Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity and an experience you are sure to remember but it’s also a big commitment and you will need to be prepared for all eventualities.
Organisation is key and this includes completing all the necessary paperwork as part of the application process, working out your finances for the time abroad and, if necessary, completing visa and immigration processes. Although the study abroad team are here to help, you are expected to do most of the planning and organising independently. Here are some useful tips to help you:
Research, research, research!
With two types of exchange programmes and plenty of partners to consider it’s important to put in the ground work before applying. Firstly, make sure the exchange will work for your degree. Speak with your Course Director to check they agree an exchange is the right choice and research your chosen partner websites for subject areas and facilities. As well as ensuring the exchange will meet your academic requirements you will also want to consider what kind of destination will suit you. Research the local areas, read travel guides, speak to students who have returned from exchange or are here at Leeds Beckett from your chosen partners (our Facebook group is a great place to get in touch). The more you know the better prepared you will be.
Spend time on your application
Places will be allocated to the highest scoring applications first. It is important to spend time on your application particularly the personal statement and personal attribute sections. You must include examples when answering these sections to evidence your experience. Remember as part of the application you will need to have the study plan signed off by your school and request for a academic reference. This takes time so make sure you start early and let your Course Director know you are looking to apply as soon as possible.
Plan your finances
If you are taking part in the International Exchange or are a non-British passport holder, you might be required to obtain a visa or permit to allow you to study at the host university. Depending on the country this can be a lengthy process so once you know you have a place on exchange it is important to look into this as soon as possible. You will be provided guidance from the partner university but it will be your responsibility to obtain the correct visa. Neither the Study Abroad team here or at the partner university are qualified to offer offer consultations or detailed advice regarding visa applications. Immigration laws are complex and subject to frequent changes. So if you do have any visa related questions you will need to contact the appropriate Embassy directly.
Some of our partner universities in non-English speaking countries will teach and assess in the language of that country. It is not expected that students to be completely fluent in a language before they go overseas but you should check with your Erasmus Coordinator as early as possible about the level of language ability required for taking a period abroad. It is advisable that you make as much effort as you can to learn or refresh the language of your host country before you go. One way you could do this is take up a part time language course. These courses are offered at various levels by the School of Languages and are available to all undergraduate students. Please visit the website for more information.