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Studying engineering abroad

Studying engineering abroadEngineering offers many opportunities to work abroad, and studying abroad first can open up even more.

There are two main ways to study abroad as an engineer: take a year abroad as part of a UK degree, or apply to a foreign university.

A year abroad

The simplest way to get some experience overseas during your course is to go to a UK university but spend some of your time abroad. This could be just a few months or an entire year. Usually, this will be spent studying at a foreign university, although you may be able to take a year in industry abroad.

You'll still have to deal with language barriers and not being able to buy Marmite, but you won't have to worry too much about fees and funding: you'll be entitled to your usual student finance package, and you may qualify for extra support. However, the cost of living might be different where you are travelling, and you might want to budget a bit extra if you plan on doing some travelling around your studies to make the most of your time overseas.

Years abroad are common on engineering courses, and many engineering degrees also offer language courses that can help you to brush up before you go. But don't just look for courses that mention a year abroad: check what countries the course will allow you to travel to as well.

Studying at a foreign university

You can choose to apply to a foreign university and study your entire course there. This will be more complicated, since you will have to deal with visas, you may have to learn the language and you won't qualify for UK student finance. Find out more about study abroad.

Engineering degrees are structured differently in different countries. For example, the standard engineering degree in France takes five years, rather than the four years for a MEng in the UK. Make sure that you consider the differences in the course, not just where you want to study.

If you're planning to come back to the UK once you've completed your studies, professional registration may be a little more complicated. However, there are international agreements which establish equivalency between degrees from different countries, making it easier for you to take your degree from one country to another. You should check how your degree will be viewed in the UK before you apply.