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Thinking about studying abroad? Here's how to!

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Now in Semester 3 and into the final stretch of another university year, I bet a lot of you are preparing for the dreaded exam and deadline period. But before you start making plans for a summer holiday, maybe it is time to think about how your university campus is not the breach of your degree…

Do you want to experience different cultures and languages? Extend your skills and knowledge on your degree choice? Increase your CV? Make memories and friends along the way?

If you are finding yourself wanting that little bit more out of your university experience, working abroad or within the UK in paid/voluntary internships is always an option. With hundreds of opportunities, this will not only be a beneficial experience for you but it will also make you stand out in the job market.

Of course, there are a lot of things to think about before jumping straight in. First of all, is this experience sensible? I know we would all love to spend the summer in an exotic country, but will this opportunity benefit your studies? And would you be able to afford it?

Well, if you’re thinking about an internship in Europe and study at Newcastle University, Sheffield University, University of Manchester, University of Southampton, UCL and many more, the Eramus+ programme may be right for you! This company is a European Union funded organisation which encourages students to embrace opportunities in countries within Europe. If you are interested in applying for a position next year in 2017, to be eligible you must be an EU resident and have completed your first undergraduate year of study. Eramus+ not only provides links but also allows students to apply for an Eramus+ grant as well as your maintenance loans/grants which will help fund some of your trip.

Don’t worry if your university isn’t listed on the UK Eramus Partners website, contacting your university Careers Service would be a step in the right direction!

An Abroad Experience

If you’re reading this with the idea of travelling further afield, an internship abroad may be right for you. Most universities have partnership institutions all around the globe and looking at your universities partners would be the first step towards your dream experience. But unfortunately, it is unlikely for a Non-EU internship/study to be funded and requires you to do a bit of saving. This can be a common situation so if this route is in your sights, make sure you have planned your finances sensibly! You’ll need to consider flights, student VISAs and sponsors which may all seem like a complicated ordeal. But, don’t worry! As well as the university aid, companies such as Go Abroad, GVI and Oyster Worldwide are all there to guide you on your way; whether that be teaching English in Thailand or volunteering to help children in Africa, these opportunities are just waiting to be snapped up!

Stay closer to home

But ok, I get it… travelling miles away from home isn’t for everyone. So maybe a UK internship sounds better for you. Some of the first things to consider are: will the distance require temporary accommodation? Is the job well paid? And is it a reputable company? You may find that doing a little bit of research before your trip will be very beneficial; maybe ask around other students and even lecturers to find out if they have any recommendations on the top companies to seek out a position in and where in the world is best for you.

Yet, it all boils down to this one question: will you enjoy yourself? Before organising anything, make sure that an internship or voluntary work is actually something you can see yourself doing! If so… grab it with both hands – you’re in for an amazing ride!

Laura Elizabeth Buckle lives in Student Accommodation Newcastle at Liberty Plaza  and is a 1st year student studying Journalism, Media and Culture at Newcastle University.

 

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