Preparing for your time abroad can sometimes feel daunting, so we have outlined the main points for you to consider in these early stages below.
Pre-departure, you will be required to complete the following documents:
Documents relating to funding:
- Bursary application form
- Grant Agreement
- Participation Agreement
Documents relating to academic requirements and approval:
- Learning/Training Plan - overview of academic requirements
- Learning/Training Agreement - detailed agreement of modules to be studied/work to be completed
The Go Global Team will send you a study or work abroad pack via email which will contain the required documents for funding and academic purposes. You must complete this documentation in order to receive your funding and for your time abroad to be approved by Swansea University.
Fees and Funding
The type of bursary and amount you receive will depend on your programme and destination. Additional funding is available for students meeting widening participation criteria. Funding is only available on completion of the necessary documents, which the Go Global team will outline for you by email. All funding is paid in two instalments, one at the beginning of your placement, and one at the end of your placement. You will therefore need to budget accordingly.
Visit our Funding pages for detailed information on bursaries available.
Tuition Fees, Student Loans and Travel Grants
It is important that you apply for your student loan by the normal deadlines and through the relevant Student Loan Company. It is important that you are enrolled on the correct degree scheme which reflects your year or semester abroad, and that you inform your Student Loan Company that you are going abroad. You may be asked to submit a course abroad form, which the Go Global team can sign and stamp for you. it is your responsibility to apply for any loans and grants.
If you are spending a year abroad as part of your degree, then you will pay a reduced rate of your usual tuition fees to Swansea University for that year (15% for study placements and 20% for year in industry placements). If you are spending a semester abroad, you will pay your usual tuition fees to Swansea University. Visit https://www.swansea.ac.uk/undergraduate/fees-and-funding/tuition-fees/ for current rates
You can also contact the Money@CampusLife team for any queries relating to tuition fees and your Student Loan.
If you currently receive finance through Student Finance England, Wales or Northern Ireland and plan to during your year/semester abroad, you may able to apply for a reimbursement of your travel expenses for your time abroad. Please follow the relevant links below for further information and application details. If you are eligible, please note that this reimbursement is not paid for by Swansea University, the Go Global team are simply directing you to this information. If you have any further questions, please contact your Local Authority.
Student Finance Wales
Student Finance England
Student Awards Agency Scotland
Student Finance Northern Ireland
Please note, if you are eligible for travel grant from a student finance body in any part of the UK, Turing or Taith travel cost support should always be relied upon first when going on a Turing or Taith funded placement. Participants may then apply for travel grant from the appropriate student finance body to cover additional reasonable expenses such as for further return journeys and, where applicable, for reasonable travel between accommodation and study institution when abroad. If you are awarded Turing or Taith funding and unsure about how this affects any travel grants you intend on applying for, please ensure you check with your Student Finance body.
It may be difficult initially to budget in a new currency. Whilst you are abroad, as a minimum, you will need to consider the cost of travel, accommodation, meal plans, insurance, books, food and other daily living expenses.
You are responsible for carefully researching your host country and host university. You should also read any information you receive from your host carefully to see if there are extra charges, e.g. some universities will charge you for orientation programmes, student registration and health insurance.
Ensure you have paid all your bills at your host university before departure or your transcript will be withheld and you will affect your progression at Swansea.
If you need futher advice on budgeting, you can reach out to the Money@CampusLife team here at Swansea.
Making travel and accommodation plans
As you move further through the year leading up to your departure, we appreciate that you may need to start making financial commitments such as applying for a visa or booking accommodation. In an ideal world, all students would have received travel approval and confirmation that you have progressed onto the semester/year abroad before making any financial commitments. However, we understand that in reality, the timelines for students going to many destinations (for example, Australia, North America and increasingly some European countries) will mean that you need to start moving forward with applying for a visa or booking accommodation, which will require that you make a financial commitment before you have travel approval / have confirmation that you have passed this year.
It is important that you are aware that there is an element of risk when making these financial commitments, but we understand that there is no way around this and failing to progress with arrangements will jeopardise your semester/year abroad.
If you are asked to commit financially, we recommend checking in with your host organisation in the first instance for guidance on whether it is possible to delay making any payments.
International Travel Approval
Please ensure you read through all sections below!
Any international opportunity due to be undertaken by students is subject to Swansea University’s international travel approval process, which is defined in the University’s International Travel Policy (https://myuni.swansea.ac.uk/living-in-swansea/health-and-safety/undergraduates/policies-and-procedures/#international-travel=is-expanded). Ideally, students should not make any financial commitment to an international opportunity (for example, book any travel or accommodation) until your travel plans have been approved (please see further information above). Any financial commitments made prior to full approval of your time abroad will be at your own risk. You will be liable for these costs in the event you cannot participate. In order for your proposed travel to be reviewed, you will need to complete the following steps:
Documents to be completed and submitted by all students:
- Request to Travel Form (review Request to Travel form guidance here)
- International Travel Risk Assessment form (Green, Red or Amber form, depending on destination and transit countries)
- Health Declaration Form
- Drum Cussac online training
All documents are available online: https://myuni.swansea.ac.uk/living-in-swansea/health-and-safety/undergraduates/policies-and-procedures/#international-travel=is-expanded
Recordings to be viewed by all students:
- International Travel Approval Guidance session recording (Passcode: 1&x0.aQt).
- View a copy of the International Travel Approval Presentation
Important for all students:
Your placement abroad is not confirmed until the international travel approval process has been completed and travel approval given by the Faculty, in addition to confirmation from your Faculty that you have met the academic threshold following examination boards. Students applying for travel approval for a summer programme will have their documents reviewed by the Go Global team.
Due to circumstances beyond our control (for example, as was the case during the Covid-19 pandemic), some partner universities may cancel exchange programmes for Swansea University students. If this happens, we will not be able to offer students alternative options.
Useful sources of information include:
- FCDO guidance (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice)
- Drum Cussac- (https://www.drum-cussac.net/)
- Download the Safezone app and register for an account (https://www.swansea.ac.uk/life-on-campus/security-and-safezone/)
Next steps for Summer programme students:
Watch the relevant recording for your programme/country, to assist with the completion of the risk assessment form:
- Green rated countries (Passcode: @!cOX*0q) - (in addition, download Green Risk Assessment guidance)
- Think Pacific programme (Passcode: f?KM5sxE)
- Pagoda Projects programme (Passcode: 6^$Yqs3q)
- Travelteer programme - Nepal & Sri Lanka
- Travelteer programme - Costa Rica (Passcode: y0X^Pd#g)
Submit all documents (Request to Travel Form, Health Declaration Form, Drum Cussac Training Certificate and completed Risk Assessment Form) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Next steps for year or semester abroad students:
For students going on a year or semester abroad in 2023/24, please ensure you attend the travel approval follow-up session via Zoom held by your Faculty after the Easter break, which will give guidance on the rsik assessment forms you will need to complete:
- FSE - Monday 24th April @ 12pm: https://swanseauniversity.zoom.us/j/95629986893?pwd=clAvcVdDandGUDJkNFdhd0VSdnJXdz09
- FMHLS - Monday 24th April @ 2pm: https://swanseauniversity.zoom.us/j/97686335543?pwd=TDFXY05vTXZ0ZmxhYy92SGZKVkJuQT09
- FHSS - Tuesday 25th April @ 2pm: https://swanseauniversity.zoom.us/j/96436015390?pwd=b1kvR3dSKzB5ZW8zeXp6STRqYUZzZz09
Check the date that your host university expects you to arrive. If you are studying abroad, make sure you arrive in time for orientation events. Research public transport information and check if a pickup or meet and greet service is offered by your host university.
You are advised against making any financial commitments until you receive:
- Confirmation from your host e.g. an acceptance letter
- Visa approval (for destinations where a visa is required)
- International Travel Approval from your Faculty
- Final departmental approval following exams
If you decide to go ahead and make any financial commitments, please just be aware that you remain liable for any costs you incur in the event you cannot participate.
As with any other year at University, you are responsible for your own accommodation arrangements. Your host university may be able to provide some assistance in finding suitable accommodation before you go. Please read any information from them thoroughly especially deadlines and costs. Ensure you read any accommodation contracts carefully and be certain you understand them before signing.
For Semester Abroad Students – You may be able to secure Swansea University accommodation for the one semester you are in Swansea. Contact the Accommodation team in plenty of time to arrange this.
Passport - You will need a passport to travel abroad and some host universities or organisations may request photocopies. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after your period abroad; take a photocopy with you and leave one at home as well.
Visa - Depending on where you are going, you may need a visa or study permit. Check the visa requirements of your host country. British Citizens should refer to the FCDO website www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. International students should seek advice from International@Campuslife. Allow plenty of time for your visa application!
Birth certificates - Check with the Embassy or the Consulate in your host country to confirm if you need to take a birth certificate with you.
Acceptance Materials from Host University - Your host university will provide you with an acceptance pack or materials. Normally you will receive these within 3 months of the application deadline. Please be patient while you wait for them to arrive! You CANNOT apply for a visa or study permit without your acceptance materials. Also don’t forget to take these away with you!
Vaccination status - you may be required to provide proof of your Covid-19 vaccination status - this will depend on your destination and journey. Ensure you refer to the FCDO website for detailed information about entry requirements for your planned destination: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. You may also be required to have other vaccinations and immunisations, depending on your destination.
Health, Safety and Insurance
In the event of sudden illness, accident or emergency you must inform a member of staff at your host university or placement provider, as well as the Go Global team at Swansea University. In case of an accident or emergency, you should also contact the local police and relevant emergency services. You may need to contact the Embassy or your host organisation. Your host organisation will provide assistance, however you should also contact the Go Global Team so we are aware of the situation.
It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with all Health and Safety regulations that apply to your place of work or study while you are abroad. For more information on your specific destination visit: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
SafeZone: Swansea University provides a free app service to help give around-the-clock safety reassurance to students both at home and abroad. SafeZone is a simple-to-use application that’s free to download. It’s designed to help students summon security or safety assistance via their mobile phones. This will also allow students to call the emergency services of the country they are visiting.
- Go to www.safezoneapp.com and follow the instructions for your device.
- Once you have downloaded the free app, enter your email address, select Swansea University, then follow the on-screen instructions.
Global Risk Manager: Before you travel you should download the GlobalRiskManager app for travel advice, security information and to receive alerts for any incidents occurring in your destination country or region. Alerts can be configured by country, proximity, severity and/or category to ensure that you receive the alerts that you need. Make sure that the app used is the black one.
If you have an on-going medical condition make sure that you have a letter from your GP/hospital that states you are fit to travel, and also always take a list of the medication that you need with you. You will need to declare any health conditions and allergies as part of the travel approval process. In addition to discussing any conditions with your GP, useful information is available online https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/medicines/can-i-take-my-medicine-abroad/
Prescriptions and Medication: If you are prescribed any regular medication, discuss the process of continuing your prescription abroad with your GP before you depart. Remember that medication, trade names and dosage levels may vary abroad. Consider taking translated copies of any important health documentation. If you need to take a large amount of medication with you, you are advised to ask your GP to provide a description of the medication.
Vaccinations and Immunisations: You are responsible for ensuring you receive all the necessary vaccinations required for your destination. Your host university may also require you to have certain immunisations. More information is available via: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Medical Certificate: This is a requirement for entry in some countries and may be necessary as part of the application to your host university or organisation.
Additional support: If you require additional support to undertake your period abroad, please be sure to contact the relevant service here at Swansea University well in advance of your travels. You may wish to contact the Disability Service or Wellbeing Services on campus.
Personal Accident and Travel Insurance
Swansea University has a Personal Accident and Travel Insurance Policy that provides cover for students during their Year Abroad, Semester Abroad or Summer/ Short Programme. There is no charge for this insurance cover. Details of the cover are available on the following webpage: Insurance Information - Swansea University
It is your responsibility to check the above policy is suitable for your needs. Be prepared to purchase additional Health Care Cover as required by your host university. This is compulsory in the USA, Canada, Australia and increasingly in many other countries.
If you have a medical emergency whilst abroad and need assistance through the travel insurance described above, you or someone on your behalf must contact Global Response who will assist further. Contact information is provided in the travel insurance policy. Failure to do so may make the above Travel Insurance cover null and void.
If you are travelling to Europe, you will need to apply for a Student GHIC. The Go Global team will provide you with a letter confirming your status that needs to be submitted along with your application. More information can be found here: Applying for healthcare cover abroad (GHIC and EHIC) - NHS (www.nhs.uk)