Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
University-wide allocation process
How competitive is the University-wide programme?
The University-wide programme is open to students from across the University of Nottingham and it is a competitive programme. There are a finite number of places available at each of our partner universities in any given year. However, this should not deter you from applying - each year around 50% of applicants are accepted onto the programme.
What are the application criteria?
- Minimum academic average of 60% (2:1), including autumn semester 2021 assessments. If you are applying to study abroad during your second year, your combined average to date, including your first year marks, will be used. Students who have attained an average grade of less than 60% without any valid extenuating circumstances will not be considered for the programme.
- An academic reference from your personal tutor, study abroad academic adviser or other appropriate academic member of staff from your school/department.
- Personal statement (included in the online application)
How are places allocated?
Your application will be assessed using the three criteria above, your application will be scored and then ranked. If you did not meet the minimum 60% average your application will be rejected unless you have official extenuating circumstances, recorded within your school/department. If places are available at your chosen universities you will be allocated to one of them, in accordance with the number of places available.
Should I choose alternative destinations?
If there are other partner universities outside of your three choice destinations that you wish to go to, then you can choose up to three alternative destinations. Not all destinations can be selected as an alternative destination and you must check that your alternative destination/s are an option on your school study abroad opportunities page You should only select alternative destinations that you are happy to attend, if you are allocated to one of your alternative destinations then the expectation is that you will accept your allocated destination.
Partners available as alternative destinations for 2022-23:
University of Amsterdam
Australian National University
City University Hong Kong
University of Connecticut
University College Dublin
Hong Kong University
University of Newcastle
Nihon University (Economics only)
Oregon State University
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
University of Manitoba
University of South Florida
University of Technology Sydney
University of Toronto
University of Wollongong
University of Zurich
Tecnologico de Monterrey
How many places are available at each partner university?
Our partner universities generally offer between 1 and 14 semester places each year. The partner university determines how many places we can offer to students each year, there is a likelihood each year that some partner destinations may not offer any places. Where possible, we will indicate the application success rate for each partner university, based on the number of places provided and applications received in the previous year.
How likely am I to be allocated to my first choice?
This is highly dependent on the number of places provided from each partner university each year and the number of students who apply to each destination. Where available, you can view the application success rate on the partner university profile on the University-wide programme webpage.
For the 2021-22 application 34% of students that received a place were allocated to their first choice.
Will selecting more than one choice affect my chances of being allocated to my first choice?
No, putting more than one destination on your application will not affect your chances of being allocated to your first choice.
Can I select just one partner university on my application?
Yes, however you should be aware that if you select less than three partner universities or do not include any alternative destinations after your first three choices, you will not be considered for any other destinations within the University-wide programme.
If another student withdraws after allocation, will their place become available to other students?
There is a small timeframe where we can offer withdrawn places to unallocated students, however this is highly unlikely as many partner university application deadlines occur in February and March and very few students withdraw before these deadlines. If a place does become available, you will be contacted by a member of staff from the Study Abroad team. We can only offer withdrawn places to unallocated students, it is not possible for an allocated student to change their destination after allocation.
What if I have extenuating circumstances?
If you have official extenuating circumstances that you wish to be considered within your application, please discuss this with your academic adviser and/or school/department before the application deadline.
When will I be notified of the outcome of my application?
By email to your University of Nottingham email account by Monday 21 February 2022.
Selecting your universities and study abroad period
How many universities can I apply for?
Up to three main choices and then three alternative destinations.
How should I select which universities to apply for?
Check which universities are offered by your school/department on the school opportunities
webpages. Then consider the available modules; type of teaching, learning and assessment; climate; costs involved; and your own personality and interests, both academic and personal. You can view each partner university profile on the University-wide programme
First choice only partners
Some partner universities can only be selected as a first choice because of the popularity of these destinations and limited number of places:
The following universities can only be selected as a first choice option:
- University of Auckland
- University of British Columbia, Vancouver Campus
- McGill University
What if I am a joint honours student?
Joint honours student must check the study abroad opportunities for both/all your schools/departments. Where there are different eligibility criteria it will usually be your home school/department's criteria that applies, however all schools/departments must be consulted.
You can usually only apply to partner universities which are offered by both/all your schools/departments. You will need to discuss your options with the study abroad academic advisers from both/all your schools/departments to ensure your proposed partner universities are appropriate for your degree programme.
It may not be possible for all joint honours students to apply for an exchange opportunity or your options may be limited compared to a single honours student. We would encourage you to research your options as soon as possible so you are aware of what is available.
Is it possible to apply for partner universities that are not on my school/department factsheet?
This is usually unlikely as your school/department determines which of our partner universities are most suitable for your degree programme based on compatible modules available at the partner universities. If you are interested in a partner university which is not offered on your school/department factsheet, please discuss this with your academic adviser before submitting an application.
Can I apply in another academic year than stated on my school/department factsheet?
This is highly unlikely as your school/department determines which academic year/semesters you are permitted to participate in the University-wide programme based on the structure and requirements of your degree programme.
Do I need to be studying/speak another language to participate in the programme?
If you are applying for Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC Chile) or Universidade de São Paulo, then you will be required to prove sufficient proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese respectively as these are the languages of instruction. All other partners offer modules taught in English so knowledge of another language is not required, however it is advised to have some basic knowledge of the language of the country you will be studying in prior to departure and many of our partner universities offer beginners language courses.
What are the semester dates for universities in the southern hemisphere?
The semesters at our partner universities in the southern hemisphere are the opposite of that in the northern hemisphere. The semesters typically run as follows for partner universities in Australia, New Zealand, Latin America and South Africa:
Semester 1: February - July
Semester 2: July - November
- If you are accepted to study abroad for the autumn semester at Nottingham at a partner university in one of the above regions, you will complete your spring semester exams in June and then begin your studies at your allocated partner university in July.
- If you are accepted to study abroad for the equivalent of a full academic year at Nottingham, you will study in semester 2 followed by semester 1 at your partner university. As this will be a split academic year, it will not be possible to study full year modules in this situation.
If my school/department allows me to study in either autumn, spring or full year, can I choose a different duration for each partner university?
Yes, the online application gives you the option to select a different study abroad period for each of your partner universities if this option is confirmed as available on the school opportunities
webpages. Please be aware that some partner universities are only available for certain semesters.
What if my partner university's spring semester starts before the end of Nottingham's January exams?
If you are applying to study abroad at a partner university in Canada, the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore, The Netherlands or Ireland, you will miss the January examination period at Nottingham and must arrange to either submit alternative assessment prior to departure or arrange to sit your exams overseas at your partner university in January. You must discuss this with your academic adviser and work with your school/department and the Exams Office to arrange either alternative assessment or overseas examinations.
If I have the option to study abroad for either autumn or spring semester, which semester do you recommend?
There are a number of factors to consider that many influence your choice:
- If you are applying to study in Canada, the USA, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, Ireland or Singapore for the equivalent of the Nottingham Spring semester, then you will be away during the January examination period and will be required to arrange alternative assessment or overseas examinations. See the previous question for further information.
- In the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposite of those in the UK, therefore students who choose study the equivalent of the Spring semester in the southern hemisphere will miss the hottest summer months in December and January.
- Most schools/departments at Nottingham offer study abroad for the autumn semester or full year only, therefore if you apply to study abroad during the spring semester and living in private accommodation with a full year contract, you may find it easier to find someone to take your room whilst you are studying abroad.
Provisional study plan and academic reference
Who is my academic adviser?
Your academic adviser is named on the school opportunities
webpages. Your academic adviser is an academic member of staff within your school/department who is responsible for advising on the academic side of studying abroad. Many schools/departments also have an administrative staff member to assist students who choose to study abroad.
Whom should I ask for an academic reference?
It is common for students to ask their personal tutor, however it can be another academic member of staff. If you are unsure whom to ask, please contact your academic adviser.
Who submits my academic reference?
Your academic referee must submit your academic reference to your academic adviser, who will then submit the reference directly to the Study Abroad Team. You should not receive your academic reference personally and the Study Abroad Team will not accept references which are submitted directly from students.
How should I select my modules?
- Identify the core modules you will need to replace while studying abroad, if you will not miss any core modules then you can select optional modules within your degree programme and with the agreement of your academic adviser.
- Select the equivalents of your core modules, which match the same core elements as your core modules at Nottingham using your proposed partner university module catalogues.
- Consider optional modules which may be specific to your allocated partner university, host country or host region.
Your academic adviser will offer guidance on selecting appropriate modules and any specific requirements.
Where can I find information on the modules offered by partner universities?
Module information is available on the partner university websites, where possible, links to each partner university's module catalogue have been provided on the partner university profiles on the University-wide programme
webpage. Please be aware that modules may be refered to as 'courses' or 'units' in other countries and the names of schools/departments may also differ; it is advisable to search for modules under different schools/departments/faculties on the partner university website.
How do I know what level the modules are?
This will depend on the partner university, in most cases partner universities offer an explantation of their module levels, which may be national. For example, in the USA, academic years are referred to as follows: 1st year: Freshman, 2nd year: Sophomore, 3rd year: Junior, 4th year: Senior.
You should aim to take the same level modules as you would at Nottingham, however in some instances in may be appropriate to take a higher or lower level of module depending on the module content, your previous study and whether the module is optional.
Can I choose modules at partner universities that are outside of my home/school department?
If approved by your study abroad academic adviser, we encourage students to consider modules which are specifically relevant to the host country or region in which you are studying, which may include field trips or internships. You may get the opportunity to take a module taught by a world-renowned academic.
How do I complete the application if I need to select more than six modules for a full-time credit load?
It is possible that you may be required to take more than six modules for a full-time credit load at your partner university, however it is likely that you will have six or fewer core modules, you should complete the first six modules and discuss any additional modules with your academic advisor.
What is the personal statement?
The personal statement is a two-part question within the application, which allows you to demonstrate to the selection committee why you want to study abroad and why you should be considered for the opportunity:
- Please explain your reasons for applying for the University-wide programme, including:
- Your motivations (academic and/or personal)
- What you want/hope to achieve from the experience
- Examples of how you think you are equipped to deal with the challenges that studying abroad may present.
- Why have you chosen the proposed partner universities that you have listed in this application?
What makes a great personal statement?
- evidence of your commitment and the academic reasons for choosing your three universities
- an honest presentation of who you are as a person; make it personal to you
- genuine enthusiasm for study abroad, an excellent understanding of what will be expected of you while studying abroad, including the academic, practical, social and personal implications
- evidence that you have researched the three partner universities and host countries thoroughly
- examples to show that you are the kind of person who can work to deadlines, follow detailed instructions, keep in regular contact, cope in new situations and adapt to new social environments
Should I mention my proposed partner universities in my personal statement?
Yes, your personal statement should mention at least all of your main proposed partner universities, with emphasis on your first choice. Try and think about what you will gain from studying at that specific university.
Is there a word limit for the personal statement?
Yes, the word limit is 600 words for the first questions and 400 words for the second question of the personal statement.
What do I need to consider when budgeting for my study abroad period?
You need to take a variety of aspects into account when think about where is right for you to study abroad. You might want to consider the following:
- Upfront costs: Flights, visas (if required), accommodation, travel and health insurance or any Student Union fees or administration fees that may be required from the partner university.
- In-country cost of living: Food, toiletries, clothes, local transport, study materials (academic books), regional travel, entertainment.
- Is your proposed destination expensive to travel to and from but has a low cost of living?
- Is your proposed destination cheap to travel to and from but has a high cost of living?
- Exchange rates
- Ways of spending money: Cash, debit/credit cards, pre-paid currency cards.
- Is it benefical to open a local bank account?
- Do you have access to additional funds in an emergency situation.
- Any additional covid related costs such as PCR tests or quaratine accommodation.
How do I find out what the approximate costs will be?
You will need to thoroughly research your anticipated costs of studying abroad through various sources of information. You might want to consider the following:
- Looking at the approximate costs per semester under each partner university profile on the University-wide programme webpage.
- Visiting the partner university websites.
- Comparison websites for flights, travel and health insurance and currency exchange.
- Cost of living abroad websites
- Local transportation websites
Will I have to pay tuition fees to my allocated partner university?
No, exchange students do not pay tuition fees to partner universities, however you may be required to pay Student Union fees or administration fees to your partner university. Your tuition fees to the University of Nottingham will be reduced for the year or semester you are studying abroad. Please read the Tuition fees and student loans
tab on the Study abroad finance
webpage for further information.
Are there any bursaries or scholarships available?
The University of Nottingham offers a range of scholarships available to students studying abroad, please visit the Study abroad finance
webpage for further information. There are also external scholarships available such as the means-tested travel grant from Student Finance
. Some of our partner universities also offer scholarships to exchange students, please read the Destination specific scholarships and bursaries
tab on the Study abroad finance
How do I know if I'm eligible to receive a means-tested scholarship?
You will need to ensure that your household income has been submitted to Student Finance in order to be assessed for means-testing purposes. You must also ensure that the University has permission to view your Student Finance information so Financial Support can assess your eligibility to receive means-tested bursaries.
If I receive a university study abroad bursary and then withdraw from my allocated partner university prior to departure, am I required to pay the bursary back?
Yes, if you receive a bursary from the University of Nottingham and then withdraw from your allocated partner university prior to departure, you will be required to return the bursary to the University of Nottingham. Instructions on how to pay back your bursary will be emailed to you following notification of your withdrawal.
What if I am accepted onto the programme but do not perform well in subsequent assessments at Nottingham prior to departure?
Your nomination to study abroad is always dependent on your continued successful academic progression at Nottingham. Your academic adviser reserves the right to cancel your exchange prior to departure if they are concerned about your academic performance and progression. You will be contacted by email, by either your home school/department or the Study Abroad Team if there are any concerns surrounding your academic performance prior to departure.
What if I change my mind about studying abroad after I have been allocated to my partner university?
All students who are successful on achieving a place on the University-wide programme are expected to go to their allocated partner university. If you choose to submit an application, you must be committed to the concept of studying abroad and have throught through the implications carefully in advance. It is unfair to other students if you withdraw after allocation, when it is too late for the place to be offered to another student. However if you are no longer able to study abroad due to a significant change in your circumstances beyond your control, please inform the Study Abroad Team as soon as possible.
Do I have to apply directly to my partner university after being accepted onto the programme?
Yes, once you have been accepted onto the University-wide programme internally by the University of Nottingham, you will be required to submit an application to your allocated partner university. This application process is required in order to be formally registered at the partner university and to meet any immigration requirements. You will be provided with information by the Study Abroad Team regarding how to apply to your allocated partner university.
Is there a chance of being rejected by my allocated partner university after I have been accepted onto the University-wide programme
Although it is rare that you will be rejected by your allocated partner university, it is still a possibility. Reasons for rejection are usually because the nominated student's academic average has fallen below 60% or it it not possible to find suitable modules. Your study abroad period is always dependent on your continued successful academic progression at the University of Nottingham and the University of Nottingham reserves the right to cancel your study abroad period if they are concerned about your academic performance or conduct.
How are my marks achieved at my allocated partner university transferred back to Nottingham?
All of our partner universities use a different grading scale to the UK. For the vast majority of students, the marks you gain overseas will count towards your University of Nottingham degree and will be communicated back to Nottingham at the end of your study abroad period. Your academic adviser is responsible for converting your marks gained into Nottingham grades based on University approved grade conversion tables. Questions about conversion should be directed towards your academic adviser. Please be aware that other UK universities operate different marking systems and therefore converted marks may differ between institutions. Some UK universities and schools/departments at Nottingham operate study abroad marks conversions on a pass/fail basis.
Will I receive an academic transcript from my allocated partner university?
In most cases you will be required to order your transcript yourself, this is usually through an online form and may require payment. You will then be required to give the Study Abroad Team access your online transcript so your transcript can be sent to your home school/department for marks conversion. Some partner universities still send hardcopy academic transcripts, these should be sent directly to the Study Abroad Team, who will then send them onto your home school/department for conversion. Should you wish to collect your transcript after it has arrived, please contact your academic adviser.
How do I find accommodation abroad?
Accommodation options depend on your allocated partner university. It is your responsibility to secure accommodation abroad, but you will be provided with information regarding the different options, associated costs and how to apply. Students who are accepted onto the programme will be able to access advice and recommendations from previous students.
How much does accommodation cost while studying studying abroad?
Available accommodation and associated costs vary depending on your allocated partner university country. In many destinations, the cost of accommodation can differ greatly depending on the kind of accommodation you wish to live in. For further information on estimated costs, please see the partner university profiles on the University-wide exchange
How do I arrange accommodation at Nottingham if I am studying abroad for one semester?
Students who apply to study abroad are officially advised to wait until they know the outcome of their study abroad application prior to committing to any accommomdation arrangements for the following year. You will be informed of the outcome of your application to the University-wide programme by Monday 21 February 2022
There is one semester accommodation available in university-allocated accommodation in Nottingham. Alternatively, if you have already secured private sector accommodation for the full year, you can advertise your room through Unipol or on our Study Abroad Facebook page accommodation group.
International students studying abroad
I am an international student on a Tier 4 visa, will my UK visa be affected by studying abroad?
If you are a Tier 4 visa holder and you are applying for an optional study abroad period which will result in an increase to the length of your degree, then you will need to apply for a visa extension. Under current Home Office policy, this cannot be done from within the UK and must be done overseas, in the country of your residence. Details of the process for applying for your visa overseas and any visa related questions can be found on the Visa and Immigration Support webpage or to our Visa and Immigration team