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Apply as an outgoing study or work abroad student

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Contact the Study Abroad and Exchange Team

As a student studying at the University of Southampton you could study or work for a period of time at one of our 400 Exchange links in 54 countries.

This is a guide to finding out more about how you can study or work abroad as part of your degree.

Opportunities in Europe

Exchanges with Erasmus+

Students studying in Europe come under the Erasmus+ Programme. These students are entitled to Erasmus funding.

Work placement with Erasmus+

It is also possible for students to undertake a work placement as part of their degree. Work placements in Europe may be eligible for funding under the Erasmus+ scheme. Several academic units, including Physics, Ship Science and Modern Languages, allow their students to participate in Erasmus work placements as part of their course.

Please contact your exchange coordinator to find out more or read The British Council Work Placement Guide to help with your planning.

International Opportunities

Exchanges outside of Europe

Exchanges outside of Europe are also possible, and include our University-wide exchange partners. Students of any discipline can study at these institutions as long as it is approved by their exchange coordinator, but places are very competitive.

Eligible students going outside the EU will also be given the £500 Southampton Opportunity (non-repayable) grant from the University of Southampton to provide additional support as they do not receive the Erasmus grant.

See the full list of partners by academic discipline.

Work placements outside of Europe

Students can undertake a work placement outside of Europe as part of their course. Often, these placements take the form of a research project within a University, teaching placement or internship at a company overseas.

Please contact your exchange coordinator to find out whether an overseas work placement could fit into your degree programme. 

Who can study abroad & How to Apply

To study abroad as an exchange student you must:

How to apply

Your academic unit will usually invite you to discuss exchange opportunities during your first or second year of study. This will tell you where you can study, for how long, what courses you can follow and what you can expect from a period abroad.

Once you have an idea of where you want to go on exchange or placement, you will need to:

Other Opportunities and Advice for your time abroad

Go InternationalThird Year Abroad
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Related Information

Language Proficiency



Special Needs & Personal Safety



Language Proficiency

You do not need to have good language skills when you first express an interest in studying or working abroad, although if you are able to speak another language there may be more destinations available to you.

Find out the language of instruction at the host university; you may find that English is widely spoken. The majority of our partner institutions in East and Southeast Asia, Australasia and North America all teach in English. Check their websites to find more details.

Your exchange coordinator will advise you on the level of language proficiency you need in order to study or work abroad successfully.

How to improve your language skills

  • Plan ahead!
  • Take a language option as one of your credit-bearing units.
  • Do a free evening or lunchtime course at the Centre for Language Study at Avenue Campus with the Southampton Language Opportunity.
  • Use the self-study facilities and materials available at the Centre for Language Study.
  • Find out whether you can take an intensive language course in-country when you first arrive, to help you get by in everyday situations.

Erasmus funding may be available for language courses if you are not studying a language as part of your degree. Contact us at for more details.


Currently, if you are a UK, EU or EEA national you will not require a visa to visit most of the countries which participate in the Erasmus scheme. However, if you are planning to go to Turkey, you will need to make arrangements with the Turkish Consulate in London.

Outside of Europe

If you are travelling outside of Europe, it is very likely that you will need to obtain a visa. Please see the embassy website (UK Office) of the country you will be studying or working in for more information.

International students

If you required a Tier 4 visa to come and study in the UK, you still need to comply with any monitoring requirements relating to your visa. Check with your school / academic department how they will do this while you are abroad.


It is essential to have suitable insurance to cover you for any eventualities while you are abroad.

Free insurance with the Southampton Opportunity: If you are undertaking a recognised period of study or work abroad, both inside and outside the EU, the University of Southampton is offering cover with their insurance policy free of charge to all outgoing students. This could be if you are going on an Exchange or Study Abroad placement or taking a summer school. More information

If you are studying abroad in the USA on a J1 visa you may need to purchase additional USA based Health to comply with visa requirements. This can often be purchased from the host institution or alternatively you can purchase it independently. The University's brokers have a compliant product details of which can be found via this link

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC): If you are studying or working in Europe, you must take with you a valid EHIC which will entitle you to access to medical facilities whilst visiting or studying in Europe.

You can apply for an EHIC in one of three ways:

  • online - delivery within seven days.
  • by phone, on 0845 606 2030 – delivery within 10 days
  • by post, using the form available from the Post Office – delivery within 21 days

Travel and health insurance policy: All students must be covered by a suitable travel / health insurance policy which includes travel to and from your destination and for all the activities you intend to undertake for the whole duration of your stay. If you are going to Europe, your EHIC card will not be enough to cover your expenses! You must leave a copy of your insurance policy with your faculty office before you leave the UK.

If you intend to go travelling during your period abroad, check if you will need additional cover for any trips longer than 7 days. Activities such as winter sports normally require additional cover. Some countries may require you to have additional health insurance on top of the insurance offered by the University. Please check when researching visas and insurance requirements for your destination.

Additional insurance for work placements: Many employers in Europe do not cover work placement students as part of their standard employers’ insurance. You will need check with your employer if you are fully insured to work on their premises. You can also contact the University's Insurance Services  or contact the International Office for advice.

Students with additional needs

Disabilities, mental health problems or learning difficulties need not be a barrier to exchange.
If you have additional needs and are interested in going on exchange we advise that you contact your personal tutor and the exchange coordinator for your subject, who can help find out what support is available at different universities.

We also advise you to contact our Enabling Services for confidential advice. You can find more detailed guidelines for exchange students on the Enabling Services website. You can also contact our Exchange and Study Abroad team in the International Office, who are also happy to meet with you to help you prepare for your exchange.

Further information on exchanges in Europe for students with additional needs can be found at:

If you are going on an Erasmus exchange you can apply for additional funding on top of the standard Erasmus grant to aid with additional needs.

Personal safety

Participating in the Erasmus scheme is not in itself a dangerous experience but, like every person travelling abroad, you may need to be more aware of your personal safety than when you are at home.

Before you go:

  • attend an International Office pre-departure information session
  • read the Safety Office guidance before you go
  • discuss personal safety with your tutor when you are completing your Risk Assessment form

While you are abroad:

  • take similar precautions to those you would when living or studying in the UK
  • don’t take any unnecessary risks
  • be aware that you may stand out as a foreigner, especially when you first arrive
  • seek local advice where necessary, such as local areas to avoid
  • be alert when travelling alone or at night



Depending on where your destination is and whether you are studying or working, you may be able to live in a university residence or you may need to look for private rented accommodation.

It is essential that you do not arrive at your destination without any accommodation for your first few nights.


If you have signed a full-year contract for a room in Southampton with your friends but are exchanging for a semester, you can advertise your room to incoming students in SASSH:

  • Incoming students arriving in Semester 1 will start looking for accommodation between April and July.
  • Incoming students arriving in Semester 2 will start looking for accommodation between October and December



While visiting a partner university or an employer you will participate fully in the academic or work life of the organisation concerned. What you do while you are abroad is an integral part of your Southampton degree and not an additional element.

At the end of your exchange your host institution will issue a Transcript of Records which should be sent to our office or your Faculty's Student Office. The grade conversion and credit equivalence will be done by your Exchange Coordinator or Student Office.

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