The world is becoming increasingly more globalised, and as a result we are presented with more opportunities to travel than ever before. It is hardly surprising that more and more students are opting to do an exchange year (or semester) in a foreign university. It provides the opportunity to travel, see the world, gain an international perspective and it counts towards your degree credits.
Students benefit from many perks not as easily accessible to the everyday traveller – such as longer stay visas. Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to enhance your degree value by getting to study in a different academic environment and gain a more global perspective towards your studies; you might also get the chance to study modules and topics not available at your home university or college. Some third level institutions also award ‘international’ or ‘European’ degree certificates to students who carried out a year of their degree programme in a foreign university.
Employers are usually very impressed by the ambition, drive and initiative of students who decide to study abroad as part of their degree programme. It shows a willingness to learn about other countries and cultures; it expands your world view; and it helps to develop your life skills and experience. Many universities, colleges and ITs operate a number of schemes that enable students to travel and study abroad for a semester or year of their degree programme. Most of these schemes enable the credits earned while you are away to count towards your final degree.
The exchange programmes that are available depends largely upon the institution in which you study as many universities and colleges have their own agreements and affiliations with other universities all around the world. Take a look at the following common exchange opportunities available to students studying in Irish 3rd level institutions.