Students Staff

Study abroad

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All our students can learn languages in a number of ways, including as part of your degree, in evening classes or online at no extra cost, or via Essex Modern Language Certificates.


All our courses are offered as four-year options, which include the opportunity to spend a year abroad at a partner university around the world. The year abroad normally takes place in your third year.

As part of our three-year BA courses, you have the opportunity to spend a term studying abroad, usually during the autumn term of your third year. You can also opt to transfer to a four-year course, including year abroad, normally after the Easter vacation in your first year.

Contact Essex Abroad for further information about studying abroad or speak to our Study Abroad Officer Dr Matt Burch.


Studentships in Frankfurt, Tübingen and Paris

We also offer our postgraduates the opportunity of a studentship, of three months to a year, aided by financial assistance from the European Union. We have exchanges with universities in Frankfurt and Tübingen Germany, as well as Université Paris X Nanterre and the Institut Catholique de Paris, France.

Studentships are an excellent chance to improve your language skills and experience the unique research and teaching cultures of our partner institutions. You gain access to excellent libraries and have time to enjoy the cultural life.

Some of our students have written about their experiences of the studentships in Tübingen and Paris:

  • Mathijs Peters, Paris 2010-11

    Studying at the Faculty of Philosophy, Institut Catholique de Paris, France

    "The philosophy faculty of the Institut Catholique de Paris offers courses on many different topics - from medieval philosophy to bio-ethics. Of course, the most interesting aspect of studying at this university is that one is able to experience the rich French philosophical tradition ‘from the inside.’ Many courses are given on phenomenology and hermeneutics, in which teachers and students constantly refer to authors like Sartre, Foucault, Derrida, Levinas, Merleau-Ponty, Deleuze and Michel Henry.

    It is a very interesting experience to attend classes on these philosophers, given in the language in which they originally wrote and thought. Furthermore, if one is interested in the ‘French approach’ to authors who had an important influence on several French philosophical movements and traditions, like Nietzsche, Husserl and Heidegger, this is the place to be.

    This sometimes means that discussions and classes can be a bit ‘focused-inward,’ only on French texts and interpretations. On the other hand, this provides the opportunity to really immerse yourself in and get acquainted with this tradition. The level of education is high and teachers often engage in discussions with their students.

    All primary and secondary literature read and referred to, as well as classes and discussions, are in French. This is difficult, especially in the beginning, but it forces one to learn the language. The ICP also offers a free language course for exchange students, which was very helpful for me.

    The university is beautifully located, close to the Jardin du Luxembourg, a large park where many go to study, read or just walk around and enjoy the landscape architecture. All in all, this is an amazing opportunity to study at a very good university, get acquainted with a different philosophical climate and tradition, learn another language, and live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world."

  • Elin J Simonson, Tübingen 2008

    Studying on the Philosophisches Seminar, Eberhard Karls Universität, Tübingen, Germany

    "Tübingen is very different from the Essex environment, despite the department there sharing many of the research interests of Essex. For that reason alone it was an extremely valuable experience as I felt I gained important new perspectives on ways to do philosophy. It was refreshing to see that many of the students that I met there were able to combine their love for philosophy with interests in other disciplines, like architecture, fiction and music.

    Alongside that, it is a truly beautiful town, brimming with philosophical tradition and culture. The philosophy department itself resides in an old pink mental institution where Hölderlin was treated once upon a time. His home, a tower on the river Neckar, is only a stone’s throw from the building.

    There are always exciting and affordable events going on in and around the town, like film festivals, art exhibitions and concerts. And I trust that anyone will love the library with its thick walls and high, winding stacks. I truly enjoyed my stay there and would recommend it to anyone who wants a new experience, and to gain a new perspective on the philosophical disciplines we study at Essex and, of course, to anyone who wants to improve their German."

  • Andrea Piras, Tübingen 2008-09

    Studying at the Eberhard Karls Universität, Tübingen, Germany

    "Let us start with Tübingen, which is a lovely and charming university town not far from Stuttgart. Tübingen is quiet and not big (85,000 inhabitants) but the almost 25,000 students keep it very alive: lots of concerts, cafes, theatres, cinemas, and night life.

    The philosophy department is situated in the Burse, a big old building right in the centre of the historical town and by the river Neckar: for me it is an ideal place for studying because it is very peaceful and has a nice atmosphere. Its library is impressive and I found some books very relevant for my research that even the British Library does not possess, I guess because they have not yet been translated from German.

    The department offers a good amount of lectures and seminars. I attended four seminars, all in German: at the very beginning it was difficult but after few months I started to really enjoy them. I did not have to submit any work (my German, at that time, would not allowed me to do so!). The chances to meet other students are fewer than at Essex, although it is sometime possible to continue a discussion in a pub or café (maybe with the teachers) after a seminar or a lecture."

There are no requirements to attend any of the courses or modules on offer, or to submit coursework, although as a visiting student you can (with the course lecturer's permission) sit in on classes and submit coursework, if you choose to do so. The ideal time to take up a studentship is October to January or April to July, when the two institutions are at their most active.

  • How to apply

    If you are interested in taking up an Erasmus studentship, please read the information and requirements below, talk to your supervisor to get their permission as soon as possible, and contact our Study Abroad Officer Professor Peter Dews by the end of December 2014.

  • Key information about Erasmus studentships

    • Study abroad for periods of 3 to 12 months.
    • Limited places (up to two per institution).
    • Suitable for PhD students and students on our MA by Dissertation.
    • No compulsory modules or coursework requirements at the host institution.
    • Language classes (normally provided free of charge by host organisation).
    • Access to student accommodation at the host institution.
    • Mobility grants of up to €3,000 for available to EU citizens via the Erasmus programme.
    • Non-EU citizens can participate in the exchange, but are not eligible to receive the mobility grant.

  • Requirements and deadlines

    • Complete application before March for the following academic year.
    • Approval by PhD supervisor and approach Essex Abroad by the end of December.
    • Approval by Study Abroad Officer, Professor Peter Dews by the end of January.
    • Approval by Graduate Dean by mid-February.
    • Approval by funders, such as the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), if applicable, by the end of February.