Residence abroad

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Student photograph -Mountains in Switzerland

French and German

'I took this photo of my Finnish friend on a mountain in Switzerland. On one hand it looks as if my friend is about to jump off the mountainside while on the other hand you see that she's in the air and has the whole world before her, this reflects my own experience of taking part in the ERASMUS study programme. At first I took a plunge into the unknown and had a rocky start but once I had found my feet I took full advantage of opportunities and now feel victorious and have the world at my feet.' (Amy, BA French and German)

The Residence Abroad component of the undergraduate degree is spent in a German speaking country and provides an unforgettable experience for students. You will gain independence, enhance your employability ahead of entering the jobs market, make new friends, and learn more about yourself.

Most students of German@Leeds spend a period of 9 to 12 months in Germany, Austria or Switzerland (the Year Abroad). If you study two languages, you might spend a shorter period of 3 to 5 months in Germany at the end of your second year at Leeds (the Term Abroad) while doing a Year Abroad in your other language. In some cases, you can decide where you spend the Year and the Term Abroad. 

Preparation and benefits

Through course work, meetings with the year abroad tutor, your personal tutor and by means of Minerva, we will not only prepare you for the practical aspects of living abroad but also prepare you for the psychological challenge of relocating to a different country. 

By studying at Leeds and having part of your degree abroad, you'll be graduating with work experience and an enhanced appreciation of another culture, an experience that gives you the edge over other candidates when trying to secure your ideal job. In 2010, a report commissioned by the British Council and the Higher Education Funding Council suggested that ‘the Year Abroad (especially if it produces a four-year degree) acts rather like a one-year Master’s or MBA as an additional differentiating factor which can boost the chances of some students who have this extra element of educational capital and life experience’ (HEFCE 2010). The same report also indicated that a year abroad has a positive impact on degree outcome, getting a job and graduate salaries. 

Guidance and support 

The Residence Abroad coordinator for German assists students as they plan and prepare for study at a German University for either one semester or the full year. The Study Abroad Office at Leeds coordinates supports all outgoing students during their time abroad and the Study Abroad Office website offers guidance and further information on this exciting prospect.

Student Experiences

Ruth Smith reports on her year abroad as a language assistant in Reutlingen

Rebecca Hall talks about her year abroad in Jena (2016/17)

Zeinab Drabu and Lawrence Prince talk about their experiences as year abroad interns with euroShell Hamburg (2015/16)

Amy Wright reports from her year abroad in Hessen (2015/16)

In this article, a graduate of German at Leeds reflects on her time as a student in Heidelberg after spending a full year in China.

Here, a former student reflects on the way that the experience of studying German in Tübingen motivated her to pursue postgraduate study.

Read more about residence abroad options on degrees offered by the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies

Pages in this document

  1. Residence abroad
  2. The residence abroad options explained
  3. Assessment and staying in touch