Your year abroad
You will spend a full academic year abroad as a course requirement, usually in the third year of study. Depending on your course, you will have the option of going to Russia, Poland or the Czech Republic.
Our students often describe this as the best year of their language degree, and it certainly offers the kind of experiences which other courses do not. This is a chance to develop your language skills, make new friends from across the world and gain a truly international perspective.
From an academic point of view, you will use your year abroad to perfect your speaking and listening skills. This will happen both via study - on your intensive language course - and beyond the classroom as you interact regularly with native speakers. By becoming a part of society in your host country you will fully appreciate the customs and culture which inform the language.
This year presents a unique range of opportunities and challenges, and what we tend to see is that our students return from their year abroad not only with improved language skills but also with a more confident, worldly outlook. This is something which is recognised and valued in the graduate world.
Students studying one language
If you are studying Russian on its own, or combining it with a non-language subject as part of a Dual Honours course, you will spend your full academic year in Russia.
Students studying two languages
If you are studying Russian, Polish or Czech alongside another language, you will divide your time equally between two countries where your languages are spoken.
Students studying BA Modern Languages
If you study three languages as part of a BA Modern Languages, you will divide the time between two countries where your 'major' languages are spoken. As Polish and Czech are often taken as a 'minor' component, this may mean you won't spend a semester in Poland or the Czech Republic. However, summer scholarships - which pay the cost of attending a three- or four-week course in Poland or the Czech Republic - are available and highly recommended.
Year abroad assessment
The main focus of this year is to improve your language skills. However, if you are studying in Russia we ask you to research and prepare a presentation on an area of Russian life that is of interest to you. You will give this presentation at the beginning of your fourth year. If you are in Russia for both semesters we ask you to prepare two presentations.
If you are spending time in Poland or the Czech Republic you will be asked to prepare a presentation for whichever of these languages you are studying.