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Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies

International Placement (Study or Work)

As an undergraduate student in Modern Languages and Cultures, you will spend your third year on an international placement (study or work) as an integral part of your degree. Students who study Modern Languages and Arabic, however, are required to spend their International Placement in their second year.

The International Placement can be one of the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of a modern languages degree. It is also one of the major factors that makes languages graduates attractive to employers: negotiating the challenges of a year abroad is seen by employers as proof of adaptability, independence and resourcefulness. Students usually spend 7-15 months abroad working, studying or teaching.

About the International Placement

The International Placement is an assessed year and the marks obtained count towards your final degree classification If you are a beginner in any language and you intend to take that language in final year, we strongly recommend you spend the majority of the assessed part of your International Placement in the country where that language is spoken. You may arrange the year differently, subject to approval.

The International Placement (or Year Abroad) tuition fee is currently capped at 15-20% of a student's annual tuition fee.

Ways to spend the International Placement

Studying abroad offers a range of possibilities, with over 40 different partner universities worldwide available to Modern Languages students. This can provide you with the opportunity to experience a different academic environment with local and other international students. At Exeter University's partner institutions you will study courses relevant to your degree.

Internships are very rewarding in that they give a student a valuable experience in the work place. Exeter has a number of regular partners that usually advertise the placements via their University of Exeter dedicated webpages.  However, you may also source your own placement which will need to be approved by the Global Employability team. Some of our students have spent their International Placement working in journalism, fashion, marketing, industry, translation, tourism, commerce, vineyards, museums and many other sectors.

Becoming an English Language Assistant with the British Council is a brilliant opportunity to explore both the world of working and, more specifically, the idea of working as a teacher. An academic year is spent teaching in a primary or secondary school in the country of the language you are studying. A school will be allocated to you by the Ministry of Education of the country to which you apply via the British Council.

The options above are available for most of the languages. However, if you study Chinese or Russian, currently the only option available is studying. If you study Portuguese, the only options available are study or work abroad (not British Council assistantship). If you choose to study or work, you can even split your International Placement year between two or more work placements, or two universities. In addition, you can also study for a semester and work in the other semester.

Support during your International Placement

During your time abroad, you will still be registered as an Exeter student and you will be supported in a number of ways. You will retain your personal tutor and will be expected to keep in contact with her/him. You will also have the support of the Global Opportunities and Placements teams for advice on any matter.

You will need to decide how you will spend your International Placement during the first half of your second year. We will help you in the process. During our first year you will be invited to an introductory presentation about your International Placement options. In your second year, there is an extensive orientation programme to help you prepare for your International Placement.