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More in this section Prospective students

Year Abroad

This integrated year is one of the most exciting elements about studying Modern Languages at Royal Holloway (and one that future employers find extremely attractive).

The Year Abroad gives you the unique chance to live, work or study overseas.  This occurs in a structured way that brings intellectual and personal rewards that exceed those provided by a gap year. Your Year Abroad is also:

  • invaluable in intellectual, personal and future employability terms
  • 'the best year of your life', developing intellectual  and personal maturity and a deep intercultural awareness.
Other benefits include:

  • choosing between studying at some of the top universities in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Cuba or La Réunion

  • or earning valuable teaching experience in the midst of the community as an English Language Assistant in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain or Quebec

  • organising your own work placement (recent students have worked in journalism, marketing, PR, fashion and publishing as well as a wide range of industries from telecoms to manufacturing and automotive and hospitality, in banking, NGOs, language services and translation).

Maximum flexibility in how you spend your Year Abroad 


  • Study at one or two of our many  prestigious partner universities  (almost always on an Erasmus exchange programme, so you do not have to pay fees).
  • As a  teaching assistant  in a school.
  • On a  work placement with a company/organisation  abroad (you can combine this as a half-year option with university study).
  • The School will provide guidance and help with your choices through our comprehensive support network (each language has a dedicated Year Abroad advisor while you also have a Personal Advisor).
  • Whichever option/s you choose, you’ll continue to boost your academic performance by producing professional-standard reports during the year and by being able to showcase your linguistic proficiency at an oral examination on your return when your language skills are at their best! These all count towards your final degree result.

Preparing for your Year Abroad

  • Briefing sessions on the options available and the application procedures.
  • Sessions with students who have already enjoyed their Year Abroad on the practicalities of living abroad.
  • An online forum where students abroad or returning from their Year Abroad share advice, insights and contacts.
  •  Help with the application procedures for assistantships and work placements.
  •  Help with applications, CVs and interview preparation.
  •  Provision of references.
  •  Email and telephone support during your Year Abroad.
  •  A comprehensive online Period of Residence Abroad Handbook.
For further information, visit the Year Abroad webpage .

Photo competition

Check out the fantastic photographs taken by some of our Year Abroad students in our annual competition here


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