Why you should spend a semester or year studying abroad if you're an undergraduate student

Published on 7 February 2023

The 8 big worries about studying abroad and why you shouldn’t have them.

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Xiaoqing Ji and friends, University of Waterloo, Canada

As an undergraduate student at Dundee (and depending on your subject), you can get the chance to spend time studying in a different country. As much as this is an incredible opportunity, it's only natural that you might have worries about spending time abroad during your degree. The Go Abroad team at the University can help allay these concerns. Here's just a few things that they frequently hear from students when they are considering study abroad opportunities

'Studying abroad is too expensive'

Studying abroad is often no more expensive than studying at Dundee, though it will vary depending upon your destination. It’s important to remember that you don't need to pay tuition fees to your host university, you just pay fees to Dundee as normal. Any UK government grants or loans will also follow you wherever you decide to go, and you can also apply online for study abroad grants or scholarships.

'I won’t graduate on time'

Studying abroad won't hinder your progression, so long as you pass at your host university. Even while you’re away, you continue to be a student at UoD. You’ll also have access to an adviser who’ll help you choose appropriate classes before you leave – and these advisers are experts in curriculum mapping and helping students stay on track.

'Studying abroad is too much hassle, I just don’t see the benefits'

Studying abroad shows your independence, cultural awareness, and global outlook. Overall, those who take the initiative to study abroad are more successful than those who don’t.

In fact, students who study abroad are:

  • 20% less likely to be out of work when they graduate
  • 10% more likely to be in a graduate job 6 months after graduation*
  • 7% higher average wage earners 6 months after graduation

*(Gone International: expanding opportunities report by Universities UK International, 2018)

Students on study exchange posing outside van

'I might struggle to make friends'

Host universities hold welcome events for exchange students, just like we do. This is one way to meet other students who are in the same position as you. Another way to meet like-minded individuals is to join sports clubs and societies. When you study abroad, you get to experience a whole new culture, and people you meet will be excited to hear about your culture and background too.

'Exchanges are only for language/international relations students'

Studying abroad opportunities are available to students in all disciplines. Regardless of your background, you can enhance both your university experience, and your employability, by making the choice to study abroad.

'I can’t sort accommodation in Dundee for one semester'

If you contact residences, it’s possible to apply for a single semester in our halls. Or, if you rent privately, you can negotiate with your landlord to advertise your room to exchange students coming to Dundee, or to students who are having troubles with their current living situation.

'I probably don’t meet the entry requirements'

Your potential is more important than past performance, and your academic adviser will take into account more than just your grades. We care about your performance, and we want you to get the very best out of university.

'I’m worried about missing out on experiencing Dundee'

Trust us, it will be us in Dundee who have fear of missing out, and we’ll still be here for when you return. This is an opportunity to expose yourself to something completely different. You’ve already made the jump to university, and now that you’re here, why not make this time of your life the most impactful and memorable it can be?

Find a study abroad opportunity

Apply to spend a study period abroad on an exchange programme at one of our partner institutions.

Story category Student experience