UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


SSEES Year Abroad


Why Study Abroad?

The experiences and skills developed while abroad further academic and personal development, as well as cultural and social awareness, and provide a foundation for final-year undergraduate and future postgraduate study. Employers of all kinds require people who can think and work in a global context; graduates who have embraced the challenge of a year abroad are best equipped to meet these demands.

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With the exception of the History, Politics and Economics BA, all undergraduate programmes (and the postgraduate IMESS programme) offer exciting, year long opportunities for students to study abroad in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. (The Year Abroad is compulsory for any student on a language based degree.) 

Additionally, Russian Studies students taking Russian for the first time complete their first year of study with a specially organised 4-week course in Kazan.

Where Can I Go On My Year Abroad?

SSEES students can spend their year abroad at countries from across the Central and Eastern European region. Students studying at one of our EU partner universities benefit from the European Union Erasmus Scheme which offers some funding towards the year abroad costs. Students on language degrees will have been preparing for the year abroad with language tuition during the first two years of their degree. This will continue during the year abroad.

For students on other degree programmes, knowledge of the local language, while advantageous, is not usually essential, as the discipline-based taught courses at our partner universities are delivered in English. Remember, however, that you do need to be able to live and function in your host country, so choosing to go to Russia if you have never studied Russian, for example, is not advisable. 

*Prospective students should be advised that current Russian Federation law requires a recent HIV-test certificate to be submitted as part of the student visa application*. Alternative arrangements can be made for study abroad if necessary.

Off-Track Placements

Students have also arranged off-track placements to:

Would the Year Abroad enhance my Career Prospects?

Recruiters place great value on those who have spent a year abroad, as they actively seek adaptable, flexible, courageous and ambitious graduates with a proven capacity for communication across cultural (and often) linguistic boundaries. Research shows that the characteristics most valued by recruiters are more developed in students that have challenged themselves by spending a year abroad and can help develop the cultural awareness required to meet clients’ needs effectively. More than ever, recruiters are looking for employees with a global outlook, especially those with an additional language. 

If you plan further study, a year abroad also puts you ahead, with Graduate schools at the leading universities recognising the greater academic maturity and commitment that year abroad students typically acquire.