Things to know before you go
Living in a different country can be an exciting and rewarding experience. It’s an opportunity to explore a new culture, meet different people through your studies or work and increase your employability.
We want to help make the application process as easy as possible, so that you can enjoy your time abroad and be fully prepared before you go.
Reasons to study abroad
See more of the world: living in another country can be a life-changing experience. You’ll gain new perspectives because of the people you’ll meet, the food you’ll eat, the skills you’ll develop and the places you’ll explore.
Experience a different style of education or work: while you study or work abroad, you may notice differences in the way you’re taught or trained, which will enhance your skill set and ability to adapt to new situations.
Learn another language: living abroad will also give you the opportunity to learn a new language (or at least a few new words). Being able to speak another language will also increase your employability, as well as your communication skills.
Enhance your career opportunities: whether it’s learning a new language, developing your skills or building on your existing ones, studying abroad will give you plenty to talk about on your CV and in your job interviews once you graduate.
Discover new talents: you never know what you’ll discover about yourself when you study abroad; your new friends may introduce you to a hobby, or you may find a new love for cooking or music. Enjoy the experience and learn from it.
Make lifelong friends: when you study or work abroad, you’ll be meeting people from around the world who you’ll share similar experiences with while you’re away. It’s a great way to make new friends, and the perfect excuse for a holiday later on!
Applying to study abroad
There are two programmes for home students who want to take part in an exchange: Erasmus+ and International Exchange. We highly recommend you also read through the international opportunities information sheet in order to identify the main differences between the two schemes, and make a decision that's right for you. Please visit askUS for further details.
You’ll also need to consider travel costs, accommodation, the culture of the country you plan to spend time in and how you might deal with the emotions of living in a new country away from home.
There are two main stages to the study abroad process: the nomination stage and the application stage. To be considered for studying abroad, you must complete both steps.
Some of our host countries will also ask you to provide evidence that you are able to support yourself financially throughout your stay. Once you have completed this stage, you’ll be sent a document that you’ll need when applying for a visa.
At the nomination stage, we’ll send your general information to our partner institution (name, course of study, etc.) for consideration. The partner institution will then assess this information and respond with either a rejection or a provisional acceptance. If your nomination is rejected, you will not be invited to send through an application.
If you are provisionally accepted, you will be asked to send your application with any further details the partner institution requires. Your application at this stage may still be rejected for several reasons, such as there’s no spaces left on your chosen course. If you are accepted, you will be provided with an acceptance letter and information on the next steps.
Some of our host countries will also require you to provide evidence that you are able to support yourself financially throughout your stay. Once you have completed this stage, you’ll be sent a document that you’ll need when applying for a visa.
Before you go, you’ll need to have obtained all of the necessary documents and information for your trip. This includes travelling, immigration and residency documents specifically, not documents required by Salford. Because immigration advice is constantly changing, you must speak directly with the relevant consulate or embassy; the International Opportunities Team are not qualified to provide any official guidance.
In addition, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have provided your host institution with all of the information and documents they have asked for, and that you have done this within the required time frame. We would advise you to keep copies of anything you may have sent them for your own records.
We are waiting for clarity around immigration rules and working regulations for UK students following Brexit. Students should also be aware that individual countries will have their own country rules and additional documentation may be required in the future. For further information, please visit askUS.
You will need to check your passport validity as early as possible; usually it must be valid for at least six months after the end date of your trip. Partner institutions may request a copy of your passport as part of their application process, so if it needs renewing, make sure you do this as soon as possible.
Some countries require a birth certificate for local documentation, so if in doubt, check with your host country’s embassy or consulate. In addition, some banks or phone companies may require a copy of your birth certificate, so we recommend you take a few copies with you.
Visas are only required if you’re planning to travel outside of Europe, or for non-EU students who plan to study or work within Europe. The process for visas is different for each country, and you must complete the applications by yourself. The International Opportunities team are not qualified to offer advice regarding your visa or apply on your behalf.
In order to apply for a visa, most countries will require an invitation or offer letter from your host organisation as proof of admission. When you acquire a student visa, they will often have strict conditions such as attendance and grades. Other conditions may include restrictions on the amount of hours you can work while on the visa. Please make sure you do your research beforehand so you are aware of the dos and don’ts.
If you are studying at Salford on a visa, you’ll need to inform the Home Office Compliance Team and there may be further steps you have to take in order to ensure your eligibility to study in your country of choice.
Canadian study permits
If you’re applying for a Canadian study permit, you will be required to travel to London to complete a biometrics register. The High Commission in London advises that the minimum time for turn around for visas is two months. Find out more on the Canadian government website.
Fees and funding
Before you study abroad, you’ll need to consider the costs involved, including money spent on rent, educational supplies, insurance, travel and your personal expenses (food, etc.).
You won’t need to worry about tuition fees, as you will continue paying Salford as usual and the only costs you may be required to pay to the host institution are enrolment or registration fees. You’ll also be eligible to receive the student finance you are ordinarily paid. If you are studying on the Erasmus+ programme, there is further funding available.
Tips for being money wise:
Research the cost of living in your host country and consider saving some extra money before you go abroad, especially if the cost of living is high in your chosen country.
Get help with opening a bank account in your host country, as it may make it easier to pay for things such as your rent. Your host institution may be able to provide guidance on suitable short-term bank accounts; but make sure you keep your UK account open, too.
If you have a disability, you will need to discuss your support requirements and funding prior to confirming arrangements relating to travel, accommodation, employment or study. You need to be aware that not all EU or international countries have equivalent legislation to our Equality Act, so there may not be the same protection or support for disabled people - it is the legislation within your host country that will apply.
You should also notify the host institution of any disabilities you have, and highlight your support requirements at the nomination stage to ensure the necessary support is available to you upon arrival in your chosen country. For any guidance on disclosing your condition, please visit Ahead.
As a student with a disability or from a disadvantaged background, you are eligible to extra funding through Erasmus+. If you are considering taking part in the Erasmus+ programme, make sure you check Mapped, a platform aimed at providing students with information on accessibility and equal opportunities.
For further information, please contact Salford-IOT@salford.ac.uk.
Paperwork and testimonials
Before you leave your host institution, make sure you have all of the required paperwork for your return. We'll need to see a copy of your transcript of records (formal confirmation of the marks you have achieved during your time abroad) from your host institution. Your school will need to input the marks on your record.
Once this has been received, you will receive a results letter from your school.
In addition to official paperwork, we also encourage you to create a blog or send us updates from time to time. We’re always looking for inspirational accounts from our students that have been away, and we’d love to hear about your experiences. Whether you choose to blog about your time abroad, or send us a video or photographs, it’s entirely up to you. You can email us at Salford-IOT@salford.ac.uk.
What will I be studying?
While abroad on a study exchange, you must complete a minimum of 60 Salford credits per trimester. Your Exchange Coordinator at Salford and your host institution will help you select the modules that best match what you would have studied at Salford. You need to ensure you pass your modules and assessments at your host in order to gain the required amount of credits. However, the actual grades you receive do not count towards your degree classification: they will show as a pass/fail. Please visit askUS for further information.
How is a pass/fail assessed at the host university?
You will be assessed on the basis of the pass / fail rate grading system at the partner institution, i.e. if they grade 1-10 and grades 5-10 are a pass, if your average mark is 5 or above you will receive a pass. Please contact the International Opportunities team at Salford-IOT@salford.ac.uk if you require further information on the pass /fail rates of our partner institutions.
What happens if I fail my modules at the host institution?
In the unlikely event that this happens, you will be offered another opportunity to obtain the relevant credit by taking the level 5 modules at Salford as a second (reassessment) attempt. In the event that you also fail these modules, you will then be in a retake position, which means that you are required to study the required number of modules, attend classes, pay a fee for the modules and submit all assessments for these modules.
If I spend an academic year abroad and pass my modules at the host institution, how will my final programme award be calculated?
Your final award will be based solely on the marks you are awarded in your final year (level 6). The level 5 credits obtained at the host institution will be recorded as pass/fail and therefore would not contribute to the classification of your degree.
If I study abroad for one semester at level 5, and study the other semester at Salford, how will my overall mark be calculated?
If you study less than 100 credits at Salford at level 5, our academic regulations include a non-standard 'programme mark' calculation for classification which is based upon fewer than 100 credits at level 5 or 6 for which module marks are given – ie., ((level 5 credits x level 5 mark) + (3 x level 6 credits x level 6 mark)) divided by (3 x level 6 credits).
If you study Salford modules at level 5, these will be assessed as usual and the non-standard programme mark calculation described above will apply. Your modules at the host institution will not be transferred back into your overall award but, as indicated above, you will be required to pass these modules.
If you undertake a period of study, as part of a programme of the University, which is assessed by another institution, the module mark(s) you obtain will normally be recorded as pass or fail, with no transfer of marks or grades.
If you are studying on a programme where modules which have been incorporated and approved as an integral part of the programme for which the module mark(s) may be recorded as a percentage mark, your grades will be obtained via a mark translation process aligned to the relevant marking scale (see Assessment and Feedback Policy). This last paragraph applies only to students studying on the following programmes:
MPhys Physics with Studies in North America;
BSc Biology with Studies in the USA;
BSc Biochemistry with Studies in the USA.
If you are unsure if your programme includes study abroad as an integral part of your programme, please check with your Programme Leader.
Will accommodation be provided?
Some of our partner universities and organisations will offer you accommodation, however this is not always possible. All institutions will have information about the type of accommodation available, so make sure you do your research and speak to your designated contact at your host institution who will be able to provide you with more information.
When you’re selecting your accommodation, you may want to consider the cost of the accommodation, the location in relation to your classes, how you will travel to and from your accommodation each day and the length of your tenancy agreement.
We strongly advise that you do not sign any contracts or make any payments for accommodation that you find online from overseas which you have not viewed in person.
Will I need to speak the native language?
Most of our partner institutions teach in English, which is widely spoken across most developed countries in the EU, so language shouldn’t be a barrier. However, it’s also a great opportunity to learn a new language and immerse yourself in the culture of another country. Salford Languages run year-long modules which will help to improve your skills before you go, but please note: not all students will be eligible before they leave due to the duration of the course.