Rosie Bonny, the International Experience Manager from the Essex Abroad team writes about why considering an online international experience this summer could be a good idea for students….

Essex Abroad offer a range of international experiences from studying abroad for a full year at one of our partner universities across the world, to gaining hands on work experience through an international internship, to learning new research skills in state of the art facilities to volunteering and gaining a new perspective with one of our unique partner programmes.

Many students don’t realise that Essex Abroad offers short term international experiences which are suitable for students of all levels at any point of their studies. These programmes are more flexible than our traditional year abroad programme and are a great way to complete an international experience during your time at Essex. These programmes are as short as a week in duration and are hosted across the world to suit a range of budgets and interests.

Since the UK lockdown last year, we worked hard to offer a range of online international experiences for students to take part in, so they didn’t have to miss out. These have proved very popular amongst students for various reasons.

Now, after perhaps nearly over a year of being on zoom, we can completely appreciate the thought of applying to a remote international experience this summer is probably not going to appeal to all students, however, there are many positives to considering such an experience and I’d love share some of them with you now.

  1. Taking part in an experience remotely is likely to be much cheaper than going in person. This is because you won’t need to pay to travel or stay in another country. In fact, some of the summer schools that you can apply for via Essex Abroad are free of charge. You could also use CLICK crowdfunding to help you fundraise for your international experience and the University of Essex will support you with this process as well as offering match funding (up to £250).
  2. Completing an international experience looks great on your CV. Language skills and cultural awareness are two areas that employers are really looking for in graduates and both can be gained from having an international experience, even if this is remote!
  3. The experience will be completely different from anything you’ve experienced at Essex. This is the chance to diversify your academics or get involved in a project with other like-minded students from across the globe.
  4. For students that are considering a year abroad as part of their undergraduate studies, an online remote experience this year, could be a good stepping stone to your year abroad. Stepping outside of your comfort zone now and making new connections may even open new possibilities.
  5. If you complete any of our programmes that are 14 days or more, you can apply for your Bronze Big Essex Award. This will appear on your transcript when you graduate and is great recognition.
  6. Completing a programme over the summer can keep you interested in your current course ready for your return in the Autumn and develop your skills both personally and professionally.

We’ve got a great range of programmes on offer this summer from cultural summer schools, subject specific summer schools, research projects, social action projects and international internships. You can find out more about any of our summer abroad programmes for summer 2021 and beyond via our dedicated Essex Abroad webpages.

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