Study Abroad

For over 25 years Lancaster University has operated a successful exchange scheme with universities in the USA and Canada, and more recently with universities in Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

The year abroad is not an add-on to your degree, it is fully integrated so that you can complete your BSc in just three years. Or if you prefer a shorter period, why not spend three months in Europe on an Erasmus exchange?

Why study abroad?

  • Gain experience of life and culture in another country
  • Benefit from a wider range of teaching and research expertise
  • Study different natural and man-made environments
  • Enhance your job prospects – stand out from the crowd!
  • Take advantage of opportunities to go travelling, skiing, scuba-diving…

What opportunities are available?

  • A full year in North America, Australasia or Iceland
  • 3 months in mainland Europe on an Erasmus exchange

Students applying through UCAS to the following degrees will have an exciting opportunity to spend a full year studying at an overseas university.

3 and 4 year degrees, with the 2nd year spent abroad:

A-level entry grades are slightly higher for our study abroad degrees compared to our ‘standard’ degrees. However, you will automatically be offered a place on the equivalent standard degree as a back-up, so there is no need to apply for both.

If, at any time during your first year, you decide that you no longer want to go abroad, you can simply switch to one of our standard degree schemes. So it is worth applying, even if you’re not sure that you want to go abroad, to keep the option open!

How does it work?

You will spend a full academic year abroad, studying courses comparable to those that you would have taken at Lancaster. The grades that you are awarded abroad will count towards your Lancaster degree.

You will become a full member of your overseas university during your year abroad, but you will also have a dedicated study abroad advisor at Lancaster who will monitor your progress and help resolve any difficulties encountered.

Accommodation is arranged at the host university; usually you will be offered a room on the university campus.

Advisors in our International Office will help you to complete all the relevant paperwork, such as application forms and visas.

Note that your year abroad will start a little earlier than the academic year at Lancaster (late July for Australasia, or August/September for North America and Iceland), and will finish between April and June the following year.

There will be lots of opportunities to go travelling during weekends and holidays, and you may also be able to stay abroad a little longer at the end of your placement to do research for your final year dissertation.

Where can I go?

The choice of destinations varies slightly from year to year, and also depends on your degree. The table below shows which destinations may be available and suitable for each degree (click for a larger version).

Study Abroad options for LEC degree schemes

In your first term at Lancaster you will attend a series of briefings about studying abroad, and have the opportunity to chat to students who have recently returned from a year abroad.

You will need to decide in December whether you definitely want a place abroad, and if so, where you would prefer to go.

Your academic advisor will then allocate provisional places (conditional upon getting good grades in your first year), and help you to select appropriate courses.

We cannot guarantee that everyone will get their first choice of destination. However, past experience has convinced us that, wherever you are placed, you will have an excellent educational experience and a fantastic time socially!

How much will it cost?

Lancaster University will waive 85% of the tuition fee for the year abroad, a saving of £7,650 for students admitted to Lancaster in 2014/15. There are no additional tuition fees payable to your overseas university.

There are some extra expenses associated with studying abroad, such as flights, insurance, extra books and obtaining a visa – and you will probably want to do some travelling while you are there…!

Subject to means-testing, financial help may be available from:

  • A tuition fee loan
  • An enhanced maintenance loan (£6,535 in 2013/14, which is £1,035 more than the standard loan)
  • A Government Travel Grant to cover travel expenses and insurance (but you pay the first £303).
  • An Erasmus grant of around 370 Euros per month (for placements in Iceland only)

You can also work part-time during your year abroad if you wish, although there may be restrictions on where and how many hours you are allowed to work.

Who to contact for further information

Dr Emily Heath, (LEC Study Abroad Co-ordinator)
Tel: 01524 594209.


I really enjoyed my study abroad experience. It helped me to tackle problems and overcome challenges which taught me valuable skills that can be applied in university and in my scientific career to come.

Kate Rimmer, BSc Conservation Biology