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The year abroad

Stefano-Marmo-514x385

"Taking part in the Erasmus programme provides not only the possibility to learn another language; in fact it is much more than that.

It's the chance to be confronted with a completely different culture giving you an opportunity not only for academic growth but also personally-enriching cultural experiences. Throughout the year you will get to meet local students and also those from across the large Erasmus student network, which enables you to get in touch with people from all over the world."

Final year student (2013), Stefano Marmo

The year abroad is one of the most attractive and enjoyable features of the European Studies programme. All students enrolled on the programme are expected to spend a year in a European country appropriate to their main language. The year abroad is a crucially important aspect, not only because it greatly enhances your language competence and knowledge of the country in which you're studying, but also because it exposes you to a new range of experiences, learning in a new environment, engaging with the administrative and social structures of another country.

Options for your year abroad

Most students spend their year in full-time study at a university or other institute of higher education in the host country, but other options are possible. Several of our students are currently spending one semester at a university and the rest of the year as an intern in a European institution, or in a work placement. Former students have worked for companies such as IBM in Marseilles and Ferrari at Marinello in Italy. Many students also combine study with part-time employment. One of the most popular jobs is as a language assistant in a school, with posts available in Austria, France, Germany, Spain and Belgium.

Our partner institutions

The language departments at Royal Holloway, as well as the European Studies programme itself, are all involved in partnerships with European universities under the EU's Socrates scheme. This means that the host university agrees to accept a number of our students, in exchange for us accepting theirs. Each side of the agreement undertakes to give guest students access to the appropriate courses, to assist them in finding accommodation, and to assist the students settle into their new environment. The EU provides a small mobility grant to help pay for travel to the host institution.

The European Studies programme currently has links with Sciences Po in Strasbourg. The language departments also have links with a wide range of universities across Europe including: Aix-en-Provence, Caen, Dijon, Lausanne, Louvain-la-Neuve, Lyon, Montpellier, Paris-Sorbonne, Perpignan, Rennes, Toulouse, Toulon, Bologna, Florence, Naples, Padua, Pisa, Siena, Turin, Viterbo, Freiburg, Göttingen, Heidelberg, Innsbruck, Konstanz, Munich, Regensburg, Vienna, Würzburg, Almeria, Cadiz, Córdoba, Madrid, Murcia, Salamanca, Vitoria, and Zaragoza.

Student case study: Stefano Marmo

"As part of my BA in European Studies at Royal Holloway I was able to spend my third year as an Erasmus student in Strasbourg, a charming town is located on the French side on the border with Germany. For this reason it became a symbol of the lasting peace between the two countries, and hence it hosts the European Parliament.

During the academic year I was a full-time student at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (IEP),a university that focuses on the social sciences ranging from political science to economics, to law. As part of the programme I had numerous courses to attend with an intense curriculum, but as an Erasmus student I was able to pick courses à la carte, so I decided to concentrate more on European issues. At the university there were also all sorts of extracurricular activities, and prominent guest speakers coming to give lectures.

Perhaps the most important part of my year abroad was an internship in the European Parliament where I worked for the Italian MEP, Gianni Vattimo. During my internship I was able to put into practice what I'd learnt during my years of study. It a challenge to balance my studies with the internship but it was an incredible experience. Thanks to my internship I was able to follow the everyday life of the Parliament from the inside, for example witnessing very important events and speeches such as Barroso’s 'State of the European Union', or François Hollande’s investiture in front of the European Parliament. As part of my job, I had to help the MEP with the voting process, which meant reading reports and giving him policy suggestions on how to vote. I also had to attend and report on Committee meetings such as the Culture or the Civil Liberties Committees, for which he was member.

At the end of year abroad I met a journalist who interviewed me on my experience in the European Parliament, in which I was also able to express my viewpoints on some relevant European issues. You can read it here:

http://www.rue89strasbourg.com/index.php/2013/07/28/blogs/stefano-marmo-un-an-de-stage-au-parlement/

Taking part in the Erasmus programme provides not only the possibility to learn another language; in fact it is much more than that. It's the chance to be confronted with a completely different culture giving you an opportunity not only for academic growth but also personally-enriching cultural experiences. Throughout the year you will get to meet local students and also those from across the large Erasmus student network, which enables you to get in touch with people from all over the world."

 

Further information about the year abroad.

  
 
 
 

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