Work Experience Abroad
Our unique trips abroad for Sixth Form language students looking to improve their language and transferable workplace skills. Arrive with or without friends and make new ones!
Mixed School Trips
We offer group packages travelling to France, Germany and Spain available most school holidays; October, February, April and July.
This package is our longest running language experience and has seen thousands of students placed in a huge variety of placements in cities across Europe. It is the ideal package for a young adult wanting to improve their language skills and gain some independence whilst enjoying the benefits of adult supervision and the company of other students in a similar position. These trips are available to individual students, groups of friends or school groups.
For more information see our Frequently Asked Questions below.
Included in the package:
- 7 days’ / 6 nights’ travel (Sunday to Saturday)
- Flights / Eurostar
- Local transfers on arrival and departure
- Half-board Host Family accommodation
- Hotel Trips Bed & Breakfast plus 2 evening meals
- Work Placement matched to student preferences, interests, skills and experience from a range of Business Categories.
- Internship agreement (A tripartite contract required in many work placements)
Social & Cultural Programme
- Optional cultural & social programme
- Welcome newsletter
- Detailed pre-departure information pack
- Group Leader support for duration of trip
- 24/7 Emergency support from UK office
- Programme certificate
- Workplace, travel and health insurance
I just want to say thank you for the trip to Dortmund that Rebecca went on last month. She really enjoyed the experience and learned so much while working at the pet store and finding her way around a foreign city. She was very proud of her final certificate and, indeed, so were we! I’m sure it will be something that will stand her in good stead in application processes in the future. I really commend you for the efficient way in which the trip was organised and the excellent communications provided at each stage of the trip.
This trip was absolutely incredible! The amount that my confidence and language skills improved in my placement and host family is unimaginable. Living in a French household and saying goodnight in French is just amazing. I can’t recommend this trip enough!
Register an interest or save a place with a deposit.
Looking for an alternative package?
Why not consider one of our Work and Study or Language Courses abroad? Available throughout the year, flexible dates to suit your requirements.
Are you a school teacher looking for a school group trip?
Our tailor-made packages travel throughout the year. Get in touch to find out more.
Over 18 and looking for a placement abroad?
Our tailor-made packages travel throughout the year. Get in touch to find out more.
Who can travel?
Our work experience mixes school trips are open to 16-19 year olds studying a foreign language for their AS Level, A Level, IB, Scottish Highers, Irish Leaving Certificate or similar. Able students having taken their GCSE and intending to study languages post-16, are welcome to join our Summer trips if they are confident.
University students and mature students can book on to our tailor-made packages which can include language courses, Work and Study or Internships as well as host family or hotel accommodation.
If you are a teacher wanting to take a class of students, we can arrange a tailor-made trip for your group organising transport, accommodation and language school and/or work placements for each of your students.
Can I travel with my friends?
If you select the same mixed school group trip trip as your friends then we will always endeavour to place you all in the same city. Please remember to tell us that you are travelling with friends when booking. We will give you a booking code once you have enrolled on a trip, which you can pass to your friends to ensure they are on the same trip.
It is also possible to book tailor-made trips which can be arranged with friends.
Can I go on my own?
Every trip we have many students who join the trips independently – they soon make new friends. Before you travel you will be able to contact other students on your trip via an event on our Facebook page so you can get to know each other before you go. We also request consent to share students’ mobile numbers which some students use to arrange transport to their airport or just to chat in Whatsapp groups. (This is optional.)
Joining our trips as an individual can be a great experience and can be a good practice for going away to university. It also fosters independence in a safe and supported environment.
Our Group Leaders are trained in getting students to integrate and mix. On the Sunday when the group arrive, they organise an activity as an ice-breaker, so students can begin to meet each other and get to know the Group Leaders.
Which city will I travel to?
For our mixed school groups we travel to:
🇫🇷 France: Lille
🇩🇪 Germany: Hamburg
🇪🇸 Spain: Valencia
For schools who opt for a tailor-made trip we offer a number of destinations:
🇫🇷 France: Lille, Rouen, Bordeaux, Tours, Montpellier, Metz, Nice
🇩🇪 Germany: Aachen, Koblenz , Dortmund, Hamburg
🇪🇸 Spain: Malaga, Salamanca, Segovia, Valencia, Alicante, Santiago de Compostela, Zaragoza
How much spending money will I need?
We suggest about €150. Please bear in mind you have to buy your own lunch each day. Trips staying in hotels have 2 evening meals provided at local restaurants, the other 4 evening meals will need to be purchased. Host family trips are half board including breakfast and evening meals.
If students want to participate in extra activities and buy presents for their friends at home etc, they may want to take a little bit more.
Students may require public transport to get to their work placement although many are very central to hotels and host families. Students should budget a small amount of money for this but will know before they go if it is necessary.
How many other students will be travelling?
This varies considerably from one trip to another; as few as 9 or 10 to as many as 30 could be in the same city as you! They come from all over the country so you will have the opportunity to make lots of interesting new friends.
When we have larger groups there are multiple Group Leaders working with 10-15 students each. Groups may stay in different accommodation. If you are travelling with a friend we can make sure that you are together though.
How do you decide where I will be going?
We travel to cities that we have used before and have proved to be popular and provide a safe and exciting experience. We tend to avoid capital cities and larger cities for group trips. By visiting smaller cities and larger towns we feel that students become confident about travelling around the city and really get to know the area before they leave.
What should I pack?
We have put together a handy packing guide here. Of course you may need extras that are not listed here but this is a starting point.
How do you decide where I will work?
We have 10 business categories of placements. Students are required to complete an application form including the opportunity to choose 5 of our 10 business categories. We are usually able to provide a placement in the top 3 preferences. (In the case of late applications, choice of placements can sometimes be more limited). Sometimes placements fall into more than category.
Placement allocations are based on student profiles combined with the availability of placements.
Students will be asked to write a letter to their prospective employer in the language of the destination country. All of the information given on the application form and in the letter is taken into consideration when we choose your placement, as is the level of your language skills as outlined by your teacher on the booking form.
When will I find out my placement?
Placements are allocated prior to travel and students are informed of their placement about two weeks prior to travel by means of a final mailing and via their MyAccount.
Do students work together?
The majority of placements are arranged for students to be on their own. This reduces the temptation to speak English during the placement. There are some work places that can accommodate multiple students in different areas (eg front of house and kitchen at restaurant or different rooms at a nursery).
What sort of work will I be doing?
We have an extensive range of placements. No two are the same and the tasks at each vary considerably. Students will be given some indication of the tasks when they receive their placement, however, they should be prepared to fully engage in all the aspects of the work at the placement.
It is important to note that the main aim of the work experience trip is to improve students’ linguistic abilities as well as providing the opportunities to learn and apply transferable skills.
It is also worth noting that some roles will involve tasks similar to that of a part-time job in the UK, others may involve shadowing your supervisor whilst they carry out tasks. There is a lot of variety between placements. You are welcome to ask for more guidance in choosing your placement preferences.
How many days will I work?
Students will normally spend 5 days at their work placement. Occasionally, due to Bank Holidays, weekday closures or other constraints, some students may work less than five days. In these instances additional opportunities to discover the local area and use your language skills are usually provided.
We aim to provide in the region of 25 hours work over the week. This may vary depending on the nature of the work placement and this will not be the same for every student on the trip as workplace opening hours vary.
How far are the placements from the accommodation?
The majority of placements are within 15-20 minutes minute either by foot or by local transport. Using local transport is very much part of learning to live abroad independently and provides opportunities to use your language skills too.
Occasionally, placements can take longer to get to. This is particularly the case for host families who may not live in the centre of the city. We may arrange placements with longer travelling times for specialist business categories or particularly popular placements.
If transport is needed, maps and directions will be provided and of course the Group Leader is on hand to support as much as necessary.
Do I get paid?
Work places are not paid but you will gain much more than a few Euros. Just like work experience you may have undertaken in the UK, placements are designed to provide you with opportunities to experience the world of work and develop skills that you may not be able to in a school environment; customer service, working as part of a team, time-keeping, independence, work-place specific skills… In addition, you will have the opportunity to practise your language skills in a unique way.
Booking and Payments
When are the booking deadlines?
Late applications may sometimes be accepted so it is worth contacting us to enquire about booking, however, we recommend booking early to to avoid disappointment. The recommended ‘deadlines’ for booking are as follows:
|Trip||Booking Deadline||Payment Deadline|
|October||30th June||10 weeks prior to travel|
|February||30th November||10 weeks prior to travel|
|April||31st December||10 weeks prior to travel|
|July||31st March||10 weeks prior to travel|
Please note late bookings may be subject to a surcharge to cover transport if prices have increased since the booking deadline.
What is included in the price?
The following are included in the package:
- Work Placement including matching and accompanying documentation.
- Return travel from the UK (for trips by air, a single pice of hold luggage and air passenger duty is included)
- Local transfers to your accommodation on arrival and departure.
- Hotel trips: Bed, breakfast and 2 evening meals.
- Host Family trips: Bed, breakfast and all evening meals.
- 1 Group social activity.
- Optional social programme (extra charges apply)
- Group Leader support from the time of departure to the time of return. (Group Leaders travel with the party and stay in the hotel with hotel groups or centrally for Host Family groups.)
- Course Certificate
- 24/7 UK Office based support with named contact.
- Workplace, travel and medical insurance.
What extra costs do I need to allow for?
We recommend allowing approximately €150 to cover the following:
- 4 Evening meals (hotel trips)
- Optional Social and Cultural Programme
- Food for the journey
- Local transport if required
Optionally, you may want to allow a small amount of money for a gift for your host or placement supervisor or you may choose to bring something from the UK.
We strongly recommend having a bank card that you can use abroad with low charges (Starling, Monzo, Revolut and some other banks do not charge fees for international transactions in Europe). Alternatively, a preloaded Euro card can be a good idea, so you know what rate you are getting in advance. Some Euros in cash is also a good idea.
Where will I meet the group?
Travelling by air
We usually travel from London airports; Luton or Stansted (most commonly), Gatwick or Heathrow (less frequently). You will be informed of the departure airport several weeks prior to departure.
You will be expected to be at the meeting point (usually the bag drop) by the allocated time, to meet the Group Leader.
Travelling by Eurostar
The meeting point for trips by Eurostar is in London St Pancras train station.
In each case, the Group Leader will meet you at the allocated meeting point prior to travel and stay with you until the return to the same location.
How will I get there?
Each trip is assigned either to being an air or Eurostar trip. You can see the transport for each trip at the time of booking.
Air Option: Flights will be from one of the main London airports (usually Luton or Stansted very occasionally Gatwick or Heathrow but we will let you know in advance if this is the case). Students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to the allocated UK airport.
Return transfers between the airport and accommodation in your destination are included in the package.
Eurostar: The group will meet at London St Pancras International and return to the same point. Students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to the London departure point.
How long is the journey?
Before your trip you will receive a detailed itinerary which breaks down the journey. For trips by air, there is usually a transfer from the airport to the city in which you will be staying. This is included in the package and time is allocated in the itinerary.
How much travel is involved when I am there?
As with most city breaks, to make the most of exploring the area there will be lots of walking and exploring using public transport. This will help you get to know the city and give you plenty of opportunities to use your language skills.
You may be required to take public transport to get to your work placement. Where this is the case, your Group Leader will be able to support if necessary and you will be given a travel plan in your final student mailing prior to departure. You will have the opportunity prior to your first day to practise the route with other students on the trip.
Can I travel independently?
We frequently have students who join the group by travelling independently. This can be due to other commitments, travelling onwards after the trip or travelling from distant locations. This can be arranged in most instances as required. You should contact us at the time of booking to discuss the options available.
Where necessary, we will request some brief additional paperwork for students travelling independently to assist the Group Leader in ensuring that you meet up with the main group or make onward travel.
Accommodation and Meals
Where will I stay?
Hotel / Hostel Option: students are usually accommodated in 2/3 star hotel in Spain, and 2/3 star hotels or youth hostels in France & Germany. Where we use Youth Hostel accommodation it is of a very high standard. Rooms are arranged on the journey with 2 – 4 students of the same gender in a room.
Host Family Option: Students are welcomed into a host family for the duration of the stay. The hosts provide meals and the opportunity to speak the target language. Host families are allocated prior to travel and you will be informed approximately 2 weeks before the trip. You are encouraged to get in touch to introduce yourself but we will send a profile in advance too. You can read more about staying with a host family in our Host Family Guide.
Which meals provided?
Hotel / Hostel Option: Breakfast is provided every day and 2 evening meals, usually the first and last evenings. On the remaining evenings, students are encouraged to visit local restaurants by the Group Leader. There is level of flexibility and choice available with this option.
Host Family Option: Breakfast and evening meals are provided. It is worth noting that if a meal out is arranged (as it often is) this is at an additional charge and is optional.
Can multiple students stay with the same host family?
Students on host family trips can provide a preference to share with another student or be housed individually dependent on their preference and subject to availability.
At the time of application, if you wish to, you can tell us the name of any particular friend with whom you would like to share. (Subject to availability.)
Please note that in line with best practice guidance from the British Council, we do not permit mixed genders to share the same host accommodation.
How do Blue Stamp Travel find host families?
We have been working with partner language schools and family stay organisations for many years. All families who provide accommodation are visited and vetted prior to first use. Local police checks are carried out and a minimum standard of accommodation is required.
Most families have been hosting time and time again for many years with well known satisfaction ratings from past students.
Families are regularly visited and vetted by our host family coordinators.
In line with best practice all students have 24 hour contact numbers with local family stay organiser supervisors and our local Group Leaders as well as the UK based office.
Allergies and Dietary Requirements
Can you cater for special dietary needs?
Where small adjustments are needed such as avoiding strawberries for a mild allergy reasons or avoiding certain foods out of preference (like brussel sprouts, for example), you can simply inform us on your application and we will make sure that the host family knows to avoid these foods during your stay.
If you have a more severe allergy please let us know through your application. It is important we know this as soon as possible so that we can allocate hosts appropriately. Where slight adjustments to the food served are needed these can usually be made in most families. If more significant changes are needed we may seek a specific family who can cater for your needs.
If you carry an epi-pen (or similar) for allergies, we will inform the host family in advance if you are staying with a host.
Vegetarian, Vegan, Halal, Gluten Free and other specific diets can usually be accommodated. In some locations there may be a charge for a special diet to be provided. Again, please let us know of any requirements early in your application. As continental Europe is not as well adjusted to specific dietary choices as the UK, please be mindful that some flexibility may be needed – although no students are ever expected to eat anything that they would not choose to eat.
Do host families have pets?
Some host families have pets. If you have a preference to avoid staying with a host family with pets please let us know via your application.
Who supervises the trip?
Group Leaders accompany the trip in the ratio of approximately 1:10 / 1:15. They are usually language teachers, native speakers or linguists with a degree or relevant experience abroad.
Group Leaders offer guidance & support where needed. School staff do not routinely attend the mixed school group trips.
Group Leaders are responsible for ensuring that students adhere to the code of conduct and have a safe and enjoyable trip. They also provide social opportunities and visit the work placements. They are the first port of call for students on the trip but support from the UK office is also available.
What is the Code of Conduct?
The Code of Conduct is part of the application process. It is an agreement that we ask students and parents/carers to sign in order to make clear the expectations of student behaviour on these trips. In general, students are keen to get the most out of the trip and this is best achieved when following the simple rules.
The Code of Conduct reads:
The Group Leaders will be responsible for the organisation of your trip whilst abroad and students should comply with all reasonable requests made by them.
- All students will be treated as young adults and should behave appropriately.
- Do not go out at night on your own and always sign in/out at the accommodation.
- Treat others with courtesy and politeness.
- Do not take any illegal substances.
- Refrain from consuming excess alcohol.
- Be prompt for all meetings and particularly coach and flight departure times.
- Take any worries or concerns about any aspect of the trip to the Group Leaders.
- Attend the full number of sessions planned.
- Seek written approval from a Group Leader in the case of any absence from work.
- In the event of any difficulties at work, in the first instance, seek advice from the Group Leaders to resolve the situation.
- Refrain from using smart phones/tablets in the work place unless instructed by employer.
- Respect others in the accommodation by conforming to curfew, quiet times and lights out times.
- Do not keep food or alcohol in rooms.
- Keep rooms tidy.
- Do not allow non-residents into student rooms.
- Respect the accommodation and report any damage as soon as practicable.
I acknowledge receipt of the Code of Conduct and agree to abide by it. I accept that in the event of any misconduct or breach of the Code of Conduct, I may be required to reimburse costs incurred. In the event of a serious misdemeanour my parent(s)/carer(s) may be informed and in the most serious of cases I may be repatriated and expected to meet these costs.