- European study abroad
- International study abroad
- Erasmus work placement
- Information for incoming overseas students
- Study abroad destinations
- Further information
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 as part of your degree programme. 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 our partner universities situated in more than 40 countries worldwide.
Under the Erasmus scheme students can exchange with students from partner European universities as an integral part of their degree programmes. Our highly successful Erasmus programme is well established and we are proud that some of our partners house the best departments in Europe in particular disciplines.
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. For students on other degrees, it may be possible to spend a semester (half a year) in Europe as part of a three-year degree. The destinations currently available are listed on our website 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. Whether you are planning to study in Europe for a full year or half a year, you will have to be sufficiently competent to study effectively in the language of your host institution. If you’re based in Exeter and your language skills are not initially good enough, you will be required to attend classes in the Foreign Language Centre during your first and/or second year and continue with language study when you are abroad. Even if you are competent in the language we will still encourage you to take language classes.
We consider it important that no one is excluded from studying abroad on language grounds alone. We have many partners in Europe where classes will be taught in English including the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Malta and Turkey. This is particularly relevant to students based at our Cornwall Campus 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.
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. As part of a three-year degree it may also be possible to study for a semester (half a year) at an international destination. 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 Office website.
Entry requirements for Study Abroad
The entry requirements for our programmes with study abroad can be found in the subject section of the undergraduate website. 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.
Students are increasingly aware of the benefits of developing employability skills whilst at university. The Erasmus Work Placement scheme promotes employability and mobility across Europe and is funded by the EU. 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.
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.
For a full list of the destinations available, please see our pages on Erasmus and International Exchange Opportunities.
We recognise that the prospect of studying abroad is both exciting and daunting. The International Office team is on hand with advice and our website is packed with information. You will usually be able to meet students who have spent time at the university in which you are interested or students who are visiting from that university. Our aim is to give you as much help as we can to enable you to make the right decision. Together with your department we will also support you before you go, while you are away and on your return.
For further information on any aspect of studying abroad please contact:
For details about specific programmes please contact the Study Abroad coordinator in the appropriate Department.
Studying abroad in Australia during my third year was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I chose to go to the University of Queensland in Brisbane, renowned for its blue skies and beautiful beaches. UQ has at least twice as many students and a far larger campus than Exeter, so was very different. Academically, continuing my studies in English and Philosophy at UQ offered new perspectives on my subjects, deepening my understanding and breadth of knowledge. This has increased both my academic confidence and performance, which has set me in good stead for my final year.
But perhaps the most valuable part of studying abroad was the life-experience opportunities available. From making friends from all over the world and immersing myself in a different culture with a new vocabulary of slang, to indulging my travel-bug, the study abroad scheme literally opened up the world to me.
Insofar as studying abroad involved wrenching myself away from home and a strong support network, it was of course a challenge, but ultimately that only served to intensify the experience. Like skydiving (which you will have to try!) you have to actually jump out of the plane before you have an idea of what it might be like to fly. But it’s worth it!
Elizabeth Mackley, BA English and Philosophy
In my second year I went to Toronto, and you know what? It was great. I did things I’ll always remember: stand on top of the 550 metre tall CN Tower with only a sheet of glass beneath my feet; eat at the famous dive bar Sneaky Dee’s; watch the city’s ice hockey team win a historic victory over their arch rivals; see some of my favourite bands play the legendary Lee’s Palace; and go to a Q&A with Tim Burton for my college’s newspaper.
I got involved with as much as I could, writing for two of the dozen or more student newspapers there. Being involved in this rich media culture made me question why Exeter couldn’t have the same, so when I got back I set up Exetera Magazine. At the beginning of the year we got sponsorship from the College of Humanities, and we’re running an initial circulation of 1,000 every month or so, which is terrifying but brilliant. Without a doubt, if I hadn’t gone to Toronto, Exetera would not exist.
Academically Toronto is one of the top universities in the world, and they push you hard, with frequent assessments and lots of contact hours. I was stretched, but the work ethic that was drummed into me there means I’m coping a lot more with the demands of my third year.
A year abroad is perfect for anyone who, like me, has a hard time staying in one place. There’ll always be a place in my heart for Exeter and I’m glad to be back, but living in Toronto was an experience that I will never forget.
Max Benwell, BA English with Study in North America
It sounds cheesy, but I felt Exeter was the right university for me from my first visit to the campus, and four years later, I know I made the right decision. I’m in my final year studying BA English and Spanish and have just come back from my Year Abroad in Majorca, where I studied at the University of the Balearic Islands. Studying two subjects means I benefit from a broader range of skills, but the Year Abroad was definitely the experience that I’ve got the most out of during my time at university.
My language skills have improved no end, from writing formal letters and essays, to chatting with friends and socialising. But the Year Abroad is about more than that; it’s about gaining independence, trying new things and overcoming challenges in a new and different place. It might sound scary, but the staff back in Exeter are always on hand to help you with any issue, large or small, and nothing can compare to the sense of achievement you get from knowing you can completely survive in another country, using another language. I can’t express how much fun and pride you can get out of the experience.
Without studying a language at Exeter I would probably never have had the opportunity to live and study abroad. I would 100% recommend studying a language at Exeter, just to experience the year abroad!
Amy Price, BA English and Spanish
As a student of French and Spanish, I knew that spending a year abroad would be a compulsory part of my degree. Before I arrived at the University of Exeter, I was rather nervous and apprehensive about what this would entail. I felt my language skills were not good enough to cope with living and studying abroad – how would I ever be able to follow lectures in French? However, I needn’t have worried, as the support network at the University, both before and during the year, meant that no matter how small the problem, I always had someone to talk to.
It sounds like a cliché, but my year abroad was definitely the best year of my life! I spent the first semester studying at the University of Rouen, where I not only improved my language skills, but gained more knowledge of the French culture than could ever be learnt from textbooks, travelled widely throughout France and made friends from around the world. It was hard to say goodbye, but I spent my second semester studying in Cordoba in the south of Spain. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here too and before long spoke Spanish like the locals and took part in all the city’s fiestas!
I would definitely recommend studying abroad to anyone, regardless of their discipline, as it’s a brilliant experience to get to know a different culture, language or way of life, as well as enabling you to increase your self-confidence and meet new people. The hardest part of my year abroad was having to leave!
Antonia Wimbush, BA French and Spanish
Even before university I knew I wanted to spend a year studying or working abroad. Initially I thought about Europe, but I decided to challenge myself and go somewhere outside my comfort zone. I was spoilt for choice with the range of study abroad options available, but with Hong Kong branded as ‘Asia’s World City’ and the University of Hong Kong ranked amongst the top 25 universities in the world, it was the obvious choice.
Even though the idea of being more than 6,000 miles from home was incredibly nerve-racking, I’d definitely take the opportunity to study abroad again. The experience enhanced my communication, confidence and leadership skills and allowed me to ‘test run’ working and living overseas whilst being fully supported by both my home and host institutions. I gained a new level of respect for the local culture and began to fully appreciate the differences in academic study and social expectations of both countries. Importantly, I was able to elect modules which complemented my main degree subject, but which weren’t always available at Exeter, which helped me make more informed choices about which career path I wanted to pursue.
Exeter offers so many incredible opportunities to its students and I’d definitely recommend taking a year abroad, regardless of whether you want to work overseas in the future. It’s only a year (or shorter!) in your whole life and it could end up being one of the best.
Anna Hayman, BA Business and Accounting