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AMA

I send your kids on their year abroad - AMA

26 replies

crayray · 10/08/2021 17:59

Parents are so much more involved in their kids' university experiences these days, thought this might be useful?

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Monestera · 10/08/2021 21:15

What are you talking about?

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Kitchendilemmas · 10/08/2021 21:30

Are you the university exchange coordinator?

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crayray · 10/08/2021 22:42

@Kitchendilemmas

Are you the university exchange coordinator?

Yes
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crayray · 10/08/2021 22:43

@Monestera

What are you talking about?

What do you not understand?
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BrutusMcDogface · 10/08/2021 22:44

I went on a year abroad and I think it’s so sad that we don’t have the Erasmus grant anymore.

Not sure what to ask, though! Blush

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StarryStarrySocks · 10/08/2021 22:45

Do any mature students go on a year abroad? I'm in my 40s, thinking of doing a languages degree so I wonder how year abroad works for us oldies!

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doublenotdobble · 10/08/2021 22:47

I did Erasmus in 1996 and one of my flatmates was in her fifties. She was doing a degree in Italian.

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purpleme12 · 10/08/2021 22:48

I did languages at uni and went abroad

Do students have to pay for it now then? Someone above mentioned about but having the Erasmus grant?
Can't sometime let me know please

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Wonderbox · 10/08/2021 22:48

Did you recall any because of Covid? I was talking to someone I know at a Swedish university last year and she was having to make the ultimate call on whether they recalled students on Erasmus and other study abroad programmes.

My Erasmus year in the south of France was transformative.

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crayray · 10/08/2021 22:48

@BrutusMcDogface

I went on a year abroad and I think it’s so sad that we don’t have the Erasmus grant anymore.

Not sure what to ask, though! Blush

It's very sad! However the new Turing Scheme has its benefits, chief amongst them that students can get a grant to study or work anywhere in the world, not just in the EU. On the other hand it offers no grants for students from other countries who come to study in the UK, meaning the traditional model of an exchange programme may no longer be tenable - if students don't want to study in the UK then we can't send our students overseas without the need to pay tuition fees to the overseas university.
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crayray · 10/08/2021 22:52

@StarryStarrySocks

Do any mature students go on a year abroad? I'm in my 40s, thinking of doing a languages degree so I wonder how year abroad works for us oldies!

Yes they do! As far as I can think there are no real differences, certainly in terms of where you can go and what grants you may be eligible for. I guess that any major differences would be the same as those you might encounter when studying in the UK - for example you might want a different sort of accommodation, and you may be less interested in 'freshers' type nights out. However it's a great opportunity to spend time living in another country and if it's offered as part of your degree AND you can get some of your costs covered, what's not to like?!
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crayray · 10/08/2021 22:57

@purpleme12

I did languages at uni and went abroad

Do students have to pay for it now then? Someone above mentioned about but having the Erasmus grant?
Can't sometime let me know please

Under the Erasmus scheme, only students studying in other EU countries were eligible for grants (with a few exceptions). A lot of our students study outside the EU, so they had to cover their own living costs anyway. However, for most students they study on an exchange basis, and so pay no fees to their host university (and in most cases pay reduced tuition fees to their home university). Obviously there are travel costs, and the cost of living will vary depending on the country. On top of that, in some cases it's an extra year - so a three year degree becomes a four year degree when you add a year abroad. That said, students who are eligible for student finance can get a loan for their year abroad, and in some cases can get a higher amount to reflect those additional costs. Plus, with the Turing Scheme, students going to any destination can get a grant towards their living costs (ie it's no longer limited to the EU).
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Atreus · 10/08/2021 22:58

Are you involved with student internships too? My daughter successfully interviewed for one in the US for the 3rd year of her degree and is now having a mare trying to get a J1 visa/NIE due to Covid. US Embassy is being very inconsistent. Any advice v gratefully received.

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crayray · 10/08/2021 23:03

@Wonderbox

Did you recall any because of Covid? I was talking to someone I know at a Swedish university last year and she was having to make the ultimate call on whether they recalled students on Erasmus and other study abroad programmes.

My Erasmus year in the south of France was transformative.

We did, sadly. We followed the FCDO advice and when they advised British citizens to return to the UK, we recalled students. A small number refused to come home, and we asked them to complete a risk awareness form.

For the 2020/21 academic year we took the position that study abroad did not constitute essential travel, so followed the FCDO advice on whether there were advisories against 'all but essential travel'. If there were, the students couldn't go.

For the 2021/22 academic year we have taken the view that for some courses for which the year abroad is a fundamental part of their degree (such as a student studying Russian, for example), it is 'essential travel'. However, for a student studying Business Studies, we will not deem it to be essential.

It's very difficult for the students and of course it's hard to manage. It's horrible disappointing people. Fortunately though, for most of our destinations the FCDO is NOT currently advising against all but essential travel.

That said, the next hurdle is whether the country concerned will let them in....
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SequinsandStiIettos · 10/08/2021 23:08

Any idea why the British Council had an age-limit for teaching assistants?
(applied when I was 35 and was told too old).

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OopNorfDahnSarf · 10/08/2021 23:21

Do any of the students get so homesick they come home? And if so what happens to them?

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crayray · 10/08/2021 23:24

@Atreus

Are you involved with student internships too? My daughter successfully interviewed for one in the US for the 3rd year of her degree and is now having a mare trying to get a J1 visa/NIE due to Covid. US Embassy is being very inconsistent. Any advice v gratefully received.

I'm afraid not, though I do know that lots of students have had difficulties getting visas this year, particularly for the USA and of course all the EU countries now that they are needed.

I would hope that with an internship they may be more flexible around start date?
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crayray · 10/08/2021 23:25

@SequinsandStiIettos

Any idea why the British Council had an age-limit for teaching assistants?
(applied when I was 35 and was told too old).

I don't know! When was that? Surely that's discrimination!
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crayray · 10/08/2021 23:29

@OopNorfDahnSarf

Do any of the students get so homesick they come home? And if so what happens to them?

I can't recall this happening in my experience, though I'm sure it does from time to time. We've had students had to come home due to accident or illness. It used to be the case if it were an optional year abroad they would just suspend their studies for the rest of the year and change degree programme (eg from 'business with a year abroad' to 'business'). But we now try to be more flexible and if the student has at least passed the first semester they may be able to graduate in 'business with a semester abroad'.

It it's a mandatory year abroad and is required in order for them to graduate, their department would have to find an alternative way to assess them, either by them taking the host university's assessments remotely or by doing some sort of alternative assessment set by our university.
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Dishwashered · 10/08/2021 23:37

My DC is considering taking a language degree in an EU country. So they should be entitled to use Erasmus for the year abroad. Do you recommend going to 2 universities during the year abroad (as studying 2 languages)? Might it be possible to do work experience instead of these? What kind of work is available?

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crayray · 11/08/2021 07:28

@Dishwashered

My DC is considering taking a language degree in an EU country. So they should be entitled to use Erasmus for the year abroad. Do you recommend going to 2 universities during the year abroad (as studying 2 languages)? Might it be possible to do work experience instead of these? What kind of work is available?

Eligibility for Erasmus will depend on when your DC goes on their year abroad. The UK has now left the Erasmus scheme, and so there will be no more funding coming in, but institutions may have some remaining funds to use up over the next couple of years. The Turing Scheme has been introduced as a sort of replacement, but that's only been confirmed for 2021/22 (though we all fervently hope it will continue long into the future).

Your DC's university is likely to have rules about whether they go to both countries, but it's the norm to spend a semester in each country, and yes I do recommend this, because there's nothing like cultural immersion for the development of language skills. At my university language students can opt to either work or study during their year abroad, and they may choose to spend one semester studying in one country, and the second semester working in the second country, or vice versa.
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crayray · 11/08/2021 07:31

In terms of what sort of work is available, my team doesn't really deal with the work placements, so I'm less familiar, but I know a lot of students do British Council assistantships, where they teach English in schools. Beyond that, it's the students' responsibility to find a placement, and their department has to approve it as suitable. I think the department is very flexible on the type of work, as long as there is likely to be plenty of opportunity to speak the local language.

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Monestera · 11/08/2021 08:37

What do you not understand?

I'm sorry I was snippy. I took your wording literally, that's a problem I have.

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Dishwashered · 11/08/2021 09:37

My understanding is that UK students who are studying at EU universities can take full advantage of the Erasmus scheme. It's based on the university, not on the student's nationality.

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OopNorfDahnSarf · 11/08/2021 09:43

The university may specify how long in each country if you study 2 languages. They may for instance say that you have to spend a year in the country where your language is weakest. Or that you get better skills if you spend a year there as it is harder to immerse if you know you are leaving in a few months for another country.

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