School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

Our commitment to languages study and the year abroad after Brexit

Page updated January 2021.


Choices for your Year Abroad

Students on their Year Abroad can undertake study, work placements, or British Council teaching assistantships. The Year Abroad provision for languages students in British universities began many years before the UK’s membership of the EU. The teaching assistantships scheme run by the British Council has also existed for well over a century. For the next three years, until 2022-2023, the University of Nottingham will underwrite Erasmus+ funding for outgoing students from Nottingham.

We are waiting for confirmation of Student Loan Company funding, which should be published later this academic year, with regard to tuition fee loans and maintenance loans that will be available to students on study or work placements in Europe. 

Our portfolio of study placements may change but we remain a full member of the Erasmus+ programme during the 2020-201 academic year and we have agreed exchange places with each of our partners for the 2020-2021 academic year. We therefore expect no disruption for our students, though there are likely to be changes to paperwork, which will differ from country to country.

The same is true of work placements begun before December 31, 2020, provided (as we expect) there are no major changes to immigration and visa regulations before this date. However, for placements starting in January 2021, it is possible that some planned placements may not be available. As further information becomes available, our Year Abroad team will support you to choose the best available options to ensure you fulfil your Year Abroad requirement.

For some students, it may be appropriate to seek to fulfil or begin some elements of their compulsory Year Abroad requirement before December 31, bearing in mind the expectation from Student Finance England that students are abroad in all three terms.

See also the section on Travel documentation and healthcare during the Year Abroad.


Some study placements to EU countries may be affected after Brexit. We can’t guarantee that all our existing Erasmus+ University partners will continue to host Nottingham students, but we have been working to renew agreements and increase the number of study places for our students at our partner universities. Work placement opportunities may change too, but we will work to provide alternative opportunities. If you plan to work in the EU, terms and conditions of employment may vary depending on the country the work placement is in. For more information please check UK Government country-specific guidance.

See also the section on Travel documentation and healthcare during the Year Abroad. 


If your Year Abroad is in the academic year 2023-2024

The year abroad will go ahead in 2023-2024 and there will be a range of placements on offer, depending on your language(s). Study placements will be arranged through the Turing scheme announced by the UK government in January, which replaces the Erasmus scheme. Like other universities, we are awaiting the details of the Turing scheme. The University of Nottingham committed to support costs of study abroad for students going abroad in 2021-22 and 2022-23, showing our firm commitment to supporting our Modern languages students for the transition into the new scheme. We have excellent longstanding links with universities, which we are currently in the process of renewing, in the EU and beyond, including in Latin America and Russia.

We will underwrite Erasmus+ funding for outgoing Nottingham students

The University of Nottingham will underwrite Erasmus+ funding for the next three years, up to and including 2022-23 for outgoing Nottingham students to Europe. The University of Nottingham is proud to have one of the largest student mobility programmes in the UK. Our CLAS students are studying and working in 18 countries this year. The University believes that student mobility is essential and we will protect this experience, working with partners across the sector to lobby the government to continue funding for Erasmus+ beyond Brexit.

Given the importance of Erasmus+ to our students’ global outlook, in the potential absence of UK government funding beyond 2020, the University of Nottingham will continue to underwrite outgoing student mobility programmes to the EU and Erasmus+ partners for the next three years to 2022-23. 

Fees for the Year Abroad

The University of Nottingham will continue to charge a substantially reduced fee for the Year Abroad for all home students starting their courses in 2020, regardless of whether or not the University is eligible to receive Erasmus+ funding following the UK exit from the EU.

See details of fees and updated information on student funding for 2019-2020 academic year

Travel documentation and healthcare during the Year Abroad

The UK Government has issued advice for British passport holders in Europe. If you’re a UK student, check your passport for EU travel. If you are an EU student you should check the guidance given by your home country.

For the latest information on healthcare abroad and European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) please read the NHS advice.

School of CLAS Statement on Brexit

The University of Nottingham is Britain’s global University, whatever lies ahead of us after the result of the EU referendum. Within that global vision, the University’s School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, has, from a single Professor of French in 1897, grown in tandem with our society’s increasing desire to understand and appreciate cultures and languages beyond our own,and is now one of the largest and most thriving centres for studying the languages and cultures of Europe and beyond. Today, 48% of our staff are EU citizens from outside the UK, whose expertise in their field makes a major contribution to our School; some 10% of our students are from outside the UK.

At a time when voices in the debates about Britain’s place in Europe all too often play on fears of the unknown, of the outsider, and when opinions are so divided, we cannot afford to retreat into a world where we hear only the voices of those who agree with us, or only those who are able to accommodate to us by using English. Now more than ever, it is our students of languages and cultures who will develop the skills, knowledge, and cultural sensitivity to lead Britain in bridging cultural divides, building cross-cultural relationships, and so making possible Britain’s peaceful, enriching and prosperous relations with our fellow Europeans, as with the world beyond.

In the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, we reaffirm our resolve to teach and research the languages, cultures and histories of Europe, of the Americas, Africa and Asia, in ways that excite and challenge our students, and that encourage our local community and the wider society to think about our world, and our humanity, in new and challenging ways. Our mission is to prepare our students for a lifetime of understanding and critically engaging with the points of view and cultural frames of reference of others – whatever language they speak. In this way our staff and students are at the heart of what it means to be a truly global university.

Nicola McLelland, Head of School
Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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