A number of programmes between the US and the UK encourage international understanding through practical work experience (often called ‘internships’ in the US) for up to a maximum of eighteen months.
The sponsoring programmes are known as work exchange programmes, and vary widely in nature, some allowing participants to do any job available, others more restricted to specific fields. Check and see which programme best suits your situation and needs.
Work exchange programmes can only be administered by organisations authorised to issue the US Government form DS 2019. This allows work exchange programme participants to apply for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa at a US Embassy, letting them work legally in the US for a certain period.
Plan your participation in a work exchange programme as early as possible. Some programmes require you to obtain an offer of employment in the US before you apply to them.
Programmes may have application deadlines or require you to apply a certain number of months before you intend to leave for the US. Check how long the whole process will take. Allow time for the visa application, and if possible, do not purchase a flight until you know your application has been successful.
The prototypical University of Europe exists as a collection of old, pretty buildings sprinkled through the historic centre of your average, fairy-tale European town, indistinguishable from all the other buildings around them but for a discreet plaque by the door.
Europe is the land of exchange. It seems like every student in the world who wants to take a year or term out to study abroad descends on Europe with high hopes of self-discovery and Broadening of Horizons. Within the continent itself, the ERASMUS program generates thousands of criss-crossing exchangers every semester.
If you want to escape our Island, why look further than across the channel?
You'll see mention of the Bologna Process cropping up in a number of our European uni write-ups; it matters to you for all kinds of reasons if you want to study in one of the 47 countries that have now signed up to it. Simon Sweeney's explanation of this fairly complicated new educational development is the clearest and most succinct we've seen.
Germany’s educational reputation is perhaps the best in the world after the US and UK. The snag is that all international students must pass stringent German language tests to study at most good universities in Germany. This has lead to the bizarre contradiction that the country is among the most popular destinations for exchange students, but one of the least popular for full degree-taking students.