Other opportunities to work, study or volunteer abroad

You can arrange your own international experience: perhaps a research placement, an internship or a volunteering opportunity.

Update on Coronavirus:

We have taken the decision to cancel all overseas summer programmes and initiatives in order to reduce the possibility of transmission of COVID-19 across borders, and to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff. It is paramount that the University prioritise the health and safety of the University community.

The opportunities below are provided by external organisations, and may still be running. It is your choice whether you choose to travel abroad, but please be aware that, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the University is not currently able to support you.  

There are many external organisations offering a wide variety of opportunities to work study or volunteer abroad. Below are some organisations that students have recommended. However, there are plenty more out there so do your research. Bear in mind, especially with volunteering opportunities, that some organisations are more sustainable and ethical than others. Please also note that, as these organisations are external, the University of Bristol cannot be held liable for any activity undertaken with them.

If you arrange your own international experience, including one through our listed partners, you can apply for one of our scholarships to help cover some of the costs.

Volunteering opportunities

  • Think Pacific run youth development projects in Fiji. Backed by the Fijian government, this programme will challenge you to step outside your comfort zone. For summer 2020, they are recruiting an exclusive University of Bristol group.
  • SLV.Global provide opportunities to expand your knowledge of global mental health in India, Europe and Indonesia. You can apply to volunteer and gain practical work experience, or join an immersive educational programme. Placements run throughout the year and you don't need to be a Psychology student to apply.  
  • BVDA (Bristol Volunteers for Development Abroad) are a student-led charity supporting Bristol students to make a difference in developing countries. Apply to join a project in the summer holidays in Uganda, Nepal or Ghana and make a difference by protecting a water source, constructing a classroom or teaching about hygiene and sanitation. BVDA can offer some Global Opportunities funding to help with your travel costs.
  • AIESEC is a global platform for young people to find volunteering or internship placements overseas to help develop their leadership potential. Get in touch with the AIESEC student team at Bristol to find out more: vickyananda@bristol.aiesec.co.uk
  • Eramus+ funding is available to support you in undertaking a voluntary placement. This is part of the EU Solidarity Corps Initiative and costs such as accommodation and spending money are often covered for you. You can volunteer for a variety of organisations with placement from 2 weeks to 12 months.
  • Operation Wallacea is a collective of academics from North American and European universities who offer opportunities to assist with their biodiversity and conservation management research expeditions in some of the most beautiful and remote locations in the world. You can join them on expeditions for 2-8 weeks as a Research Assistant or undertake your own dissertation project for a minimum of 6 weeks.
  • East African Playgrounds offer ethical volunteering opportunities, promoting both a life changing experience whilst making a genuine impact to the community. The award-winning organisation are proud of the sustainable impact of their volunteer projects, working with the local communities and suppliers. You could be a part of helping the disadvantaged youth and children by building safe playgrounds for them to enjoy for years to come.
  • Africa and Asia Venture (AV) is a non-for-profit organisation who offer many varied and meaningful volunteering opportunities across Africa and Asia. You could be living and working in a developing country, giving back to the local community whilst gaining life-changing experiences along the way.

Work and internship opportunities

  • Generation UK is a British Council initiative offering various opportunities in China, including funded internships for students who meet certain criteria.

For funded internships in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, apply for Generation UK via CRCC Asia.
For funded internships in Qingdao, Chengdu and Zhuhai, apply for Generation UK via InternChina.
Application deadline extended to 2nd March 2020.

  • CRCC Asia offer internship placements in various Asian locations. There is a $200 discount on published programme fees for Bristol students.
  • The Intern Group can find you an internship in 5 different continents and there is a $300 discount for Bristol students. The Intern Group is currently offering 3 travel grants of up to $3,000. The application deadline for these grants is 7 February 2020. Additionally, The Intern Group is offering 5 fully funded programs to Bangkok for 4 weeks in August 2020. These scholarships will be open to all students. Apply here by December 20, 2019.
  • Huawei Seeds for the Future offers 50 STEM undergraduates from top UK universities the chance to spend 4 weeks in China undertaking cultural, technical and business training. This funded programme is a fantastic opportunity to gain some commercial awareness overseas. Application deadline: 31st January.
  • Camp America offer the chance to experience the true America in an exciting and unique opportunity. You will spend your summer working on an American summer camp, meeting people from all over the world whilst also building on your employability skills. Deadline: 1st April 2020
  • GoToCo offer summer programmes in China with fully funded TEFL training and certification, and the chance to make a difference by teaching English to Chinese students. They offer a fantastic opportunity to work, travel and immerse yourself in China’s culture. There is no deadline for applications as they are accepted all year round, however it is advised to apply as soon as possible.
  • CII Argentina is an all-inclusive Argentinian experience, whilst living with a local family you will have the chance to teach English in both a formal and non-formal setting, as well as traveling the country and improving your Spanish skills along the way.

Research opportunities

  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong run a Summer Undergraduate Research Programme giving you the chance to undertake an eight-week research project in Hong Kong this summer. To find out more about the 70+ projects on offer and how to apply, visit the SURP web page. There is no tuition fee for the programme. Application deadline: 17th February.
  • The University of Auckland offers 8-week summer research placements for Bristol Undergraduate and Taught Masters students. There are a range of projects available and the University of Auckland is offering financial support of approximately NZ$6,400 to all participants. Application deadline: 11 February 2020

Study opportunities

  • Study China offers UK students the chance to live and study at a Chinese University for 3 weeks. The programme is run by the University of Manchester and funded by the UK Government with costs such as tuition, accommodation and excursions covered for students. Application deadline: 7 February 2020
  • TrepCamp Entrepreneurial Simulator 2020 - This 7-week training programme aims to equip students with the skills and mindset to become a high-impact entrepreneur. You will take part in a 4-week online course followed by a 3-week placement in one of 6 locations: Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, San Diego, Madrid or Mexico. Santander are offering scholarships worth $3,500 to support students in undertaking this programme in one of 6 cities. Application deadline: Friday 21st February 2020.
  • ACU Global Summer School Grants support UK undergraduates to attend summer schools at ACU member universities. 17 grants of £2,000 are available and the summer schools take place in a variety of destinations including Bangladesh, Australia, Canada and Hong Kong. Information on how to apply is here. Application deadline: Sunday 1st March.
  • The Hacker Exchange offer the chance for students to join their Global Innovation program in one of four major city locations: Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, Singapore or Melbourne. These programs are designed for those who have an early-stage business idea or concept and aim to provide valuable knowledge about the start-up business world. Silicon Valley deadline: 12 April 2020 ; Tel Aviv deadline: 7 December 2019; Singapore deadline: 12 April 2020; Melbourne deadline: 1 March 2020.


If you arrange your own international trip, including one through our listed partners, you can apply for one of our scholarships to help fund your experience.

Contact us

Email: summer-abroad@bristol.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0) 117 39 40205
In person: 3rd Floor, 31 Great George Street, University of Bristol, BS1 5QD

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