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Welsh Government

Study abroad

As university fees rise in the UK, studying abroad may be an exciting option for you. BUT, it is a big step with lots to think about.  

You may be considering studying abroad as an alternative to a UK university or as part of your undergraduate studies here.  Whichever is the case, you will need to do a lot of your own research and think through the options carefully.  We can help you get started to research and plan your time abroad.

Did you know?  Around 30,000 UK students go abroad to study per year.  Most of these, 96%, go abroad as part of their UK-based undergraduate degree course. ( HESA, 2017)

5 reasons to study abroad

  • Employers love it – employers particularly want people who have global experience and are aware of different cultures.  Studying abroad is a great way to stand out from the crowd.
  • It could be cheaper– with increasing tuition fees at UK universities, the cost of studying abroad might not be much more expensive than studying at home. There are a wide range of courses available through English.  
  • Learn a language – studying abroad can be one of the best ways to gain valuable language skills and open more doors to a wide range of jobs.  
  • Develop your strengths – leaving home to study abroad is an adventure but also a big step.  Rising to the challenge and overcoming all the obstacles can develop your skills and make you a more adaptable and confident person. 
  • Adventure, travel and new academic perspective  – the experience will certainly be an adventure, you could meet new friends and contacts and change how your view your studying and career ideas

Did you know? 39% of UK employers were dissatisfied with graduates' international cultural awareness  (CBI,2017) 

Did you know? Students who go abroad are 9% more likely to gain a 1st or 2:1 degree and 24% less likely to be unemployed (UUKi Gone International, 2017). 


Study abroad checklist

Research your course

You will need to plan very carefully.  

  • Research your course – It is important to research which course is best for you just as you would if studying in the UK. Depending on your career plans you can check how international qualifications compare to those in the UK at UK NARIC   
  • Research your university. Research the country - This could mean a new language, culture and a completely different way of life to the one you are used to. 
Funding your study abroad 

The most common ways that you could study abroad are: 

  • Through a placement abroad as part of your studies at a UK university or college 
  • By completing the whole of a higher education course abroad

If you study outside of the UK as part of a course you are attending at a UK University or college, you can apply for full finance from Student Finance Wales. If those studies are in an EU country, funding may be available through ERASMUS+. This may change depending on BREXIT but find out more from our UK university or college. 

If you start and complete your course outside of the UK, you cannot apply for funding from Student Finance Wales. Tuition fees and the cost of living will vary widely between countries and universities. The total costs may be higher or lower than the costs in the UK.  
Apply for financial support to the funding agency of the country concerned. For more information on funding and potential scholarships, speak to the university or college you are interested in. 

You need to check how you will fund the cost of your time abroad very carefully: 
Your Europe
UK Council for International Student Affairs  

Visas? Vaccinations? Medical Checks? Insurance?

Depending on which university and country you are interested in, there may be other requirements before you can apply to study and live in the country, such as visas, vaccinations or insurance.   Check carefully with the university you are interested in. 

How to apply

All applications to higher education courses in the UK are made through UCAS. Application processes for universities and colleges in other countries vary greatly and are not all through a central system like UCAS,  for example for Dutch universities you apply directly to each university. Find out how to apply with the university you are interested in. 

Start your research

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