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How do full-year study abroad placements work?

Study abroad allows you to spend part of your degree programme at an institution in a different country. You could spend a year studying at one of our European partner institutions through the European Exchange scheme or outside Europe at one of our Non European Exchange partners.
Click here to see where you can study abroad

For the two exchange programmes: Non-European Exchange and European Exchange:

  • All degree programmes allow for a student to do an exchange (including combined / joint honours);
  • Students can do one of two options, depending on their course:
    • Additional year (go in year 3 and will add a year in to their programme i.e. 3 to 4 year);
      • This is a pass/fail year and the grades do not affect the final degree classification;
      • The final degree programme will be BA/BSc XXXX with Year Abroad and they will receive a transcript from their host university to prove what they did whilst abroad;
      • 90% of exchanges are additional year 
    • Replacement year (go in year 3 and grades count towards final Durham degree)
      • This is offered by some 4 year courses in the Science Faculty - please check with your Departmental Coordinator for details;
      • Not an option for students on a 3 year course;
      • Modern Languages (MLaC) students have a compulsory 3rd year abroad. They can take multiple placements for a maximum of 12 months, e.g. they could work for 3 months over the summer in France, and then do a 6 month study placement in Spain;
      • Most students would apply for an additional year abroad during Michaelmas term in their second year. They don’t have to apply through UCAS, and they don’t have to declare their interest during first year


Where can I go?

From Canada, Czechia to China, the European Exchange and Non-European Exchange programmes offers study placements across the world.

Please visit Where Can I Go? for a full list

Must I speak a foreign language?

You do not have to speak a foreign language to take a year abroad. Almost all Non-European Exchange partners and many European Exchange universities teach in English. However, some universities will teach in the language of that country. The languages requirements for each university is listed on the Where Can I Go? partner pages. The Go Languages page gives further details about language requirements and support, along with the opportunities that the Centre for Foreign Language Study gives to students to learn a language alongside their degree.


Can I do a work placement for a year?

Students are able to do a 'Placement Year' (as opposed to a Year Abroad) in the UK or overseas. The Careers Office have specific Placement Officers based in each faculty that can help you organise a work placement

Click here for GO Work Abroad


Please visit the Go Funding page for more information, but to summarise:

Student Finance

  • Student finance should continue as normal. Students would receive maintenance loans as well as additional means-tested grants;
  • Means-tested travel grant available from Student Finance England; currently allows students to pay the first £303 of flights, visas and health insurance and then claim the rest back;
  • Students would pay for their own accommodation, flights, visas and health insurance whilst on exchange at their host.

Turing funding

The University will bid to the UK Government Turing funding scheme to support study abroad placements in all locations in 2023/24, however, the Turing funding call has not opened and we cannot guarantee full funding from Turing. Within the Turing [funding] Scheme, priority is given to Widening Participation. Please note: Turing is a funding scheme, not an exchange programme.

  • Turing and Erasmus funded students receive funding of approximately £350-450 per month depending on which country they are going to;
  • Means-tested top up of approx £100 per month available for some ‘Widening Participation’ students;
  • Students are eligible to receive the funding provided they complete all paperwork and their placement meets Turing criteria;
  • Non repayable and non means tested – can still receive maintenance loan from Student Finance;
  • Paid in 2 instalments (NOT monthly) – 70% at the start of the placement, and 30% at the end.

Please visit the Turing page for more information.

Tuition Fees

  • All European Exchange or Non European Exchange students only pay 15% of UG fee to Durham. This works out at roughly £1,385 for the year for Home students. This amount will change year on year and depends on the exact fee rate of your Durham programme;
  • Students do not pay fees to host university – the exchange works on a reciprocal fee waiver basis;


  • Most Non European Exchange partners would offer campus accommodation; for European Exchange some partners do but most students would be responsible for sourcing their own accommodation. You should be prepared to find accommodation if none is available and be prepared to live off campus in this situation.
  • All partners are obliged to assist students with finding accommodation.

General Information 

  • All exchanges are for the full year, due to Durham’s academic structure. It is currently not possible to go abroad for just one term;
  • Recommended level for students going abroad is 55% minimum in second year;
  • Students can apply to both European and Non European Exchange;
  • Students applying to ‘x with year abroad’ at Durham would be guaranteed a place at a departmental (i.e. European) partner university, e.g. a student on ‘Theology with Year Abroad’ would be allocated a place at one of the specific Theology links. However, students on these courses would not be guaranteed a place on the Non European Exchange programme (although they are welcome to apply); 


GO elsewhere

Think beyond university! The world is an increasingly global market- your time abroad will allow you to equip yourself with a range of skills which will make you more employable. But if Study Abroad is not for you, check out our other Global Opportunities that could give your CV the edge.

GO Homepage

GO Full Year Study: Step by Step

How does it work?

Find out details of how full-year GO study works

Where can I go?

Find out about Durham's partner universities

How to apply

Find out the application process

Preparing to go

What students must do pre-departure

Currently Abroad

Help and resources for students abroad

Returning Students

Find out what to do on your return