How it works

Spending part of your degree overseas at a partner university is an amazing experience and one that will help you stand out from the crowd.


Who can take part?

A period abroad is available in many undergraduate courses. Check the Where can I go? webpages to see what destinations are available. Unfortunately, students studying in the Faculty of Health (with the exception of Nursing) are not eligible to spend a year abroad.

Students studying language degrees and those studying degrees in the School of Law should speak to their departments directly as they organise their own exchanges.

Do I need to speak a foreign language?

All of our partners outside Europe teach in English and many of our partners within Europe offer modules taught in English. Your departmental departmental adviser should be able to tell you which of the department's partner universities offer modules taught in English.

If you want to learn a new language or brush up on any existing language skills, there are several ways of doing this both in Sheffield and in your host country. The Modern Languages Teaching Centre offers foreign language modules from beginners to advanced level. They also run a tandem programme to help students practice their conversational skills with native speakers.

Academic matters

When you study abroad, it is part of your degree and is not a year out. For all students, it is an assessed year. For some students, the modules and grades you study overseas will count towards your final degree classification and may affect which modules you can take when you return to Sheffield, while for others the experience is assessed on a pass/fail basis and is a chance to expand your education beyond what is offered at Sheffield.

Departments will have their own academic criteria to allow students to study abroad. Usually, you need to achieve a first-year average of 60 and be eligible to successfully progress to the following year (e.g. no failed modules). You must check with your department what criteria you need to meet to be allowed to go.

Which year will I go?

If you are on a three-year degree, you will usually apply in the autumn semester of your second year to add a year abroad between your second year and final year. There are a small number of degree programmes, such as International Business Management with Study Abroad, where the year abroad is in the second year and the application is in the autumn semester of the first year. A small number of departments also offer a semester abroad option, usually replacing one of the two semesters in the second year and requiring an application in the first year.

If you are on a four-year degree, such as an integrated masters degree, or if you are unsure when study abroad is available in your degree programme, you should express your interest during your first year, and your department will let you know what options are available to you. 

 Advice from your department

There are departmental tutors in each academic department. You must discuss your options with an adviser before you submit an application. Their role is to give continual academic advice from when you are first considering study abroad, all the way through to when you return from overseas. They help you identify relevant courses at overseas universities, they are contactable while you're abroad, and they ensure you always meet your Sheffield degree requirements.

You must discuss your choices and obtain the full support of your department before submitting an application.