There are a few things to consider when you're deciding which international opportunity to take. This page includes our guidance to help you do this.
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Think about your objectives
- What do you want to do – study, work, volunteering, a virtual placement
- What skills and experience are you looking to gain? More guidance
- What kind of placement would suit me? - What are your individual interests and goals? Find an organisation that fits these well. Perhaps create a mind map or list of your favourite shows, hobbies, and what experiences have impacted you most to find a common theme or idea
- Where in the world would you like to go? - Look at the countries you know you would like to visit. Try narrowing down the list to 2 or 3 top choices. If you are unsure where to start, think about the cultural experiences you would like to gain and then the destinations that fit the criteria
Consider the destination
- What are the local attitudes, what would your legal rights be in that country, what support is in place
- What languages do you speak or want to learn? Does that affect your choice
- Are there particular local considerations to take into account e.g. climate, political unrest, health, risks of terrorism –the UK Foreign Office website is a good place to start researching
Look into different options
- Does your department have any international partnerships – check this here
- Check out our International Placements page for some ideas
- Ask your department if they can suggest possible hosts through research collaborations or networks
- Speak to the Careers Service for guidance on identifying and approaching potential hosts
- Get in touch directly with an organisation that you are interested in working with
- Read the advice on the international volunteering page
- Read our blog on how to find a placement
- Read the experience of previous students
Understand the practicalities
- How much will your placement cost and what funding is available for you? Funding is available to study abroad for a term, to work abroad in Europe for 2-3 months and to study or work abroad over the summer for less than 2 months
- Will you need a visa?
- Travel. How will you travel? What are the estimated costs? Can you get a grant for these costs? Can you travel more sustainably than by flying?
- Think about your daily routine, are there things you will need to replicate whilst abroad e.g. diet, religious worship, healthcare, access to activities
- If you have access needs, consider what you will need whilst abroad and research what support is in place in the country or organisation you are considering. You can organise a consultation with the Global Opportunities team to discuss this further
It is entirely up to you as an adult if and where you go abroad. However, it is true that your parents can be an important part of this and may have their own opinions, insights or reservations, especially if you are going abroad without them for the first time.
An otherwise than positive reaction may be expected or unexpected, but it shouldn’t stop you from pursuing the chance to go abroad! Instead, using the advice on this page, you can go to them with all your research ahead of time. This will show that you are serious and prepared which will help bring them on board.
Find more information and guidance on our blog on how to find an international placement.