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Department of Philosophy

Overseas Exchange and Erasmus

Overseas Exchange and ERASMUS+

Many philosophy students at Durham take the exciting opportunity to study abroad during their third year, extending their degree to a four-year program. See below for a few of their stories. Study abroad provides a fascinating insight into how philosophy is studied in a different cultural setting, as well as a seriously fun year that will expand your thinking, and perhaps your c.v. too!

There are two different of study abroad programs. Overseas Exchange has links with 20 non-European universities, ranging from China to Chile, from the USA to New Zealand. Applications for Overseas Exchange are due in November 2017 (dates will be released in October - see below). ERASMUS links students with opportunities across Europe. The philosophy department is currently connected with 7 different universities. Applications for ERASMUS are due in January 2018 (see below).

For more information, conact the philosophy exchange coordinator: Dr Andrew Cooper

Overseas Exchanges

This exchange program is run by the University's International Studies Office. You will need to meet with me, however, so that I can approve your learning agreements prior to submission of your application. Links to the most important information and application material are listed below:

Application deadline 2018-19 exchanges will be in late November 2017

ERASMUS+ Exchanges

This exchange program is run by individual departments. General information on ERASMUS+ Exchanges are provided by the University's International Studies Office. Philosophy currently has partnerships with the following institutions:

Links to additional information and application material are listen below:

Application deadline 2018-19 exchanges will be in late January 2018

Dumplings in Chinatown, Melbourne

What our students say...

"Cliches are impossible to avoid. Thus I unapologetically declare that Melbourne was absolutely my best experience at university. I unquestionably found myself there. Go abroad because you will only appreciate how incredibly unique, special (and, frankly, strange) Durham is once you have challenged yourself somewhere else. It is a challenge - you will have to persevere and you might struggle a little at first - but that only ends up adding to the incredible sense of achievement once you realise that your life, your perspective and your sense of self has been reshaped before your very eyes. The experience is beneficial on so many levels - personally, professionally and even academically (it's so nice to have a break from the pressure and I was stunned at the quality and passion of teachers and students there. I'm definitely better at philosophy now!). There is honestly nothing I can recommend more highly!" - Bradley, Overseas Exchange @ University of Melbourne

Roadtippin' Downunder

What our students say...

"Last year I headed to Perth, Australia, one of the remotest cities on the planet. Having set my sights on Paris, I changed my mind at the very last minute, so preparations were rather manic and I had no clue what to expect. Upon arrival, initially I experienced some culture shock but things soon improved following a spontaneous trip to Bali and a road trip up north! Perth is extremely underrated due to its isolation and laidback nature, but I found that I actually preferred this to living in a busier city. The weather was divine, the beaches second to none, and with a bit of research there proved to be more than enough things to do and see. The teaching at the University of Western Australia was excellent, and I took a wide variety of units, ranging from creative writing to astronomy. I was also incredibly inspired by a unit titled “Metaphysics: A User’s Guide to Time Travel”: so inspired, in fact, that I was galvanized to start researching my dissertation. I learnt more than I could possibly have imagined by travelling over the other side of the world. I didn’t return for the entire year, and learned how to cope with homesickness; I tried new subjects at university and broadened my mind; I overcame my fear of driving and drove the entire way around Australia in a battered car bought for $800; I met people from all over the world; I did a placement at a newspaper and discovered my love for journalism; I learned to love vegemite, brake whenever I saw a kangaroo while driving and how to play slap-the-bag…the list continues. And so my tip for you: the scarier the experience, the better!" Ottoline, Overseas Exchange @ University of Western Australia

Osnabruck University

What our students say...

"I decided to do a year abroad in Germany because I wanted to learn language skills which would aid me in my philosophical studies, to further research my potential dissertation topics, and to experience a year of living in a different country while making international friends.

I studied Cognitive Science, encompassing the 6 related disciplines: philosophy, linguistics, anthropology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence and psychology. I learnt that there is a strong practical and technical application of much of the abstract philosophical theorising I had been doing, and began to appreciate all the skills I had developed in Durham in different ways. I enjoyed cognitive science so much I am researching masters placements in other parts of Europe.

It is no cliché that being an Erasmus student will expose you to many different cultures. I loved being an international student, the university organised endless social events and I made some of the best friends of my life from all over the world. In just the corridor of my accommodation were students from India, the Czech Republic, Italy, Bulgaria, France, China, Pakistan, Syria, Greece, Russia, Turkey and South America. My best friend was from America, we keep in touch and I am even visiting him and his family in Florida over Christmas!

Being part of a different educational system which was organised more around student leadership and control over course learning, forced me to participate by leading lectures in a way I had not previously done, and this has noticeably increased my confidence in my own opinions and improved my contributions in lectures and seminars at Durham." - Sarah, ERASMUS @ Osnabruck University


How do I submit my academic reference?

Academic references (letters or forms) have to be submitted in sealed envelopes, with a signature of the letter writer across the envelope flap. This envelope together with the remainder of your application needs to be submitted to the International Studies Office.

What grade average do I need to apply for an exchange?

For all exchanges you must be on the honours program, but there is no specific grade average that you to have in order to apply. If you have failed one or several classes in your first year, you need to get back on the honours program before the application deadline. However, you will need a 2.1 grade average in your second year in order to go on the exchange. If you do not achieve this average you will have to return.

I am a dual-honours student. Do I need approval from both departments?

Yes. However, you need to choose a primary department through which to lodge your application. The academic reference must come from this department. Once your application is complete, you then need approval from coordinators from both of your departments.