Stay Abroad

The information below will be relevant to students who began studying in the Department in AS2014 or later. Students who began their studies earlier should consult the attached sheet outlining the pre-AS 2014 Stay Abroad regulations (pdf, 41 KB).

The compulsory stay abroad is usually carried out during the Focussing Phase (years 2-3) of students’ BA studies. The point of this curricular requirement is for students to live abroad and be immersed in an English-speaking country and culture.

The Stay Abroad in Brief

For both BA English majors and minors a stay abroad is compulsory. Majors may interrupt their Stay Abroad twice, with no period abroad being shorter than one month; minors are discouraged from splitting their three-month Stay Abroad, but can interrupt it once if necessary, into two trips (neither of which is shorter than one month). Splitting the Stay Abroad requires students to keep all necessary documentation secure over the course of both trips – the module is always accredited as a single six-month/10 ECTS or three-month/5 ECTS whole.

NB. The PH has changed its own stay abroad requirement for English students. Prospective English teachers must have spent at least 6 months abroad. Contact the PH for further details.

Students can study or work abroad (mere travelling is not acceptable). For a selection of appropriate activities and advice on how to organize the stay abroad, see the slides from the Stay Abroad Meeting (a Stay Abroad Meeting is held annually in October to present this part of the curriculum to students):

Stay Abroad Presentation 2018.pdf (PDF, 7.8 MB)

For more information, see the FAQ.

A Note About Documents

Your IC will not keep copies of Stay Abroad Documents on your behalf. Make sure that you have copies of any documents signed by or submitted to your IC!

Guide to Stay Abroad

Stay Abroad - Brochure 2017/18.pdf (PDF, 482KB)

Study Abroad - Factsheet.pdf (PDF, 39KB)

Students are responsible for planning their Stay Abroad, and it can be a time-consuming and intensive process. They are therefore advised to start planning at least a year in advance. This is especially important if students intend to study at an overseas institution through SEMP-Erasmus, ISEP, or otherwise. The Stay Abroad must be approved in advance by the English Department’s International Coordinators, who are available for consultation during their office hours:

Nicole Nyffenegger-Staub

Together with their IC, all students will fill out a Stay Abroad - Agreement Sheet (PDF, 137KB)).

Students wishing to study abroad via SEMP-Erasmus will need to fill out the Stay Abroad Agreement Sheet above as well as the ECTS Learning Agreement Form and have both signed by their IC. All SEMP-Erasmus students must use the Learning Agreement Form available at the bottom of this page (also available in Mobility-Online):

ISEP and other university exchange students do not have to fill out an additional form, only the above English department Stay Abroad Agreement Sheet.

Once a stay or stays of the required total duration have been completed, students meet with their IC to complete the Stay Abroad - Submission Sheet.pdf (PDF, 50KB).

The Stay Abroad Submission sheet will preface supporting documents to be submitted to the IC in hardcopy.

For each trip, the following documents are required:

  • The original Stay Abroad Agreement Sheet
  • Proof of the duration of the stay (e.g. plane tickets)

And either:

  • A university or school transcript; or a signed ETCS Learning Agreement; or
  • A letter from the student’s employer

In addition to these documents the completed Stay Abroad dossier should include:

  • 750-word report on the student’s stay; or
  • A commitment to present on their stay at the next Annual Stay Abroad Meeting

The Stay Abroad is complete once the IC has received and checked these documents.

NB. Regarding recognition of classes from abroad

Courses taken abroad at an English-speaking university can be accredited either as ungraded Wahlleistungen (internal electives) or graded Wahlbereich (external electives), depending on their content. To count for Wahlleistungen, courses must be related to English language, literature or linguistics (in a broad sense, as determined by your IC at their discretion). These courses are always ungraded. Courses counted for Wahlberich can be in any discipline, but must be graded. Courses can also be added to Freiwillige Zusatzleistungen, if the credits are not required to complete the BA.

Before you meet with your IC to finalise a semester abroad, make sure you know where on your KSL profile you would like your completed courses to be entered!