Studying abroad for a semester, full-year or your entire degree can be a fun and rewarding experience which can improve both your personal life and employment prospects.

Every year, approximately 20,000 UK students choose to spend time studying abroad. This accounts for 7.8% of the UK’s undergraduate student population. The majority of students that decide to go abroad do so by spending their penultimate year of studies in a different country. However, it is becoming increasingly common for students to choose to spend their entire degree outside of the UK.

Whether you are interested in spending a year of your UK-based degree abroad or would like to apply to study for an entire degree outside of the UK, take a look at our dedicated guide to help make sure this process is right for you.

Deciding where to study

If you have decided you are interested in studying abroad, then the chances are you have considered the countries or cities you would be keen to move to. With high-quality education available across the world, it can be a considerable challenge to narrow down on a single country. There are several factors to take into account, such as the opportunity to experience an entirely new culture, whether you would like to live in a different climate and any language barriers presented. To help you decide the country which feels right for you, take the time to explore our guide on places to study abroad.

Choosing and applying for your course

Once you have decided on the country or city you are interested in, take the time to research the institutions available and the courses they offer. You may want to consider how your potential universities rank globally and visit their websites to explore the content you will learn and how the teaching is conducted. Another important factor to consider is the language the course will be taught in, and if you are taking a semester or a year out of your UK-based degree, you need to make sure your home university approves the course you are applying for.

Applying for funding

Tuition fees abroad vary widely. Certain countries, such as Australia and the USA, set very high fees for international students while other countries such as the Netherlands and China are more affordable. Discuss funding options with your chosen university to see if there are scholarships or bursaries available that you may qualify for and take the time to read our information on costs.

Obtain your visa

For studying outside of the EU, you must make sure you obtain an appropriate visa as part of your application. Make sure you don’t wait until the last minute to organise this and take into consideration whether you will be required to renew your visa at any point during your time abroad.

Budget for your trip

Alongside your tuition fees, you should consider the overall living costs in the country you will be studying in, including housing, grocery prices and leisure activities. Visit our dedicated costing page to help make sure you budget effectively for your time abroad.

Be prepared

In the months leading up to your move abroad, there are several things you are required to prepare:

  1. Insurance is essential, and there are numerous student insurance options available.
  2. Some countries may require you to have vaccinations before you enter, or other countries, such as New Zealand, have specific healthcare obligations that you must be able to meet.
  3. A visit to your GP for a full healthcare check-up before your big move is important. You can take this time to organise any ongoing prescriptions or medical requirements you may have before you leave.

Ensure your passport is valid for the entire length of your stay. While renewing a passport aboard is possible, it often involves long waiting times.