4 Things to do when finishing up your year abroad in Spain

7 July 2023

Alix's tips for finishing up your placement

After spending months settling into your accommodation, making new friends, traveling around and making your host country feel like home, it can be daunting to start thinking about your departure. However, wrapping up your year abroad in an organised way will make the transition back to UCL all the more stress-free. Here are some of the tips I would recommend following as your year abroad comes to a close, particularly if you’ve chosen to study in Spain, like I did.

1. Take care of the necessary documentation

Both the beginning and end of a placement abroad will involve forms that need to be signed by UCL and your host institution. As the end date draws near, it’s good to think about when you plan on getting your confirmation of departure form signed (this is particularly relevant to students receiving an Erasmus+ grant) as well as any other requirements that may apply. When I went to get my form signed, for example, I was made aware that I first had to sign a separate document issued by the university library confirming that I had no outstanding loans. Another general piece of advice is to continuously keep an eye on your UCL email, as the Study Abroad Team will let you know about any documentation you need to upload as your time abroad comes to an end.

2. Take (lots of) pictures

Admin aside, a great way to deal with the impending nostalgia and bittersweet mix of emotions that usually accompany the end of your year abroad is to make sure to record your last few moments there, through pictures and videos. Whilst you’re guaranteed to have already filled up your phone storage with hundreds of snaps, those unique memories you make at the end of your time abroad will be extra special as you look back at your camera roll on the plane ride home!

3. Say a proper goodbye to your friends

The final weeks of your year abroad will likely be filled with exams and hours spent in the library revising for them. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t remember to make the most of your last few days abroad! Saying yes to evening drinks, going out for a nice meal, or even taking advantage of the last few club nights out with the friends you made abroad will help establish a sense of closure as you say goodbye, easing a bit of the melancholy that undoubtedly arises at the end of a special experience like studying abroad.

4. Send your transcript to your UCL home department

Finally, it’s important to keep communicating with UCL throughout your time abroad but particularly towards the end, not only via the Study Abroad Team but also with your department, looking out for any forms or documents that they may need from you. The Transcript of Records is usually the main one that you’ll be required to send to them, so that they can confirm your grades and entry into your fourth and final year. At the University of Granada, I was sent an email by their own International Mobility Team which let me know when I would receive a record of my grades, but it’s always good to either send them an email beforehand or go to their office on campus to check when you will receive it by, in order to let your department know.