Studying, working or volunteering abroad offers the perfect opportunity to develop your career at the same time as travelling the world. 

Gaining experience in another country provides opportunities to:

  • Develop a broader outlook and put your skills into practice.
  • Experience a different culture. 
  • Learn or practise speaking another language. 
  • Make your CV stand out. 
  • Enhance your employability and life skills.
  • Build an international network of professionals in and around your field of work. 

Points to consider

If you plan to live and study, work or volunteer outside the UK there may be additional things to consider, for example: 

  • Where are you going to live, what will that cost, and what is the process for securing accommodation?
  • Do you need a visa or other authorisation to work in the country you are travelling to? What is the process and cost of obtaining that? 

  • Do you have sufficient language skills? Will you be able to communicate fluently and effectively in the workplace, in social and everyday situations?
  • Are there cultural issues or local customs to be aware of?

  • Ask the employer whether their insurance covers liability for injuries or sickness suffered by placement students and linked to their duties with the organisation. You should note that protections that are available by law in the UK (for example, protection of certain employee rights, and compliance with workplace health and safety requirements) may not be the same in the country that you are travelling to. Try and find this out before you go.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you arrange adequate visa and insurance before the internship takes place.


You may need a Visa to undertake a placement abroad. These can take 3-4 months to put in place and there is a fee. Contact the Immigration and International Student Advice team for further information and advice:

Medical insurance

It is recommended that you get medical insurance as well as civil liability and accident Insurance.

Where to find international opportunities

Seeking opportunities in a different country can be challenging, but there are plenty of resources available. We have highlighted some useful starting points below.

Sandwich year abroad 

If you are undertaking a sandwich year abroad, you can find the fee information here:

Internship Abroad Programs- if you’re a student who is drawn to sharpen your soft skills, but also wouldn’t mind coming home with some new professional skills in your repertoire too, then interning abroad is the international experience for you. 

Rate my placement - it's important to stand out from the crowd when applying for a placement or internship. One of the best ways to ensure you do is to have international work experience.

Placement Year International -  they arrange work placements abroad for undergraduates, graduates and those already working in related jobs.

Gap Year- taking on some work experience abroad can comfortably fit into a longer backpacking adventure or tour, with placements lasting anything from a few weeks to a whole gap year.

GradConnection - for graduate jobs and internships in China, Hong Kong and Singapore. 

TARGETjobs: Working Abroad - options for finding jobs and internships abroad. For each country there is information on language requirements, major industries, shortage occupations, recent growth areas and job hunting tips.

Prospects - includes information on the job market, immigration, vacancy sources, application advice and much more.

AGCAS 'Starting your career in....' series - aimed at returning international students who have studied in the UK. These contain lots of useful information on the economy, routes to employment and vacancy sources which would be equally useful for any graduate considering a career in a particular country. 


EURES- from the EC, has lots of information, advice and job listings for countries throughout Europe. It also has a section aimed specifically at graduates.

ERASMUS - work placement programme enabling you to complete a work placement in another European country.

It is required by French/Spanish law that any student completing an internship in France/Spain must complete a Convention de Stage/Convencio de Colaboracion.

This is a form required in French/Spanish (but for USW it is required to be in both French/Spanish and English) and outlines the tripartite agreement between the USW, the student and the organisation where the placement/internship will take place.

The Convention will detail:

  • The dates your placement starts and finishes
  • Your Job Title
  • The general tasks you will carry out.

The form must be completed well in advance of commencing any placement, and students are expected to have met all requirements, in addition to following the procedures as outlined below.

Should you wish to undertake an internship it is your responsibility to identify and secure the placement/internship opportunity. You are further responsible for coordinating all necessary arrangements incumbent to the opportunity. If proof of registration is required then student status letters can be found on UniLife. In addition, if the host organisation requires a university stamp this can be gained through the Advice Zone. 

Should you ask USW to sign a Convention de Stage/Convencio de Colaboracion (an agreement between you, USW and the company), you must:

  • Ensure that the entire internship period falls within their registration period with USW. USW will not be able to sign a Convention de Stage/Convencio de Colaboracion if your registration period has expired.
  • Further, USW will not sign a Convention de Stage/Convencio de Colaboracion until you are fully enrolled with up-to-date fee payments/arrangements.
  • Whether or not USW will accept to be signatory of a Convention de Stage/Convencio de Colaboracion is entirely at the discretion of USW.

  1. The Pro-Forma for Convention de Stage/Convencio de Colaboracion, which outlines all the requisite details for the Stage is available for you to download below. There is both French/Spanish and an English version of each of these documents.  
  2. The Convention de Stage/Convencio de Colaboracion is completed by you, in conjunction with the host organisation in question, in both languages.  
  3. The completed form (in both languages) needs to be sent by email to the course leader. Once checked through, this will be printed, signed in hard-copy (three copies in each language) and passed on to you.  
  4. Yout will be required to sign all copies of the Convention, and then all copies of each version (French/Spanish and English) should be sent through to the host organisation or company to be signed and stamped (if required). The host organisation should then distribute one copy in each language (two in total) to both you and USW, by post or email, so that all three parties have hard-copies for future reference.  

Please Note:

All these requirements should be completed well in advance of the due commencement date for the internship. The University of South Wales, as much as the firm or company in question, operate on very busy schedules, and so may not have the capacity to process Conventions as quickly as sometimes anticipated by students. Please bear this in mind when arranging and completing your Convention.