Studying and working abroad
Depending on the course you choose, you can work or study abroad for as little as 2 months or as long as a year. If you prefer a shorter trip abroad, we arrange summer school trips each year to countries such as China, Kenya and Malaysia. No matter how long you go abroad for, or where you go, you'll spend time developing an understanding of different cultures and improving your language skills.
Applying to study abroad as part of your studies is straightforward. And the time you spend abroad contributes to your degree. The confidence gained from overseas travel, immersion in a new culture and the willingness to try new things will enhance your university experience.
Choosing to study abroad was by far the best decision I made during university. I moved to Lille, in France, to study at EDHEC Business School. It gave me the opportunity to travel across Europe, meet people from all over the globe, and improve my confidence and independence.
Benefits of working or studying abroad
- Experience a new country and a different culture
- Open up new professional and personal opportunities
- Stand out in the job market when you graduate
- Learn another language or expand your existing language skills
- Make friends from all over the world
- Grow your confidence and independence living away from your home country
Where could you study abroad?
We have partner universities around the world where you can study abroad. Which country you visit will depend on which course you do. See a full list of our partner universities and locations.
Countries you could go to include:
- The Netherlands
Do you need to speak the language?
You don't have to speak the language of the country you're going to as classes are delivered in English. You'll no doubt pick up some of the basic phrases while you're there though, and should seek out opportunities to practice.
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.
Living in Florence for two months helped me to develop self-sufficiency, independence and to embrace new challenges. Erasmus+ has surpassed all my expectations and I wish I could do it all again!
International summer schools
If you can't commit to a long study exchange and prefer to go abroad during the holidays, you can apply for our 2-week summer schools. Attending an International Summer School in a different country is another way to experience life in a different culture while studying.
While on the summer school, you’ll interact with local students and staff, learn about the local language and culture, and visit famous landmarks.
Joining a summer school programme costs around £1,500. Staff from the University of Portsmouth arrange and accompany the trip, so you don't have to worry about organising anything.
You can choose from 3 summer school destinations:
China – Beijing, Xi'an, and Luoyang
When you go to summer school in China, you'll experience:
- Lessons on topics such as Mandarin, philosophy and traditions, history and ecommerce
- Practical workshops on traditional painting and Tai Chi
- Excursions including the Great Wall of China Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Imperial Summer Palace, Terracotta Warriors, Banpo Ruins, Shaolin Temple and Longmen Grottoes
Kenya – Nairobi and Mombasa
When you go to summer school in Kenya, you'll experience:
- Talks including the local nature and environment, Mau Mau history, education in Kenya and Masai Mara culture
- Excursions to Mount Kenya, Rift Valley, Masai Mara Village, Nyali Beach and Fort Jesus
- 3 days of safari drives
Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur and Kuching (Borneo rainforests)
When you go to summer school in Malaysia, you'll experience:
- Lessons on topics such as a socio-political overview of Malaysia, an introduction to Malay language and civil liberties
- Excursions from Kuala Lumpur include Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur city centre, Royal Selangor Pewter, Thean Hou Temple and a day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Melaka
- Excursions from Kuching include the Semenggoh Orangutan Sanctuary, Bako National Park, Sarawak Cultural Village, rainforest hikes and waterfalls
On some of our courses, you can do your placement year abroad. Our students have travelled to countries including Japan, Belgium, Ireland, Switzerland, Malaysia, America and Spain during their sandwich year.
You can find opportunities to work abroad at our Global Working events, run by the Careers and Employability Service. If you're looking for more direct advice on finding an overseas placement, you can talk to your course placement officer when you start.
Doing a year in China was one of the reasons why I chose this course – especially because at Portsmouth you get to do a whole year in China. I know that in Norway they only send people there for 1 term. Which I feel is a bit short if you want to get better at Chinese. So being able to go there for a whole year is really good.
My name is Marie. I’m an international student from Norway. I study at the University of Portsmouth, where I study International Relations and Chinese.
I’m currently on my year abroad studying in Wuhan, China. What I enjoy most about being in China is that, even though it’s very different, it is good different.
It’s nice to be part of the Chinese culture – learning about China, learning Chinese, trying new foods especially. Chinese food in China and Chinese food in the Western world is very different.
I think I will miss China. All the people that I’ve met there, and just the environment of being in China. I think I will really miss it. But it’s going to be good to come back to Portsmouth as well.
These are some videos of China. This one is from the Sichuan province. That’s the pandas that we went to see – cute pandas.
The advice I would give to students wanting to do a language or study abroad is – just really consider it. Doing a language will look good on your degree. It will increase your chances of getting a job.
Being in China is my second year abroad experience, since I already came to England to study and now I’m in China. And I have never regretted going.