SSEES YEAR ABROAD HANDBOOK

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1 SCHOOL OF SLAVONIC AND EAST EUROPEAN STUDIES SSEES YEAR ABROAD HANDBOOK 2012/13 Edition 2 November 2011

2 Contents 1. Introduction Preparation for your year abroad Choosing where to go: your programme guide Workload and Assessment of the year abroad The Year Abroad Project Costs, Funding and Finance What happens next? What if I experience problems during my year abroad? Points of Contact Year Abroad Application form Year Abroad Project Proposal Form

3 1. Introduction Studying abroad is a highly rewarding, while often challenging experience 1. SSEES students returning from their year abroad programmes frequently refer to their experience as life-changing and inspiring. The experiences and skills developed while abroad further academic and personal development, cultural and social awareness and provide a foundation for further study. The corporate and government leaders of the future will be required to think and work in a global context and graduates that have embraced the challenge of a year abroad will be best equipped to meet the demands of the changing labour market. All of the SSEES programme areas (Economics and Business; Politics and Sociology; History; Languages and Culture) offer exciting possibilities for spending a year abroad in one or more of the countries of Central, Eastern and South-East Europe and Russia. From Prague to Moscow, from Helsinki to Belgrade, the opportunities are truly outstanding. The pages which follow summarise the options on offer within each SSEES programme and the tasks necessary to participate in the year abroad. Dr Christopher J Gerry SSEES International Tutor 2. Preparation for your year abroad First and foremost, make sure you are registered on the correct 4-year degree programme! From midway through the second year of your degree you will be entered into the UCL Study Abroad Preparatory Scheme, involving a number of UCL and Departmental level briefings, tests and requirements. Throughout the year you will have to attend a number of important meetings, read carefully through a number of key documents, submit online tests and complete the application process for the institution(s) where you will be studying during your year abroad (or to RLUS if on the Russian language programme). Successful completion of this programme is a compulsory requirement for any student spending a year abroad. The most essential dates for your diary are summarised in the table over the page: 1 3

4 Year Abroad key dates November 2 nd 2011 November 3 rd 2011 SSEES Study Abroad Briefing, Medawar Lankaster LT, 2-4 pm UCL Study Abroad Fair, South Cloisters, 5-7 pm November February Individual research on study abroad options December 16 th 2011 Deadline for transferring on to 4-year degree January 13 th 2012 SSEES deadline for Year Abroad Application Form (section 10) January 13 th 2012 February 2012 RLUS deadline for Autumn 2012 placements Access to SSEES Year Abroad moodle pages February 2012 Confirmation of placements and issue of application instructions SSEES confirms list to UCL Study Abroad Office March 2012 (UCL): Enrolment on Preparation for Study Abroad module 2 - Including online Health and Safety test March 7 th 2011 SSEES Year Abroad Project meeting (2-4) March 2012 March-July 2012 Compulsory UCL pre-departure briefing (details tbc) Non-RLUS application deadlines to individual institutions (various) April 2012 Study Abroad Bursary deadline (if available for ) April/May 2012 April 23 rd 2012 LEA and Erasmus letters from UCL Year Abroad Project meeting April 30 th 2012 Year Abroad Project Proposal Form due (section 11) April 30 th 2012 May 6 th 2012 May 6 th 2012 May/June 2012 June/July 2012 June/July 2012 July/August UCL moodle: Study abroad approval form deadline RLUS deadline Spring 2013 placements Year Abroad Project supervisors allocated Meetings with Year Abroad Project supervisors - Titles/Supervisors posted online Erasmus grant documents received by students Student details updated in Portico to ensure correct fee charged Receive visa invitations where appropriate and apply for visas 3. Choosing where to go: your programme guide For students on the programmes offered within Languages and Culture, preparation for your year abroad will involve intensive language training during the first two years of your degree and this will continue during the year abroad. For students on other programmes, knowledge of the local language, while advantageous, is not usually essential as the discipline-based taught courses at our partner universities are delivered in English. However, you are strongly urged to consider taking language classes during your year abroad, particularly if you have taken a foundation level course during years 1 or 2 at SSEES. Unfortunately you are not currently able to take language classes on your return in the 4 th year. 2 See for details. It is a good idea to check these pages regularly. 4

5 Studying abroad is a very different experience to that which you are used to at UCL. You will find the pace and level of study very different. Make sure that you a) make the most of the cultural, social, linguistic opportunities that present themselves and b) understand the significance, challenge and opportunity that the Year Abroad Project (see section 5) offers. Economics and Business There are a range of Erasmus and non-erasmus options appropriate for EBEES students. Demand for places with our Erasmus partners and at HSE Moscow can be high and so you should start your research as soon as possible and submit your application early. The following institutions offer strong Economics and Business options: University of Warsaw, Charles University, University of Tartu, Corvinus University of Budapest, HSE Moscow and University of Helsinki. MGIMO only (reliably) offers courses in Russian language and so is only recommended for advanced Russian speakers. European University at St Petersburg has greater specialism in the more political and sociological subjects and is only available as an option in the spring semester. For the adventurous and ambitious among you the Baikal National University may also appeal. University Website Exchange or fee Charles University, Prague Erasmus University of Tartu Erasmus University of Helsinki Erasmus European University Viadrina Erasmus Corvinus University of Budapest Erasmus University of Warsaw Erasmus University Babes-Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca Erasmus University Higher School of Economics (HSE), Exchange and fee Moscow Baikal National University of Economics and Law Fee MGIMO (Russian speakers only) Fee European University at St Petersburg Fee ernational-programs National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Fee 5

6 Politics and Sociology There are a range of Erasmus and non-erasmus options appropriate for PEES students. Demand for places with our Erasmus partners and at HSE Moscow can be high and so you should start your research as soon as possible and submit your application early. The following institutions offer strong Politics, Sociology and/or International Relations options: University of Warsaw, Charles University Prague, Masaryk University, European University Viadrina, European University at St Petersburg, HSE Moscow, University Babes-Bolyai and University of Helsinki. MGIMO only (reliably) offers courses in Russian language and so is only recommended for advanced Russian speakers. Baikal may appeal to those wanting to really learn Russian and experience something different. Zagreb (provisionally) offers good sociology options. University Website Exchange Charles University Prague Erasmus University of Tartu Erasmus University of Helsinki Erasmus European University Viadrina Erasmus Corvinus University of Budapest Erasmus Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest Erasmus University of Warsaw Erasmus Jagiellonian University in Krakow Erasmus University Babes-Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca Erasmus University Higher School of Economics, Moscow Exchange and fee Baikal National University of Economics and Law Fee European University at St Petersburg Fee ernational-programs MGIMO (Russian speakers only) Fee National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Fee University of Zagreb* nternational/ Erasmus * Provisional 6

7 History There are a range of Erasmus and non-erasmus options appropriate for History students. Demand for places with our Erasmus partners and at HSE Moscow can be high and so you should start your research as soon as possible and submit your application form early. The following institutions offer strong History options: University of Warsaw, University of Tartu, Charles University Prague, University of Helsinki and University of Zagreb (provisionally). MGIMO only (reliably) offers courses in Russian language and so is only recommended for advanced Russian speakers. European University at St Petersburg includes History courses in its Spring semester package and HSE Moscow has only recently (2010) launched its new Faculty of History. University Website Exchange Charles University Prague Erasmus University of Tartu Erasmus University of Helsinki Erasmus Corvinus University of Budapest Erasmus European University Viadrina Erasmus Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest Erasmus University of Warsaw Erasmus Jagiellonian University in Krakow Erasmus University Babes-Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca Erasmus University Higher School of Economics, Moscow Exchange and Fee MGIMO (Russian speakers only) Fee European University at St Petersburg Fee ernational-programs University of Zagreb* nternational/ Erasmus * Provisional 7

8 Languages and Culture As a student enrolled on one of our language degrees it is compulsory to spend a year in the country whose language you are studying. For those on non-russian degrees there are a range of Erasmus possibilities and we particularly recommend Eötvös Loránd University for students of Hungarian, Jagiellonian University or University of Warsaw for students of Polish, University Babes-Bolyai for students of Romanian and University of Helsinki for students of Finnish. We can provisionally announce too that there is a new link with the University of Zagreb. For those on Russian language degrees SSEES uses a non-profit making company with charitable status (RLUS) to place students in the most appropriate Russian HE centres. This is explained in more detail below. Central, Eastern and South-Eastern European options (excluding Russia) University Charles University Prague University of Tartu University of Helsinki Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest University of Warsaw Jagiellonian University in Krakow University Komenskeho, Bratislava University Babes-Bolyai, Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca University of Zagreb* University of Belgrade * Provisional Website ernational/ x.php Exchange Erasmus Erasmus Erasmus Erasmus Erasmus Erasmus Erasmus Erasmus Erasmus By arrangement 8

9 Russian language degrees (including combined degrees) A period of study in Russia is a compulsory and integral part of the programme for all students taking Russian degrees at UCL. You will normally go to Russia for a total period of 36 weeks, or, 16/18 weeks if you are a student of a Combined-languages degree, where you will normally split your year abroad between Russia and the country of your other language. Students on combined Russian + non-language (e.g. Russian and History) degrees will normally go to Russia for a total period of 36 weeks. The options for students of Russian are: i) a full-time programme of study at an approved university or institution; ii) a pre-arranged and approved work placement (but not usually for Mode 1 students see below) {Note: The ERASMUS scheme does not apply to Russia and you are not permitted to teach English.} A. ab initio (Mode 1) student OR combined-studies student of two languages on either mode You must normally choose from the courses in Russia offered by RLUS (see below and the document RLUS Courses ). You are not normally eligible to do a work placement because you need the maximum boost to your Russian. Many work placements involve using English to a considerable degree. B. Mode 2 student of Russian Studies, Russian & History or Russian with... degrees We strongly recommend that you attend RLUS courses in Russia to maximise the improvement to your Russian. However, it is also possible to apply to do a work placement for two semesters or to propose an appropriate alternative (e.g. the Baikal National University option listed for Economics and Business and Politics and Sociology above may appeal for students on track D). For further details on work placements see the SSEES/UCL document Taking a Work Placement for the Study Abroad Year in RLUS Study Abroad Courses RLUS stands for Russian Language Undergraduate Studies Ltd, a registered charity which arranges courses in Russia on behalf of the majority of British universities. You can find a great deal of information about RLUS courses on its website It is a non-profit making organisation with years of experience. RLUS quality-controls its courses from Britain, employs representatives (mainly recent graduates) to solve problems on the spot, and normally arranges pastoral visits from the UK each year to meet with students to discuss the teaching with the local organisers. You will find yourself studying with students from other universities. Further details of all courses are available in RLUS Courses which is circulated separately and is available on the RLUS website. 9

10 Students of Russian Studies, Russian with Management Studies, Russian WITH an East European Language, Russian and History and Russian and Latin:You should choose either two one-semester courses (called 16/18-week ) or one two-semester course (called 36-week ). Students of Combined Studies with two languages (including Russian AND an East European Language):You should choose one 16/18-week RLUS course in either semester. Please check with your other department if there are any restrictions on which semester you study in the other country. NOTES: Russian semesters are normally from early September to late December and from mid- February to mid-june. The Autumn/Spring semester lasts for 16/18 weeks. RLUS will run a course if there is enough demand. The choice that you make in the first term will be forwarded to RLUS, who will inform us if a course does not run. However this may not be until January of next year, so please do not plan your year assuming that you will definitely have a place on the course you have chosen. The 32-week courses, 13-week courses, and 3-week courses quoted in various RLUS documentation, or those involving teaching for a year are not available to you. What if not RLUS or RLUS plus? As explained above, while we recommend RLUS, it is not the only option. If you have a particular idea and are willing to do the background research and present a proposal then we will be willing to listen to it but you will have to deal with the administrative burden. Those of you with particular disciplinary interests other than Russian language and literature may want to combine learning Russian with one of the options that allows for continued training in History, Economics, Sociology. Waiving the year abroad The study abroad requirement for language degree students can be waived only in exceptional circumstances, including: - Native/near-native knowledge of Russian together with previous residency in Russia or previous study for a minimum of one year at an approved HE institution in Russia; - Domestic, personal (including medical) or political circumstances which render the period abroad impossible. If you think that you may qualify for a waiver, you must put your case in writing to the Departmental Tutor, Dr Andrew Wilson 10

11 4. Workload and Assessment of the year abroad Non-language students should select courses from those offered by the institution they are studying with up to the amount required/advised by that institution. Typically you should expect to take courses equivalent to about ECTS (2-3 UCL course units) as well as doing your Year Abroad Project. Erasmus students will need to complete a learning agreement that will be approved by the institution you are studying with and will further be submitted to your Programme Coordinator at UCL for his/her approval. In sum, you are required: To take courses that are relevant to your degree; in particular to your study abroad project To meet the workload requirements of the institution that you are attending To complete the additional assessed and unassessed work for UCL To undertake a year abroad project relevant to your degree and drawing on sources accessed during your year abroad Russian language students with the RLUS scheme are automatically enrolled on a Russian language and culture programme and must: Meet the workload requirements of the institution that you are attending Complete the additional assessed and unassessed work for UCL Undertake a year abroad project relevant to your degree and using primary Russian language sources accessed during your year abroad Other language students must enrol on language and cultural (plus other track relevant) courses from among those offered by the institution they are studying with up to the amount required/advised by that institution. Erasmus students will need to complete a learning agreement that will be approved by the institution you are studying with and will further be submitted to your Programme Coordinator at UCL for his/her approval. In sum, you are required: To take language courses commensurate with improving your language skills sufficiently to participate in year 4 courses on your return to UCL To take cultural studies and/or track specific courses as appropriate and where available, as relevant to your degree programme To meet the workload requirements of the institution that you are attending To complete the additional assessed and unassessed work for UCL To undertake a year abroad project relevant to your degree and using primary language sources accessed during your year abroad NOTE: The credits that you receive from the university at which you are studying during your year abroad will NOT count towards your degree classification at UCL. 11

12 UCL Assessment and Requirements As with each academic year at UCL your year abroad will contribute 4 compulsory course units (excluding the work that you do for the institution which you are attending): Item Credit Deadline Submission Progress Portfolio A 0.5 cu 12 December 2012 Moodle Progress Portfolio B 0.5 cu 15 May 2013 Moodle Year Abroad Self-Evaluation A 0.5 cu 12 December 2012 Moodle Year Abroad Self-Evaluation B 0.5 cu 15 May 2013 Moodle Year Abroad Self-Evaluation C 1.0 cu 15 May 2013 Moodle Performance Certificate A 0.5 cu 24 February 2013 Moodle/post Performance Certificate B 0.5 cu 31 July 2013 Moodle/post Year Abroad Project (see section 5) 1.0 cu 1 October 2013 Hard copy & moodle The Progress Portfolio: You are required to write two 1,000 word reports consisting of i) words detailing your progress and experiences in the countries and institutions you have visited; ii) words detailing your progress with the year abroad project, including title and research questions, a proposed project structure, details of progress in gathering material and in establishing the focus of your topic and updated information on any plans to carry out fieldwork. The second progress portfolio should provide a much more detailed outline of your project structure. These will be passed on to your year abroad project supervisor. For students on Russian and East European degrees the progress portfolio should be produced in roughly 50% English (part (ii) detailing the year abroad project) and roughly 50% your programme language (part (i) detailing progress and experiences). The Year Abroad Self-Evaluation: At the end of each of your SSEES placements you will need to complete an online year abroad questionnaire and, for Erasmus funded students, a European Union Erasmus questionnaire. If you are spending the entire year at one institution you will only need to complete Year Abroad Self-Evaluation C. If you are splitting your year between two institutions you will need to complete Year Abroad Self-Evaluation A at the end of the first term and Year Abroad Self-Evaluation B at the end of the second term. The Performance Certificate: You are required to submit 2 certificates (a confirmation of arrival form and a confirmation of departure form) for each university you visit. These forms are in your UCL Student Handbook and on both of the year abroad Moodle pages. If you are visiting 2 universities then: the arrival form deadlines are 13 th November, 2012 and 28 th April, 2013; the departure form deadlines are 25 th February, 2013 and 30 th July If you are in the same place for the whole year, then you will need to meet the first arrival deadline (13 November) and the second departure deadline (30 July). You should keep copies of these forms. If you are on Erasmus placements then you must also complete the Erasmus grant receipt by the arrival deadlines for each semester. 12

13 5. The Year Abroad Project It is important to note that the Year Abroad Project is a crucial part of your overall degree classification. Although constituting only one course unit in total, it is weighted five in your degree classification, which is equal to the weighting given to your final-year degree modules. It is therefore essential that you take the project seriously and make reasonable allowances for the time it will take to collate and process important materials, and to plan, as well as write up, your project. Each single honours student on a SSEES Year Abroad programme will produce an 8,000 word (excluding bibliography and footnotes) extended essay (in English) related to the discipline area of their degree (and study track) and drawing significantly on materials consulted in the country/ies visited. Students on language degrees must additionally make use of original language source materials. Students on combined honours degrees complete a 4,000 word (excluding bibliography and footnotes) extended essay for each SSEES placement. The extended essays should be related to the discipline area of their degree (and study track) and draw significantly on materials consulted in the countries visited, including original language source materials, where appropriate Preparation for the Year Abroad Project Planning for the Year Abroad Projectstarts in the second year. You should think carefully about the topic of your Year Abroad Project. During the summer term you will be required to submit a Year Abroad Project Proposal Form to your programme administrator. This will be used to allocate you to a project supervisor at the start of term 3 (early May). You will then be required to make an appointment with your allocated project supervisor during term 3, in order to discuss in detail your project proposal. At the end of term 3 your YAP titles and supervisors will be recorded online and you will be expected to pursue research within that topic area. There will be meetings regarding the project in term 2 of the second year. We strongly recommend that during the summer or early in year 3 you write up your notes, formulate a draft plan and initial reading list and use this as the basis for the development of your project during the third year. You should send this to your supervisor. Important warning: if you do not submit your signed Year Abroad Project Proposal Form (see section 11) you will NOT be allowed to proceed with arrangements for your study abroad period and you may be forced to interrupt your studies Supervision Following your initial supervisory discussions in terms 2 and 3 of the second year, it is not expected that the topic of your project will change substantially. Any changes to the outline of your project proposal must be agreed with your supervisor. During your year abroad you will be required, through the progress portfolios, to report formally twice on your project. You will receive feedback from your supervisor on each of these reports. Outside of this, it is your responsibility to make contact with your supervisor by if you need further advice. Your supervisor is obliged to respond to any reasonable ed progress reports 13

14 within two weeks of receipt. If s/he does not respond within this time period, you should contact your Programme Administrator Guidelines on presentation The project is written up in English as an Extended Essay of 8000 words(or 4000 words per placement if on a combined degree), not including bibliography, footnotes, diagrams or tables. Penalties will apply for failure to observe the word count. The project should be word-processed. For language students, a particularly important part of the project involves working with materials in your year abroad language and this must be reflected both in the essay itself and in the bibliography. Failure to do this will result in a substantial reduction in marks. For further guidance you should consult the appropriate Study Skills Handbook for your programme. These are available at: You are reminded that the project must be your own original work. It must not include work already submitted for other courses. UCL imposes severe penalties for plagiarism. Plagiarism guidelines can be found at: Project deadline and submission Submission is through two means. You should submit two hard, word-processed copies to the Programme Administrator (room 341) and upload your project through the appropriate link on the Year Abroad Moodle webpage. Your work will automatically be checked by the plagiarism detection software. You must include a statement within your submitted project declaring that the project is your own original work. If you are a Russian language student you should indicate which track you are on. Your YAP should reflect your track (as well as degree programme). DEADLINE 3.00 pm, October 1 st 2013 Requests for extensions to the deadline will only be considered in cases of ongoing serious medical or personal problems and if supported by medical or other written evidence. Such requests should be submitted, preferably well before the deadline, to the Departmental Tutor (currently Dr Andrew Wilson). You should copy your message to your Programme Administrator. Computer or printer failure is considered a routine occurrence and will NOT be accepted as a justification for late submission Penalties See the undergraduate handbook: 14

15 For Late Submission of the Year Abroad Project The full allocated mark will be reduced by 5 percentage points for the first working day after the deadline for submission. The mark will be reduced by a further 10 percentage points if submitted during the following six days. For projects that are submitted later than seven days after the deadline, the mark will be recorded as zero but the assessment will be considered to be complete. Worked Example: A project is submitted late, but assessed as deserving a mark of 65%. If it was submitted within one working day after the deadline, the mark becomes 60%. If, however, it was submitted two to seven days late, the mark becomes 50%. If submitted after seven days the mark will be 0% but the assessment will still be complete. If not submitted at all, the assessment will be considered incomplete. Where there are extenuating circumstances that have been recognised by the Board of Examiners or its representative, these penalties will not apply until the agreed extension period has been exceeded. Penalties for Over-Length Year Abroad Projects Ideally students should adhere to the prescribed word count of 8,000 (4,000) words, as described above. In terms of penalties, however, projects that exceed the word limit by 10% or more will not be accepted as submitted and will be immediately returned to the student with instructions to reduce the word length. The work may then be resubmitted, noting that penalties for late submission will apply. For work which exceeds the upper word limit by 20% or more, a mark of zero will be recorded although the assessment will be considered to be complete. If submitted work is subsequently found to have an inaccurately stated word count and to exceed the upper word limit by at least 10% and by less than 20%, the mark will be reduced by ten percentage points. However, through this means, the mark will not be reduced below the minimum pass mark, assuming that the work merited a pass. (i.e. the penalty will not be used to fail a student because they have exceeded the stated word count by more than 10% but less than 20%.) 5.6. Marking criteria Year Abroad Projects are marked by two examiners (double-marking). The mark will be determined in accordance with the usual SSEES assessment guidelines on the basis of the following criteria: knowledge and coverage of the topic use of appropriate sources, materials, evidence and examples analysis and argument structure, organisation and presentation 5.7. Feedback on marked project Feedback on your project will be available after reading week of term 1 of your final year. 15

16 5.8. Year Abroad Project tips (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) You must choose a topic that is directly linked to the subject area of your degree (and degree track where this applies). You must make use of materials obtained in the places you visit. For language students this means drawing on original materials in the local language. It is your responsibility to demonstrate in your essay and in your bibliography that you have used appropriate (e.g. Russian, Finnish, Czech etc) materials. You will be rewarded for demonstrating this by the markers. Consult your supervisor early on to ensure you have appropriate bibliographical items in the local language (for language students), as well as English language sources. Some of the successful projects are those where the subject has some contemporary relevance, and which can be researched from academic books and journals, newspapers, and magazines. If you are considering using a questionnaire as part of your research, you are advised to discuss this with your supervisor. Although part of your research for the project may well be conducted in the UK, it is important that you use your year abroad to access written sources which may not be available in the UK. It is also important to bear in mind that while your chosen topic area may reflect a personal enthusiasm, it must be a serious academic subject on which there is a existing body of secondary literature. Ideally, your chosen topic should be closely related to the courses you have taken during the first two years of your degree, and for which you have the necessary academic training. Avoid an overreliance on internet sources, as the quality of these sources varies considerably, and they are not always reliable or accurate. The year abroad project is an academic piece of work which requires extensive background reading of printed sources. In this respect, although considerably longer, it is no different from the coursework (both assessed and non-assessed) that you have submitted during your first two years of study, and which has been marked according to our normal marking criteria. You will be rewarded for originality of thought, the extent of your background reading, the coherence and structure of your argument, the clarity of your language, and the careful presentation of your project. Make sure that your presentation and citation of footnotes accords with the advice given in your Study Skills Handbook (http://www.ssees.ucl.ac.uk/currentstudents.htm). You will be penalized if your essay does not conform to these presentational requirements. A selection of recently submitted Year Abroad Projects, which scored highly, have been uploaded onto the Moodle site as model examples. These have been anonymized and the people who submitted them have agreed to their being used as part of this package of information. 16

17 6. Costs, Funding and Finance There are three basic categories of costs which apply to the year abroad: a) Fees to UCL: Home/EU fee payers will be required to pay 1155 to UCL to cover the costs of preparation, monitoring, pastoral care, project supervision and general administration. International students will pay one-third their usual standard rate. b) Fees to the university you visit: depending where you spend your year abroad you will or may be required to pay an enrolment and/or tuition fee. c) Travel, preparation and living costs: you will have to finance your living costs in full during the year abroad, including additional expenses relating to visas and so on (for Russian language students there is a small additional administrative cost). Depending on the type of exchange or visit programme you participate in, and on your student status, some of these costs may be covered and/or recouped as explained below and further detailed on the UCL website: Insurance UCL offers a year abroad insurance scheme which covers all year abroad students. Details will be provided at the UCL pre-departure briefing. Funding and costs: different schemes The Erasmus Scheme The best funding opportunities come through the European Union s Erasmus programme. The Erasmus programme is the European Union flagship scheme which actively promotes student mobility within EU countries. So, if you visit a university with which SSEES is partnered (see section 3) you will benefit as follows: All students receive a monthly grant of between 200 and 300 Euros for the duration of their Erasmus programme participation. Home/EU students studying abroad for the full year as part of the Erasmus programme normally (this is still to be confirmed for 2012/13 and is waiting for a British Council decision) pay no fees during the year abroad to UCL and no fees to the partner university. International students studying abroad for the full year as part of the Erasmus programme pay one-third fees to UCL during the year abroad but no fees to the partner university. SSEES has a range of formal Erasmus student exchange agreements with partner universities across Central and Eastern Europe detailed in section 4 below. Non-Erasmus placements (not applicable for Russian language students) If you choose to spend your year outside of the Erasmus scheme you will be responsible for all of the associated costs listed above but you will be able to reclaim any partner institution tuition fees up to an amount equal to one-third of the Home/EU tuition fee. The UCL web pages (http://tiny.cc/kq08l) detail the full regulations and procedures for doing this. 17

18 You are also eligible to participate in any bilateral fee-waiving exchange arrangements that UCL SSEES has agreed outside of the Erasmus scheme (see section 3). Combining Erasmus and non-erasmus placements (not applicable for Russian language students) If you choose to spend your year split between an Erasmus exchange and an approved Central/Eastern European non-erasmus placement then you will receive an Erasmus living allowance for the duration of your Erasmus placement, you will not have to pay fees to the Erasmus partner but you will have to pay one-third of the UCL tuition fee for the full year. You will be able to reclaim any partner institution tuition fees up to an amount equal to the year abroad Home/EU tuition fee ( 1155) or for overseas fee payers, more than this subject to individual circumstances. The UCL web pages (http://tiny.cc/kq08l) detail the full regulations and procedures for doing this. You are also eligible to participate in any bilateral fee-waiving exchange arrangements that UCL SSEES has agreed outside of the Erasmus scheme (see section 6). Russian language students UCL arranges the Russian language degree year abroad through a non-profit organisation called Russian Language Undergraduate Studies Ltd (RLUS). Russian fees: UCL will normally pay the tuition fees for RLUS courses directly i.e. you won t need to pay and then reclaim. UCL fees: You will have to pay tuition fees totalling one-third of your usual annual fees. Additional Administrative fees: Organising courses in Russia is time-consuming and involves a large amount of administration. RLUS assures that the courses are tailor-made for RLUS students only, prepares and maintains the contracts with the Russian institutions, and pays for pastoral visits from Britain and the cost of paying people to act as liaison officers to support you locally. RLUS is a non-profit making educational charity and keeps costs to a minimum and the charge is set by the RLUS Executive Committee made up of representatives from university departments, including SSEES. For students studying abroad with RLUS the administration costs were approximately: 230 for administration, 35 for visa invitation and 50 deposit per course. Further information for is available from the RLUS website (http://www.rlus.co.uk). Please note that RLUS may charge you additional fees if you miss specified deadlines or request changes to existing arrangements, to cover the extra administration involved. Other costs: Other costs for which you will be responsible include return travel to Russia, visa, registration, accommodation, and maintenance (living expenses). Other financial support Students who have Local Education Authority (LEA) support or receive a student loan may apply to their LEA for help with expenses incurred for compulsory study abroad courses. Please consult your LEA for further information as early as possible. 18

19 UCL Registry will inform your LEA in late spring that your course is compulsory and provide the dates of the course. There are a range of other potential sources of financial support to facilitate your year abroad. Full details are regularly updated on the UCL web pages: 7. What happens next? (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) Visit the websites of the places that you are interested in visiting and speak to students from previous years. Once you have chosen your destination, complete the year abroad application process (details to follow) by the stated deadline (section 2 above). Check that your passport is appropriately valid e.g. in the case of Russia, for at least 6 months after the date you plan to leave Russia. Read the UCL study abroad website carefully, particularly the advice relating to health. You may wish to visit your doctor, particularly if you are going to be travelling in Russia and/or Ukraine, for advice on inoculations. If you are planning to visit Russia, check the latest regulations on HIV certificate requirements. Make sure you understand the application process you need to undertake in order to get on the course(s) of your choice e.g. directly to the International Office of the partner university, if applying for an Erasmus place, or a place at MGIMO, HSE or Kyiv-Mohyla; or through RLUS, if on that scheme. Check and double-check the timeline of events detailed in section 2 and be sure not to miss any events or deadlines. 8. What if I experience problems during my year abroad? Very occasionally students studying abroad experience academic, personal, health or welfare problems. Often, the support services, student bodies and international offices at the partner university are able to help you resolve these problems. However, it is important that you don t feel helpless or remote from UCL during your year abroad. The academic part of your year is the concern of your Programme Coordinator as in other years of your degree and your overall welfare and year abroad experience is the concern of the SSEES International Tutor as well as your SSEES Personal Tutor. If you do have problems and you need the support, intervention or help of UCL then please write to either your Personal Tutor or to your Programme Administrator who will make sure that either your Programme Coordinator or the International Tutor responds rapidly. Most problems can be overcome with a little help! Full contact details are provided in section 9 below. 19

20 9. Points of Contact In addition to the support services you will be introduced to during enrolment at your year abroad institution, there are a number of important UCL points of contact concerning your academic programme, your year abroad project, financial matters and your personal well-being. Before contacting those listed below though, consider whether you can find the answers to your questions through one of the following web resources (if not in this booklet): Academic contact SSEES: UCL: RLUS: If you have questions regarding your programme of study while abroad and you can t find the answers locally then you should contact your Programme Administrator or Programme Coordinator at UCL. S/he will liaise with your Programme Coordinator and respond as soon as possible. With regard to your Year Abroad Project, you should also be in regular contact with your allocated supervisor. Programme Coordinator Administrator Economics & Dr Svetlana Makarova Ewa Kedzierska Business History Dr Egbert Klautke Suzie Rizvi Languages and Dr Masha Rubins Ben Chatterley Culture Politics and Sociology Dr Felix Ciuta Sasha Aleksic Administrative, Health, Welfare contact Occasionally, students on their year abroad experience difficulties relating to health and welfare or their dealings with the local university. This is rare but if it does happen you should write immediately to your Programme Administrator and to the SSEES International Tutor. Dr Christopher J Gerry SSEES International Tutor Tel: Students of Russian language with RLUS student placements can additionally contact the RLUS Operations Consultant. Roy Bivon RLUS Operations Consultant Tel/Fax:

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