Study Abroad

Work placements abroad

Find a course

Get funding

The aim of a work placement abroad is to develop skills you've learnt in the classroom in a practical real-world experience, combined with the added dimension of strengthening your cross-cultural competencies.

An international work experience will enhance your employability and could be a valuable stepping stone as perhaps your first professional role.

Essex Abroad on social media:

Placement year abroad - variety of locations

A placement year abroad will count as part of your degree where you work in an organisation for an agreed amount of time. Similar to a year abroad, there are no fees for a placement year abroad.

Duration: whole academic year.

Location: variety of locations around the world. You're responsible for finding your own placement but don’t worry, plenty of help is available.

Departure date: usually in September or October.

Deadline: contact your placement team as soon as possible.


Start by checking with your faculty placement officer as to whether a work placement could be a formally assessed and accredited part of your degree (your personal tutor will be able to put you in touch with the right person). If you’re an undergraduate student, an average first-year mark of at least 50 is normally required. You will also need to change your degree to add the placement year – to allow you to undertake your placement in your third year.


If you're undertaking a work placement in Europe as an accredited part of your degree, you may be able to receive an Erasmus+ funding grant.

Further details and how to apply

Each faculty has got a placement team to support you with finding, applying for and successfully completing your placement year. Please email them as soon as possible once you decided to do a placement year.

You can find out what a work placement involves.

For more information click here.

British Council language assistant - variety of locations

About the assistantship

An assistantship is a great way to improve a foreign language, gain intercultural competencies and add an international dimension to your Essex degree.

Duration: whole academic year.

Location: variety of locations around the world.

Departure date: usually in September or October.

Deadline: TBC - most likely February 2019. Information on how to apply is available on the British Council website

The role

  • Support the teaching of English in a classroom setting (this can be a school or a university)
  • Plan activities to facilitate and encourage English learning 
  • Educate locals on British culture

With ten countries to choose from, this is a wonderful opportunity to gain a professional experience, transferrable interpersonal and organisation skills, cultural awareness and exposure to working abroad. This could be a more financially accessible option as during this program Language Assistants may have the opportunity to earn a salary.

If you're placed in a European country, you're also eligible for an Erasmus+ grant in addition to any remuneration provided by the host institution. (For 2018-19, this was a monthly grant of €400-450 depending on the country).

Essex Abroad is proud to support this program and has successfully sent students overseas to be British Council Language Assistants in recent years.


As long as you're enrolled onto the degree variant '(Including Year Abroad)' you're eligible for this program, regardless of your discipline. To join this program, you'll need to have an average first year mark of 50% or above and pass all second year modules on first attempt. Further details and how to apply can be found here.

Get in touch

If you're interested in this program or have any questions about the Work Abroad programs, please feel free to email:

  • Teresa Torres, British Council Language Assistantship co-ordinator 

Erasmus+ work placements 

If you're undertaking a work placement in Europe as an accredited part of your degree, you may be able to receive Erasmus+ funding.

We have to apply for sufficient Erasmus+ funding based on the number of students we have applying for grants. You need to let us know at least 2 months before your placement, and all requests must be made by January for that academic year.


Erasmus+ Update

University of Essex remains an international community where you find the world in one place. Irrespective of whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal, students currently receiving funding under Erasmus+ in 2018-19 will continue to receive the remainder of their grant.  

If the UK leaves Europe with a deal it is anticipated that Erasmus+ funding will continue for all students commencing a period of mobility during 2019-20.

Should the UK leave the EU without a deal, students who are eligible to receive Erasmus+ funding in 2019-20 and commence their activity prior to the date that the UK leaves EU, will be guaranteed to receive Erasmus+ funding.  However, any activity commencing after the date of the UK’s exit from the EU will not be eligible for Erasmus+ funding.  

For 2019-20, after receiving an institutional grant contract from the UK National Agency, delegated by the European Commission to deliver the Erasmus+ programme in the UK, Essex Abroad will contact all eligible students to provide the details of their grant and the supporting Erasmus+ documents which will be required in order to release funding. Following the completion and return of the required documents from students, grant payments will be made in accordance with the 80/20 payment rule (see ‘receiving your grant’ above for further information).

We will continue to update our website with further details as they become available. Further advice and support for our students about Brexit is available.


An Erasmus+ work placement must form an accredited part of your degree.

You must also ensure that your placement meets Erasmus+ criteria. If it doesn't, you will not be eligible to receive an Erasmus+ grant or benefit from the Erasmus+ fee status for any accompanying period of study abroad.

The basic criteria are:

  • your placement can take place in any EU member state, the EFTA countries or candidate countries
  • your placement must last for at least two continuous months (with the same employer), and can last up to a maximum of twelve months
  • your placement needs to be an integral part of your degree and the equivalent of full-time working hours (25-40 hours per week)
  • your host company cannot be associated with an EU agency, national embassies/consulates or organisations managing EU programmes

Erasmus+ paperwork and grant payments

There are various forms that must be completed before, during and after your placement. Your grant will be paid in two instalments, shortly after your placement starts and shortly after it finishes. Payment cannot be made until certain forms listed below have been completed.

Before your placement starts

Erasmus+ grant agreement

Before you begin your Erasmus+ work placement, you are required to complete and sign an Erasmus+ grant agreement to confirm you agree to the conditions of the grant set by the European Commission.

Erasmus+ training agreement

You'll need to complete an Erasmus+ Training Agreement form with the help of your Faculty Placement Officer and placement company contact. This document will set out the details of your placement, including a description of your main duties and responsibilities, your hours of work and any pay. It must be signed by all parties and returned to Essex Abroad before the start of your placement.

Health and safety questionnaire

Before your placement starts, your placement provider must fill in a short health and safety questionnaire. It is a requirement of receiving your Erasmus+ grant and ensures your host company has provided a proper induction and thought about your health and safety needs. Your Faculty Placement Officer will send this to your employer and ask them to complete it.

When your placement starts

Certificate of arrival

You must ask your employer to complete, sign and stamp a certificate of arrival when you start your placement. You must send this to us within a week of your placement starting.

Your first grant instalment will be paid when we receive your certificate of arrival.

At the end of your placement

Certificate of departure

You must ask your employer to complete, sign and stamp a second certificate of departure when you finish your placement. You must send this to us within a week of your placement finishing.

Your second grant instalment will be paid when we receive your certificate of departure.

Erasmus+ online student report form

You must complete an online survey within a month of your placement finishing. If you don't, we may have to claim back your Erasmus+ grant. The link to complete the survey will be sent to you automatically via email.

After the mobility section of your Learning Agreement

You are also responsible, towards the end of your placement, to ask your employer to complete the 'After the mobility' section of your Erasmus + Learning Agreement for traineeship to evaluate your traineeship.

Pre-departure information

You'll follow the same pre-departure programme as students undertaking a placement year in the UK. The Employability & Careers Centre will send you details of any events you need to attend and you can read their pre-departure information and advice.

Terms and conditions

If you do not complete your placement abroad, or withdraw from your placement abroad, you will be asked to repay your grant in full.


If you are participating in an Erasmus+ work placement, in addition to the European Health Insurance Card and travel insurance, it is a requirement that your placement provider covers you for workplace accident and liability insurance. It is your responsibility to ensure that this cover is in place. This is a requirement of the National Agency and the European Commission who funds the Erasmus+ programme.

Extending or shortening your work placement 

If you extend your placement, you will need to send us a new Training Agreement to cover the whole period, not just the extra time. You can shorten your placement but if you work for less than three months then your placement will not count as part of the Erasmus+ programme.

Want to be kept in the loop?

Sign up to our Essex Abroad newsletter and we'll keep you updated with the the latest info on funding opportunities, places you can go and events!

Sign up now