Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies

Year abroad

Hear from some of our students about their experiences in Paris as part of the year abroad.

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Our BA (Hons) Modern Languages and European Studies and BA (Hons) Language and Politics courses include a full year abroad.

The year abroad takes place during your third year of study, and will greatly enhance your employment prospects.

If you study the BSc (Hons) International Management and Modern Languages you will also have a study year abroad, but with different options.

Past work placements
  • American Chamber of Commerce to the EU (Belgium)
  • HSBC (France)
  • AON Insurance (France)
  • PIE (France)
  • Madrid Learn and Teach (Spain)
  • Cillero & de Motta (Spain)
  • Kos Progetti (Italy)
  • The Childcare Centre (Germany)
  • Torres del Paine National Park (Chile)
  • Northlands School (Argentina)

What can I do on my year abroad?

On the year abroad you can:

  • undertake a study exchange in Europe (Erasmus exchange) or study placement outside Europe
  • work as an English Language Assistant within Europe or beyond
  • take on a work placement

It is possible to ‘mix and match’ both the activities and the countries they take place in, but students studying two languages must devote at least three months abroad to each language during the course of the degree.


Choose your year abroad experience

Study exchange

Liam, Andrew and Anna Louise talk about their experiences of the study exchange at Sciences Po in Paris.

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We have exchange agreements with a wide range of partner universities abroad.

On an Erasmus exchange you can spend either one or two semesters in our partner universities in France, Germany, Italy or Spain. Our diverse range of exchange universities are located in capital cities, medium and small-sized towns, where you can experience studying in a very different university system. You will become fully integrated into your selected university, choose a number of appropriate units and undertake assessment in them.

A separate exchange with Voronezh State University provides study placements for students of Russian. Students of Spanish may also study in Santiago, Chile and Guadalajara, Mexico.

Find out more about studying abroad.


Language Assistantships

Students Zoe and Abi talk about their Language Assistantship roles.

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Teaching English as a Language Assistant in a school or college is also a popular and rewarding option. Applications are processed by the British Council. Experiences vary - students may find themselves in a large city or in a rural community, teaching English to small groups of children for around 12 hours a week.

It is also possible to be an assistant outside Europe and some of our students have found themselves, for example, in the exotic locations of La Reunion, Mexico and French Guyana. Assistantships differ in length from country to country but on average last nine months.

Work placements

Susannah, Lee, Abi and Bethan discuss their professional placements in Paris as part of their year abroad.

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The aim of a work placement during the year abroad is to provide you with a professional experience, usually within a commercial business environment, that will be of value both during your studies and in your future career. This is a flexible option, with students able to mix and match longer and shorter work placements in different countries.

Our dedicated and experienced Placements Officer will support and guide you through the recruitment process to gain your placement. Students have been employed in a number of interesting roles for all or part of the year.

A day in the life

Some of our students have documented what a typical day is like for them while on their year abroad. Explore some of their experiences.

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Placement grants

The Mercer Charity Placement Awards is an annual grant available to between two and five students on the BA (Hons) Modern Languages and European Studies course.

The Award will support you in a voluntary placement with a charitable organisation overseas, with a value between £500 and £1,000 (which you can use to help cover the airfares, travel and living costs associated with your placement).

We are able to offer this award thanks to a generous donation from an alumnus of the course.