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American Studies students spend their third year at a US or Canadian university.

Studying American Studies abroad for a year

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. The year abroad is an essential and compulsory component of the American Studies four-year degree programme.

These universities have been carefully selected for their academic standard, pastoral and administrative support, and cultural and geographical environment.

You need to pass modules you take while you're abroad. Marks will count towards your overall degree classification. Find out about the marking system.


To be eligible to go on the year abroad, you must demonstrate continued good academic standing on your course. As long as you carry out the work required, attend tutorials and seminars, and turn in essays on time, this average grade should be possible to achieve.

You will need an average of at least 50% in formal assessment in the first year of your course, and mantain a good academic standing. Some of our partner universities require students to have achieved higher grades.

Academic programme

The advantage of studying in USA and Canada is the wide range of courses offered to you. You also do not need to stick to one particular Major or Faculty/School (unless required by the other university). We will give you more information about the courses you are allowed to study abroad during the meetings we will arrange in Year 2.

The level of courses are divided in lower and upper-division. Lower-division courses would normally correspond to Years 1 and 2, whereas upper-division are more for Years 3 and 4.

American Studies (single and joint honours) students can choose modules abroad that have an American topic, including Hispanic history and literature, Native American, Asian American, African American and Canadian studies. Choices range from Politics, History, Gender Studies, English, Sociology and more.

If you’re studying Law with American Studies, the modules you will study abroad will be a mixture of pre-Law and any that have an American topic component. Choices range from Criminology, Politics, History, Gender Studies, English, Sociology and more.

Preparing for your year abroad

You will be given plenty of advice and information about the Year Abroad throughout the first two years at Sussex.

You will be invited to meetings and can also talk with returning final year students, who can give you valuable insight. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn more, so you are prepared and confident.

If you can't attend these sessions, you should inform the Global Mobility team so that you still receive all the information you need for your study abroad experience.

How to apply

You will be given the list of universities confirming the number of exchange places. You will then be asked to complete a preference form during the first couple of weeks of Year 2 (to be confirmed for 2023-24 Year Abroad). In this form, you will include: 

  • a list the universities you want to be considered for
  • a personal statement
  • a tentative list of modules you would like to study abroad
  • any adjustments you need to declare.

The deadline for submitting you preference form will be mid-October. 

This is an internal process between you and Sussex. The form is not shared with our partner universities.

After the deadline has passed, we will start assessing all the forms received. We aim to give you a conditional place at one of your chosen universities, and will communicate with you through your Sussex email address in November.

Allocations to certain universities can be very competitive. Be flexible, as you could be allocated to any of your choices.

After the allocations have been announced, you will be nominated to the partner university and complete a formal application with them. This process can last from January until May, depending on the partner university. You will be asked to join preparatory meetings to discuss practicalities during your year abroad, such as the academic programme, visas and housing.  

If you have any queries about the American Studies year abroad, email Ester Aventin:

Where can I study

See the list of partner universities available to American Studies students. These require 24 credits for a full year unless indicated otherwise.  


Important: Not all of our partner universities are available every year, and the list below is subject to change.

Many of these institutions have very limited availability, so we cannot guarantee places will always be available. Where universities only have 1 or 2 spaces available, we have indicated this with a ‘*’. You are encouraged to keep your options open when selecting the institutions you’re interested in studying at.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

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