"Study in Europe? I'd do it again in a heartbeat!’ says student as Cardiff’s European work placements double in 5 years
8 May 2015
The number of Cardiff University students taking work placements across Europe has more than doubled in five years.
To mark Europe Day (9 May 2015), the University is highlighting figures showing the growing popularity of placements at European organisations.
Whilst the numbers of Cardiff University students taking part in study placements has grown steadily over the last five years, the numbers opting for workplace experience in Europe has grown from 43 in 2009-10 to 105 in 2014-15 – an increase of 144% per cent.
Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University, said: "Work placements at European universities offer wider benefits for Cardiff University. Not only do they provide students with 'real world' experience, but they can forge collaborative ventures with a range of institutions. In turn, this helps us attract funding to transform innovative Cardiff ideas into Europe-wide research programmes."
Cardiff students will take advantage of a range of placements in 2015. A Marine Geography student has accepted a traineeship at the Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation in Greece; the University of Malta will be home to an MA Pharmacy student, and the University of Latvia is hosting an Optometry student.
Edward Crymble, from East Sussex, is studying for a BA in German in the School of Modern Languages. He worked as a Foreign Language Assistant at a vocational school in Stade, Germany, in 2013-14.
"Going to live and work in Germany for a year was the best decision I have made to further my studies at university. Not only did I get to immerse myself in another country and culture, but I also became fluent in the language and made lifelong friends along the way, not to mention giving my CV an impressive edge. We all have those days where we long to leave the UK in search of something different – Europe offers this without a culture shock. I really cannot recommend going to work, study or taking part in a cultural immersion project in Europe enough - I would do it again in a heartbeat!"
Joshua Evans is studying Joint Honours French and Italian. He spent his first semester at Institut Libre Marie Haps in Brussels: for his second semester, he is based at the University of Pisa.
"I always thought that I would live and work in the UK following my degree; however my study placements in both Belgium and Italy have made me consider my future plans," said Joshua.
"As soon as I arrived I was made to feel welcome by the receiving institution and felt at ease in my lectures. I have significantly improved my language comprehension skills and feel confident talking to native speakers. Studying abroad is highly rewarding and an invaluable experience. One year is probably not long enough, but it is what you make of it that counts."
Rose Matthews, Head of Cardiff University's Global Opportunity Centre said: "Work placements are becoming increasingly popular. Shorter 60-day traineeships have been introduced recently, allowing students to fit them into their summer vacation. Our academic schools are working hard to develop new links across Europe. This often leads to students undertaking research work within a university environment, or academically related work experience within a relevant field. We're also doing a lot more work to promote the Erasmus+ programme, to encourage more students to study or work abroad."
Cardiff's Global Opportunity Centre offers a range of traineeships and study opportunities across Europe under the Erasmus+ Scheme, as well as many other opportunities for students to study, work or volunteer across the globe.
Cardiff has well over 300 bi-lateral agreements with institutions across Europe, and each year the University welcomes approximately 350 European Erasmus+ students.