This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
To go on a Year Abroad or not?(10 Posts)
I have posted before about similar problems but have now done some more research and would like as much advice as possible!
I’m currently in my second year of uni. Initially, I was never interested in studying abroad and didn’t put much thought into it. However, I am now in the situation where my second year housemates have all decided on going their separate ways with course friends for third year housing, and all of my course friends want to go on a year abroad! I decided to look into going abroad for a year (as that’s what all of my course friends were doing) and it seems like a good (if not daunting) idea. I would be guaranteed a place somewhere however don’t get to find out where until around March time. There are obvious pros and cons for studying abroad or not - it would be easier for me to spend the year abroad in terms of housing - my course friends would return for their fourth year and we would live together. I’m not set on doing this year abroad though, and recognise that it comes with many challenges (not least finding somewhere to rent in a different country and actually studying there too!). If I didn’t do the year abroad, I would have to try and find somewhere to live this year, whether that be going back into halls, trying to find a group of students advertising on Facebook for a new housemate or finding a studio flat to live by myself in. I know it isn’t the end of the world however I keep feeling myself getting more and more stressed about not knowing what on Earth I’ll be doing next year! What would you advise your DCs to do? Sometimes it isn’t as easy as ‘going back into halls’ - as it’s pot luck whether I’d get housemates who I’d gel with, same goes for joining an already gelled group.
Sorry for rambly post but wondered if anyone had any words of wisdom to help me out!
I do remember you posting before. I think going back into halls for Y2 is a lottery. Are you going to get a room?
Going abroad needs some investigation. What are you studying? It probably makes a difference regarding where you can go. Are you thinking of a year abroad where you are taught in English? If so, where does your university offer? Do you qualify to get a place?
Yes, it’s a challenge but it says something about you if you do it successfully. Where are your friends going? How many places are available at the different universities? Do you have to compete for a place? If you can answer some of these questions it may help you come to a decision.
EU universities and some other countries are in the Eurasmus scheme so finances aren’t so bad. You can make ends meet. You would need to find out more about what the situation is about other far flung countries not least air fares and living costs. I think it’s a great opportunity and you should make enquiries about where you could go but you shouldn’t do it just because everyone else is. Know your own mind but what are their reasons for going? They must have thought it through or was it always part of their course and not yours?
My DD1 did a year abroad and would say it is something she is very proud of. It was a huge success. There was the challenge of the work but also an opportunity to make new friends and travel. Both of which were hugely beneficial to her life not least in self confidence!
I don't think "I have no-one I know to share a flat with" is a good reason to go abroad, but I think studying abroad for a year is a fantastic opportunity.
However, 'abroad' is so vague and massively different, depending on destination.
It will depend on your course. On the language of the host country. On your language skills. On your confidence. On the industry expectations (if you know where you are heading).
I think it is a fantastic opportunity for many students, but I think you have to want to do it.
DS did a semester abroad with Erasmus. The money he received did not cover his hall fees abroad, however his UK university did reduce his course fees for the year. I m not sure what happens with student loan. Overseas students appear to get the opportunity to go into hall.
It was a great opportunity, enjoyed the course and he made lots of new friends and found the topic for his final year dissertation while there.
It depends on the couse and where you are going and whether you will be able to cope with studying in a new language or whether you will study in English. Also remember that you need to establish which overseas Universities your Uni has agreements with and look closely at the course content.
Final thought - when is the deadline to apply? It might already be too late. However have a word with the Overseas Office who he found a fount of knowledge.
Thank you everyone already! Forgot to add some details - I’m studying Law, the year abroad would be taught in English and I would almost definitely be in Europe under the Erasmus scheme.
In terms of the process, it involves a simple application whereby you rank 8 partner universities of my departement in order of preference and are guaranteed a place at one of those institutions. In case of competition for places (there are only 2 per institution in most cases), preferences goes to those who performed best in first year. Some of my course friends do LLB European and International Law with a compulsory year abroad as this is the ‘international’ part of their degree - they get priority over myself and others who are simply studying LLB Law.
Once again, thank you for your replies - it really helps to get a different perspective on things as my own family aren’t very helpful when it comes to this!
- also the deadline for applying isn’t until early January so I do have a few weeks to think about it!
I think everyone should travel as much as possible and studying abroad is a great way to do it as it gives you a structure and network. Ok so doing it just to avoid sharing with unknown people might not solve the immediate problem (everyone where you go will be unknown!) But if it's genuinely piqued your interest and you think they'd offer it to you then yes - absolutely take the opportunity. Who knows where your journey might lead?
Do what you want. A year abroad sounds awesome to me but don't do it for the wrong reasons.
If you have to find somewhere to live, look at Spare Room. My son had 10 days notice to move for an apprenticeship, found a place on there easily. I think he found about 5 choices that fitted his requirements, viewed them and picked his favourite.
He lives with other people but is only responsible rent wise for his own room.
Given the further info you have supplied I think you need to go and speak to the Year Abroad or Erasmus office to see if, in reality, there are places available after the students who must go have been allocated places. If there definitely are places going begging every year you will need to see if they are taught in English if you have not been studying a MFL up to degree level. You need to check what the language requirements are and whether you meet them if Law is taught in another language. Lots of universities put on language classes to bring non MFL grads up to speed. I assume it’s as well as Y3 making it a four year degree?
I think some families just don’t get going abroad to study but if you can sort all this out, you can sort out anything! It’s a very positive thing to do so find out all you can and go for it if you think you will benefit. It’s not unreasonable to change your mind when you hear the enthusiasm of your friends.
Going abroad you may have to fend for yourself find flatmates etc.
So you need to have resilience.
But it could be good for you.
Also don't count on your friends wanting to share with you after you all been away.. .you may all have found different new friends. Or boy/girl friends.
So don't go abroad on basis of future house share. You don't know what may happen over next year.
Do what you want to do for you.
Do it because you want the experience.