Information for parents

Studying abroad enhances your child’s education and transforms them into an international citizen by providing skills and knowledge to compete for jobs in the 21st century global job markets.

Why should students study abroad?

There are many benefits to studying abroad and these include:

  • Increased confidence
  • Experience a different culture
  • Becoming more independent
  • Develop life skills
  • Increased employability

How long do students study abroad for?

Students can choose to take a Semester Exchange or the International Year, below is a summary of the two options.

Here is a summary of the exchange programme:

DurationDoes it add time to my degree?Will I study modules from my subject area?Will it count towards my degree?
1 semester (4 to 6 months) Yes Yes Yes

You will go on exchange for a semester either in the first or the second semester in your second year depending on destination and subjects.

Here is a summary of the International Year:

DurationDoes it add time to my degree?Will I study modules from my subject area?Will it count towards my degree?
1 year Yes. Your degree will become 4 years. Yes. 40% of your modules will be in your subject area, the rest of the modules will be complimentary. Yes. It is a Pass/Fail, your degree will read 'with International Year'.

Students can go on a full year placement between their second and third year. There is an opportunity to take a split placement, for example, Europe in the first semester than Australia in your second semester.

Do students have to be fluent in another language to go on study abroad?

No. Keele has developed partnerships where modules are taught in English. While students will find it useful to have some knowledge of the host language to help them in everyday life, it is not essential for their learning.

Will studying abroad add extra time to their studies at Keele?

If students take the Semester Exchange, it is part of their 3 year degree, if they take the International Year their degree will go from 3 years to 4 years.

Will studying abroad be recognised as part of their Keele degree?

Providing students follow an approved course of study at a partner university and successfully pass, for the Semester Exchange the grades are converted into the Keele grading system and  for students that take the International Year, the student's degree will read '...with International Year'.

How do students express their interest in studying abroad?

They should attend the Global Education Fair and Information sessions given by the Global Education team.

Do students have to pay tuition fees to the overseas university?

No. If students take the Semester Exchange they continue to pay their tuition fees to Keele in the normal way. If students go on the International Year they pay 15% of what their tuition fee is for that year.

How much will this cost?

The cost of studying abroad really depends on the destination your child decides to go to. We would say that food, accommodation, books and daily living costs could be considered as a transferable cost as your son or daughter would be spending this anyway during their time at Keele.

All students are covered under the Keele Travel Insurance policy at no additional cost.

Additional costs, would be for flights, visa (if required), compulsory health insurance (if required), vaccinations/medical (if required) and extra travel for leisure.

Studying abroad need not be expensive, with careful planning it should be affordable for everyone.

There are lots of funding opportunities available to students, both from Keele University and from other organisations, please see 'What funding is available?' for more information.

Where do students live when they are studying abroad?

This will depend on where they go to on their study period abroad. Some institutions will provide halls of residence, others will provide private accommodation. However, the host institution will assist the students in finding accommodation.

Will students live in student accommodation?

  • This depends on where the student goes as not all institutions have halls of residence.
  • The term “student accommodation” can vary from country to country – e.g. in some countries, private flats that are rented out to students via an external agency other than the university itself may be classed as student accommodation.
  • It should not be assumed that exchange students will be housed with other exchange students.
  • It is not uncommon that students might have to share a room.

How do students find accommodation?

  • This will vary from university to university.
  • It is the student's responsibility to ensure that they apply for accommodation and meet the deadline of the Partner University.

What happens when the student returns?

  • Our Accommodation Services Team will help find accommodation on your child's return.
  • Students can use to view all off-campus properties in the local area.
  • Students contact and advertise their rooms via facebook and other social media platforms.
  • For students going to study abroad in Semester 1, or the International Year the deadline is early January.
  • Students will also have to apply to their host university to become a student there.  Deadlines vary depending on the university – some of them are very early

Do students need to buy an insurance policy?

All students are covered under the Keele Travel Insurance policy at no additional cost.

Depending on the destination and university students may be asked to take out additional health insurance (overseas health insurance) this will vary in cost depending on destination.

What happens if students become ill while they are abroad?

In the event of a medical emergency, students should contact the Keele insurance claim line who will assist, we always urge that students also inform the Global Education team so we can assist.

If it is a routine medical problem, they should go to a local doctor.  The host university should be able to provide information or their maybe a health centre on campus.

Will they have to pay for treatment and/or medication?

This depends on the country the student is in. It may be that they will have to pay medical fees, fees for prescriptions etc. up front and then make a claim on the University's insurance policy. In this event, they must obtain receipts for all costs incurred as these will be required by the insurance company. As with all insurance policies, there is no guarantee that all claims will be paid.

If a student is going to study in Europe, do they need an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card)?  Will this cover all medical treatment and medication?

  • Students going on a study period to Europe which is longer than 6 weeks need to apply for a second EHIC.  They must apply for this by means of a paper application form which they send directly to the NHS, along with an official letter from Keele confirming the details of their study period abroad.  This letter will be sent to the student along with their Erasmus+ documentation. See the NHS Studying Abroad website for further information.
  • The EHIC entitles the bearer to the same treatment as a national of the country where treatment is being sought.  It should not be presumed that medical treatment and/or medications will be given for free.

What happens if a student is homesick?

  • It is quite common for students to become homesick when they first start their exchange - there is so much to get used to including a different culture, language, lifestyle, food etc.
  • Although homesickness can be tough, it can be worked through and it does go away after a few weeks.
  • We would always encourage students to try and work through their homesickness - get out of their rooms and mix with other students and, if they need to, seek professional help from their host university  Usually after a couple of weeks, these feelings settle as students become more used to their surroundings, begin classes and get to know other students.

What support is available to students while they are away?

  • Although the student is not physically on the Keele campus, they are still a Keele student and staff here are still available to support them and provide advice.
  • Students will also be classed as full-time students at the host university during their time abroad and all facilities available to their full-time students will be available to the Keele student - this includes counselling and other services.

What happens if there is a family emergency and the student has to return home?

  • We understand that emergencies happen and sometimes students have to return home.
  • If the student returns for a short period (e.g. from a couple of days to a couple of weeks), this should not be an issue, but it is always wise to ensure that both Keele and the host University are aware and kept informed.
  • If the student has to cut short his/her study period for an emergency, you should let Keele staff know as soon as possible as there may be repercussions:
    • Depending on when the exchange is terminated, it may be that the student has to repeat that semester
    • If the student is in receipt of an Erasmus grant/other external funding, they may have to repay some or all of the funding they have received.
    • Arrangements might need to be made with regards to assessments/exams.