Study Abroad Unit

Outgoing students

Many of our degrees include the option to study in another country. This isn't just a change of scenery, it's a chance to experience a new culture, broaden your horizons, and make lifelong friends.

Study Abroad is managed by the Study Abroad Unit in the Centre for International Teaching and Education. We will support you before, during and after your time abroad, to help you make the most of this amazing opportunity. For more information, contact

Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience. It will give you the opportunity to broaden your academic and social horizons while enhancing your future career prospects. It can help you gain a new perspective on your life goals through the experience of a new culture, the opportunity to travel and the new friends you will make. You may learn a new language, discover a new hobby, or even meet the love of your life! Whatever your reasons for choosing to study abroad, or your experience whilst overseas, you are sure to return home with new skills, new connections, and a new-found appreciation of your ability to adapt, to communicate, and to challenge yourself.

Research by Go International, an initiative of Universities UK, shows that students who spend part of their degree abroad are more likely to get a first or 2:1 and after graduation have a higher employment rate and higher earnings.

We have partnerships with over 160 universities on every continent (except Antarctica!), allowing you to spend a year or semester at a range of global destinations including (depending on your course) Italy, Japan, the USA, Australia, South Africa and others. Our partners are carefully selected to ensure that you have a fantastic experience at a university offering a high quality education and great facilities.

To find out whether your degree programme offers the opportunity to Study Abroad, check your degree page. The cost of the year abroad, where offered, is indicated in the fees section of each degree. Study Abroad places are offered on a competitive basis, unless it is a mandatory part of your degree programme.

Being able to study abroad during my time at university has been the biggest highlight of my life journey. It made me more confident, independent and opened my eyes to a whole new world that is out there. I think that every student should have the opportunity to do it and experience it for themselves.

Anna, Swinburne University, Australia

How does a year abroad fit with my degree?

Depending on your degree programme, you’ll either take a ‘school-managed’ year abroad, or you’ll join the Global Citizen Study Abroad (GCSA) programme.

School-managed year abroad

These tend to be mandatory or integrated years abroad (wherein the grades you achieve whilst overseas count towards your final degree classification). The academic structure and requirements for these years abroad are tailored by your School. Find out more by contacting your School directly.

The following degree programmes offer a school-managed year abroad:

  • American Studies joint honours (with History)
    • If you choose to study in North America, your year abroad will be school-managed. If you wish to study outside North America, you will follow the GCSA programme.
  • Biological Sciences
    • If you choose to undertake a research placement, your year abroad will be school-managed.
  • Chemistry
  • Geology
    • MGeol Geology only
  • Law with a Modern Language
  • Modern Languages

Students on all other degree programmes which include a year abroad will be able to apply for the Global Citizen Study Abroad Programme.

The Global Citizen Study Abroad (GCSA) programme

The GCSA programme is for all degrees with an optional year abroad. It has been designed to give you flexibility in terms of where you go, and what you study on your year abroad. The University of Leicester recognises that the benefits of studying abroad extend beyond the credits you can earn in the classroom, and that the process of preparing for and successfully completing a year abroad can enable you to develop crucial employability skills and experience personal growth.

On the GCSA programme you’ll be free to apply for whichever classes interest you the most amongst those offered to you by your host university, and the year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis.

Summer Abroad

Another great way to experience a different culture is through our summer abroad opportunities, which provide you with a short-term international experience outside of term time. These experiences often include summer schools, where you participate in an academic programme of classes at a partner University, or volunteering or work experience offered by partner organisations abroad. 

Each year we are very happy to offer a range of destinations and programmes, from South Korea, to Japan, France, Taiwan, Denmark, Spain and many more. 

By participating in an international experience over your summer, you can improve your CV, meet new people and experience a different culture – all setting you on the path to become a Global Citizen.

Overall, the summer study experience was incredible! I was nervous about certain aspects of the summer experience...However, after my first day, I realised that immersing myself into the course and asking questions in class was all part of the experience

Navya, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Summer School, Spain

Code of practice

Overseas student exchange is defined as a period of study undertaken by students as part of their programme of study or as part of an extra-curricular opportunity organised by the University, at a partner university with which the University has a formal agreement.

Overseas exchanges are normally either an academic study placement for one semester or an academic year or a period of study at a partner university during the summer vacation.

Read section 6 of the code of practice on managing higher education provision with others (PDF, 520kb)

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