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 BA History, Politics and Economics, all SSEES undergraduate programmes offer exciting, year-long opportunities for students to study abroad in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The year abroad is compulsory for any student on a language-based degree.

Where Can I Go On My Year Abroad?

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. 


Off-Track Placements

Students may also request permission 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).  Students have arranged off-track placements to:


Costs, Funding and Finance

There are three basic categories of costs that apply to the year abroad:

1. Fees payable to UCL

During the year abroad, home/EU fee-paying students are required to pay to UCL a certain percentage (usually 15%) of their usual annual tuition fee to cover the costs of preparation, monitoring, pastoral care and general administration. Overseas students are required to pay a larger percentage to UCL during their year abroad (usually 50% of their usual annual UCL tuition fee).

See www.ucl.ac.uk/studyabroad/preparation/planning-departure/finance  (under the tab headed ‘UCL Tuition Fees’).

2. Fees payable to your host institution(s)

Students who attend institutions with whom SSEES has a formal agreement (i.e. all those listed on p. 1 of this document) are not required to pay tuition fees to their host institutions during the year abroad.

Students who opt to study abroad on an ‘off-track’ placement are required to pay tuition fees to their host institution themselves. However, providing certain preconditions are satisfied, these fees will usually be reimbursed by UCL up to a maximum capped amount. This capped amount is usually equal to the amount you pay to UCL in tuition fees during your year abroad (i.e. 15% of your current annual tuition fee for home/EU students and 50% of your current annual tuition fee for overseas students).

3. Travel, administration, preparation, visa and living costs

You will have to finance your living costs in full during the year abroad, including additional expenses relating to visas and so on.

Students on all types of year abroad programme may be charged a student enrolment or registration fee by their host institution (typically in the region of €150-€250) and/or be required to pay a small deposit. You are required to pay these fees yourself. They are non-refundable by UCL.

If you go abroad through Erasmus+ you will receive a monthly Erasmus Mobility Grant for the duration of your Erasmus+ programme. The amount of the grant varies from country to country (to reflect variation in cost of living) and from year to year.

The UCL Study Abroad Team administers the Erasmus+ grants, so if you have questions about this, please contact them via email: studyabroad@ucl.ac.uk


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.