Before you leave

Information Sessions

You’ll have to attend several Information Sessions in the First Semester, including:

  • General Year Abroad Meeting: where you will be given information about your options to go abroad and the paperwork you’ll have to complete before you leave.
  • Language Specific Meetings: where specific information about studying/working in each country will be provided by your Year Abroad Coordinators. If you’re doing more than one language, you’ll have to attend several meetings.

(In both events, you’ll also have the chance to meet Final Year Students who’ll share their experience abroad with you and will ask your questions).

  • Support Services Meeting: members of Disability Services and Miles Dyslexia Centre will inform you of the support that Bangor University can give you during your Year Abroad.
  • Pre-Departure Meeting for 3 Language Students: if you are a 3 Language Student, you’ll have to attend a final meeting before you leave in January.

In the Second Semester you’ll have to attend the Pre-Departure Orientation Day, in which you’ll receive practical information on each country to which you will be going and about other issues such as Dissertations and 3 Language Projects, Travel Insurance, Health and Safety, Homesickness and Coping Abroad, Administration and Documentation. This event will also include a session addressed to parents and guardians.

The dates and venues for all these events will be announced by email and also posted on the notice boards.

Application Procedure

University Placements

  • Choosing a placement: you’ll have to choose a university placement by the end of the first semester (or several if you’re doing more than one language). The School of Modern Languages has a broad number of partnership agreements with foreign Universities (please see the full list), but each University offers a limited amount of places. Your Year Abroad Coordinators will announce how and when you’ll have to choose your placement(s).
  • Nomination and Registration: your Year Abroad Coordinator will send your nomination to the University you have chosen. In most cases, Universities will get in touch with you directly to complete your application form. You can ask for assistance to your Year Abroad Coordinator, but registering correctly and before the deadline is your responsibility. Universities usually start to get in touch around April-May, but sometimes later. Bear in mind that each country and each university has different deadlines, forms and requirements. Deadlines might also be different depending on whether you’re registering for the first or second semester. Your Year Abroad Coordinator will give you specific information about each placement when the registration period opens.
  • Learning Agreement: you will be required to choose in advance the modules that you’ll take abroad. In order to do so, you’ll have to complete a form called ‘Learning Agreement’ which will be given to you at the Pre-Departure Orientation Day in the Second Semester. You’ll have to take a minimum of 30 ECTS credits per semester. The form must be signed and stamped by both your Year Abroad Coordinator and BU International Exchanges Office. You’ll also have to get hold of the signatures of the Year Abroad Coordinators from the host University (you can email them a scanned copy to do this) and bring the completed form (with all your chosen modules and all signatures) to BU International Exchanges Office. It is essential that you do this to guarantee that you get your Erasmus grant. Your Year Abroad Coordinator will provide information about where you can find a list of modules to choose from on the host University’s website. You must bring a completed form for him/her to sign.

British Council Language Assistants Programme

Applications to work as a Language Assistant for the British Council must be usually submitted at the beginning of December. If you want to apply, you must get in touch with your Year Abroad Coordinator well in advance, since all applications can only be posted by him/her. Your Year Abroad Coordinator will set an internal deadline before the official and final one, to make sure that your application meets the standards expected by the British Council. After your application is posted, the British Council will get in touch with you directly to inform you whether your application has been successful. If so, they will also let you know about your destination later on. It is a slow process and it takes several months to know to which school you’ll be finally assigned, so you must be patient. Before you leave, BU International Exchanges Office will ask you to submit a Training Agreement (you will be given this document at the Pre-Departure Orientation Day in the Second Semester).

Work Placements

You’ll be responsible of finding a suitable work placement, in which you will be able to practice your language skills (for this reason, jobs such as au pair are not accepted). Work placements must have a minimum duration of 6 months if you’re going to one country or 3 months if you’re going to two countries. You must not accept an offer or sign a contract unless you have approval from your Year Abroad Coordinator. Before you leave, BU International Exchanges Office will ask you to submit a Training Agreement (you will be given this document at the Pre-Departure Orientation Day in the Second Semester).

Online Travel Insurance Form

BU insists that you must be covered under the University’s insurance policy for staff and students travelling outside the UK. The University provides this cover to you free of charge. However, YOU HAVE TO APPLY to be put on the policy.

If you have an ongoing medical condition or similar concerns, you need to consult the University’s Insurance Officer before doing the application. This is Mr Chris Benson in the Finance Office, phone 01248 382199, email c.benson@bangor.ac.uk.

Please address all queries about insurance to him, not the School. The BU policy covers you for things you do abroad which form legitimate parts of your placement – a few days sightseeing before or after a placement are acceptable, but please be aware that you will require separate travel insurance cover for holiday trips, at your own expense.

Please note that the insurance covers necessary urgent or emergency treatment only – it is not a general health insurance policy. As an example, it should cover emergency dental work, but not reconstructive or cosmetic work.

If you are just going to one country for the whole year, submit a single request for the whole period.

If you are moving from one country to another in the second semester, do a separate request for each one. If you will be spending time in the UK between placements, do not include that time in the period for which you will be insured. However make sure you do include the periods in which you will be traveling out and back.

When you have completed the form and submitted it you will be immediately provided with a link to the BU Travel Cover Summary document that includes what you are covered for and also the contact numbers for medical emergencies and help in respect of natural or political events that may affect your wellbeing. Make an electronic copy of the document and keep this in a folder on your personal e-mail account so that you can access it remotely. You should familiarise yourself with the Specialty Assist and Global Security Centre information and usage requirements as detailed on the document, to avoid problems if you suddenly need to use their services offered.

What Do You Need To Do?

You will need to apply for travel insurance before you leave:

  • Complete the on-line insurance application.
  • The on line insurance application form can be found at www.bangor.ac.uk/finance/is/is020.php.en
  • The insurance application form will ask for your student / banner ID.
  • Keep an electronic copy of the Travel Cover Summary from the link provided to you when you submit the online form (the Summary must be available to you while you travel).
  • If you are studying within the EU you must also get an EHIC.

Travel Insurance Facts

  • The University provides free travel insurance for qualified staff and students for travel whilst on University business (including study).
  • Travel insurance covers you only while you are on placement. If you decide to travel during the holidays away from your placement area you will need to purchase your own personal travel insurance for the time you are away from your placement area.

Being Organised

Organising your Year Abroad involves a lot of paperwork to be done and soon you’ll find yourself surrounded by forms and emails. Make sure that you keep all the relevant information and necessary documents safe. Apart from using a ‘physical’ folder to keep all the forms you’ll be asked to fill in, you should also create a ‘Year Abroad Folder’ in your BU email account. This is very easy to do: just go to FOLDER>CREATE FOLDER. If you keep all the emails and documents sent by your Year Abroad Coordinator, host University, British Council, etc. in this folder, you’ll have quick access to all this information.

You should also create PDF copies of your personal documents (Passport, EHIC card, etc.) and store them electronically (using services such as Dropbox or your own email account). This is very useful in case your documents get lost.

Checklist – Before You Leave

  • I have created a Year Abroad Folder in my BU email account.
  • I have stored electronically PDF copies of my personal documents.
  • I have applied correctly and before the deadline to study as an Erasmus student at the University where my nomination was sent./ I have applied correctly and before the deadline to the British Council Language Assistants Programme./I have found a suitable work placement which has been approved by my Year Abroad Coordinator.
  • I have a fully completed signed and stamped copy of my Learning Agreement(s) and I have brought it to BU International Exchanges Office (only for University Placements)./I have submitted the Training Agreement to BU International Exchanges Office.
  • I have completed the Online Travel Insurance Form.