Over many years, the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies has built up very successful exchange agreements with partner universities abroad. These allow students on its BA programmes to spend a full year (Year 3) immersed in the language and culture of one of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico and Spain. While studying abroad, students can select from a broad range of relevant courses in such areas as language, culture, business, linguistics, translation and literature.
As courses on the Year Abroad are studied through the medium of the target language (i.e. through Chinese, French, German, Japanese or Spanish), students have a structured opportunity to build extensively on the language competency which they will have acquired over Years 1 and 2 of their BA programme and to deepen their knowledge of a particular country's culture, history and politics. The Year Abroad allows students to experience everyday life in another setting, to meet students and lecturers from many different places and to develop a greater level of independence, intercultural sensitivity and valuable interpersonal skills. Students are supported in their Year Abroad studies by an academic coordinator in the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies. Our experience of including a compulsory Year Abroad in our undergraduate programmes has been a hugely positive one. This important feature of our programmes is valued greatly by our graduates and their employers.