Where look for student exchange programs
To start, reach out to your university's educational or international department and inquire about their established contacts with foreign universities.
Additionally, visit the website of your country's embassy to check for available government student exchange programs with your country.
Erasmus+ stands as a pan-European student exchange initiative, enabling participants to travel freely to European universities for one or two semesters of study.
University students, teachers, and scientists are eligible to participate, provided their university is recognized by Erasmus+. It is the university that will handle the program application on your behalf.
Requirements may vary based on the host institution, but generally, good academic performance, a well-written motivational letter, recommendation letters, and proficiency in English or a national language at a B2 level or higher suffice.
The German Academic Exchange Service DAAD provides various programs in Germany for students, teachers, scientists, and researchers. For instance, 2nd to 4th-year bachelor's students or 1st-year master's students can attend summer language courses.
Young scientists have the opportunity to partake in a scientific internship for up to a year or work on a doctoral dissertation with dual supervision from teachers at both German and home universities.
DAAD covers all expenses, including flight, tuition, accommodation, medical insurance, pocket expenses, and more.
For a complete list of exchange programs, visit the official DAAD website.
AIESEC, a youth organization, provides opportunities for internships and volunteering abroad. As a non-profit organization run by students, participation in their programs incurs a fee ranging from 218 USD to 327 USD.
AIESEC offers three main programs:
- Global Volunteer — A 6-8 week volunteering opportunity in international UN projects
- Global Talents — paid internships for up to a year in marketing, business administration, and IT
- Global Teacher — paid internships for young English teachers in schools located in Turkey, India, and Egypt
The international organization, Rotary Club, coordinates comprehensive long-term youth exchange programs in over 100 countries worldwide, each spanning 1 academic year. During the program, students enroll at local universities or schools and reside with host families.
Rotary Club offers scholarships for these programs, covering various expenses such as:
- Medical insurance
- Document processing and visas
- Education costs
- Other expenses
School children and students aged 15-19, displaying good academic performance and leadership qualities, are eligible to participate in the exchange program.
Steps to studying on an exchange
Decide on the country and program
For a university exchange, choose the same faculty or a related field to get credits for your completed courses. At this stage, be sure to consider your proficiency in the national language if it's required for the program.
Contact your university department or private organization
Get a list of available exchange programs with all the relevant conditions and details.
Choose a suitable program and clarify its requirements
Find out the program's duration and what expenses will be covered by the university or organization. If funding is not fully covered, explore scholarship opportunities.
Prepare documents and fill out an application
Different programs and host institutions have varying document requirements. Obtain the exact list of required documents during the previous stage.
Commonly required documents include:
- Passport copy
- Grade transcript from previous year of study (GPA requirements depend on the university)
- Proof of language proficiency — confirmed at the B2 level or higher during an interview, or proven with IELTS / TOEFL / CELA scores
- Motivation letter
- Recommendation letter from a university professor
- Health certificate
- Medical insurance
Apply on the organization's website or through your university
Keep in mind that exchange program selections are competitive, and processing applications may take several months. Utilize this time to improve your language skills if needed.
Prepare for the trip
Apply for a visa, noting that the requirements vary by country. If you are under 18, you may need both parents' consent and a power of attorney.
Plan your accommodation, either in a university residence or with a host family, by contacting them in advance to discuss the arrangements.
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