Antonella is one of our Essex students who studied abroad in Mexico in 2021-2022 and is now a Frontrunner in the Essex Abroad team. Antonella shares below what to think about when you are in your first year if you want to consider going abroad during your studies…

A group of about 20 Essex Abroad students

For sudents, first year is always a bit of a weird year. You are starting something new, in most cases you have moved into a new town and don't know many people. You don't know the campus and what opportunities it can offer. You feel so overwhelmed by new situations and possibilities that you don't know which to take.t

For many people, going abroad is not a priority to think about during their first year, but often they think about it only at the end of their academic career when, for different reasons, it gets too late to embark on one of the experiences offered by Essex Abroad.

That is why I have decided to compile a list of things that will help you prepare on your year 1 if you want to study, work or volunteer abroad.

Don’t underestimate your first year average mark

To be eligible for the Study Abroad programme you need to achieve at least a 50% average mark - “Easy!” you may think - But keep in mind that the higher your mark, the higher your chance of securing a place at your preferred university. Therefore, work hard and use this as an inspiration to achieve great results in your academic record.

Think about budgeting

Going abroad can require a great deal of expense as there’s a lot to consider; cost of living may be different, extra money will be needed for experiencing food or travel while being abroad etc... One way to plan and ensure that costs will not limit your choice is to start to save up money. If you start saving up from year 1, it will be much easier to have a nest egg to use for your experience abroad.

Think about learning the language

Language can be a barrier as everyone knows. If you are interested in going somewhere that is not an English-speaking country, you should start to learn the language. Luckily, there are different (and completely free) opportunities on campus like “Languages Café” or “Languages for all” which can initialize your first approach with the new idiom.

Briefing events for 1st year students

Do consider participating in the events organized by the Essex Abroad team. Many informative sessions about different opportunities, specific universities, or general information (e.g., how to apply) are going to take place throughout the whole year, hence watch out and reserve a spot to participate.

Ask other students

Whenever you have the chance, ask other students, it could be incoming students spending their year abroad in Essex or international students who moved to the UK for their full degree – step out and ask questions about culture, academic path, food, safety or any tips. Essex is an incredibly international community. You can meet people from all over the world which will surely help you getting a clue over what countries or universities you should choose in your application.

Visit Essex Abroad if you are thinking of a year abroad and would like to know more about Essex Abroad programmes.

You can also visit our linktree to register for our upcoming events, sign up for our newsletter and book a one-to-one call with our team.