The British Council (the UK National Agency for Erasmus+) has put together some useful information for participants who have successfully applied to take part in Erasmus+ and need a helping hand to sort out some of the logistics. See their advice pages here.
When a person moves to a new country the experience, despite much preparation beforehand, can feel overwhelming. Whether an individual moves to a country with the same first language or not, the process of assimilating the new culture can be a time of great emotional turbulence. This can apply to international students and it is helpful to realise that is quite normal to feel this way.
For some, the first days and weeks in your new surroundings may be quite challenging. For others, the novelty of this initial period will simply be exciting. At some point during your time abroad though, you may find yourself feeling isolated and disorientated. This is perfectly normal, so don’t be put off by it, Persevere and it will eventually pass and you will have a fantastic time on your year abroad. The experience of the year is in discovering, enjoying and adapting to the differences.
Our Counselling Service offers useful resources on managing culture shock.
You may require a visa to study or work in your destination country for your study abroad placement. It is your responsibility to ensure you obtain the correct immigration permission for your placement in good time to begin your placement. There are a list of resources below to get you started:
• Use the list of foreign embassies in the UK to find the website for the UK-based embassy of the country where you will be studying. The embassy's website will tell you whether people of your nationality need to apply for a visa in order to study there. The UK Government publishes a list of all foreign Embassies and High Commissions in the UK. The London Diplomatic List contains the addresses and contact details of all Embassies and High Commissions in London. They also have a list of Consular Offices outside London in cities such as Edinburgh, Cardiff, Manchester and Birmingham.
• You should also seek guidance from your host university or employer, who will be able to issue any documentation you require and guide you through the process of obtaining appropriate visa documentation for your purpose of travel. Your host university will have advice and guidance on applying for visas.
In recent years, there has been a huge increase in the number of airlines offering low-price fares to destinations in Europe. This has given students studying in the UK an affordable opportunity to visit other European countries during the vacations. These airline companies include Thomas Cook, Flybe EasyJet and Ryanair. There is further information about travelling to Europe here.
You may be able to claim housing benefit from the Caisse d'Allocations Familiales (CAF) and you may also want to see @cafetudiants Facebook group for more information about it. The benefit may be called the ALS (allocation de logement sociale) or the APL (aide personnalisee au logement) or AL (allocation logement). Students have reported that this can take a lot of time and effort but that it is worth it in the end. Your host institution may be able to help you with the application. You will probably be entitled to more money if you start the process as soon as you can after you've moved in to your accommodation. You are likely to need to open a French bank account and may need to show your EHIC card and/or other health insurance, an original A4 copy of your birth certificate which may need to be officially translated into French as well as your passport, proof of student status and accommodation contract. Other documents may be necessary, which may vary according to your nationality.
If you are studying abroad as part of your course, you may still qualify for student finance. Please see the Student Funding website for information on funding for Study Abroad.
Keep up-to-date with the University's Health, Safety and Wellbeing web-pages, which have been designed to provide staff, students and visitors with the information they need to live, work, research, teach and learn safely: free from harm, injury or illness.
The UK Government publishes a list of all foreign Embassies and High Commissions in the UK. The London Diplomatic List contains the addresses and contact details of all Embassies and High Commissions in London. They also have a list of Consular Offices outside London in cities such as Edinburgh, Cardiff, Manchester and Birmingham.
You will be able to find the contact details and website of the local embassy of your destination country on this published list.
One of the highlights of your University experience may be having the opportunity to work/ study abroad as part of your studies. Whilst this may provide a great opportunity to immerse yourself within a new culture, any change (even positive ones) could produces stress – particularly in cases when you are distanced from your familiar surroundings and social networks; which makes it important to plan for how to look after your emotional wellbeing during this period.
Sometimes it feels like we only should focus on the positives and the opportunities of an experience, but naturally there will be some negatives and down-sides and a coping person will notice these too. Seeking help at an early stage can help to make sure that they do not become more problematic.
Click here for further information from Student Support Services
You should be more vigilant than usual with regard to your personal safety. The risk may not be higher than in the UK, but the fact that you are in unfamiliar surroundings means that it is all the harder to weigh up the danger and to deal with the consequences of resulting problems. Avoid putting yourself in a situation which involves unnecessary risks.
- Avoid going out late at night without being accompanied by someone familiar with the area
- Try not to look like a tourist. Don’t stand and look at maps or look puzzled or confused, especially in large cities. Look and walk with confidence.
- Be ware of people who seem excessively friendly.
- Don’t allow expensive items to be on show, such as laptops, camera, mobiles.
- Be alert to pickpockets in crowded areas, especially around tourist attractions, stations or museums.
- Be wary of traffic and crossing points. Don’t cross roads until it is safe, even if crossing points indicate that it is safe.
- Stay in groups where possible, especially at night or in unfamiliar places
- Research the laws of the country before you go.
- Don’t put yourself in obvious risk.
- Purchase a personal alarm
- Remember to lock doors and windows in your accommodation, keeping anything valuable out of view
- Use common sense
The easiest way to stay connected with the University of Warwick is to follow us through Facebook and Twitter. Regular news from campus will be posted and will help you to stay in touch with developments on campus, not to mention all of your fellow students will be online from time to time.
Some students in France may have to pay the taxe d'habitation which can amount to up to €700 per year or more. This is a housing tax. It does not apply to students living in University halls of residence but it will be applied to students living in private accommodation. Sometimes the landlord/landlady will pay the tax on behalf of the student but may increase the rent accordingly. You should check your tenancy agreement/accommodation contract to see if the taxe d'habitation is mentioned. The tax is payable regardless of whether or not the property has been lived in. It is not unusual for the French government to present students with the bill after they have returned to Warwick for their final year. For more information search for taxe d'habitation on www.service-public.fr
Packing for study overseas can be quite difficult, especially deciding what you do and don’t need. Check with your accommodation what is included and what you need to either bring with your or purchase when you arrive.
Check on the average temperatures for your Host city to determine whether you should pack mostly warm or cold clothing.
If travelling with a laptop or electrical items, make sure to remember your adapter plugs.
Remember that airlines do charge excess baggage fees and most charge for taking more than one suitcase with you. Pack carefully and wisely.
Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange can be used for applicants coming to the UK through approved schemes such as Erasmus+ Traineeship, that aim to share knowledge, experience and best practice through work placements, whilst experiencing the wider social and cultural setting of the UK. This category cannot be used to fill job vacancies or provide a way to bring unskilled labour to the UK.
Currently a reduced tuition fee is payable to the University of Warwick during your year abroad. And you do not pay any tuition fees to your host university. Please visit the Warwick Student Finance pages for the latest tuition fee rates for study or work placements.
Study Abroad students are covered by the University of Warwick travel insurance policy. This is not health insurance.
Insurance Surgeries are periodically run by the Insurance Services
Many partner universities will require additional Health Insurance which can vary in cost. In the USA, Canada and Australia the additional cover will be compulsory. Other countries will vary. Check the Study Abroad partnership links for more information, as the cost of the additional insurance is the responsibility of individual students.
• View the FCO's travel advice by country. This includes up-to-date information on topics such as local news, safety and security, entry requirements and local laws and customs.
• See the FCO's guidance on support for British nationals living abroad. The government guide highlights some of the main ways you can help yourself stay safe abroad and what help the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) can provide if you do get into difficulty. It includes the FCO Consular Customer Charter.
If you are not a British National, you will still find much of the advice and guidance above useful. Remember to check your local embassy for information on the support and guidance they can provide you with for travelling and living overseas.
During your study abroad placement you will receive support from your host institution as well as academics oand administrators here at Warwick.
• Your Department: the designated Study Abroad co-ordinator, the UG Office and your Personal Tutor.
• Student Services Support: The Student Support Team is able to offer a wide range of services some of which are available online.
Please remember that all email communications will be to your Warwick email address you will need to make sure that you check this regularly.