It’s important to think about what support you might need during your study abroad.

Before you study abroad

The Sussex Abroad team is here to support you in preparation for your time abroad, during your studies abroad and once it has finished.

You will need to be pro-active during the preparatory months. You will be asked to:

  • attend preparatory meetings
  • apply to the other University
  • look for housing
  • register for modules abroad
  • apply for your study visa
  • purchase travel cover and health insurance.

A dedicated staff member from the Sussex Abroad team will guide you with all these processes.

Counselling and mental health support

It is important for you to consider what support you may need while abroad. It is normal for students to feel homesick so plan for this in advance. Make sure you build a support network and check what support the host university offers.

Remember that you are still a Sussex student whilst abroad, and can contact the Student Centre services. Inform us right away if you are having any problems so that we can help you. It is likely that we helped students with similar problems in the past. Find out more about mental health support at Sussex.

Disabilities and learning support

The level of support offered to students with disabilities or other needs vary among our partner institutions. Check the support offered at the partner university in advance.

If you are currently receiving support at Sussex, you should contact the Student Centre and inform them you are planning to study abroad. If needed, they can provide you with evidence of the support you receive at Sussex which you may need to present to your host university.

You will need to inform your host university if you require adjustments during your studies abroad. They may ask you to register with their own student support team and provide any evidence you have.

Information relating to you and your support needs is confidential. Neither the Disability Advice service or the Sussex Abroad will automatically send on this information, so it is important that you do this if you need to.

Cultural considerations for the places you visit

In the UK there are legal and social ways of accommodating many of the adjustments needed to provide equal access to learning, social activities and everyday living.

Legislation, attitudes and common practice may be very different in the country you wish to go to. For example: 

  • women students may find that attitudes can be different
  • legislation and social attitudes to the LGBTQ+ community vary widely throughout countries and regions
  • attitudes and behaviours around race/ethnicity/faith may be challenging
  • adjustments for disability, mental health difficulties and learning differences (such as dyslexia) may be less common or different.

Other considerations

All students should be aware of issues relating to studying within a different culture, away from their normal support and friendship networks.

Think about how you manage situations now and where you might need to plan for a different way of managing when you are away.

The Student Union runs a Buddy Scheme, matching Sussex students with incoming international and study abroad students. Ask the Sussex Abroad team if you can be put in contact with students with first-hand experience. 

Remember, you are responsible for working with us and your host university or employer to prepare for your time abroad. The more you do now, the fewer issues there will be when you get there.

See more from Preparing to go abroad – the essentials