We asked a languages lecturer at Newcastle Uni how Brexit may impact your year abroad
Languages students are feeling a little comme ci comme ça
Whether you're a lover of Question Time or Geordie Shore, the only person who hasn't heard of Brexit is Hayley Hughes. The leaving drinks have been planned, the party bus booked but still nobody, yes nobody, knows what is actually going on.
On Wednesday evening Newcastle students received an email from the Vice Chancellor of Newcastle University about the uncertainty of Brexit negotiations and their eventual impact on the funding of the Erasmus programme. The year abroad programme, funded by the government, allows for fluency, something all languages students strive for. Unfortunately, singing Despacito word for word on a Saturday night in Soho doesn't quite merit the same level of linguistic excellence.
The email said: "Last Tuesday the Government published information that indicated that in the event of a no-deal scenario, British students currently on the Erasmus+ scheme will continue to be funded for the duration of their time abroad, however there is not a commitment yet to funding future students.
"Regardless of the outcome of Brexit we are committed to this exchange. As a University we are offering an additional guarantee to provide funding for exchanges during 2019-20, in case there are issues with the UK Government underwriting this in the event of a no deal."
The British council currently pay out a non- repayable grant to all students participating in Erasmus, which is payed monthly to cover any additional costs abroad. European hot-spots such as France, Spain and Germany get the largest amount of grant money which is around 400 euros on top of your usual maintenance loan, so you may have to skip that extra Jäger bomb if the grant is cut.
We asked languages students what they thought about Brexit and how it may impact their years abroad. The general consensus? Nobody knows. First year Spanish and politics student, Sadie Drinkwater, said: "I honestly don't have a clue what will happen with the Erasmus funding, but it's worrying that we could potentially be left worse off when on our year abroad and it may make it harder to get the full experience.
"I applied to do Spanish based on the third year abroad placement, so I am upset that the funding could be cut, especially because my year abroad will take place in 2021 therefore even the uni funding may not be in place!"
But it's not all doom and gloom! Professor Jens Hentschke is a lecturer from the Modern Languages department at Newcastle University, and said that a year abroad is vital for languages students.
He told The Newcastle Tab: "The UK will remain an attractive destination, and campuses in Berlin, Paris or Madrid are keen to receive UK students. Therefore, I am sure that the Erasmus programme will continue, possibly in a modified form. The question is only about the fee regime, because at the moment UK and other EU students pay exactly the same."
Luckily not all hope is lost. YOU can now get involved in boosting the initiative by tweeting your support using the hashtag #SupportStudyAbroad to ask the government to commit to the continuation of funding study abroad programs in Europe now.
After all, a year abroad is the main reason people study languages anyway.