Work abroad

As part of your course, you may have the opportunity to take a work placement abroad in Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia. More than 200 students every year choose to spend their Professional Training placement abroad.

How it works

Professional Training placements abroad typically take place between your second and third years of undergraduate study and can be up to 12 months in length.

What you do and how you structure this time partly depends on your course. Current requirements include the following:

  • If you are planning to study languages, you will be required to complete your Professional Training placement abroad.
  • If you are planning to study a health and medical science course, you are encouraged to complete your Professional Training placement in a partner laboratory in Europe.

The application process for this is the same as the standard application for Professional Training placements.


If you are interested in completing your Professional Training placement in Europe (outside UK), there may be additional funding available to you.

Language support

Some placements abroad may involve learning and communicating in a language other than English, as such we have support available to help you develop your language skills.

Global Graduate Award in Languages

Add an international element to your university experience with our Global Graduate Award in Languages. There are currently 11 languages on offer, from Arabic to Spanish. With a variety of levels available, you can learn a new language or continue with one you don't want to forget.

Online support

We offer online courses for the following languages: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Danish, Dutch, Czech, Finnish, Swedish, Hungarian, Romanian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Slovak, Polish, Portuguese and Greek. If you work in a country where one of these languages is used you will be required to take an online language test and depending on your score will be given access to a free online course to help you prepare and survive better in your host country.

As a University of Surrey student, you will also have access to uTalk which has 25 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

In-country learning

There may be options available for you to take classes while you are in the country or you might like to consider attending an intensive language course in the country you will be living in before you begin work. Previous students have found all of these options extremely useful and learning the language has helped them to get the most out of the year.

The best thing about my placement was the improvement in my Spanish, and it made me a much better business student too. Daniel Littman, BSc (Hons) Business Management and Spanish
Daniel Littman