Can You Do A Placement Year Abroad?

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Written By Dr Shane McKeown

The thought of a placement year abroad is often exciting and overwhelming at the same time. It’s an opportunity to travel, meet new people, gain invaluable experience and develop skills for future career prospects – but it can also be daunting leaving your home country and living in a foreign land.

Whether you’re considering taking a gap year or just want to make the most out of your studies with some international experience, there are a wealth of options available.

This article will outline all you need to know about doing a placement year abroad; from what you’ll learn during your stay, how to find placements overseas, as well as looking at the benefits this kind of adventure could bring.

If you’ve ever dreamed of pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and gaining unique experiences that will open up doors for future opportunities, then read on!

What Is A Placement Year Abroad?

A placement year abroad is a great opportunity for students to gain invaluable experience, both professionally and personally. It’s a way of immersing oneself in foreign cultures and expanding horizons through dynamic learning and exploration.

With so many opportunities available, it can be daunting to decide where to go or how to begin planning the journey. Funding an international placement year is often top priority when considering such an endeavour – luckily there are plenty of options out there to help you find the funds you need.

Language barriers may also be an issue; however, with some research, you’ll soon find ways around this obstacle too! Don’t let fear stop you from achieving your goals: take that first step towards embarking on a life-changing adventure today!

Benefits Of Doing A Placement Year Abroad

Doing a placement year abroad offers incredible opportunities to develop and enhance cultural awareness, language skills and professional networks. It’s a perfect way to immerse oneself in a new language, culture and job market – allowing you to build a unique blend of experiences and skills.

Working abroad also offers invaluable insight into global markets, cultures and work practices, giving you an edge over peers who have only ever worked in their own countries. Not to mention the increased language skills you’ll gain – allowing you to communicate with people from different countries and cultures with ease.

Finally, with a placement year abroad you’ll be able to build a diverse and international professional network, helping you to expand your career opportunities worldwide.

So, take the plunge and embark on a placement year abroad – the rewards are endless!

Increased Cultural Awareness

Living abroad for a placement year can be an eye-opening experience, providing incredible opportunities to immerse yourself in another culture and gain invaluable knowledge. Not only does it boost your self-confidence and teach you new skills, but the cultural awareness gained from such an endeavour is unparalleled – allowing participants to learn how to effectively communicate across cultures.

By engaging in activities that are unique to each country’s culture, you will have countless chances to expand your horizons and increase your understanding of other communities. From trying out different cuisines at local restaurants, visiting festivals that celebrate historical events or simply conversing with people who come from all walks of life – these experiences will stay with you forever!

You’ll develop communication strategies that help bridge any language barriers, as well as benefit from gaining insight into another society’s customs, values and beliefs which could prove useful during future international endeavours.

In short: living abroad for a placement year is sure to enrich not just your CV, but also your life!

Improved Language Skills

Getting to grips with a foreign language is one of the major benefits of doing a placement year abroad. Immersing yourself in the new culture and conversing with locals helps you quickly build up your vocabulary, pronunciation and overall knowledge of how it’s spoken – something that couldn’t be achieved through traditional classroom learning!

Not only does this give you confidence when travelling or living in other countries but can also open doors for future work opportunities too.

Plus, by experiencing cultural immersion first-hand, you gain an understanding into different customs and values which can help improve communication skills among cross-cultural contexts.

This newfound ability to engage effectively with people from all backgrounds gives participants a unique edge over others who have never had such exposure – ultimately leading to more successful international endeavours down the line.

In short: Doing a placement year abroad provides unparalleled opportunities to learn valuable life lessons and develop transferable skills.

Enhanced Professional Network

Further on from the language proficiency and cultural understanding benefits of a placement year abroad, there are also advantages to be gained through an enhanced professional network.

By engaging in intercultural exchange with people across different countries, you can expand your business contacts and create valuable relationships that could open doors for future work opportunities.

You’ll gain invaluable experience in networking and communicating effectively with those from all backgrounds, giving you an edge over others who may not have had such exposure.

Plus, by having direct contact with professionals in other nations or industries, it will allow you to build essential connections which could lead to new job prospects down the line.

All these experiences combined make doing a placement year abroad one of the best investments you can make in yourself – one that pays off many times over!

Finding Placements Overseas

Gaining international experience is a great way to expand your horizons and open yourself up to new opportunities. Taking the leap of faith and doing a placement year abroad can be daunting, but with careful research and preparation, you will find it an invaluable resource in networking tips, cultural immersion, and more.

To make this process easier, there are certain steps that students should take before embarking on their quest for overseas placements:

  • Research:

  • Understand the available options by researching potential employers through online forums or talking to people who have done similar placements in the past.

  • Learn as much as you can about the company culture so you know what to expect when applying for positions.

  • Networking:

  • Reach out to industry contacts or use social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Twitter to connect with potential employers.

  • Take advantage of networking events which could help build relationships with companies or individuals who may offer internships or job opportunities abroad.

Being proactive in finding placements overseas is essential if you want to gain valuable experience without being overwhelmed by the task ahead. Don’t forget that many organisations provide resources such as funding advice and language courses – so ensure you explore all avenues possible!

Having said that, taking initiative yourself is key; making connections outside of your comfort zone and actively seeking information from experts within relevant industries can reap rewards far beyond simply searching online databases. With dedication and focus, those wishing to do a placement year abroad can succeed in achieving their goals while having amazing experiences along the way!

Preparing For A Placement Year Abroad

Doing a placement year abroad can be an exciting and rewarding experience. It’s also important to remember that it won’t always be easy; there may be culture shock, language barriers and other challenges to overcome. But with the right preparation these issues can become manageable – and you’ll gain invaluable skills along the way.

The first step in preparing for a placement year abroad is research. Learn as much as you can about the country or region where you will live – its history, customs and culture, even local laws and regulations.

Connecting with people who have already lived in your destination can help too – they’ll give advice on what to expect and how best to manage any difficult situations you might encounter.

It’s also wise to brush up on some of the language basics before heading off. Even if you don’t master the native tongue, learning basic phrases such as ‘hello’, ‘thank-you’ and ‘where is?’ will show respect for locals and make communication easier. You could even take formal classes if you want a more comprehensive grounding in the language during your stay.

Ultimately though, the key is being open-minded, prepared to learn from new experiences – and ready for adventure!

What To Expect During A Placement Year Abroad

Starting a placement year abroad is an exciting prospect for many students. A recent survey shows that over 75% of international students feel more independent and confident after their experience living and working overseas.

An important part of any overseas journey is adjusting to new cultures, languages, customs and expectations. Culture shock can be daunting at first, but with the right attitude it can also be deeply rewarding.

Similarly, language barriers don’t have to hinder your progress in the workplace; learning even basic skills like ordering food or getting directions can open doors you didn’t know existed! With patience and determination these hurdles are easily overcome, opening up countless opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery.

Living and working abroad gives you invaluable insights into the world around you – from seeing familiar places from different perspectives to making lifelong connections with people from all walks of life. It’s both an opportunity to explore unknown corners of the globe as well as a chance to learn about ourselves – how we react to unfamiliar situations, what our strengths are when faced with challenges, how we handle change.

Taking this plunge will leave you feeling excited, empowered and ready for whatever comes next!

Making The Most Of Your Placement Year Abroad

Traveling abroad for your placement year can be an exciting, yet daunting experience. It is important to stay connected and embrace the cultural differences you will encounter during this time.

Here are some tips to make the most of your journey overseas:

  • Stay in touch with family and friends back home. Whether it’s through Skype, email or text messages, staying connected will help ease any homesickness that may arise.

  • Explore local culture by immersing yourself in the experiences around you. Attend events hosted by locals, visit museums and monuments dedicated to their history and try out new cuisines from the area.

  • Learn a language if possible; not only will it improve communication but also allow you to have meaningful conversations with those who live there.

  • Keep track of memories such as photos and souvenirs so that when you look back on them later they bring joyous reminders of your travels!

With these tips in mind, embark on your adventure knowing that you are prepared for what lies ahead! Make memories that will last a lifetime while experiencing life outside of college and all its unique cultures.


A placement year abroad can be an incredibly rewarding experience, both professionally and personally. With the right preparation and attitude, it has the potential to open up a world of new opportunities.

According to recent studies, 77% of those who take a placement year abroad go on to secure full-time employment within 6 months of graduating.

It’s clear that taking part in a placement year abroad is beneficial for your career prospects. It gives you invaluable skills and experiences that employers are looking for when recruiting graduates.

If you’re considering doing one yourself, make sure you do your research thoroughly and ensure it’s the right decision for you.

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