Geography student in field

Experience new cultures

Travel while you learn with Exchange opportunities

Experience another culture. Learn another language. Gain broader knowledge and skills, and develop a network of international contacts. 

There are so many reasons to study or work in another country as part of your degree – and whatever you choose to do – we’re here to help.

Studying or working abroad as part of your degree can help your CV stand out from other graduates too, so when you apply for jobs or further study after graduation, your experience abroad could improve your chances of finding a great career.

Depending on your course, you will have different options to study or work abroad during your degree.

  • If you are interested in studying abroad, you should contact your Academic Exchange Coordinator - contact if you are not sure who this is. More information and our current partner universities are available on our Outbound mobility webpage.
  • If you are interested in working abroad, your Faculty Placement office can help with this, as well as the services offered by the Careers and Employability team.

How to apply

Once you've chosen where you'd like to go you should contact your course leader about starting your application.

Most internal applications to study or work abroad will take place in the second year of your studies, (with the exception of the International Business course), and deadlines are set by the individual Schools, Departments and Faculties. Please contact your Academic Exchange Coordinator or Placement Officer as early as you can so that you have all the information you need prior to your application.

If you are looking to apply for a University-Wide exchange opportunity, then please visit our Moodle site for more information.

If you're taking part in the British Council Language Assistantship you'll need to complete the documents required for work placements. 

Speaking the language

You don't usually have to speak the language of the country you're going to. Most of our partner universities teach courses in English, but you should check with your departmental coordinator before selecting your options. You'll probably pick up some basic phrases while you're abroad though. 

Institution-Wide Language Programme

If you want to prepare yourself and learn the language before you go, you can do a free language course while you're at university. You can attend Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP) classes to learn basic language skills.

The IWLP is a free programme open to every campus-based, full-time student at the University. Regardless of what you're studying, you can learn a language alongside your degree. You can choose to study a number of languages, including French, German, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin. To find out more about the IWLP, email

Learning abroad

Styles of teaching can vary from country to country and class to class, but don't worry. You'll adapt quickly and the experience you gain from a different way of learning will prove beneficial in the future, and even enhance your studies when you return to Portsmouth.

Will doing a placement abroad impact my degree classification? 

Each department has its own policies about degree classifications. You should discuss how your placement will count towards your degree and impact your degree classification with your departmental coordinator.

Next steps

Once you’ve chosen where to go and spoken to your course leader about your application, you need to:

  • think about your funding, insurance and travel details
  • research further requirements from your host institution or company
  • attend any exchange sessions organised by your department or our team, to help you prepare academically and personally for your trip
  • arrange your accommodation — the institution or company you're joining should be able to help if you need it


If you choose to do an activity abroad for at least 4 weeks, then you will have the opportunity to apply for an external grant from the Turing Scheme. You don’t have to do this alone, our team is here to help guide you through the process.

The grant helps to pay for any extra costs of living overseas, such as your rent, food or bills, but you shouldn't rely on it as your main budget, or to cover your initial costs.

There is also extra funding available from the Turing Scheme to support students from low-income backgrounds, those with special educational needs and disabilities. Whatever your background, we can help you! Contact us by emailing to find out more.

In addition, you may also have access to other sources of funding, such as the Student Maintenance Loan, local and regional government grants or existing savings.

Things to do before you go

  • Make sure you have health cover. When travelling to Europe, you're entitled to reduced-cost treatments in eligible countries via the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). To apply for the card, visit the UK Government webpage on GHIC
  • Get a map and directions for the places you're going in your first few days. Have the address of your accommodation written down in the local language. Keep safe any useful numbers you might need, such as a local taxi company and your University contacts
  • Check if there's an orientation programme or welcoming session with the host institution's International Office. They may also have housing information too (if you haven't got a place already)
  • Consider getting an International Student Identity Card (ISIC). This is not the same card as the NUS. With the ISIC card you'll benefit from cheaper flights. For more information, visit the ISIC website
  • Keep a copy of your passport separate from the original in case something goes wrong
  • Don't take unnecessary cards or papers with you that can't be used abroad
  • Make sure you have sufficient funds for the first couple of weeks while you're there
  • Keep a contact book in case you lose your phone. It can happen, and you don't want to lose any important contacts
  • Make sure you've got enough supplies of prescription medications you are taking. Check for any restrictions on taking medication into your destination country before you travel.