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/work 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 or working 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 or work 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!
Students at the University of Salford have the following options:
Erasmus+ - study and/or work abroad (EU countries)
International Exchange - study abroad (non-EU countries)
Short-term Opportunities - including summer schools, work placements etc. (all countries)
Please refer to the International Opportunities brochure for further information.
Students interested in an international opportunity are required to submit an enquiry form. Once you have submitted your enquiry and spoken with your Exchange Coordinator, students are required to submit an application.
As part of your planning, you’ll 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. For more information, please visit our SharePoint site.
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.
For those wanting to study abroad, there are two main stages to the process: the nomination stage and the application stage.
Upon receipt of your application, we’ll send your general information to your chosen host 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 by your chosen institution, you will be asked to send them your application with any further details they might require. 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.
If you are officially accepted by your host institution, we will ask you to complete an official application form in which you'll provide us with details about the modules you are planning to study abroad, your emergency contacts etc. If you are eligible for Erasmus+ funding, we will not generate your grant agreement until we have received your application form.
Students interested in working abroad are required to complete one stage only: the application process.
Work placements are sourced by the students independently or via their school. Students are therefore responsible for completing all relevant steps in order to apply and secure their placement.
All placements must be approved by the relevant school via the Traineeship Approval Form. Schools remain responsible for confirming if a traineeship goes ahead and managing student experience from start to finish and must ensure that the traineeship is either accredited as part of their programme or subject-relevant if a voluntary summer placement or sandwich year. The International Opportunities Team will award funding ONLY if the traineeship is approved by the school and will liaise with the student regarding the documents required.
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.
Please note that immigration regulations for UK students going to the EU have changed as the UK is no longer in the EU. For further information, please visit Universities UK.
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.
Students are required to ensure they are aware of immigration requirements for all destinations whether for Erasmus+ within the EU or further afield. The process for visas is different for each country, and you must complete the application process 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.
Please note that immigration regulations and working regulations for UK students working in the EU have changed as the UK is no longer in the EU. Students should also be aware that there may be additional requirements as part of a traineeship and that individual countries will have their own country rules. For further information, please visit the Government website.
If you are studying at Salford on a visa, please contact the International Opportunities at the point of enquiry as there are different regulations required and we need to make sure in advance that the partner university can accommodate you. You will also 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.
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. For further information and help with estimating costs and budgeting, please visit our SharePoint site.
Home students studying overseas for a full academic year may be entitled to a tuition fee reduction. Please contact the Tuition Fees team for further information.
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.
- Discover whether you're eligible for a scholarship.
- Consider crowdfunding.
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.
Please be aware that some charges may be payable for disability-related support, so ensure you contact Disability and Learner support as soon as possible to discuss funding. If there’s anything you’re unsure of, just ask.
As a student with a disability or from a disadvantaged background, you are eligible for 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.
Healthcare varies from country to country, so it’s important that you check in advance of leaving whether you need to purchase health insurance.
If you are travelling to the EU, please check the Gov UK website for more information.
If you’re travelling outside of the EU, you may be required to have a check-up with your GP before you go. See the GOV UK website for more information.
Make sure you also check the aircraft carrier regulations and insurance terms and conditions if you have a medical condition or disability before committing to any arrangements. You may be required to supply a letter from your GP to evidence your fitness to travel.
Your safety while you study abroad is a top priority. As part of the Student Planning Document, you will need to make sure you check the emergency numbers of the country you’re travelling to, and find out where the British Consulate or Embassy is based in your host country, just in case.
Even while you are studying or working abroad, you are still a student of our University, and you’ll still have access to the same support facilities, including the services of askUS. It may also be useful for you to read our information on crisis support, which provides details of out-of-hours contacts and support systems in place to help you.
It is also a requirement that download and activate the Safezone app whilst you are away from campus. This allows the University to communicate to everyone securely in the event of an emergency. It means that if you are travelling outside of campus, we can pinpoint your whereabouts if an emergency situation arises. You can also use this app to quickly contact the University in an emergency situation.
Studying abroad is an exciting experience, but it’s also normal to feel nervous or homesick once you’re there. We encourage you to join in any international student welcome activities at the host university, to help you meet new people and settle in.
You are also a student at your host institution and will be entitled to their support services.
If you require any academic support during your time abroad, contact either your Exchange Coordinator or your personal tutor. Your tutors can help you with study-related queries, such as module choices and any paperwork required. The International Opportunities team are here to support you with anything that your host institution and personal tutors may not be able to assist with.
For more information on health, safety and wellbeing, please visit our SharePoint site.
Six top tips for coping with culture shock
While you're away: the first few days or weeks can be unsettling, but once you start meeting new people, you’ll start to feel more at home. Join societies, attend welcome events and speak to others in the same situation as yourself.
While you're away: stay in touch with your friends and family back home and remember that your time abroad will likely fly by, so enjoy the moment and make some new memories.
While you're away: go on an adventure and explore the sights of a new city. It might make you remember why you wanted to study abroad in the first place.
On your return: if you have reverse culture shock once you arrive back at home, settle into normality by visiting friends and family, and share your new experiences with them.
On your return: enjoy home comforts to remind you of all the things you missed while you were away, whether it’s your favourite British foods or all those programmes you can only get on Netflix UK.
On your return: if you’re struggling to readjust, our Wellbeing and Counselling team can help. Get in touch by visiting askUS, or pop into University House to speak to the team in person.
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.
Who is my Exchange Coordinator?
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 email@example.com 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.
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.
What about insurance?
While studying or working abroad, you are covered under the University’s insurance. For more information, please read our Insurance Cover Summary. If you would like any further information, contact our Finance Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are about to undertake a work placement abroad, we recommend that you check with your employer what insurance they provide.
Where can I find more information about pre-departure arrangements?
Please have a look at our Outgoing Student Handbook.
All students will be invited to attend our Pre-departure Briefing as part of their preparations.
When travelling to a new place
- Make sure you have all medication that you will require for the length of time you will be away.
- Make sure friends and family know where you are going and that you have left contact details for them.
- Travel with other friends, if at all possible.
- Try to arrive during the day and have somewhere to stay booked in advance.
- Only take licensed taxis to your onward destination.
General travel advice
- Carry with you emergency telephone numbers (hard copies). Know who to call locally in an emergency. A charged mobile phone with a local plan is critical during an emergency.
- Learn basic survival phrases in the local language (e.g., “I need help”, “call the police” and “I need a doctor”).
- No matter where you travel, keep these basic tips in mind.
- Stay in touch. Inform family and friends of any travel plans, and any changes to your itinerary.
- Have alternate ways of sending and receiving messages (e.g., e-mail, cell phone, SMS, FB, etc.).
- Keep your head up! Walk with confidence and purpose like a local, checking your map and phone discretely. When you focus on your mobile phone or wear headphones, you will be less aware of your environment and put yourself at risk. Cell phone theft is one of the most frequent crimes world-wide.
- Protect your personal information. Do not reveal personal matters (such as where you live, study, family members, e-mail address, phone numbers, or your travel plans) to anyone you don’t know and trust. Be friendly but cautious.
- Be discreet on social media about yourself and your plans. Media do not provide “secure” communications.
- Maintain a “low profile.” Make an effort to blend with local people through how you dress and your behaviour.
- Learn about local laws and customs, and be aware of cultural differences. While traveling, you are subject to the local laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can be very different from your own. It is very important to know what's legal and what's not. As a guest in a foreign country, it is important that you be respectful of others’ opinions, lifestyles and politics.
- Avoid civil disturbances or demonstrations of any kind, as they can turn violent without warning. Understand the risks of attending large public gatherings. Choose public activities carefully.
- Avoid carrying cash and use major credit cards instead (but make sure they are accepted at your destination before departing on your trip).