After a long summer, we are rapidly approaching the start of a new university year and it is this time in particular where you will have people, who either study or work for the university, enter your lectures to discuss opportunities such as student ambassador roles, course representative roles and studying abroad. I first discovered the opportunity to study abroad in my first year in one of my first lectures, and although intrigued, because your study abroad year takes place in your third year, I pushed it to one side. However, I received a similar talk in my second year and it once again triggered my curiosity and I soon began to consider it further. I thought lots of people would consider it also, but I was wrong and this then made me question whether I should embark on a study abroad placement.
Now here I am sitting in my room in Amsterdam on my fifth day of my study abroad year.
The process of applying to study abroad is actually quite simple at Leicester, I can’t speak for all universities but here, it is.
Step 1: Find out who your department coordinator is and contact them with a simple email expressing your interest– this person is usually different to the head of your department.
Step 2: Decide what country you want to go- if there is more than one option (and there usually is), your department coordinator will then nominate you to the Erasmus team at Leicester. Often there are limited spaces for destinations so ensure you contact your coordinator as early as possible!
Step 3: If you are successful, you’ll expect to hear from the Erasmus team and from here you will begin to attend information sessions and fill out what seems like an overwhelming amount of paperwork- but it’s actually okay, though I would recommend starting it early as often it can take a while to get all of the required signatures and information in time to meet the deadlines!
Here is a list of the documentation you will need to fill out before you move abroad:
• Bank Form
• Insurance paperwork
• Learning/Traineeship Agreement
• OLS – Online Linguistic Support (if applicable)
• Grant Agreement
Step 4: Throughout these formalities, you will have to also apply for student accommodation in your desired destination, buy the essentials (as it is likely you’ll have to pack very minimally) and consider and book transport options.
It may seem like a lot of effort to go through and you do have to consider that an additional year will be required at Leicester after the study abroad year, but even after only five days here I can already tell that it’s definitely going to be worth it!