Study Abroad entry requirements

This page explains how you apply to study abroad.

Your actions

You will need to:

  • submit hard copies of supporting documents to the Study Abroad office.
  • complete a short online application.

Make sure you check your eligibility and thoroughly research your destinations before you apply.

Key dates

For study abroad in the academic year 2017/18:

  • Application period opens - 11am on 19th October 2017
  • Application deadline - 4pm on Monday 13th November 2017
  • Late applications with mitigating circumstances - 12pm (midday) on Wednesday 15th November 2017

The application submission deadline is strictly enforced. Both components must be submitted by the published deadline. If a student fails to submit one of the two components by the deadline it will be treated as an incomplete application, and not normally be considered for selection in the first round of applications. Please read our policy on late submission at the bottom of this page.

Part One: Supporting documents

You must bring hard copies of the following supporting documents to the Study Abroad office in person, and hand them in to an adviser. You may not hand in an application on behalf of someone else without prior agreement, as we use the opportunity to have a discussion with you about your application.

We highly recommend that you hand in your supporting documents early during the application period, and before submitting the online form if possible. The reason for this is in case anything we discuss means you change your mind about your list of preferred universities, which you can then still amend if you haven't yet submitted the online form. Please include your name and student ID number on each document.

The supporting documents you will need to submit are listed below.

1) A copy of your first year results. Academic merit is the main selection criterion for the Study Abroad programme, so it's essential you submit a list of your level 1 examination results. You can print your results from the Minerva Student Portal or from your Leeds for Life Living CV.

2) A personal statement. Your personal statement is mainly to help us decide your suitability for studying abroad, not which destination (if any) you are matched with. The word-limit is 300 words maximum. We are looking for your own thoughts about how study abroad might benefit you personally, and why you would be a good choice for the programme. It might help you to consider how study abroad could:

  • develop you as a student and as a person
  • build on your existing skills and attributes
  • improve your career prospects

3) CV. Your CV is an important part of your application, as it is your chance to show us that you will be a good ambassador for the University of Leeds. We would like to see from your CV that you are willing to get involved and give things a go. You can find advice on putting together a good CV on the Careers website. Include:

  • your A-Level results
  • extra-curricular activities
  • details of any significant work or voluntary experience
  • any foreign language qualifications  

4) Evidence of language skills (if applicable). To be submitted if you are applying for any university where the language of teaching is not English. This should be a copy of the certificate for your most recent qualification in the language. If your most recent experience is a Leeds module, this will be shown on the print-out of your first year results. If you are currently enrolled on a course at Leeds or elsewhere, please submit proof of your enrolment and the expected level at the end of the course.

5) Mitigating circumstances evidence (if applicable). If you are applying to have mitigating circumstances from level 1 considered as part of your application to study abroad, you must hand in documentary evidence (in hard copy) of the situation that affected you. For further guidance please read our policy on mitigating circumstances at the bottom of this page.

Part Two: Online application

Complete your online application through the Study Abroad Minerva organisation. If you haven't already, enrol yourself in the Study Abroad Minerva organisation as soon as possible. This won't commit you to applying. You can find instructions on our page about researching destinations.

You can save your answers and exit and return to your application form as often as you want before you submit it. But once you've submitted it, you can't change it and you can only make one application. If you need to make changes after you've submitted your form, you'll need to request this in writing by emailing the Study Abroad office.

We recommend not submitting your online application until you've given the Study Abroad office your supporting documents and discussed your final university preferences with an adviser. Take your time to think through your destination choices from all angles. There's no advantage to getting your application in early - applications aren't considered on a first come, first served basis.

On the application form, you will be asked for the following information:

  • Personal details, including name, student ID number, contact telephone number
  • Academic details, including your degree title, parent school, and the name of your School Study Abroad Coordinator
  • Up to seven universities in order of preference: please note that you are not required to list seven universities if there are not seven at which you would be happy to spend a year. Listing less than seven will not jeopardise your chances of being selected for those you do list, but neither will it increase your chances of being placed at your first or second choice.
  • Whether you are intending to take the Horizon programme at any of your preferred universities
  • A statement about your language ability (only for students who will be taught in another language while abroad): this statement should mention your current language level, how you reached that level, and what plans you have to improve your language prior to departure. Language requirements for each partner university are listed on Minerva and on the paper partner lists available from the Study Abroad office. Guidance about the different language levels and demonstrating your language proficiency can be found in Languages.

The selection process

The University of Leeds Study Abroad Selection Committee reviews all applications and allocates you a place at one of your preferred universities, considering them as listed in order of preference. Where you are placed will depend on the competition levels for your preferred universities. This is an internal selection process and your application will not be sent to your potential host universities at this stage.

Your personal statement and CV will be particularly important in demonstrating that you are a suitable candidate for the study abroad programme. However, placement at a particular university will be principally based on academic merit. Your level 1 average will be considered together with your ranking within your school and degree programme. You can get advice about your ranking from the Study Abroad office.

You will receive notification by email and letter of whether your application has been successful over the University Christmas holidays, usually around 20th December by email in the first instance. The date will vary depending on various checks being carried out post-selection by the Study Abroad office.

Due to the complex nature of the selection process, and the popularity of the Study Abroad programme, students may not change their placement once selected without demonstrating exceptional circumstances.

Once your application has been submitted, please check your Leeds email account every day in case of questions about your application.

Policy on mitigating circumstances and applications for study abroad

If you indicate on your study abroad application that your academic performance in the previous year was affected by mitigating circumstances, you will need to submit a paper copy of your mitigating circumstances form and the response from your School indicating the action taken, if any, with your other paper submissions. Failure to include the form and School response with your application papers by the submission deadline (see top of this page for deadline) will mean that the circumstances will not be considered by the Study Abroad office.

If the circumstances have already been taken into account by your School granting coursework extensions, or August re-sit examinations as first attempts, for example, so that your grades are a fair reflection of your ability, you should not tick the mitigating circumstances box on your study abroad application.

If you have mitigating circumstances relating to your academic performance in the previous year, and these have not been considered by your School mitigating circumstances committee, you should complete a mitigating circumstances form, provide documentary evidence of the circumstances (e.g. doctor’s note, third party letter, death certificate) and explain on the form why these were not reported to your School during the previous academic year. The circumstances will then be considered by the Study Abroad Office mitigating circumstances committee and shared with your parent School. Please see the Mitigating Circumstances Form and Guidance website.

The committee will consider the evidence for, and seriousness of, the circumstances, the likely impact on your studies, and the pattern of academic performance, in arriving at a decision regarding the extent to which the circumstances will be taken into account in the competitive selection process for study abroad places. Please note that submission of a case for mitigating circumstances is not a guarantee of a place on a study abroad programme.

Policy on late submission of a complete study abroad application

A complete student application for study abroad consists of an online component submitted on the Study Abroad organisation on Minerva, and a set of paper documents including transcript of grades, personal statement and a CV handed in in person to the Study Abroad office.

Both components must be submitted by the published deadline. If a student fails to submit one of the two components by the deadline it will be treated as an incomplete application, and not normally be considered for selection in the first round of applications.

If you have mitigating circumstances which affect your ability to submit your application on time, you should submit these on a mitigating circumstances form, with accompanying evidence (e.g. doctor’s note, third party letter, death certificate), at the same time as the missing component of your application. Late applications for round one of the study abroad selection process will only be accepted until the late application deadline published at the top of this web page. Please see the Mitigating Circumstances Form and Guidance website.

The mitigating circumstances committee will then decide whether to treat your application as a late application or as if it had been submitted on time. You should ensure you give yourself adequate time to prepare your application and that you click on the submit button on the Minerva application. The application form is open for a month from the study abroad fair up to the deadline. Late applications will be considered for selection (in the chronological order in which they were received) after all applications which were submitted on time.