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Languages, Cultures and Linguistics Part of Humanities Undergraduate study

Study Abroad

Some students decide to spend a year in a Latin American country
Opportunities for year abroad

How you spend your year abroad is one of the most important decisions you will make during your degree course

Study Abroad

If you are not studying a modern language as a main component of your degree, you can choose to complete a four-year programme and expand your knowledge and experience by studying at a partner university in Europe or beyond for a whole year. Shorter study abroad opportunities, like summer schools, are also available.

Third Year Abroad

If you are on a programme with one or more modern languages as a main component of your degree, you spend a compulsory third year of your four-year programme abroad.

Opportunities for the third year abroad

As a modern linguist at Southampton, you receive an integrated linguistic and cultural learning experience. This starts from the very moment you arrive and continues throughout the second year of your course, during which there is an intensive programme of preparation for your residence abroad in your third year. This ensures you are equipped to make the most of what for many will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend a substantial period living abroad.

In Southampton, we consider the third year to be an experience intrinsically different from a ‘gap year’ in form, opportunities for professional development, and general objectives. For this reason, whilst residing abroad you will also undertake assignments for us which are designed to complement your in-country activities and continue your development as linguists and culturally-aware professionals. Similarly, when you return to Southampton, our fourth year modules help you to develop even further by putting into practice what you learned abroad and by reflecting on the impact this experience has had on your personal growth, linguistic development and professional profile.

Most students prefer to spend the whole period in one location, as settling in and feeling fully integrated can take some time. However, our programmes allow some combined honours students studying two languages (or more ) at the same level in their second year to split their third year between two countries.

You can spend the third year either:

Whilst abroad you will continue to be supported by your tutors and your Personal Academic Tutor through email contact and regular meetings online, as well as continuing to have access to the university’s support services.

Residence abroad preparation

How you spend your year abroad is one of the most important decisions you will make during your degree course. This decision is taken early in your second year, so it is wise to begin to give it some thought, and perhaps do some research into how you may like to spend your year during your first year of study.

In the autumn of your second year, you receive detailed information and attend meetings with the year abroad team, your Personal Academic Tutor and students who have returned from their year abroad. This helps you decide which of the exciting options will be the most beneficial to you in terms of making the most of the experience.

Residence abroad: key contacts

Chair of Modern Languages and Linguistics Residence Abroad.
Ian McCall

Study Abroad Administration Team
International Office
University of Southampton
Room 3107, Building 37,
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ

Residence Abroad Language Coordinators

Lu Rugang

Laura-May Leaf

Adrian Sewell

Fátima Cande

Irina Nelson

Study abroad student bloggers

Three of our current Modern Languages and Linguistics students share their study abroad experiences:

Katie Uniacke
Katie Uniacke, BA Modern Languages (Spanish and Portuguese), blogs from Brazil
Frank Andrews
Frank Andrews, BA Modern Languages (French, Spanish and Arabic), blogs from Colombia
Johnny Foster
Johnny Foster, BA Modern Languages (Spanish, German and Japanese), blogs from Cologne

Useful Downloads

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Hear our student's experiences of their year abroad

Listen to interviews with Modern Languages and Linguistics students discussing their third year in France, Portugal, Germany and Mexico.

Find out more

I attended the University of Granada in Spain. It was definitely the best year of my life. I could not believe how lucky I was to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, to experience a new culture and meet new exciting people…and of course, take advantage of the free tapas! I came home feeling more confident in speaking Spanish, more independent and more open-minded.

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