Studying abroad allows you to travel the world, enhance your degree at an international institution and broaden your cultural horizons. You’ll strengthen communication skills in addition to building confidence and making new friends.
Depending on the option you pursue you will also experience new international perspectives which will enhance your subject understanding or develop foreign language skills.
There are opportunities to study abroad for a year, or shorter semester and summer options if you do not wish to add a year to your degree. Whichever you choose, spending time in another country will demonstrate your independence and adaptability to future employers, particularly those seeking to recruit graduates with an international outlook.
Almost one quarter of our students study or work abroad at some stage during their degree, with popular destinations including Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Latin America and Asia.
A study abroad year will involve you spending the third year at one of our specially selected partner universities. It will extend the length of your degree by a year and, once successfully completed, will also be recognised in your degree title, for example, BA (Hons) Politics (International).
There are several options for a year abroad depending on your motivations:
International perspectives on your subject
You can undertake a year abroad where you study modules from your subject in a specially selected partner institution overseas as part of an open exchange. The University has partnerships with more than 300 universities worldwide, visit the University of Leeds study abroad website to find out more about possible destinations. Please note: European destinations are subject to change beyond 2019/20. Further information on the impact of Brexit can be found here.
Language and intercultural understanding
The Horizon Exchange programme focuses on developing language learning and intercultural understanding. It’s academically rigorous but you’re not limited to taking modules in your subject area. Most modules are taught in English although you will also take beginners or intermediate level language classes relevant to your host country.
Working experience abroad
If you would prefer to spend a year gaining work experience but would like to incorporate an international element, you could spend a year working abroad.
If you study abroad for a year as part of your course, you’ll also pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see study abroad tuition fees and loans.
Our BA International Development degree provides an option to study abroad in the second semester of the second year. The modules you study at one of our partner universities will count towards your degree.
The semester abroad is offered independently of the University’s year-long study abroad programme, so you can still apply to extend your degree by a year and spend your third year overseas.
Find out more about studying abroad as part of the BA International Development degree.
Summer schools are a great way of experiencing the benefits of studying abroad for a shorter period of time. You could develop skills in a new language, whilst proving your independence and adaptability to future employers.
The Study Abroad Office offers several subsidised summer school opportunities for students in addition to a number of non-subsidised options.
Andrew Wilson BA International Development
“I spent a year with Monash University, split between Australia and Kuala Lumpur. The best thing about study abroad is all the new opportunities and experiences it offers. I also volunteered during my year abroad which increased my exposure to the development sector.”View Profile