Graduate Grace Henley spent a year studying at Universität Leipzig in Germany during her time at Cardiff Met. Here she shares her top tips for anyone else who might be thinking about doing a year of study abroad!
1) Write a list of pros and cons.
Include personal and academic elements, and try to see the best of both situations so that you can compare fairly.
2) Extensively research the institution you’re thinking of attending, as well as the city and the country as a whole.
…as well as thinking about things like transport and medical insurance!
3) Talk to your professors and your Erasmus coordinator about the impact the exchange will have on your studies at home.
It would be good to discuss how many ECTs points (or equivalent) are required to pass the year!
4) Discuss the exchange with your family and friends.
Listen to their advice and I bet that they will boost your confidence with their support.
5) Plan your finances as far in advance as possible to avoid a last minute panic!
The university can help, as can the Student Finance Company.
6) Make early decisions about accommodation.
Will you rent out your room in Cardiff to another tenant whilst you are away, or will you temporarily move back in with your family? If not, can you realistically afford the rent of two places at once?
7) Choose your overseas modules wisely.
Are they interesting? Career related? Do they complement your current studies? Often your timetable is your responsibility to construct and organise.
8) Check the for the regulations and procedures you need to follow in your new country.
Are there any extra fees? Do you have to open up a local bank account? In Germany for instance, you may have to register as a temporary citizen.
9) Adhere to deadlines, both home and away.
Organise your time and just get any assignments done on time, that way, you can just get on with enjoying the experience of being somewhere new!
10) Just do it!
I promise you won’t regret it 🙂