School of Education International Exchange Programme

The International Exchange Programme on the BA (Hons) Education programme has been devised to include a range of modules at various overseas 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 semester overseas are intended to develop you as a student and offer you a unique opportunity to enhance your career prospects by emerging you in the rich, cultural experience that studying overseas 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 overseas option.

Why a semester overseas?

Of the 550 students from the University of Birmingham who studied overseas last year, 97% said that it was the best year of their lives. With this response, it’s clear that studying overseas offers an opportunity many students would not normally have. Have you ever fancied living overseas 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 the first semester of your second year as a BA Education student. You will be able to study at either one of our Ed-Xchange partners in Norway, Germany or the Netherlands or in another university in Europe or at one of the many universities across the world with which the University of Birmingham has partnership agreements.

Hong Kong study abroad experience

Amerdeep went to study at the University of Hong Kong in 2016

hong kongWhen I heard about studying aboard, I jumped to the opportunity and applied to study at the University of Hong Kong. I thought it would be a great opportunity to expand my future employment prospects, as my aspiration is to work as a primary school teacher in Hong Kong, because I was born in Hong Kong and will be moving back there. I was able to develop my linguistic skills and expand my Chinese vocabulary. I have always wanted to experience living out independently and understand how the world works.  

Hong Kong CityThe one thing that worried me the most was being in a shared accommodation living with five other individuals; I was nervous about who my flat mates were going to be and what they were like and if we would get on. But when I got to meet my flatmates everyone was in the same position as me and everyone got on well, which made the experience enjoyable. The content taught at HKU was valuable, as most of the modules taught were around teaching and learning in classrooms. I was also given the opportunity to visit primary schools and observe lessons in English and learning more about the Hong Kong education system. I will be able to use my understanding and knowledge in the PGCE I will be undertaking next year. I have developed my confidence and social skills while studying aboard.

Studying abroad was one of the best experiences ever, as I got the chance meet a lot of people, who are now in fact my good friends. I was also able to adventure out and explore around Hong Kong and Asia countries. 

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 overseas and when?

The International Exchange Programme is open to Second Year BA Education students. You should apply whilst still in year one. Study overseas 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 semester will start in Birmingham in early January as normal. 

How do I fund overseas study?

Luckily, funding can be available. Student who study overseas in most european universities may be eligible for an Erasmus Grant from the British Council. See  https://www.erasmusplus.org.uk for the latest details. The British Council releases its funding information 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?

Ed-Xchange partnership

We currently have reciprocal exchange agreements with the University of Oslo (Norway); Technical University of 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) 

We have direct partnerhsips with these universities making applications and studying there very easy to organise.

Other universities in Europe

The University of Birmingham has partnership agreements with many universities across Europe and we can help you to research the opportunities for a semester of study in these universities.

Universities outside Europe

The University of Birmingham has partnership arrangements with universities across the world and we have a long track record of supporting students who study for a semester overseas in countries such as Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and the USA. 

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.