Your Options for Studying or Working Abroad
We have a number of study and work abroad programmes available to undergraduate students. Your eligibility to apply for a particular programme depends on a number of factors, including, for example, your degree programme, and your level and year of study.
International Experience Year (Work)
This option gives you the flexibility and freedom to undertake a work placement or internship abroad doing the type of work you want, and in practically any country you want.
On this programme, you add a year to your degree and spend that year doing a work placement abroad. You can normally do this at any point during your degree – between first and second year, between second and third year, or after third year. Students on the majority of undergraduate degree programmes are eligible to apply for this option but there are exceptions, and some degree programmes only allow students to take the year abroad at a specific point (e.g. after final year).
Depending on your circumstances, you may still be eligible to receive funding from Student Finance, although this is likely to be at a reduced rate. Student Finance also offers a means-tested travel grant to eligible students.
Once you successfully complete your year abroad, you have ‘with International Experience’ added to the title of your degree. You must do an assignment for Bangor University worth 30 Bangor credits while you are abroad. The grade for this assignment will not count towards your degree weighting but the credits will be added to your normal credit load (normally 360 credits).
You need to find your own work placement or internship abroad but we can advise you on finding a suitable placement and approaching potential employers. There are only a few requirements that your placement would need to fulfil:
- The placement will need to be at least 24 weeks in duration (any holiday periods are in addition to this)
- The work should be full-time (proportionate to the type of work)
- The placement needs to be with a company (i.e. not a host family (au-pairing), farm-stay, etc.)
The benefit of doing the International Experience Year (Work) is being able to create a bespoke opportunity that suits your own needs and desires. Some students choose to do a placement which gives them work experience in a field they want to go into after graduating. Others choose to do work that does not have anything to do with their degree subject but is still beneficial to them academically or professionally. Some choose exotic destinations like the Caribbean and others choose to stay closer to home in Europe. It’s entirely up to you, however you are advised to speak to us about your options before making an application. Note that you do not need to have made placement arrangements in advance of making your application for the International Experience Year (Work).
International Experience Year (Study)
On this programme, you add a year to your degree and spend that year studying at one of our partner universities abroad. You can normally do this at any point during your degree – between first and second year, between second and third year, or after third year. Students on the majority of undergraduate degree programmes are eligible to apply for this option but there are exceptions, and some degree programmes only allow students to take the year abroad at a specific point (e.g. after final year).
Depending on your circumstances, you may still be eligible to receive funding from Student Finance, although this may be at a reduced rate. Student Finance also offers a means-tested travel grant to eligible students.
Once you successfully complete your year abroad, you have ‘with International Experience’ added to the title of your degree. You must pass the equivalent of 30 Bangor credits at your host university abroad. The grades you obtain will not count towards your degree weighting but any credits will be transferred to Bangor and added to your normal credit load (normally 360 credits).
Click on Our Partner Universities to discover where you can do an International Experience Year (Study) but keep in mind that the list can change at short notice and that spaces at our partner universities are not always available in every academic year.
Our partner universities offer modules in a variety of subject areas but they do not all offer the same subjects as Bangor. You can study a different subject area to your degree programme on the International Experience Year (Study) but you should always check the partner university’s website to make sure they offer a particular subject area before making an application to go there. We have subject-specific links with some of our international partner universities and all of our European partner universities. This means that you are restricted to studying the subject area linked to our partnership with that university. For example, we can only send Forestry students to UBC in Vancouver.
English-taught modules are available in the vast majority of our partner universities in countries where English is not the native language, however module choices are often limited and students are sometimes given the option to learn the native language in beginners’ classes.
You are advised to speak to us about your options before making an application.
International Experience Year (IEC Internship)
If you want to gain international experience without being abroad, you could apply to do an internship with us at the International Education Centre. You would still be a registered student here at Bangor on the 'International Experience Year' programme but your work placement would be with us instead of abroad. Generally-speaking, we would recruit four interns in the fields of:
- International Exchanges
- International Recruitment
- International Marketing, and
- International Recruitment/Marketing (based at Bangor University's China Office in Beijing)
Interns receive a student training grant of approx. £370 per month and work at the IEC for a full year.
Please contact us for more information about applying for this opportunity.
If you would only like to spend a short time abroad, you can apply to take part in an International Summer School at one of our partner universities. These are cultural programmes which last between 2 and 6 weeks. There are currently three International Summer Schools to choose from and these are detailed below. The programme and accommodation fees for all three are waived for Bangor students.
Dankook University (mid-June to early August)
Dankook University offers a three-week cultural and academic experience which introduces you to a range of Korean features including language, history and tradition through classes, group activities and field trips. Accommodation is free and you will have the cost of your flight reimbursed up to a maximum of US$1,000 if you are also accepted on to Dankook’s ‘English Village’ programme, where you’ll teach English to Korean students for three weeks before the start of the cultural programme.
Pukyong National University (July)
PKNU offers a three-week Korean language and cultural programme with a range of classes, group activities and field trips. Accommodation is free but you must pay for your own flights.
Sydney Institute of Language and Commerce, Shanghai University (July)
Shanghai University’s SILC Summer School is a two-week programme which focuses on the economic and business aspects of China, but also includes cultural activities and classes together with Chinese student volunteers. Shared accommodation (two people) will be free but you must pay for your own flights. Do not be put off this option if you are not a Business student here at Bangor. Plenty of students from other subject areas have taken part.
Students on some courses can apply to go abroad on a Substitute placement. Not all students are eligible. For example, those on degree programmes that are accredited by an external body such as the Law Society or British Psychological Society cannot apply. You must be in your first year to apply to go abroad on this programme because you will spend a semester, or all, of your second year studying at one of our partner universities abroad instead of at Bangor.
You must pass all of your assessments and exams at the host university abroad to be able to transfer the equivalent of 60 Bangor credits for a semester, or 120 Bangor credits for a full year, back to Bangor to substitute your second-year credits. We can only send you to partner universities that offer modules that are similar enough to the modules that you would have taken at Bangor in second year, and this significantly limits where you can go. In some cases, none of our partner universities have adequate module choices for a student to be able to apply to do a Substitute placement.
Studying in an unfamiliar academic system abroad, being subject to harsher marking criteria in some destinations and often having a limited choice of modules can make doing a Substitute placement a risky option, so you will need to speak to us and your academic school’s Study Abroad Coordinator to discuss your options and determine whether it is an opportunity that benefits you academically. We also advise that you discuss with your personal tutor before applying. You will need to be academically strong, and to have full support from your academic school, to be selected for a Substitute placement.
Please note that you will not have the ‘with International Experience’ tag added to the title of your degree if you do a Substitute placement. You must do the International Experience Year (Study or Work) to have this.