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Discover the Turing scheme: the post-Brexit programme for study and work overseas

Find out what we know so far about the Turing scheme, which is set to start in September, and the skills you’ll gain from studying or working abroad.

Designed to be the post-Brexit replacement of the Erasmus+ programme (which enables students from EU countries to learn and get experience in other member states), the Turing scheme is set to start in September 2021.

One main difference is that the new scheme will be international in scope, rather than being limited to the EU member states. But what else do we know? Below, we work at cracking the Turing scheme – just as its eponym broke the Enigma code.

The basics: what do we know about the Turing scheme?

If you study at a UK (or British Overseas Territory) education provider, you could potentially spend time learning or training at any country in the world. This could mean studying at a higher education provider or gaining a traineeship with an organisation overseas. Placements can vary in length from four weeks to 12 months.

The money: how much financial support will you get?

Participants will be given financial support to cover the cost of living. This differs according to the cost of living in the country and the length of the placement...

For Group 1 countries, with high living costs:

  • Higher education students undertaking placements of four to eight weeks will be provided with £545 per month (£655 for those classed as being from a disadvantaged background)
  • Higher education students undertaking placements of nine weeks to twelve months will be provided with £380 per month (£490 for those classed as being from a disadvantaged background).

For countries in Groups 2 or 3, with medium and lower costs of living respectively:

  • Higher education students undertaking placements of four to eight weeks will be provided with £480 per month (£590 for those classed as being from a disadvantaged background)
  • Higher education students undertaking placements of nine weeks to twelve months will be provided with £335 per month (£445 for those classed as being from a disadvantaged background).

For more information, including the groupings of every country, what it means to be classed as being from a disadvantaged background in the context of the Turing scheme, and additional support for those with special educational needs and disabilities, take a look at the Turing Scheme Programme Guide – found here.

The dates: when can you apply?

It is your education provider – rather than you as a student – that will bid for funding. You will then apply through your institution to undertake the Turing scheme.

The latest date for universities to apply for this funding has already passed (Friday 16 April 2021). Those institutions that applied should find out whether they secured funding by the end of July at the latest – and so it’s likely that students will be informed if the Turing Scheme is available to them by mid-August 2021.

While the term dates in some other countries may mean an earlier start date or later end date, for the most part the period spent abroad will be within the UK academic year – starting on 1 September and ending on 31 August.

The alternatives: are there other options for overseas study?

The pandemic will have disrupted plans to travel in the near future. However, when this is once again possible, bear in mind that there are alternatives to the Turing scheme – such as opportunities that may be provided by your university and its partner institutions overseas. The University of York, for example, runs both year-long exchange programmes and short-term overseas courses during the summer at its various partner universities in North America, Asia and Australia.

The skills: what will studying or working abroad add to your CV?

Spending time working or learning abroad will provide you with evidence of skills and qualities, which you can draw on for your CV and at interviews. These include:

  • Adaptability – by adjusting to a new environment and different group of students/colleagues.
  • Resilience – by overcoming any barriers to going overseas, or difficulties that you faced while you were there.
  • The ability to think independently – by deciding to spend a year abroad and making your own plans. This could go some way in demonstrating your potential to employers when it comes to making decisions, contributing ideas and leading others.
  • Communication – even if you are using your native language, communicating with people from a different country or culture will increase your awareness of how different styles of communication can be interpreted. This will enable you to adapt your communication style effectively to suit different audiences – a higher-level skill that graduate employers love to see in recruits.
  • Organisational skills – by planning your trip.
  • Willingness to travel – although you definitely won’t need to have studied or worked in another country to be considered for a position that includes trips abroad, this could demonstrate your flexibility with regards to location.

Cultural sensitivity, along with any language ability you have gained, could set you up well for an international company – or an employer that deals with clients overseas. It may also lead to you being based in another country or carrying out business trips abroad. However, appreciating and understanding different cultures is an important part of being able to work well with other people, and so will be useful for all job roles.

Last updated: July 2021.

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