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International placements for accredited programmes

Train station platform with people waiting and a train in the background

International placements can be undertaken as part of the placement year, year in industry or year abroad programmes and they offer a unique opportunity to pick up substantive work experience while experiencing a new culture. 

Explore the option

If you are thinking about working abroad as part of your degree, have a read of these guides for inspiration and research.

Preparing your international placement search

If you decide that you would like to pursue a placement outside of the UK, here are some tips to help with your search:

Focus your search 

The world is a big place! Here are some questions to ask yourself to help focus your search:

    • What do you want to achieve by working abroad?
    • What are important factors for you/your search parameters?
    • What countries interest you?  
    • What sectors/roles interest you? 

Be proactive 

  • There is not one search platform for international placements. Familiarise yourself with the websites and networks used to advertise opportunities in your countries of interest. 
  • There may not be many advertised placements in your area of interest. Be prepared for a speculative search, contacting organisations directly as well as applying to advertised opportunities. You could use York Profiles and Mentors or a LinkedIn Alumni Search to help you find contacts. You may have work experience with a company in the UK that has worldwide branches that you could contact.

Do your research 

  • You will most likely need to speak the business language fluently in your chosen destination, so make sure you are familiar with the language requirements. Consider Languages for International Mobility
  • Placements outside of the UK don’t always align with the UK academic cycle, so check the duration and see what options are available. 
  • Be clear on the financials of working abroad. Consider the salary, costs of flights, accommodation, visas, bills, insurance, socialising. Placement salaries outside of the UK are not always comparable with roles in the UK.

Funding options

It may cost more to work abroad. Think carefully about your financial situation and explore funding options available, such as:

  • York Futures Scholarship - Funds students to access opportunities that may be low paid or unpaid. It is funded by York's alumni and friends community through philanthropic donations.

  • Global Programmes - Refer to the information on the Centre for Global Programmes' finances and funding webpages and contact for the latest information.
  • Student FinanceYou may be eligible to receive funding from your student finance provider towards expenses including travel to your overseas institution, visas and insurance.  Please check your student finance provider's web pages for full information:

Student Finance England

Student Finance Wales

Student Finance Scotland

Student Finance Northern Ireland

Job search platforms

Here are a few suggestions of websites that advertise international vacancies. They are not all bespoke to placement years or internships, so amend your search filters accordingly:

  • - a global online portal with a section for internships and placements
  • OECD - International policy placements through the OECD internship programme
  • - online portal for global internship and placements roles
  • Erasmus Intern - online portal for European placements and internships. You can set up a profile, similar to LinkedIn
  • Eurasmus Internship - online portal for placements, internships and graduate roles in Europe
  • Training Experience - Connects you directly with employers in Europe offering internships and placements
  • - general online jobs portal for European vacancies
  • Eures – The EU jobs portal including country specific employability advice
  • Study in Spain - Information collated by a network of Spanish graduates

The University of York has no particular relationship with any of the above organisations. Any opportunity that you may find through them will require the approval of your University Placements contact and is not guaranteed to be appropriate.

International placement providers

There are companies that can help with finding work experience abroad. These may be of interest to you, so it’s important to do your research carefully as many of them will charge for their services. 

Remember that your placement needs to be approved by the University, so talk to your departmental placement contact before making any payment to one of these companies.

Have a look at the International Placements page for a list of placement providers that students have used before.

In the UK employers are bound by law to provide employers and public liability insurances for their employees. Outside of the UK this may not be the case, however we would expect an equivalent offer. Insurances will form part of the placement approval process, so it’s worth asking your employer if you would be covered for accidents in the workplace and legal costs if you are involved in a claim made by a client. 

Travel insurance will be provided by the University, subject to your placement being approved and on completion of the Travel Log and risk assessment. There are some countries to which the University of York does not permit travel.

Contact details

Careers and Placements

Tel: +44 (0)1904 324240