Study Abroad | Outgoing Students

Please note the information on this page is for current USW Faculty of Creative Industries students interested in studying abroad. If you are a student from overseas, please see the information for incoming students. There is general information about opportunities abroad on the USW1World pages.

The Faculty of Creative Industries has partnerships with a number of overseas universities which enable students to study abroad on an exchange basis during the second year of their degree. There are opportunities to study in Europe, via the Erasmus scheme, and outside Europe as part of an exchange programme. While on exchange you will gain academic credits which will contribute to your USW degree. In addition, you will gain experience of living in another country and new perspectives on your subject area, which will look fantastic on your CV.

Another possibility is to take a year out in Mexico with The Anglo Mexican Foundation (TAMF). You will be involved in working on a range of cultural activities with TAMF, from arranging and participating in cultural events to working with students on their English language skills. Please note that you will not gain academic credits for this. For more information contact Michael Carklin. TAMF can be contacted via email. See also The Anglo Mexican Foundation – further information.

We are occasionally made aware of other study opportunities at overseas universities, for example summer schools they offer. We do not administer these and if you are interested you should contact the overseas institution directly. Current opportunities are listed at the bottom of this page.

Partner universities for Erasmus/international exchange

You can only apply to universities with whom the faculty has a current exchange agreement. Download the documents below for a complete list of our partner universities and the subject areas they offer. If you are unsure whether a partner university’s curriculum is a good match for you, please discuss it with your course leader.

Please note that we have limited places at each partner university, so don’t restrict yourself to looking at just one.

Erasmus partner universities for students going abroad in 2018-19
Exchange partner universities for students going abroad in 2018-19
List of partner universities by subject area for students going abroad in 2017-18

Length of study

Exchange placements can last anywhere from three to twelve months. As an undergraduate, the most common exchange opportunity is for a full academic year (10 months). Sometimes partner universities only have spaces for one semester (usually August/September-December or January-May/June).

You apply for an exchange placement in your first year of study and go abroad during your second year. You will usually still graduate after three years.

Unlike an exchange, working with The Anglo Mexican Foundation is a year out, so you will graduate a year later.


While studying abroad, you continue to pay your tuition fees to the University of South Wales, not to the partner university. If the exchange is for the full academic year, your tuition fees will be reduced. They will not be reduced if you are away for only part of the year.

There are no tuition fees for the year spent with The Anglo-Mexico Foundation as you are not gaining any academic credit.

If you are studying in Europe, an Erasmus grant is available to assist with the extra cost of studying and living abroad.

You can normally access your usual student maintenance grants and loans. In addition, some local authorities provide a travel grant for students studying overseas. Please check with your local authority and the USW Student Money Advice Team.

An idea of the cost of living in the USA can be found on the website of Eastern Illinois University. Remember that as an exchange student you will not pay tuition fees to the overseas university, although you may have to pay fees such as the cost of materials, medical insurance or an orientation fee (this will vary depending on the institution).

If you will be going abroad in the second half of the academic year, think carefully before tying yourself into a year-long contract for accommodation in the UK.


Speaking a foreign language is not always a requirement. Many of our European partner universities offer courses through the medium of English. However, you’ll get more out the experience if you try to learn the relevant language and classes will be available in your host university.

Download presentations

Below are links to the presentations given at the information session on 28th November 2017.

Studying Abroad Presentation
This contains information on selecting universities and modules.

Erasmus Presentation
This contains information specific to the Erasmus scheme.

How to apply

Before applying you should do your research:

  • Look at the websites of the universities that interest you and contact them if you have questions
  • Talk to your course leader, especially regarding module choices
  • Consider how you will finance your time abroad

There are four stages to the application process:

  1. You complete the Faculty of Creative Industries internal application form
  2. We interview you
  3. If you are successful, we nominate you to the appropriate host university
  4. You apply to the host university

If you are interested in taking part, please complete the application form, which must be signed by your course leader. This includes a personal statement signed by you stating why you wish to study abroad and how you feel it would benefit your education. Please return your application to the address on the form by the deadline of Wednesday 31st January 2018.

All applicants are interviewed, usually in February. Once you are accepted for exchange, we will nominate you to the appropriate host university and support you in the process of applying to them.

We have limited places at each partner university so we will look at the successful applications as a whole and match applicants to the university that is most appropriate for their course, taking everyone’s preferences into account as much as possible. It is therefore best to think in terms of the country(ies) you want to go to rather than limiting yourself to one particular institution. You are advised to research more than one university, and also consider whether you would still wish to go if you were unable to attend your first choice.

Frequently asked questions

What happens after I submit the Faculty of Creative Industries application form?

Download a checklist

I study Art Practice at the Pontypridd Campus – can I apply?

Yes, you are part of the Faculty of Creative Industries (FCI). Our partnerships are for FCI students; other faculties may have different partnership agreements.

I am currently a CertHE student. Can I apply?

You can still apply, but you would need to be offered a place on Year 2 of the degree course and pass the CertHE before you go abroad.

Can I study abroad in a year out?

No, not as part of the Erasmus or international exchange schemes. Under these schemes the credits you study abroad replace all or part of your second year at the University of South Wales.

It is not possible to take a break between two years of your course to take part in an exchange.

Can I use my sandwich year to study abroad?

No, because this is a course pathway for work experience only. If you have arranged to do some or all of your sandwich work placement in another European country you may be eligible for some funding – see 'Can I do a work placement in Europe?’

Will I go for a year or a semester?

There are several factors involved:

  • It depends on the partner university. A few will only accept students for a semester, most will accept either a semester or a year. Some universities have space for one student for a full year or two for a semester.
  • It may depend on your course. If you go for a semester, you will need to complete 60 credits in complete modules during the semester you are at USW. This may not work well with all courses because of the content of the modules or the way they are timetabled. Your course leader will be able to advise on this.
  • Cost is a factor. If you go for a full year, your tuition fees will be substantially reduced. If you go for a semester they will not.
  • It depends whether you feel more comfortable about going away for a short or long time.
  • You can state a preference on the application form, and it will be discussed during the interview.

Can I go to somewhere not on the list of partner universities?

Usually, no. Partner universities have signed an agreement with the University of South Wales to accept our students and send their students to us. We would not set up a new link as a one-off. However, if your course leader considers there are potential long-term opportunities for USW students we could look into setting one up. The first step would be to talk to your course leader and the FCI Erasmus/Exchange Coordinator Dr Marta Minier about the proposed partnership. However, please bear in mind this is a lengthy process and may not be completed in time for you to apply.

Can I do a work placement in Europe?

Yes, but you would need to find the placement yourself. You could get Erasmus funding for a work placement abroad during the vacation, or (depending on the timetable) you may be able to do it instead of a work experience module/independent study on your degree course, if one is validated for your course. You need to check with your course leader whether this would be possible. In addition, you and your course leader need to discuss the practical implications of assessing your progress while you are away, as it would be difficult for tutors to visit you on site. Information about the grant is available from Maria Fernandes (see Contacts below).

What is the difference between nomination and application?

When we nominate you to the overseas institution, we are telling them that we think you are a suitable candidate to undertake an exchange. Institutions will not accept direct applications for exchange studies without having received a nomination from us. They will note your details and send you instructions on how to apply. You will need to fulfil any entrance requirements they have, for example they may require you to send a portfolio. It is the host institution’s decision whether they offer you a place.

How can I find out more about the course at the partner university?

Contact the university using the contact information above under 'Partner universities for Erasmus/international exchange’.

How much will it cost?

Previous students have told us they spent £11,000-£15,000 in total during a year in the USA, including travel (2013-14). Partner universities may have more information on their websites. Depending on where you go, it is likely to be more expensive than staying at home, because you will want to explore the area while you are there. We recommend you research this thoroughly.

Can I work while I am studying overseas?

This will depend on where you are studying and the conditions of your study visa. Contact the partner institution to find out about the current situation.

How many credits do I need?

European universities use a system called ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). Two University of South Wales credits are equivalent to 1 ECTS credit, so you would need to study 60 ECTS credits in a year (the equivalent of 120 USW credits). The overseas university should be able to tell you how many ECTS credits their modules are worth. In the USA, you should choose four or five 3-credit units per semester, so between eight and ten 3-credit units for the full year.

Can you advise me about study visas for the USA/Canada?

The best people to advise you about visa requirements are the staff at the partner institution as they will have the expertise to help with specific queries. We usually run an information session in the spring but this can only provide an overview.

Can I study at two partner institutions in a year, one in one semester and one in the other?

No. Due to the complexities of mapping modules between three institutions, we would not support an application to study at two different overseas institutions in one year.

USW contacts

Faculty Erasmus/Exchange Coordinator (academic)

Dr Marta Minier, Room CA A403, Cardiff Campus Tel: 01443 668548

General queries (Cardiff Campus)

Marian Long, Student Administrator, CA A001, Cardiff Campus Tel: 01443 668529 or
Christine Waters, Student Administrator, CA A001, Cardiff Campus Tel: 01443 668567

Erasmus finance queries

Maria Fernandes, International Partnerships Manager, TR H134 Pontypridd Campus Tel: 01443 483795

General finance queries

Student Money Advice Team

Anglo-Mexican Foundation queries:

Michael Carklin CA A403 Tel: 01443 668601

General information about opportunities abroad


Other opportunities abroad

These details are provided for information only. The University of South Wales does not endorse these courses and has no control over their content. They will not form part of your degree. If you are interested, please contact the overseas institution directly.

Prague Summer School of Journalism 2018, 1-15 September 2018, cost 870 Euros

During a two-week simulation as foreign correspondents, guided by professionals and academics, students will report back to their home countries and to other international outlets on the Czech Republic and Central Europe, in a number of formats and across multiple platforms.
Application deadline: 22 June 2018
Further details: Summer School web page