We encourage students to work abroad, but this will operate within a different legislative framework from the UK, so students will need to be aware and expect differences. We recommend that students start preparing for a placement abroad early in their second year so that visas and other legal documentation, as well as cultural and language preparation courses, are in place by the time you start your placement. Graduate employers value the additional cultural awareness and linguistic skills that working abroad enables you to develop.
More than 200 students every year choose to spend their Professional Training Year abroad in a variety of ways. What you do, and how you structure this year partly depends on your degree subject and requirements, but also on what you want to do during this year.
For some degree programmes, such as languages, it is a requirement to spend the year abroad and most of these students chose to undertake an Erasmus work placement, working in organisations as varied as: Ernst & Young GmbH in Germany; Electricité de France in Paris; Volkswagen Navarra in Spain. Politics students have chosen to work for the Agence de Communication d’Influence et Lobbying in Paris and Psychologist to work in one of the Psychology laboratories at the Humboldt University in Berlin; Business and Management students are working in the Hilton Hotel in Toledo, Spain all with Erasmus funding.
Other students are working further afield: MPhys students are at TRIUMF in Vancouver, Canada; at ORNL, Tennessee in the USA, whereas Maths students work at Deloittes in Bermuda and Chemical Engineers at UOP LLC in Chicago; Chemistry students have worked at the RH Hills laboratory in New Zealand.
Business School and Tourism students have worked as far afield as Hong Kong, Dubai, Thailand and Florida, whereas Law students have gone to the AL-Modarra Law Office in Saudi Arabia, the Permanent Mission of Greece to the UN in New York, the Irish International Immigration Centre in Boston or the Public Defender’s Service in Washington DC, a law firm in Australia and another one in Mauritius.
Students from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences are taking the opportunity of working at laboratories in another part of Europe – be it in Pamplona, Spain; Turku, Finland or Leuven in Belgium. Others are in the United States in North Carolina, Massachusetts, Oklahoma City, Washington State, New York or in Sydney, Australia. Students taking their degrees in Biochemistry, Nutrition, Microbiology or Micro and Cellular Science have all taken advantage of these opportunities.
You have to start early in your second year to think about what you might wish to do – talk to your Placement Coordinators; write your CV, apply, be interviewed and if you are thinking of working in another part of Europe taking a language course as part of the Global Graduate Award (GGA) for the first two years of your degree gives you a distinct advantage in securing a placement in Europe. However, if you have missed out on this there are online linguistic support facilities funded by the European Commission for: French, Spanish, German, Italian, Greek, Czech, Polish, Danish, Portuguese and Dutch. If you are applying to work in an organisation in Europe and are required to work in one of the languages mentioned above, you will automatically be assessed on your language ability. This is mandatory for students who will be receiving the Erasmus+ grant. You will be given access to this online facilty as soon as possible once you have secured your placement.
For Further Information about Erasmus Work Placements, please see the British Council's Erasmus work placement guide.
Please visit our Student experiences page to view videos of students talking about their experiences on work placements.
The Careers Service provides useful information for those thinking of working abroad. To find out about the job markets, typical employers and vacancy sources as well as work experience and further study possibilities in more than 50 countries all over the world, please visit the Careers and Employablitiy Centre's, working abroad pages.
Registering your international work placement
If you have secured a work placement outside of Europe for your Professional Training Year please use the link below to complete the registration form. It should take you no more than 5 minutes to complete and it is to ensure that should there be an emergency situation in the country where you are undertaking your placement, that we can make contact with you as quickly as possible. This is a requirement of you being allowed to undertake your placement abroad.
Apply through the application portal. Please register with your Surrey email as not all other email accounts work. Please continue to use Chrome or Firefox to make your application.
You will also be required to attend a Compulsory Pre-departure afternoon on Thursday 25 May 2017, 12-5pm.
PTY International Travel Bursary
An international travel bursary has been set up for Home/EU students to provide up to £750 towards the cost of travel, visas and insurance for travel abroad for their 'Professional Training Year', where all the following criteria are met:
• Household income of less than £42,600
• Not eligible for Erasmus+ funding
• Receiving less than £5,000 net in pay while on a PTY 6 or 12 month work placement abroad
EU students must have been means-tested by SFE Darlington and UK residents must have applied for a tuition and maintenance loan.
If you think you may be eligible then please apply using this form (word) and email it to Alice Gidman.
Santander Student Travel Grant
A Santander Travel Grant may may available. To check eligibility criteria and to apply please visit this link.
Applying for an Erasmus grant
If you have secured a work placement in Europe for your Professional Training Year in 2017/18, or as a recent graduate, or a PhD student please use this portal where you will find the application form for an Erasmus+ grant. Do not apply again if you are an FHMS student who has already applied through the laboratory placement portal earlier in the year. You will automatically be considered for an Erasmus+ grant. Please bookmark or save this website as a favourite, as you will be returning to the portal at various stages throughout your Erasmus+ period to submit various documents. You must register with your Surrey email as not all other email accounts work. Please ensure once you register, you activate the account within 2 days. If you do not do this, the link will no longer be live and you will have to start the process again, using another e-mail address. Please continue to use Chrome or Firefox to make your application.
Making an application does not guarantee a grant, as it depends on the amount allocated from the National Agency. If funding is limited, priority will be given to students undertaking their Placement Year rather than to recent graduates, voluntary placements or PhD students where the placement does not directly contribute to the degree programme.
You will also need to be registered on the SurreyLearn module Let’s Go Abroad in order to access the Learning Agreement for Traineeships, which has to be submitted as part of your application. To get access to this module please email Alice Gidman.
The deadline to be considered for a grant is one month before the start of your placement, but be aware that if you apply later in the year, the grant allocation may be exhausted.
Current first years who are planning to study abroad in their second year should not register here. Please check the Search Tool to see where you can go.
Applications are now closed for study abroad in 2017/18, unless you are a PhD student going to one of our European partners in which case apply through the study portal.
Further information on Erasmus+
As an outgoing Erasmus+ or international work or study student you will be covered by the University's Personal Accident and Travel insurance policy. Further details are available in the SurreyLearn Let's Go Abroad module. However, you are strongly advised to take out additional health and medical insurance cover for the duration of your study or work period. All students going to Europe should ensure they obtain their EHIC card. If you are an EU/EEA student but not a permanent resident in the UK, then you must obtain your EHIC card in your home country. Further information on insurance can be obtained from the Insurance Office at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Generation UK - China campaign offers funding support for two month placements for UK students to gain work experience in mainland China.
Placements are available in a wide range of industries across six cities and is arranged by two British Council appointed suppliers: CRCC Asia and Intern China.
Generation UK - China funding covers accommodation and comprehensive travel insurance, as well as an airport pickup service and dedicated support throughout the placement.
Applicants are not required to cover any placement fees but will need to cover the costs of their own return flights, visa and any other expenses related to travel.
Eligibility & criteria
Applicants must be:
- Aged 18 years and above
- Currently enrolled full-time at a UK institution or have graduated from a UK institution within the past year
- Achieved or on track to achieve a 2:1 degree
- Be a UK or EU passport holder
- In receipt of a Maintenance Grant from Student Finance
- Not in receipt of any other Generation UK - China funding
The following criteria will be taken into account during the application process and interview:
- Academic achievement
- Interest in chosen industry
- Motivations for gaining work experience in China
- Knowledge of Mandarin is not a pre-requisite for Generation UK internships.
How do I apply?
Placements are available every month and you are advised to apply at least two months before your desired arrival date.
Click here for internships in Beijing, Shanghai or Shenzhen with CRCC Asia.
Click here for internships in Chengdu, Qingdao or Zhuhai with Intern China.
Important note: You cannot apply to both CRCC Asia and Intern China.
To find out more about the programme and to apply, please click here. The deadline to submit your application is 12 December 2017 at 23:59 (BST).
For enquiries, please contact us.
Amgen Scholars Programme
Amgen Scholars Programme, the internationally recognized undergraduate research initiative offers undergraduates the opportunity to collaborate with faculty at top institutions on cutting-edge scientific research. Students worldwide may now apply to be Amgen Scholars at leading institutions in Japan: Kyoto University, and The University of Tokyo.
Applications for the 2017 Amgen Scholars Program in Japan are now online. Note that applicants do not need to currently attend one of the Japan host institutions to participate. In fact, Amgen Scholars have represented over 500 colleges and universities to date.
This is a unique opportunity for students to gain valuable exposure to Japan's academic and research culture. The application deadline is 2nd February 2017. Eligibility requirements, as well as site-specific programming information is available via amgenscholars.
For the Japan Program click on flyer.
To learn more about the Amgen Foundation's commitment to advancing STEM education in the U.S, Europe and now Japan, see this recent news story.
The Argonne National Laboratory
The Argonne National Laboratory, US is seeking highly motivated and energetic undergraduate students for the 2018 summer internship and part-time work experience programs. Based just outside of Chicago, Argonne is a multidisciplinary science and engineering research centre, where teams of world-class researchers work alongside experts from industry, academia and other government laboratories to address vital national challenges in clean energy, environment, technology and national security.
Over the years, Argonne has supported thousands of students in their explorations of STEM research careers; provided access to cutting-edge research facilities and fostered relationships with world-class scientists all within 30 miles of the third largest city in the country.
Further details and application form