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Come to UCL, Study at UCLA (for a year)

Is The Year Abroad Programme Right For You?
Nim Etsioni
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UCLA (above) is one of the many prestigious partner institutions of UCL’s L101 programme

Ever dreamt of examining economic theory under the cherry blossoms of Tokyo, or mulling over microeconom- ics on the sun-kissed beaches of Sydney? Perhaps you’ve envisioned yourself studying complex financial models at UCLA, using your free time to mingle with celebrities at overpriced juice bars and audition for ‘Barbie 2.’ Perhaps you just want more predictable weather. Whatever the case may be, if your scholarly pursuits ache for a touch of adventure, UCL’s Economics Department has just the fix for you: the fabled Year Abroad Programme.

Formally titled L101, Economics With A Year Abroad offers the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and passion for economics, with the excitement of a totally new environment. For most on the L101 course, the decision to apply for the course came before they enrolled at UCL itself. However, those on the L100 course (Economics) do have the option of transferring onto the programme.

The programme would be between your second and final year at UCL, lasting the whole academic year of your ‘host’ institution. These include prestigious universities such as UChicago, UPenn, UBC, and Humboldt University of Berlin, among others.

Allocation isn’t purely based on academic performance, but also on preference, and a motivational statement submitted to the selection panel. So even if your first year did not go as planned, it is very likely you will get one of your top choices.

If that doesn’t already make you want to pack your bags (along with your passport and Pemberton textbook), then this might: students on the year abroad programme pay reduced fees to UCL, and absolutely nothing in tuition fees to the host institution. Home students pay 15% of tuition fees, and international students pay 50%. Though students bear responsibility for living costs, generous scholarship schemes such as the Turing scheme are available to most students, and UCL provides full reimbursement to any mandatory health insurance the ‘host institution’ requires students to buy. In other words, a pretty good deal.

So, what does the year abroad look like? Nim Etsioni, our Political Correspondent, who studied in the US at Dart- mouth College last year, interviewed his peers about their experience. He asked them the burning questions: Why did they choose to apply, what the greatest challenges they faced were, any advice and how UCL fares in comparison...

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