Going on a year abroad post-Brexit is a bit more stressful than it used to be. Gone are the days of Erasmus grants and visa-free travel, so now students across the country are faced with mountains of paperwork. As previously noted, Brexit has provided enough stress for students. While we worry about what it means for us post-graduation, language students and others have concerns much closer in the future. As the first few to go on a year completely post-Brexit, let us present our survival guide for going on a year abroad. Learn from our mistakes, so you don’t make the same ones as us!
Something that will save you hours of time is making copies of all of your paperwork. We are talking about your flat contract, your certificates, your job contract; everything needs hard and soft copies. We recommend a Google Drive or similar for your soft copies, as this means you can send multiple attachments with ease over the web. This will also make everything you need easy to find.
Saying goodbye to Erasmus was hard for all of us. As much as leaving the scheme makes things a little more complicated, Turing is not as bad as it may seem. There are not many more difficulties than in the previous scheme, although it is done through the university rather than a long-reaching institution. Turing funding roughly equates to £400 per month of your year abroad placements, so bear that in mind when searching for your accommodation and such. Remember, you will need your Turing funding approved before applying for your visa. This will mean you can prove you can afford to live in your desired country. Depending on your university (and your placements getting back to you) it should be approved in around 10 days.
Let’s not beat around the bush: visas suck. The process is long and stressful, and not to mention expensive. To warn you, this will cost upwards of £100. Make sure you have plenty of time after finding your accommodation and placements to apply. It may take up to two weeks. If you have followed the above steps it should not take any longer than this. However, we would recommend taking insurance out on flights, so you can rearrange them if needed. This can happen and has happened to one of our writers, so be prepared to change plans quickly and be flexible.
Regarding the funding issue mentioned above, if you cannot get your funding approved due to last-minute planning, make sure you have proof of your parent’s financial support or other means. Should you fail to do this your approval may get delayed by another two weeks.
Your Visa Appointment and Beyond
Have everything to hand in a singular envelope and make sure you have some passport pictures to put on your documentation. Visa centres do usually have a machine, but this is expensive. Your visa appointment can take up to 2 hours so consider that when planning the rest of your day. Show up early – you want to avoid being late at all costs. Being late means you will have to wait for the next available appointment, which could take hours upon hours.
It’s impossible to fully prepare for a year abroad. You’re going to be living in a whole new country, immersing yourself in a new culture, learning a new language and meeting entirely new people. It’s going to be the time of your life and we guarantee that you’ll learn more in this one year than you ever would have expected. So, all you can do is follow these steps and then dive straight into the experience. Enjoy!
Interested in studying for your Masters’s degree abroad? Check out our list of countries where you can do your Masters in for free!