Working abroad

Students on specific degree programmes in Biology, in Chemistry and in Modern Languages may apply to undertake a work placement abroad as an integral part of their degree programme. Full details of these programmes are available through the Schools.

Completing a work placement abroad is a good opportunity to gain work experience in another culture or language and to acquire valuable skill sets. The benefits of completing a work placement abroad will extend well beyond graduation.

Please note that all placements must finish before the start of the following academic year, ideally by 31 August. You should return to St Andrews for Orientation week.

Recognition and assessment

As part of your external placement, you will be required to complete a project or dissertation for St Andrews.  Further information will be provided by your School.

If you undertake an external placement, such as a British Council Language Assistantship, this will be recorded on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) transcript which you will receive at graduation.

Finding a placement 

When searching for a work placement, please refer to our guidance notes below.  These provide important information that you should consider, such as insurance provision and HR policies.  You should also discuss your placement search with your Work Placement Coordinator.

The GoinGlobal resource, managed by the Careers Centre, also provides useful information for students looking for work placements abroad.  GoinGlobal is the market leader in helping job seekers of all nationalities fast track their career explorations both at home and abroad. Created by country experts, GoinGlobal features worldwide job and internship resources for more than 120 locations, including:

  • location-specific career guides
  • key corporate profiles
  • a proprietary H1B visa search engine
  • over 16 million job and internship postings.

Support for your placement

Starting a new job or Work Placement is exciting but can also be challenging.  The Global Office has been working with CEED to identify some modules from within the Professional Skills Curriculum (PSC) which you can access online to support your External Placement. You can access the PSC modules through Moodle.

You may wish to consider the following options:


Graduate Skill

Intelligence Vs Grit: Secrets of workplace success

Perseverance and motivation



Project management


Chairing meetings and taking minutes


Professional Conduct

Commercial Awareness

Communication Skills


Presentation Skills


Organisations and Strategies

Commercial Awareness