Anna Wilkinson spoke to Holly McEleny, who coordinates the Erasmus programme, and Mary Dempsey, a careers adviser at Bath Spa, about some of the opportunities that are currently available to Bath Spa students.
Bath Spa currently have two main opportunities for students to study abroad for one semester; one is the Erasmus programme and the other is the International Exchange programme.
The Erasmus programme gives students the opportunity to travel to a country within Europe to study for a semester in their second year and is funded by the European Union, with students receiving a grant of 280–330€ per month, depending on which country they decide to travel to. There are currently over thirty Erasmus partnership agreements at Bath Spa University with countries including Germany, Poland, Italy, Denmark and Spain, to name just a few.
The options available to students depend on which course they are studying as partner universities only accept students from specific degree programmes. Students will gain credits in their degree subject whilst studying abroad, with the majority of universities currently offering English taught degree programmes to students on the Erasmus programme.
However, there are some exceptions to this, mainly for Art students whose subjects might be taught in the language of the host country. When this is the case Bath Spa helps to prepare students with the Online Linguistic Support tool and a language assessment.
The International Exchange programme opens up travel opportunities outside of Europe, giving students the chance to travel to places like Australia, China, USA and Japan, amongst others. This programme is self-funded, which many students fund with part-time jobs, savings, or even crowdfunding. Unlike the Erasmus programme, the International Exchange programme is not always subject specific so there are fewer limitations in terms of where you can go.
Both programmes enhance your CV, which is crucial in the current competitive job market. They also help students to gain cultural awareness and improve their language skills. Holly advises that students should get involved in any activities available to them during their semester abroad such as organised trips, clubs and societies in order to make the most out of the programmes.
There are also a lot of opportunities available to students in terms of work placements and careers advice. I spoke to Mary Dempsey about some of the services Bath Spa offers, which include careers fairs, paid three month or six month internships, workshops, Bath Sparks sponsorships for entrepreneurs and the Bath Spa Award.
In terms of opportunities, there is also help and advice available to students with disabilities, including the Change 100 competition, an opportunity for talented students and graduates to do a three-month paid work experience.
The Bath Spa Careers team have great connections to numerous employers, including Nationwide, Parragon Books, MediaClash, Creative Bath and Travelling Light Theatre Company. Mary advises that students who don’t know what career they are interested in come and talk to the careers advisers in Steward’s Lodge on Newton Park Campus and take a self assessment to identify what interests they have and what careers might suit them.
Words by Anna Wilkinson
Featured Image: “Brisbane.” © Sarah Tite