Find out when and how to apply to study abroad.


To be eligible for studying abroad, you must have achieved 50% in year 1 of your studies and maintain a good academic standard in year 2. Some of our partner universities expect higher grades. The requirement is 60% for a semester abroad or integrated Masters.

If you do not achieve 50% in year 1, you will be transferred to or continue on the 3-year degree title (after any resit opportunity), without the ‘with a study abroad year’ suffix to the degree title.

If you fail a module in year 2, you will usually be given a resit in the resit assessment period. You should plan to take the resit before you start your study abroad year. Written submissions or online exams can be submitted early or remotely. If the resit assessment is an in-person exam scheduled after the start of your study abroad year, the exam board will consider allowing you to trail this into the resit assessment period of your study abroad year (usually a maximum of 30 credits may be trailed). Contact your School Office to discuss this further.

Psychology, Life Sciences, Law, Engineering, Physics, Informatics, Maths, Media Production and Journalism students are not eligible for a semester abroad.

American Studies

If you are an American Studies student (single and joint-honours) or Law with American Studies, you will spend your third year at a US or Canadian university. Find out more. 

When to apply

For a year abroad, you will apply during the first semester of your second year (in order to study abroad during the third year of your studies). 

For a term abroad, you will apply during the first semester of your first year, in order to spend a semester abroad during your second year (Autumn or Spring).

Application deadline: Wednesday 29 November 2023.

How to apply

First you must register your interest for a study abroad option by emailing You should include your study abroad option in the subject line (voluntary year abroad, semester abroad or integrated Masters).

After this we will send you a link to the digital application form. 

The institutions you can apply to are split into two categories (A and B). There is no difference in the standard of education between the two. Category A universities tend to be the more popular destinations. To avoid disappointment, you must only include a maximum of two category A universities on your application. You should be prepared to study at any of the universities listed in your application. Find out each institution’s category by region.

Summer schools

Studying abroad at a summer school will have a different application process depending on the programme. Find out about application details for individual summer schools. 

Application form

On the digital application form you will demonstrate your suitability and motivation for a year abroad, along with the modules you would like to study in up to 6 universities. You will also be able to declare if any adjustments are required. Our team can help you through the form when you are ready to apply. To give yourself the best chance of being made an offer, we recommend listing as many options as possible on the form.

If you are studying abroad through ISEP Exchange you will need to list 6 universities from the ISEP Program Finder. Find out more

Tips for a successful application

  1. Start researching regions and institutions early.
  2. Explain what the experience will bring to you both personally and academically.
  3. Allow time to get signatures from academics.
  4. Research courses and visa requirements to make sure the universities you have chosen are suitable.
  5. Make sure your application is fully completed before submitting it on time.

Things to consider

Submitting an application form does not guarantee you a place to study abroad at one of our partner universities. Places at each partner university are always very limited.

Decisions are not based on a first-come-first-served basis. All applications are individually reviewed. Allocations are based on the student's suitability to that university and the quality of the application received.

Allocations to certain popular institutions can be fiercely competitive. To increase your chances of studying abroad, list as many universities as your application allows. Make sure you’d be happy to study at any university you list. Remember that you can only include a maximum of two category A institutions. Find out each institution’s category by region.

In some instances, we may arrange an informal interview before an allocation decision has been made.

Outcome of your application

The outcome of your application will be communicated to you through your Sussex email address. We will aim to let students know in early January.

If your application is successful, you will be allocated to one of the universities you listed on your application forms. At that point, we cannot re-allocate students to another university. 

If your application is successful

Once your application has been agreed your School will transfer you onto the 4-year degree course title that includes the suffix ‘with a study abroad year’. This will normally be during semester 2 of year 2.

Application forms will not be shared with the partner university. Successful candidates will be nominated to their host universities and contacted by them to proceed with any application or registration process. Final acceptance to study abroad rests with the partner university, although rejections at that stage are very rare.

We will arrange preparation talks about the next stage of your studies abroad (including visas, housing, health and safety).

If your application is not successful

Applications can be unsuccessful for a number of reasons, such as:

  • oversubscription to the most popular institutions, with selection and allocations being very competitive
  • your application not being strong enough. When assessing applications we take into account your personal statement, attendance and grades achieved so far. The universities we work with demand high academic standard and engagement from our students, so applicants need to be able to demonstrate this
  • suitability of that place to the student's degree.

We will inform you if there are any remaining places at other partner universities that may be suitable to you.

We understand that unsuccessful applications can be upsetting. Unfortunately it is not possible for us to place every student who submits an application. We study every application in detail and ensure each student is treated fairly. We consider every application carefully and it may simply be that your application was not as strong as that of another student.

If you still have queries, please contact the Sussex Abroad team.

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