Study abroad in Europe through Erasmus
A range of opportunities to combine overseas study with your Geography degree
There are a number of opportunities to enhance your degree programme through a semester or year of studies abroad. Past graduates have enjoyed this, directly experiencing life in another culture, gaining much personally and intellectually in the process. International experience and an ability to adapt to new challenges and environments prove to be assets in securing a graduate career in the global job market. Employers often look more favourably upon job applicants who have made good use of these types of opportunities.
There are opportunities for Geography undergraduate students to take a semester of studies at one of our European partner universities under the Erasmus programme and also to take a year of studies at an American university or college under the Study USA scheme:
We currently have student exchange agreements with two European universities that offer modules taught within the medium of English:
A semester of study at one of these institutions can be integrated into either Level 2 or Level 3 of your programme. At your host institution you will take the equivalent of a semester’s worth of modules and the marks you gain will count towards your final degree classification. For example, for 2011/12 entrants modules taken abroad during Level 2 would count towards the 30% weighting attached to this stage of your degree.
Under the Erasmus programme tuition fees at the host institution are waived. You only have to pay fees to QUB. You can also apply for an Erasmus grant to help defray additional expenses. To be eligible for an Erasmus grant you must be: be a citizen of one of the participating countries, a refugee, stateless person or have permanent resident status in the UK; be registered at a UK Higher Education institution which holds an Erasmus University Charter (EUC); and spend an approved study period of between 3 to 12 months at an institution which holds an EUC in another EU, EEA or candidate country.
Further details on the Erasmus programme are available at:
Further details of the administrative aspects of arranging an Erasmus placement at Queens University Belfast can be found at:
If you are interested in taking up one of these opportunities, you need to contact the Study Abroad Programme Coordinator (Dr Drik Brandherm). Applications for permission to study abroad and for an Erasmus grant are due by the end of March of the academic year prior to the year in which the study placement will take place.
Study USA offers students an opportunity to study business-related modules at an American college or university for a year. Every year QUB sends around 80 students to the United States within this programme. Fees at the host institution are waived and funding is available to help defray the cost of air travel, health insurance and maintenance.
Only students in Level 2 are eligible to apply. Those awarded a place on the programme spend their third year of studies at an American university or college enrolled in business-related modules and undertaking a research project. The latter may be integrated with an internship. The marks you gain in the United States do not count towards your final degree classification, however upon successfully completing the Study USA programme students are awarded QUB’s Certificate of U.S. Business Practice.
On completing the Study USA programme, you will return to Queen's to complete your final year of Level 3 studies (Year 4). Normally local education authorities support this additional year of studies.
Details of the scheme and the online application form can be accessed at:
Claire Doherty successfully completed the Study USA (then called BEI) programme in September 2009, earning QUB’s Certificate in American Business Practice. Reflecting on her experience as a study abroad student, she wrote:
“I have learnt more about myself as a student and a person than any of my previous years at school or college. [Study USA] is a rollercoaster, a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity that poses many challenges but double the rewards … It has helped me forge lasting friendships not only with my American friends but with other [Study USA] members. I would urge everyone to apply for the scheme and to make the absolute most of this wonderful opportunity. [Study USA] is truly unforgettable!!”
Study Abroad – Exchange Programmes
A further opportunity to study abroad as part of your degree is offered through exchange programmes with the universities of Newcastle (Australia), Queen’s (Kingston, Canada) and Alberta (Edmonton, Canada). The year or semester spent abroad will replace the similar period at Queen's and the courses taken will count towards your undergraduate degree. Typically, you pay fees only to QUB, while successful applicants with receive a travel award (£750 in 2012). Note, this scheme is available only to students entering levels two and three, with the typical student entering level two.