What you need to know
Here we answer some of the key questions you may have about studying abroad.
Who can apply to study abroad?
If you’re taking an undergraduate degree, we’ll encourage you to take part in one of our overseas exchange programmes. Most Honours degree students are eligible to study abroad in Year 3 – and it’s a compulsory part of your course if you study French or Spanish. As it’s a required part of your degree for French or Spanish, you won’t be eligible for an additional semester through our University of Stirling Exchange Programme.
There are a few cases where we don’t advise you study abroad. For example, if you’re studying a degree that includes integration of a professional qualification (e.g. Dip.Ed), or where there’s incompatibility with programmes abroad for a full semester (e.g. Nursing).
There is a minimum academic requirement for applying, so you’ll need to achieve marks of at least 50 from the start of your degree.
How can I apply?
There’s just one application form to fill in, which we make available in October each year after the annual International Opportunities Fair. Current students can access further information on the internal website.
When can I apply and go abroad?
The application process starts in October every year. You’ll be able to apply during the first semester of your second year and study abroad during your third year. You can only study abroad in Year 3.
Get your application in early, as it’s a very popular programme and there are limited places. You’ll be chosen based on your academic results, strength of your application and outcome of a short interview. From there, our expert team will guide you through the process to help you prepare for your adventure and make the most of your time overseas.
See our tips for making the most of your time studying abroad.
Where can I go?
You can view all of our exchange partner universities on our ‘Destinations’ page.
Please be aware that not all academic programmes can be studied at all exchange partner universities. You can only apply to study abroad at universities which are approved for your particular degree programme. Current students can access more detail about specific programme approvals on the students' internal site.
What are the costs?
Costs don't have to be a barrier. Our Study Abroad Programme counts as part of your degree, so your University of Stirling tuition is funded in the normal way and tuition fees are waived at the exchange partner university. You’ll still be enrolled as a University of Stirling student during your exchange period and therefore be entitled to any loans, grants or bursaries you already receive. However, we advise checking with your funding body, as some have a policy for students studying abroad.
Our Study Abroad Programme doesn’t extend the length of your degree, meaning there’s no ‘extra’ time to fund. Plus, you may be eligible for a Turing Scheme grant to help with travel and living costs. Just like in the UK, you’ll be responsible for your accommodation and living expenses at your exchange location. The cost of living depends on your destination.
You’ll need to fund your international travel, insurance, any applicable visa fees, incidental course fees and other travel you may wish to undertake during your exchange.
Can I choose to go for a semester or a year?
Yes, you can indicate your preference for a semester or a year and we’ll honour this where possible. Ultimately, it will depend on the overall number of students who apply for study abroad, and the number of places available.
Do I have to be fluent in the host language?
No you don’t need to be fluent in the host country’s language. All of our exchange partners deliver teaching instruction in English – this includes our Hong Kong, Japanese and European partners. Some of our Japanese exchange partners offer you the opportunity to take intensive Japanese language courses as part of their academic programme, but all of their courses are taught in English. If you’re a French or Spanish language student taking a compulsory semester abroad, you’ll be required to take courses taught in French or Spanish.
Once I’m selected for exchange, am I on my own?
Absolutely not! The Mobility Team is here to help you with any non-academic queries. Your Adviser of Studies will also be available to deal with academic questions. Before you go, there are three compulsory pre-departure orientation meetings for all exchange students. This orientation covers all aspects of the exchange. We’ll also put you in touch with current and past exchange students, so you can get their viewpoint on the exchange experience. We also have walk-in advice sessions every Wednesday during the semester.
Once you’re studying abroad, our partner universities typically offer an on-site orientation for all new exchange students. There’ll also be an International or Study Abroad Office with staff who can assist you.