Every year over 800 Queen's students take the opportunity to go outside Northern Ireland to study or gain work related experience. Whilst overseas you’ll load up on confidence and independence. You’ll experience the colour of life elsewhere. You’ll enrich your own journey.
Queen’s encourages students to take advantage of a period of study at an overseas university or an international work placement as part of their degree.
Some degrees (especially those with a language element) include a compulsory year abroad.
These are generally four-year courses, during which you will spend a year either studying at a partner university or on work placement with an employer. Many other degrees offer the option of participating in a study exchange scheme for one or two semesters, usually in your second year.
The ‘semester abroad’ option will allow you to graduate within the usual three years. There are also lots of summer options available, when a longer period abroad is not possible.
Studying or working abroad will enhance your employability, broaden your cultural awareness and boost your self-confidence and resilience.
Read our student guides
Working and studying abroad
Our most popular international scheme is the European Erasmus Programme*. The scheme enables students to spend part of their degree studying or working in another European country.
Queen’s also has a growing range of options outside of Europe, including programmes in Australia, Canada, China, India, New Zealand and the USA. The Careers, Employability and Skills service or your School can help you to research your options.
No need to speak the language
Advanced language skills are not always necessary in order to study abroad – many of the University’s European partners teach in English, as well as the University’s partners in North America and Australasia.
All students – not just those studying Modern Languages – are strongly encouraged to enhance their language skills and many choose to attend the University’s Language Centre, located within the McClay Library, before they go abroad. Please visit The Language Centre Website for more details.
If your semester or year studying abroad is a recognised part of your degree programme, whether compulsory or optional, you should still be entitled to your student loan whilst overseas.
Students going on an Erasmus exchange to Europe also normally receive an Erasmus grant to help cover their additional costs. Some semester and summer programmes are eligible for a University travel grant.
Boost your confidence - and your degree!
Students who undertake an international study placement are eligible to apply for the placement to be considered towards the Queen’s Degree Plus Award.
The Award provides official recognition of the non-academic benefits of an international study placement, such as improved employability skills, global and cultural awareness and increased self-confidence and motivation.
* The Erasmus Programme is funded with the support of the European Union. Continued participation post-Brexit is to be confirmed.
Opportunities to Study Abroad
Business and management opportunities
Spend a full academic year at an American College or University studying Business and Management.
Each year between 50-60 students from Northern Ireland participate in the Study USA programme which has been running since 1994.
Canadian and Australian Study
North American exchange
Queen’s has exchange opportunities with universities in Canada and Australia. Your year or semester abroad will replace the similar period at Queen's and the courses will count towards your UG degree.
To maximise your chances of getting a place on the programme, register for an Information Session on MyFuture. Speak with returning students and find out about the application process.
Experience the real China
The Study China Programme offers students a unique opportunity to experience Chinese life, culture, language and business.
During the three week programme you will interact with Chinese students, academic staff, local families and businesses, providing profound access to this fascinating country. Your Study China experience will not be confined to classroom learning. Through a curriculum of workshops, trips and excursions you will be introduced to the real China.
Erasmus (Study Abroad)
Study in Europe
Erasmus allows you to study part of your degree at a university in another European country. Study for either one semester or a full academic year in one of 31 different European countries.
Erasmus provides financial support for full-time students and is open to all levels in the majority of disciplines, although you should check specific options within your academic School.
Opportunities to Work Abroad
Erasmus Programme (Work Abroad)
Work in Europe
Work or language assistant placements which are part of your degree programme may be funded through Erasmus allowing you to live and work in another European country.
The work placement should be recognised by Queen's as part of your degree programme and will need to be approved by your School.
Washington Ireland Programme
Be a leader
The Washington Ireland Program (WIP) inspires and develops promising leaders through a program of personal development, policy debate and community service.
From start to finish, the programme encompasses 12 months. There are 3 Phases to the programme – Pre-Departure & Preparation in Ireland (either Belfast or Dublin), Placement Phase in Washington D.C. for 8 weeks and Community Service & Advocacy upon returning home.
US-NI Mentorship Programme
Develop your business knowledge
The US-NI Mentorship Programme is a one-year work placement for recent graduates from Northern Ireland to work with leading corporations in the United States of America.
The graduates have demonstrated academic promise and an interest in developing entrepreneurship and management skills. Their goal is to be able to return home with the skills and experience to start businesses and become business leaders in their communities.
Project Children- USA Internships
Work in America
Spend the summer working in the USA to gain further knowledge in your chosen field of study.
Students at all levels are eligible, provided you are returning to study the following September. Applications from students of any degree background are welcome.
Get paid to train abroad
IAESTE provides students from mainly science, engineering and technology disciplines with paid, course-related, technical training abroad. It aims to promote international understanding and goodwill.
IAESTE are available in industrial and commercial organisations, research institutes, local government bodies, state enterprises, consultancies, laboratories and academic institutions. Normally the placements are for 6 weeks to 12 months.
Generation UK- China Internships
See the world
Spend 2 months next year interning in an industry of your choice in one of the world's most fascinating countries!
With 6 exciting locations and over 15 different industry sectors to choose from, whether that's business, engineering, law, marketing, design etc., there's a wealth of experience and adventure waiting at your feet!