UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


SSEES Year Abroad

All SSEES undergraduate programmes offer exciting, year-long opportunities for students to study abroad in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

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.

The year abroad is compulsory for any student on a language-based degree. For our Economics and Business, Politics and Sociology and History, Politics and Economics degrees, the year abroad is optional. Places on History, Politics and Economics can only be applied for once on the programme and are limited. 

Year Abroad Destinations

SSEES students can spend their year abroad at a range of host institutions in countries from across the Central and Eastern European region (see list below). Please note that each SSEES BA programme has its own specific requirements for the year abroad and, consequently, not all the below placements are open to all students. For further information about the placements open to the different SSEES BA programmes, please see Section 9.4 Choosing Where to Go: Your Programme Guide of the SSEES Student Handbook, available here.

Students on language degrees will have been preparing for the year abroad with language tuition during the first two years of their degree. While students on other SSEES degree programmes usually have the option of learning one of the languages taught by SSEES during the first two years or their degree, knowledge of the local language, while advantageous, is not usually essential for the year abroad, as the discipline-based courses taught at our partner universities are delivered in English. 

Central and East European Partners

Russian Language Placements

Due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, UCL has ceased partnerships with Russia. ​SSEES has organised a number of alternative placements in countries where Russian is widely spoken. 

  • Tartu, Estonia
  • Tallin, Estonia
  • Astana, Kazakhstan

Off Track Placements

In exceptional circumstances, students may explore optiions to study abroad on what SSEES terms an ‘off-track’ placement (i.e. a placement at an institution with which SSEES does not have a formal agreement). You will need to discuss this early on with Head of Mobility. 

How does a year abroad enhance your 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.