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Be prepared

Studying overseas as part of your undergraduate degree is an exciting opportunity. To make your experience as enjoyable as possible, it's a good idea to be prepared before you go, during your exchange and as you leave. Read our top tips below.

Immigration and Visas

If you are studying in Europe for your semester or year abroad then you will not need a visa as you have free admittance into the countries in the European Union. You will also have the right of residence in the country you are studying in, for the duration of your course. Please see the Brexit Update to keep abreast of the situation in light of Brexit. 

If you are studying in the USA, then you will need an Exchange Visa, also known as a J1 Visa. A J1 Visa is sponsored by the host university you choose to study at. This means you cannot apply for a J1 visa without sponsorship from them.  When planning to study in the USA for a semester or full year, you will need to apply for this visa, in advance. There are several applications which need completing (the Global Student & Partnership Centre will help you with this process). The cost of this Visa is $340; you can find more information about applying for this visa on the US Department of State for a step by step guide.  


Before you go

  • Inform your bank you will be in the USA or Europe
  • Ensure Student Finance have the right term dates for your payments
  • Confirm any transfer travel from the airport to your host university
  • Confirm any hotel bookings you have
  • Ensure you have completed all required forms before you leave 

When you arrive

  • Let your families know you are there and safe
  • Find a secure place in your room to store passport and other important documents. Leave them there for the duration of the exchange unless you really need it
  • Let us know you have arrived safely and are settling in
  • Make sure you know where you need to be and when for orientation and make sure you ask if you are unsure of where something is

During your exchange

  • Attend all classes and complete assignments
  • Get involved in things on campus
  • Make sure you mix with people on campus
  • Stay in contact with us through email
  • Make sure you contact families regularly
  • Do not forget the drinking age is 21 in the USA!
  • Get in contact if you are having any difficulties

Before you leave

  • Ensure you inform housing that you won’t be renewing your contract
  • Request your academic transcript