If you’re studying abroad

Read our Coronavirus guidance if you are planning to study abroad in 2020/21 or you’re currently abroad at a Sussex partner institution or on a placement.

Studying abroad in the 2020/21 academic year

In light of the ongoing disruption and uncertainty caused by Covid-19, the University has made the difficult decision to cancel all outbound physical mobility through its study abroad programmes in autumn 2020.

Thank you to all students who were due to study abroad in 2020/21 for confirming your preferred alternative academic option for this year. The Global Mobility team has communicated your choice to your department at Sussex as well as your 2020/21 allocated host university. We will be in contact with you over the summer months about next steps.

Skip to if you’re currently studying abroad.

Confirming your choice for 2020/21

Here are some common questions.

If my circumstances change, will I be able to change my choice of alternative option afterwards?

We will do our best to accommodate this but this may not always be possible as your choice impacts on deadlines at your host university or Sussex. Please contact the Global Mobility team and they will be able to let you know your options at this stage.

How much will my tuition fees be?

If you plan on having a year abroad, you will pay 15% of your standard tuition fees to Sussex; this includes year abroad students choosing the ‘Continue’ option. If you complete a term abroad, however, there is no reduction in your Sussex tuition fees. You would pay your standard tuition fees to Sussex. Whether you study abroad for a year or a term, you would not pay tuition fees to the other university. However, there may be other fees (not related to tuition) to be paid to your host university. These fees are displayed on your host university webpages.

Options for year abroad students

See answers to your questions.

If, for the autumn semester, I end up following online modules through my host university or modules offered by Sussex, can I still get the suffix ‘...with a study abroad year’ on my degree?

If you are a voluntary year abroad student, yes.

You will get the suffix if you:

What differences should I expect when following online modules at my host university?

Depending on the time difference with your host country, you may be expected to follow lectures and take assessments late in the day or at night. Additionally, some host universities have already indicated that you will only obtain a pass or fail for the modules rather than a grade. You should find out as much as you can in advance about the modules you are planning to take to ensure they suit your learning style.

If I am unable to start my semester 1 studies abroad and instead follow alternative modules for this semester, will I definitely be able to go abroad in semester 2?

No, this is one of the risks with this option. This will depend on how the situation with Covid-19 develops in your host country and in the UK, and whether your host university is in a position to accept students for semester 2.

If you are unable to go abroad in semester 2, you will need to work with your School and the Global Mobility team so they can support you to complete the remaining courseload to complete this additional year of study.

I am a voluntary year abroad student. Am I guaranteed a year abroad in 2021/22 if I choose to invert the years of my degree in this way?

No, unfortunately we cannot guarantee you will be offered a place as it depends on the number of applications we receive next year and the availability of places. However, we will do everything we can to allocate you a place.

I would like to invert my year abroad and my final year of study. Is it possible to hold on to the host university I have been allocated for 2020/21?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. The study abroad offer you received is valid for the 2020/21 academic year only. The number of places we have available with a particular partner (if any) is only confirmed with the partner institution by October each year. At that point we will publish the list of available places and you can apply to any university on the list for study abroad the following year (2021/22). However, you should be clear that it is possible you will not be allocated the same partner university again.

How can I find out more about the modules which will be available if I decide to follow Sussex modules in September (only open to voluntary students)?

Colleagues in your School are currently working on the process for allowing you to register on modules for next year. Your School office will contact you about this shortly.

When would I graduate if I invert my year abroad and the final year of my degree?

Most students who invert would graduate in the summer 2022 graduation ceremony. However, some partner universities abroad may not complete their assessment process or issue your official transcript of grades before the exam board meets. In these circumstances, the degree certificate will not include the suffix ‘with a study abroad year’. A new certificate including the suffix ‘with a study abroad year’ will be issued later, once the study abroad transcript has been received.

Will I need to submit a full application to apply to study abroad in 2021/22?

All students will need to submit a new application/allocation form. This will be similar to the one you previously submitted. If the same host universities are available, you are welcome to re-use parts of your original application. However, you may feel that you have additional information you would like to include which you feel would strengthen your application.

I was preparing to study abroad for a year – I feel anxious now about coming back to Sussex for the final year of my degree. Who can I talk to about this?

We understand it will take some time to get used to this change of plan. We advise you to contact your Academic Advisor or colleagues in the Student Life Centre so they can support you and help you prepare for your Sussex modules next term.

Can I intermit in 2020/21 and reapply for study abroad while in intermittence so I have a voluntary year abroad in 2021/22?

The University wants to support students to successfully complete their degree programme. Taking two years away from your Sussex studies may make this challenging. We encourage all students who are thinking of intermitting to carefully consider all the implications of this (academic, financial, personal etc) and to only take this route if they have a very strong reason for this. If you are thinking about intermitting, please discuss this with your Academic Advisor or colleagues in the Student Life Centre.

Options for term abroad students

If you’re a first-year student due to go abroad for this coming autumn semester, but your host university can't accept you any more, you can apply to move your semester abroad to the spring/summer.

If you would like to do this, you will need to redo your study plan and arrange for this to be resigned by both your departmental representative and the Director of Teaching and Learning in your School. You should make sure appropriate replacement modules for any ‘core’ modules can be agreed.

Alternatively, you also have the option to apply at the beginning of your second year for the additional, ‘voluntary’ year abroad. A year abroad is not guaranteed as it will depend on the number of places available and applications received. Equally, it cannot be guaranteed that you would be reallocated the same partner university you were allocated this year.

Accommodation, money and travel

Accommodation: If you are planning to follow Sussex modules next year, you may wish to wait until your School has confirmed full details of when classes will restart before securing accommodation in Brighton. You can express your interest in university-managed accommodation in Brighton via the Student Hub. Once you have signed a contract with a private landlord – either in the UK or abroad – it is likely you would have to pay for accommodation for the full period even if you were unable to make use of it.

Funding: The deadline to apply for your student funding has been extended until the end of June. You need to have started your application process by then if you want a guarantee of funding being in place by the start of the academic year. While you may not yet have decided on your preferred alternative academic option for next year, you should apply now for the funding you think you will need. If any changes need to be made later to your funding application, you can do this once you are sure of the study programme you will be following. You can contact the Student Funding Team if you have other questions about this.

If you’re currently studying abroad

The UK government is advising all UK nationals travelling abroad to come home while commercial flights are still available. This includes students on study placements abroad. This follows a Covid-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory notice by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).

The government has been working with the airline industry to help British people travelling abroad to return to the UK. Where commercial routes remain feasible airlines will be responsible for getting their passengers with pre-booked tickets home.

Where commercial routes do not exist special charter flights will operate in some countries to help British tourists and short term visitors to return to the UK. To see if you are eligible and to find out how to book, check the government’s travel advice page of the country that you are in.

If you want to leave the country you’re in

The FCO advises contacting the airline or travel company and insurance provider as soon as possible and keeping up to date with the latest developments. The FCO advise that international travel may become more difficult. The FCO will only organise assisted departure in exceptional circumstances.

Insurance cover

You are strongly urged to return if you live in the UK.

Important: If you remain overseas, against FCO advice, your travel insurer may turn down claims or refuse to cover ongoing trips, for all aspects of cover, including medical expenses. There are clear consequences to this.

If you purchased your insurance with Sussex, Aviva, here is the Sussex Aviva policy document [PDF]. Call them on: +44 8000 516 583 or +44 1243 621416. Your policy number is: 100001759GPA.

How to book your travel with Key Travel

We will cover reasonable costs of your return flight home. If you would like to return home early, you can book through the University travel provider, Key Travel.

Key Travel have a list of all Sussex students currently abroad on study placement. You will need to make contact with Key Travel directly either through your Sussex email or by telephone.

Due to high numbers of calls, the lines may be busy and email may be easier.

During UK office hours

Monday-Friday, 8.45am-5.30pm
Saturday 9am-1pm
+44 (0) 161 819 9767

Outside UK office hours – 24/7

If you need to travel urgently, call + 44 (0) 20 7843 9602.

Non-Immediate travel requirements

Email sussex@keytravel.com.

The subject line should read “Repatriation Sussex 2020 – required travel date – your name & “Sussex Abroad”.

You will need to tell us your travel need and supply contact details. You will need to send it from your Sussex email account. You will also need to supply your student registration number.

Due to airline and other restrictions, your preferred date and route of travel may not be possible – Key Travel will advise you.

Preparing your return to the UK

Use appropriate methods of travel, ideally avoiding public transport. You need to take account of the fast-moving situation and plan accordingly, including the fact there are currently fewer commercial flights available. You must follow the advice of local authorities and also follow the latest FCO travel advice, which includes information on if you are unable to return at this point.

The FCO advises the following on how to return:

  • Consider a range of options – you may need to travel to another country to get back to the UK. Check travel advice pages for the latest information on any travel restrictions that could affect your travel plans.
  • Keep up-to-date with FCO travel advice, and in particular the ‘Return to the UK’ guidance for each country. Sign-up to email alerts to be notified if the situation changes.
  • Check the FCO social media accounts for where you are.
  • Be prepared that plans may need to change at short notice.

You must be ready to comply with local isolation, testing or quarantine requirements, and will need to rely on the local health system. You should contact your airline, tour operator and travel insurer to find out what support they can offer.

If you are a UK national who needs emergency help from the UK government while overseas, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission or the FCO in London on 0207 008 1500 for help or advice 24/7.

If you are a national of another country, you should make contact with your home country’s embassy, consulate or high commission.

Financial support for Sussex students abroad

If you choose to buy your own flight, and are not able to cover the costs through your insurance, we will cover reasonable travel costs up to £500 for Europe and £1,000 for the rest of the world. Repatriation costs are only available if you leave your study abroad early.

These should be claimed through the existing Student Expense Claim procedure from your School office, with supporting information attached to the claim including receipts and evidence that your travel insurance could not cover the expense. This may include standard economy air fare back to your home country, additional baggage allowance, transfer to the airport and costs for sending your belongings back home.

There is no time limit on this offer of support. It is in your interest to make your travel plans as soon as practically possible if you do wish to return home.

For more information, email sussexabroad@sussex.ac.uk.

If I stay in my host country, will my insurance remain valid?

For students who have taken out the University policy through Aviva, your insurance will remain valid until the date of your final assessment abroad. After that, the insurance will only remain in place for a few days to allow you to return to your home country. Students remaining in country beyond this date will not be covered. Additionally, if you wish to return but cannot at that point due to a travel ban or border closure by your host country etc, then Aviva will not unfortunately be in a position to meet any resulting costs, such as alternative travel arrangements / accommodation / sustenance.

If you have taken out your own insurance, you should check with your own provider.

Advice for students on placements abroad

We recommend that students on placement abroad return home.

If you wish to travel back to your home country, but are not able to cover the costs through your insurance, we will cover reasonable travel. In terms of returning home, take note of the following advice:

  • If you already have a return flight booked, see if it is possible to re-schedule the return flight back to the UK or to your home country. Some airlines are waiving fees to change flights right now.
  • Insurance: If you have been asked by your employer to complete your placement early, you may be able to claim your return flight home through your insurance.
  • If you need to book a new ticket, make sure you keep hold of all receipts and flight information to claim for the University’s financial support and/or your insurance.
  • If you are not able to cover the additional costs through your insurance, we will cover reasonable travel costs – lowest available fare up to £500 for Europe and £1,000 for the rest of the world. Email placements@sussex.ac.uk for more information.

If you choose to stay and complete your placement, follow the protocols that are in place with your placement employer in relation to Coronavirus. If you have concerns, raise them with your Placement Tutor and the Placements Team on placements@sussex.ac.uk.

At this time it is even more important that we have contact with you, so please continue to complete your logs and submit them via CareerHub.

If you are affected by the virus and this impairs your ability to undertake the professional placement assessment, email placements@sussex.ac.uk so we can initiate an exceptional circumstances claim. We will take all reasonable measure to ensure you are not disadvantaged if you need to take time off work.

If your placement employer asks you to work remotely, you do not need to notify us. Prioritise your own health and wellbeing and continue to read and understand the updated instructions from Public Health England and the NHS.

Visiting or exchange students at Sussex

If your home university or country has requested you to return, or you are considering returning home, ask your home institution for information about their approach to the academic learning and assessment of your time abroad under these circumstances.

You should also consider accessing Sussex’s remote teaching methods – look out for emails from your Sussex School of study for updates about online learning provision for the remainder of this semester.

To take into account changes to teaching and learning online, there will not be any exams and assessments on campus for the rest of the academic year. Instead assessments will take place remotely. See more information about your education.

If you have left your on-campus accommodation, check our living away from campus information.

If you’re still on campus, check our information about staying on campus.

It is important for us to monitor your situation, to ensure you are safe, and all processes at both your host and home universities are respected.

Students who plan to return to their home country should let the Sussex Abroad team know by emailing sussexabroad@sussex.ac.uk.