Study Abroad for Sussex Students

How to apply to Study Abroad as a Voluntary student

Applications for Study Abroad in 2021/22 are now CLOSED.

If you submitted an application for a term or year abroad in 2021/22 we will let you know the outcome of your application and the next steps in late January.


Brexit update - for students planning to study abroad in Europe

If there is a 'no deal' Brexit, we will have to agree alternative student exchange agreements with European partners. Without these, we would not be able to continue to exchange students. We are currently working closely with our partner universities in Europe on establishing these agreements. However, we antipicipate being able to offer Erasmus funding to outbound undergraduate students abroad in 2021/22. We will update allocated students with information on this in due course. 

The application process explained on a step-by-step basis

Step 1: What do you need to consider first?

If you are considering to apply to study abroad, our advise would be to start early! We would recommend you start by reading the 'Study Abroad Handbook' which you will be able to download soon from Step 2 'Where can you go?'. The handbook has essential information you need to know and covers aspects such as finances, accommodation and other practicalities that you should consider before applying. You should bear in mind that applying to study abroad is just the first of a number of administrative stages.

Consider carefully all the ramifications – personal, academic and financial and think about your reasons for wanting to study abroad. You may want to discuss these matters with your family before applying.

Please do think carefully which study abroad option suits you best. Depending on your year of studies and your subject degree, you can apply to study abroad for a term in your year 2 or for a full (additional) year:

  • Study abroad for a term in your 2nd year:
    • This option is only open to students in year 1 of their studies at Sussex. The following subject areas CANNOT apply to study for a term: Psychology, Life Sciences, Law, Engineering, Physics, Informatics, Maths, Media Practice, Media Production and Journalism.
    • The term is an integral part of your 3-year undergraduate degree.
    • Depending on your degree, you can apply to study abroad for Autumn or Spring term. We would always recommend you apply for the term where you do not have Sussex core modules. 
    • Modules you study at the partner university will replace Sussex modules and marks achieved will count towards your degree classification. Please check the Academic Office FAQs ( to find out how marks achieved abroad will convert to Sussex (at the bottom of the page you'll find a link to the conversion scales).
    • You will return to finish your 3rd year at Sussex. Please note that you are not allowed to study abroad for a term during your final year of studies.
  • Study abroad for an additional year (after 2nd year):
    • Available to all subjects currently on their Y2 (including Integrated Master students).
    • You will be incorporating an additional year on to your degree programme. International students currently studying at Sussex on a Tier 4 Visa please read this information before you apply to study abroad:

    • Modules you study abroad are not substituting Sussex modules therefore you will have flexibility with the academic programme abroad (if allowed by the partner institution).
    • Providing that your application is successful, you will be transferred onto the 4-year programme (5-year for Integrated Masters) and your degree title will have the suffix 'with a study abroad year'
    • Marks achieved will not contribute towards degree classification but your YAB mark will appear in the final transcript you will receive from Sussex.
    • You will return to Sussex to complete your degree.
    • If you pass the year abroad, you will retain the suffix 'with a study abroad year' in your degree title.
  • Study abroad for a year as part of your Integrated Masters degree:
    • Only available to MPhys and MMaths students.
    • The year abroad replaces the third year at Sussex.
    • The modules you study at the partner university will replace Sussex modules and marks achieved will count towards your degree classification.
    • You will return on your 4th year to finish your studies at Sussex.
    • Please note that Integrated Masters students who have completed 2 years at Sussex and the year abroad will not be allowed to revert to the 3-year BSc programme and graduate.


Step 2: Where can you go? Consult from below the 'Study Abroad Handbook'

The Study Abroad Handbook 2021/22


Consult the 'Study Abroad Handbook' to find out the number of places we have for each partner plus whether that university belongs to category A or B:

  • Universities under category A are often heavily oversubscribed. You will be allowed to list 2 universities only under this category. 
  • Universities under category B can be popular, but not as heavily as those from category A. You will be able to list between 4 and 6 universities from this category, and you will have plenty of options, as the vast majority of partners fall under this category. 

The handbook also details essential information about study abroad: finances, practicalities, insurance, etc. 

We have provided comprehensive information about each of our partners, including photos, videos and links to their websites, on our 'Destination' webpages, which you can find below. These will be the best source of information:

Please note that not all the destinations listed on the pages above may be available in 21/22. 

We would like to encourage Sussex student to apply for a study abroad experience first and foremost - the destination should be a secondary consideration. The emphasis should be on your desire to enhance your degree by experiencing your studies from another country's perspective irrespective of where you may study. The success of your time abroad depends on you rather than the destination where you may study at.

Step 3: When do you need to apply?

You will need to apply in the first term of the year before you plan to go away:

  • First year students:
    • If you want to apply for the term abroad (please see above if your subject degree allows you to do so) you will need to submit an application in the first term of your first year.
    • If you want to apply for the year abroad, you can wait one more year and apply in the first term of your 2nd year at Sussex.
  • Second year students:
    • Your only option at this point is to apply for the year abroad. You must submit your application forms in the first term of your 2nd year at Sussex.


Step 4: Are you eligible to apply to study abroad?

Before you start completing your application forms, you must be sure you meet the minimum eligibility criteria:

  • academic record: if you are applying for a full additional voluntary year abroad, you must have achieved 50% in stage 1 and maintain a good academic standard in stage 2. Please note that most of our partner universities will require students to be working at a minimum of 60% across all modules. If you are applying to study abroad for a term of your 2nd year on a 3 stage course, you must have achieved 60% stage 1. If you are applying to study a term or a year as an integrated Masters degree student, you must have achieved 60% in stage 1 / stage 2. Should you fall below these marks, you will be automatically disqualified to study abroad.
  • a good attendance record - students with poor attendance may not be authorised to study abroad by their department at Sussex.
  • a complete application pack received by the deadline;
  • consent of the Student Support Unit (if applicable).

Please note that if you are in receipt of a US Federal Loan you will not be eligible to apply for Study Abroad nor the Global Excellence Summer Programme.

Practical Arrangements

For North America, students need to be prepared to submit a financial guarantee, pay the cost of a visa and any inoculations that required. All students need to have adequate insurance in place. More information about these can be found in the destination website.


Step 5: How do you apply?

Step 1 - Register for study abroad by submitting your details at the top of this page.

Step 2 - Within 24 hours of registering, you will be invited to the Study Abroad 21/22 Applications Canvas module.

Step 3 - In the Canvas module you will be able to download and complete a digital application form.

Step 4 - Submit your completed applicaiton form via Canvas by the deadline of Friday, 11th December, 2020.

Some students may find the application forms overwhelming, but do not let this to put you off! The key is to start early! Allowing plenty of time to get the signatures and reference you require will smooth the completion and submission of your application form. We strongly encourage you to start well before the deadline. Leaving your application until last minute can be stressful for you and you may not have time to complete everything (we will not accept forms with missing parts or signatures). 

If you are having difficulties in completing some parts of your application form, we can help you. Please do get in touch with the Sussex Abroad office - you can email Jon (

Step 6: When is the deadline?

The deadline to submit your completed application is Friday, 11th December, 2020.

Step 7: Outcome of your application

The application is an internal process between you and the Sussex Abroad office, who will be selecting and allocating students to partner universities, providing that their applications are successful.

The outcome of your application will be communicated to you via your Sussex email address. We will aim to let students know in early January.  If your application is succesful, you will be allocated to one of the universities you listed on your application forms. At that point, we cannot re-allocate students to another university, therefore we would ask that you are completely sure that you want to study abroad at one of the universities you listed.

Please note:

  • Submitting an application form unfortunately does not guarantee you a place to study abroad at one of our partner universities. Places at each partner university are always very limited.
  • The decisions are not based on a first-come-first-served. All applications are individually studied, allocations are based on the student's suitability to that university and the quality of the application received (statement, reference, etc.).
  • Allocations to certain popular institutions can be fiercely competitive! In order to increase your chances to be selected to study abroad, we would ask you to list as many universities as your application allows you to do so.
  • In certain instances, we may call the students for an informal interview before an allocation decision has been made.
  • If your application is not successful, the Sussex Abroad office will inform you if there are any remaining places at other partner universities which may be suitable to you.
  • If your application is successful, your forms will not be sent nor shared with the partner university. Successful candidates will be nominated to their host universities and contacted by them to proceed with any application / registration form they must complete for them. Final acceptance to study abroad rest with the partner university although rejections at that stage are very rare.

When students are unsuccessful with their application forms we understand that this can be upsetting and sometimes difficult to assimilate. Unfortunately it is not possible for us to place every student who submits an application. When application forms are unsucessful this can be for a varieaty of reasons, such as:

  • The student listed only the most popular institutions which were oversubscribed (and therefore selection and allocation have been fiercely competitive) and they were not interested in any of the other destinations still available.
  • Their application was not as strong as others. When assessing applications we take into account the student personal statement, reference, attendance and grades achieved so far. The universities we work with demand high academic standard and engagement from our students, so applicants need to be able to demonstrate this.
  • Suitability of that place to the student's degree.

We do study every application very seriously and each student is treated in a fair way. The selection and allocation process is really thorough with meetings that can take all day.

If after consulting the information above you still have queries, please feel welcome to speak with a member of staff at the Sussex Abroad office

Study Abroad Departmental Representative

You can find the Departmental Representative for your subject area here

Directors of Teaching and Learning

You can find the Director Teaching and Learning for your subject area here

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