International Study Abroad Programme

The International Exchange Programme on the BA (Hons) Education programme has been devised to include a range of modules at various European institutions that reflect the overall academic aims and subject areas offered by our degree programme. The exchange programme is aimed at enhancing the critical knowledge and understanding of our students by offering a more diverse, international approach to the interdisciplinary social sciences covered by our programme here at Birmingham. The links made during the year abroad are intended to develop you as a student and a researcher, offer a unique opportunity, and enhance your career prospects by emerging you in the scintillating, rich cultural experience that study abroad offers. As the courses in our programme are taught in English, you will be able to undertake this experience without the language barrier that can otherwise hinder a study abroad option.

Why Study Abroad?

Of the 310 students of the University of Birmingham that studied abroad last year, 97% said that it was the best year of their lives. With this response, it’s clear that studying abroad offers an opportunity many students would not normally have. Have you ever fancied living abroad for a few months but never known how, when, or by what means? There is no time like the present. You can utilise this opportunity during your second year as a BA Education student and choose between studying at four different universities in Norway, Germany, or the Netherlands. Each university has something different and exciting to offer and the experiences you have will never be repeated. 

My Erasmus Experience: TU Dortmund, Germany

My Erasmus Experience: TU Dortmund, GermanySerena Hammond studied at TU Dortmund September - December 2016

I have always loved travelling and experiencing new cultures, and so the exchange program was actually one of the reasons I chose this course at Birmingham. I decided to stay within Europe through the Erasmus program, as it makes it very easy; there is already an established relationship with the institution and a clear program, with specific modules and credit options there for you, and previous students have already undertaken the same exchange program, so it takes away a lot of the worry and stress. The application process has rather a lot of paperwork, but it is straightforward and clearly set out for you, and the experience will definitely be worth it in the end! 

Why Dortmund

My Erasmus Experience: TU Dortmund, GermanyI specifically chose Dortmund, as the program here is within the rehabilitation department specifically dealing with issues of SEN, an area of personal interest to me. I had never been to Germany before, and so this was also a really great opportunity to explore a new place, and learn a new language, as I spoke no German at all before arriving! A really cool part of my exchange here was the 1 month intensive German course before the start of term. This is totally optional, and you can easily get by in English here, so don’t panic if it’s not your thing, but I loved it, even if German has crazy hard grammar!

The Course

The course is so interesting, it is really great having different lecturers and being in a class with people from many different cultures and backgrounds, as it gives whole new perspectives on things, and is a great challenge to broaden your view of the world. I also have loved the practical side of the course here, with visits to institutions and trying out technologies for ourselves. To be able to apply the theories to real life situation makes it a lot easier to grasp concepts and analyse the best ways of doing things. I have learnt so much! It is quite intensive, as the course is in such a concentrated amount of time, but very interesting and totally worth the work you have to put in! 

The Accommodation

My Erasmus Experience: TU Dortmund, GermanyThe accommodation here is really nice – I have a larger room than at home for a much cheaper price, and a stunning view! If you choose to stay in the student dorms, you will also have a friendly “Hausmeister” who will fix any problems for you… mine doesn’t speak much English, so it’s often a fun game of charades, but he is super friendly and helpful. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the area where I am is so green, despite Dortmund being an industrial city – it is so lovely being surrounded by nature… and I have even spotted some rabbits!

The Social Life

My Erasmus Experience: TU Dortmund, Germany
My Erasmus Experience: TU Dortmund, Germany

An aspect that has made this exchange really incredible is the Erasmus Student Network – a student group that put on events for exchange students throughout the term. Whether you are looking for partying, sightseeing, games, information, there is always something going on, and it’s a great way to build friendships with people all over the world!

They are so welcoming and supportive, and just generally a great group of people who try to make your stay as fun as possible. A highlight for me was going with ESN on their “cabin in the woods” trip where we had a weekend away of crazy games, music, campfires, good food, hikes and laughter. 

Being a Tourist!!

My Erasmus Experience: TU Dortmund, GermanyErasmus is a great chance to travel a lot and explore. There are so many beautiful places around Dortmund, and I have been making the most of my student “semesterticket” giving me free transport in this region. I also took the overnight bus to Munich in the south of Germany and saw the stunning sights there… or if old castles and museums are not so much your thing, many other students went for the Oktoberfest! You can also get cheap deals to neighbouring countries with student travel agencies… the world really is your oyster! I only wish the program lasted longer so I could see more new places!

Who can Study Abroad and When?

The International Exchange/Study Abroad Programme is open to Second Year BA Education students. You should apply whilst still in Year 1. Study Abroad opportunities are available in the first part of your second year of study. Study dates will vary depending on the institution but will typically be from the beginning of September to mid-December. You’ll attend classes and submit assessment in your chosen exchange university and return to England in time for the Christmas holidays. Your second term will start in Birmingham in early January as normal. You’ll study three modules beginning in January to complete your academic year.

How do I fund Studying Abroad?

Luckily, there is funding available. Each student who successfully applies to study abroad is eligible for an Erasmus Grant from the British Council. See  https://www.erasmusplus.org.uk for the latest details. The British Council releases its figures each year in November and the grant is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments.

There are other funding opportunities available, and you should contact the International Office for more information. There is a further bursary available for our Access to Birmingham (A2B) students.

Where can I study?

We currently have reciprocal exchange agreements with the University of Oslo (Norway); TU Dortmund University (Germany); The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Trondheim, Norway) and the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). Download an overview of the exchange scheme (PDF, 176KB) 

You will be able to apply to any of these universities, as each offers a uniquely catered programme of study. All modules are taught in English.

Learn more about the International Exchange Scheme and Erasmus programme

Contact Details

Contact our administrative team at ug-education@contacts.bham.ac.uk for further information.