It will soon be that time of year again where the university year starts back up after a long summer, as well as this, it’ll also be the time of the year when you will have multiple different people come into your lectures to discuss things such as student ambassador roles, course representative roles and studying abroad. I was first informed of the opportunity to study abroad in my first year; I was intrigued, but because your study abroad year takes place in your third year, I pushed it to one side. Then, again in my second year, I had a similar talk in one of my lectures and it once again triggered curiosity and I soon began to consider it further. I thought lots of people would do so also, but I was wrong and this made me question whether I should do it.
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 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 signatures and information required in time.
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 Lingustic 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, but even after only five days here I can already tell it is definitely going to be worth it!