Literatures, Languages & Cultures

Students Going Abroad

An administrative guide for students undertaking a period of work, study or research abroad.

All Students - Risk Assessment and Insurance

All students are required to complete the SWAY (Study and Work Away) Service risk assessment form in order to be eligible for free travel insurance provided by the University. SWAY will remind you to complete the risk assessment at the right time before your travel date.

You must complete a separate risk assessment for each study or work activity that you do during your year abroad (e.g. if you are working or studying in different locations during semester 1 and 2, you will need to complete the form twice). 

Take me to the SWAY Before You Go risk assessment page for more information

Risk assessment approval

You will need to submit your risk assessment form before you travel, normally no later than three weeks before your intended travel date.

Risk assessments are normally reviewed within a week of uploading your form to the system. It can take longer at peak times, and SWAY may give priority to students with earlier travel dates.

If you need to provide more information before approval, you will be contacted by SWAY.

Insurance cover

The travel insurance covers periods related to your studies, and you are advised to take care in providing the dates of your time away.

The University’s insurance policy does not cover personal periods of travel during your time abroad. If you intend to take short breaks for non-university related reasons, please consider opting for an extra insurance policy to cover these occasions.

Find out more about the University's insurance policy

All Students - Engagement Monitoring and Emergency Contact

All Students are required to complete an online form in Semesters 1 and 2. As well as providing us with emergency contact details should we need to reach you, this is also used to confirm your attendance in Semester 1, and to ensure that you are still engaging with the University of Edinburgh during both semesters. (See our page on Attendance and Engagement for more information).

The form must be completed and submitted by the end of Week 3 in both semesters while abroad.   Non-submission of the form in either semester will be logged as a failure to engage.

Students are advised that certain year abroad activities (e.g an Erasmus study or work placement) mean that they must also engage with Edinburgh Global's system Mobility Online.  Please note that using this system does not negate the need to complete the LLC Risk Assessment and the Undergraduate Abroad Form.  The University takes its duty of care to students seriously, including periods when they are away from Edinburgh - this means that your school, Edinburgh Global, and central University services, must be assured of your location and activity, your emergency contact details and your continuing engagement with your studies. 

Compulsory Year Abroad (UG)

Undergraduate students on a compulsory year abroad should learn more about the administrative and academic requirements of their year abroad by referring to their subject area website and handbooks:

Optional Year Abroad (UG)

Undergraduate students on an optional year abroad should contact the Year Abroad Coordinator for their subject area with any queries:

  • Celtic and Scottish Studies:
  • English Literature: and see the departmental handbook for more information.
  • Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (Erasmus - Turkey): contact for more information.

Postgraduate Students

Postgraduate Students must also complete a Leave of Absence form.

The maximum leave of absence that may be authorised by the School is 15 months and this is given in periods of full months, starting from the first day of the month. Leave of Absence in excess of 15 months requires authorization by the College and should be sought by the School on the students' behalf through the College Postgraduate Office.

If you are going to be away from the University for more than two weeks outwith the vacation period, a leave of absence form must be completed by your supervisor (PGR) or programme director (PGT). The form can be obtained from the link below and once complete it should be returned to the Graduate School office via email for further action. Supporting information (such as letters from supervisors, letters from employers) should be attached as appropriate.