Students taking a three year undergraduate degree at Sussex can apply to take a voluntary study period abroad in most subjects. Students are not allowed to go away in the first year of their degree. Students usually go in the second year for one term but some students may be able to go for the first term of their third year.
Some programmes, other than four year language and American Studies programmes, allow a full year away in the third year:
- Law with an optional year abroad. Students spend the third year abroad
The study abroad period forms an integral part of the student’s degree and students will continue to study their subject at the overseas institution. Academic credit taken at the host institution, will replace credit missed at Sussex. Students will get full academic recognition for this, the foreign examination (or other form of assessment) replacing the home examination. The results of these assessments are sent back to Sussex and the foreign grades converted into Sussex marks. The student’s study abroad results are considered by the appropriate Study Abroad Examination Board at Sussex, which authorises progression into the next year of study where necessary and assures marks obtained.
For most of our European (Erasmus) partner institutions, we use ECTS credits to calculate the number of courses the student needs to take to replace the Sussex credits they will be missing.
ECTS stands for the European Credit Transfer System and 60 ECTS is equal to 120 Sussex credit.
For our non-European partner institutions, workload varies from one institution to another. However, at our current partners in N. America, Asia and Australia, it tends to be 3 or 4 courses per semester, or credit up the value of 12, expressed as semester hours/credit/unit. Exact requirements for each institution can be found here:
Alaska / University of British Columbia / Georgia Tech / Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute / Vermont* 12 credits per semester
Oregon State University* 12 credits per term
University of Waterloo* 2 units per semester (4 x 0.5 credit courses)
Monash 24 credits per semester (4 x 6 credit courses)
Queensland 8 credits per semester (4 x 2 credit courses)
Korea 12 credits per semester (3 credits per course)
Hong Kong 12 credits per semester (3 units per course)
Japan 12 credits per term
Singapore 12 credits per semester (4 credits per course)
Taiwan 12 credits per semester,inc. 3/4 credits in Mandarin (2/3 credits per course)
*The American and Canadian institutions available for voluntary study abroad students will vary each academic year.
Students can also receive credit for following courses in the language of their host country, this can account for a quarter of their study programme, or a third for students attending universities in Japan.
Students need to obtain their transcripts from the host institution before they leave. If they are unable to do so, they must arrange for them to be sent on to the ISAO. Once the ISAO receives these, the foreign grades are converted to Sussex grades and an overall study abroad grade is achieved. Grades are then assured at the appropriate Study Abroad Exam Board, which meets twice a year, and input into the student’s record at Sussex. Study Abroad Exam Boards apply MEC decisions where appropriate and have discretion to consider other mitigating circumstances (e.g. institutional failure).