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Year Abroad

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Year Abroad FAQs

General Matters

Q: Who will provide me with administrative support during my Year Abroad?

The Year Abroad Administrators’ Office and Director. They have responsibility for the clerical and administrative aspects of the Year Abroad, including the provision of documents and certificates for insurance, advice on ECT credits, internship contracts, risk assessment, etc. Please email


Q: Who will provide me with academic advice and support?

Your college Director of Studies. Your DoS knows your individual academic trajectory better than anyone, and is best placed to offer support as you consider the implications for your academic plans at Part II.


Q: Who will provide me with emotional and pastoral support?

Pastoral support for Year Abroad students is the responsibility of your College (DoS, Tutor and, where appropriate, nurse). In addition, the University Counselling Service (UCS) is offering telephone or video welfare checks for any student who would like them, including Year Abroad students (whether now at home or still abroad). Please see the UCS website​ for details of how to sign up.


Q: Whom should I approach about financial support?

Your College in the first instance, along with the University Insurance Division if you have taken out University insurance. For additional sources of financial support, see under ‘Finance’ below.


Q: Where can I find the latest University guidance on Covid-19?

The University Advice Page on Coronavirus is regularly updated with information on health, revised teaching and examination arrangements, travel, and more.

Finance Matters

Q: Where can I find a general overview of YA finance?

Useful links can be found HERE and on your YA Handbook.

A useful guide can be found on the Save the Student website


Q: Will I continue to receive my Student Loan while abroad?

You are still registered as students at the University of Cambridge while abroad and are therefore still entitled to your Student Loan. Please note that if for any reason (lockdowns, etc.) you are required to return home and continue your placement remotely, your may be paid at the slightly lower rate that applies to home students.


Q: What about the Turing Scheme?

The UK government has launched the Turing Scheme to support student mobility following its withdrawal from Erasmus+. For more information, visit the Turing Scheme website.

Turing funding is administrated by Cambridge's International Student Office. Students should refer HERE for instructions. 


Q: What about insurance?

All Year Abroad students must take out University Travel Insurance. Please visit the Cambridge Insurance Section website for details. Please be aware that all insurance-related queries should be directed to the Insurance Section in the first instance.

(Please note that insurance cover is subject to departmental authorisation and risk assessment.)

You should also apply for a GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card), which has now replaced the EHIC. Find out more on the NHS website. Note that some foreign consulates include ownership of a GHIC as part of their visa requirements.


Q: What other sources of financial support are available?

The University recognises that students may experience varying levels of financial hardship.

The most important sources of financial assistance, both within the University and outside, are listed below:

  • The Year Abroad Hardship Fund - 

    Financial assistance is available for undergraduate students studying on a Year Abroad who have not received funding from the Turing scheme or equivalent University funding. Please answer yes to the question in the application form asking if you are applying for financial assistance for your Year Abroad. 

    Students must be able to demonstrate that without this award they will be placed in severe financial difficulty. In addition, and in accordance with the General Eligibility Principles and Guidance of the University's Financial Assistance Funds, it is expected that students would have taken advantage of the maximum Government education loan that might be available during their Year Abroad. You may also be eligible to receive a travel grant, please see here for more information: Travel grants for students studying abroad or on placements

    This scheme is managed by the International Student Office and the Student Funding and Fee Policy Team. 

  • Cranes Charity exists to support unexpected medical costs incurred by students facing financial hardship.

Visa requirements

Q: Will I need a visa to work or study on my Year Abroad?

Yes. Following the UK’s departure from the European Union in December 2020, students wishing to reside in EU countries for a period of longer that 90 days must now also obtain the necessary visa.


Q: Do I need health insurance to get a visa?

Yes. Please check consular websites for details.

Some consulates require possession of a GHIC (France and Italy at the time of writing; also Spain, depending on the consulate involved). Find out how to apply.


Q: Who can advise me on obtaining a visa?

The best place to obtain up-to-date advice on visa requirements is the consulate of the country to which you wish to travel. Please note that information in the months following Brexit has sometimes been patchy or inconsistent, and the application process subject to delays (especially for students traveling to Italy, Portugal and Spain). In view of potential complications, however, you are advised to begin your visa application as soon as possible after you firm up your YA plans. The consulates have also advised that it is essential that students applying for visas attend their scheduled appointments and that they do so with the correct documentation. 

Please note that although the Year Abroad Administrators’ Office can help with the provision of supporting documentation, the Office has no special access to consular information, or leverage over consulate officials. The Office cannot apply for a visa, or carry out correspondence with consular officials, on your behalf.

The Visas Working Group, a sub-group of the UUKi OSM Network, have created and published a resource aimed at providing general guidance and tips to students considering making a visa application for study, work, or volunteering abroad. Please visit HERE


Q: Do I need a Certificates of Admission to apply for visa?

Yes. Most visa applications for those wishing to take up study placements require that you supply a ‘Certificate of Admission (or similar) issued by the host institution. Please contact your host university in good time, bearing in mind that some administrative offices are likely to be closed over vacation periods. Please let the Year Abroad Administrators’ Office know if you are having trouble obtaining your certificate. 

An internship contract will also be needed for those applying for internship visa. Internship contracts are also needed to be validated by the local office via your internship host.


Q: Can I terminate my placements?

It's possible to terminate your placement for health and safety concerns. However this will need to be approved by your DoS and YA Director. We suggest students to keep regular contact with DoS and YA Office and raise any concerns when abroad.


Q: What are the consequence if my YA is disrupted?

For students who receive funding, earlier termination of placement would require full or partial grants to be returned to the University.

Your DoS and YA Director will review each case and minimize the academic consequence.


Q: Can I return to my College if my YA is disrupted?

YA students are not expected to return and reside in Colleges. Some Colleges might be able to provide accommodation in certain exceptional circumstances where students are unable to return to the family home. Please approach your college if you feel this applies to you.