealth of experience they can add to their CV.
Students on Modern Language degrees also have the opportunity to undertake a teaching assistantship with the British Council for their year abroad.
International study opportunities
My year in Washington, DC, was a voluntary part of my degree in International Relations. I studied at American University and undertook an internship at Freedom House, one of the most influential human rights NGOs in the world. Choosing to take a year abroad was a life-changing experience, and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Washington is a city dominated by politics, diplomacy and celebrity. The daily commute is frequently interrupted by a presidential motorcade, with traffic brought to a dramatic halt to allow limousines transporting President Obama to pass by. World Bank economists work hand-in-hand with ambassadors and diplomatic missions from almost every nation in the world, and George Clooney was arrested in front of my eyes protesting outside the Sudanese Embassy. One of the great networking capitals of the world, DC provided me with unrivalled opportunities to progress professionally and academically, and directly led to summer internships and summer schools in Tunisia and India. The year also inspired me to create my own NGO – the UK-Japan Foreign Policy Initiative (UKJFPI). With over 50 members of staff based in London, Washington DC, Tokyo, Brussels and Geneva, UKJFPI promotes foreign policy cooperation between the British and Japanese governments in democracy and human rights promotion.
I left DC with a heavy heart, but with much greater confidence, a deep understanding of the real-world practice of international relations and diplomacy, and friends for life.
Tom O’Bryan, BA International Relations .
If you are interested in studying further afield, the option to study outside Europe is available. Some of our programmes allow one academic year abroad, usually the third year of a four-year programme. You will be awarded full academic credit for your study abroad period.
There are opportunities to study in countries including the USA, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, China and Hong Kong. Please check available destinations and options on our website. Please check the full list of available destinations and options on the international exchange pages.