The Year Abroad is a valuable experience for all students of French. Not only does it increase our students' employment chances significantly, it is also regarded by all our students as a great step forward in their personal development.
For their Year Abroad (or part of their year abroad for two-language students), students of French at Queen Mary can choose between:
- ERASMUS + Study Placement at one of our partner universities in a French-speaking country in Europe (not Switzerland),
- ERASMUS + Work Placement (including British Council Language Assistantship) in a French-speaking country in Europe (not Switzerland),
- Independent Studies in a French-speaking country,
- Independent Work Placement in a French-speaking country.
The European University Exchange Programme: ERASMUS+ Study Placement in a French-speaking country
All students regardless of nationality or fee status are eligible to participate in the EU-financed ERASMUS + Exchange Programme. Please note that Switzerland does not participate in the Erasmus + scheme.
The Department of French has 6 partner universities where our students can study for either one academic year, i.e. nine months, or one semester if they are splitting their Year Abroad. There are 5 partner universities in metropolitan France and 1 in La Réunion (a DOM).
Université François-Rabelais (Tours)
Please be aware that if splitting between a French-speaking and a German/Spanish/Portuguese-speaking country, the study placement in the French-speaking country should be done in semester 1.
ERASMUS+ Work Placement including British Council Language Assistantship in a French-speaking country
All students regardless of nationality or fee status are eligible to participate in the EU-financed ERASMUS + work scheme if they wish to gain work experience by completing a work placement (paid or unpaid) in a French-speaking country in the European Union. Please note that Switzerland does not participate in the Erasmus + scheme.
Students who are native-level speakers of English, who hold a European Union passport and who have completed their secondary education in the UK can be given the opportunity to apply through the British Council for an English Language Assistantship. Students then work in schools or universities in a French-speaking country, assisting with the teaching of English (between 12 and 18 hours per week depending on the country) and acting as ambassadors for British culture. The British Council offers assistantships in France (metropolitan France but also in the DOMs), Belgium (French-speaking part), Canada (French-speaking) and Switzerland (French-speaking). Eligibility criteria may differ slightly from country to country (the age limit of assistants may be different for example). The assistantship runs for seven months in France (1 October-30 April), eight months in Belgium (1 October-31 May), nine months in French-speaking Canada (Quebec) (1 September-31 May) and ten months in French-speaking Switzerland (1 September-30 June). English language assistants are paid (the salary varies from country to country) and may also be eligible for the ERASMUS + grant (except those working in Canadaand Switerland).
Independent Studies in a French-speaking country
Students who wish to study independently, i.e. outside the ERASMUS + Exchange Programme, can of course do so in any French-speaking country. This option is for those who: i) wish to study at a university within the European Union that we do not have an ERASMUS+ agreement with or ii) wish to study at a university outside the European Union or in Switzerland. Students on independent studies placements will be asked to attend classes and sit examinations following the same rules that apply to our ERASMUS + exchange students.
Students who wish to pursue this option must discuss their choice of institution and programme with the Year Abroad Co-ordinator for French. Once the Year Abroad Co-ordinator for French has validated their placement and once the assessment procedures have been clearly established, students will have to apply to the institution they are interested in independently. The SLLF can provide documents to support their application if this is required.
Independent Work Placement in a French-speaking country
Students who wish to complete a work placement in a French-speaking country outside the European Union or in Switzerland are invited to do so. For further information please see Work Placements.
If you have any questions with regard to the above, you can contact the Year Abroad Coordinator for French, Dr Elsa Petit.