Best Exchange Programs for Students – If you are thinking that as a student, while in college, travelling to some other part of the world would be difficult or near impossible, we have determined the best places to study abroad.
There are many ways to embark on a trip to a different country, and in some cases; you do not have to put a break in your education.
One of the best ways to visit a new country, as a student, is through an International student exchange program.
International exchange programs have been a practice since the 1950s, showing a remarkable rise in success yearly.
Cultural exchange programs occur when a student or students from a high school or university, are taken to another high school or university, and, in some cases, are exchanged with a student or students from the other school, for study purposes.
Best Exchange Programs for Students
Best Places to Study Abroad do not necessarily have to occur in a foreign country, partaking in one offers you the opportunity to experience a new country, lifestyle, and exploration into rich and cultural engaging locations.
With some exchange programs, you can continue your course study, adding up academic credit units via classroom programs, custom writing assignments, academic writing etc., while learning a new language skills.
Exchange programs also offer the opportunity to continue your course study program,
If you would love to take the time out to travel through an exchange program, below, we have written out a list of student exchange programs you definitely should consider.
Erasmus University Exchange Program
It is estimated that more than 3 million students have passed through the Erasmus exchange program.
This is no surprise considering that Erasmus is one of the diversified student exchange programs available.
Established in 1987, Erasmus stems from a European funding program geared at giving university students the opportunity to study or engage in an internship in a country other than the country of residence.
With Erasmus, you are also entitled to receive a grant which is aimed at covering some of the costs of moving abroad.
CAPA The Global Education Network
CAPA The Global Education Network has been offering study abroad programs and student internships, for more than four decades.
Operating in cities like London, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Dublin, Shanghai and Sydney, CAPA offers the opportunity to soak up a cross-continental student experience.
Students who opt for an exchange program through CAPA could also be eligible to receive a piece of the $1.5 million annual study abroad scholarships, grants and other financial benefits.
The Education Abroad Network
Founded by two University volunteers in 1995, The Education Abroad Network has grown to become a multi-cultural, diverse network across the Asian region.
Applicants get to take courses at renowned institutions in Asia, while embracing the culture and lifestyle in a quite unique geographical location.
Located in countries like Australia, New Zealand, China, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, and Vietnam, eligible applicants are those whose discipline fall under the Business, Communications, Social Sciences, Engineering, Health and Art categories.
A not-for-profit organization, IES Abroad is committed to giving prospective students an enhanced study abroad experience.
The organization has an extensive range of exchange programs within the United States and abroad.
With residence in more than 30 countries, and more than a hundred study abroad programs, the interested student would have a wide range of options to pick from.
Looking to really get immersed in options to study abroad?
CIS abroad offers a collection of student exchange programs, internship and study in between semester programs to students in 19 countries.
Mostly serving English speaking locations, the exchange programs offerings include students with disciplines in Engineering, Sciences, Social Sciences, and Technology.
National Student Exchange
Strictly organizing placement programs for students resident in the United States, Canada, and the U.S. Territories, the National Student Exchange offers diversity and exposure not available in domestic institutions, aimed at broadening the student’s educational perspectives.
The NSE has member campuses in universities like Northern Arizona, North Dakota State, University of Minnesota, University of New Hampshire, the University of New Mexico, among others.
Academic Programs International API
One of the organizations geared toward providing affordable exchange programs, Academic Programs International focuses on the provision of these programs for students in the United States.
However, the student is not limited to country or continent location.
Take the opportunity to pick from a wide range of continents i.e. Europe, Latin America, Australasia and Asia; and an exquisite number of countries like England, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, France, Italy and even Argentina.
Institute for Study Abroad
Similar to the API, the IFSA is geared at providing quality student exchange programs abroad for North American undergrad students.
Offering grants from as little as $2000, the IFSA aims to reach and serve as wide a range of the student population as possible.
So these are some of the best exchange programs prospective students can take advantage of.
If you would like to be a part of any one of these, do make sure you visit your school’s international student exchange office at the earliest, to signify your interest.
And once you’ve been approved, in the host school and country where you visit, do ensure to come with the mindset to completely immerse yourself in the experience, and have lots of fun doing just that!
CIEE, or the Council on International Educational Exchange, is a nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization. It was founded in 1947, with headquarters in Portland, Maine.
CIEE operates over 175 student exchange programs. Students can choose from programs in over 40 countries. CIEE also operates teaching programs, as well as opportunities for foreign residents to come to the USA on a work term.
Contrary to some foreign exchange programs, CIEE focuses on having something for more than only college students. There are programs for high school students, University students, US citizens, non-US citizens, international travelers, and more. That being said, the focus remains on their student exchange program.
CIEE offers exchange programs in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, North America, and the Middle East. Click here to search their study abroad programs available to college students. Popular locations include Japan, Australia, France, Portugal, Chile, Jordan, and many more! You can also use CIEE’s “Open Campus” feature to design a foreign exchange program in up to three different locations over the course of a semester.
CIEE has a high-bar for its partner programs, emphasizing world-class education, cultural immersion, and student support (including resident directors and staff). CIEE has all the necessary support to help students apply, travel, get orientated, and complete their semester successfully.
ISEP is a non-profit organization aimed to help students find affordable, accessible exchange opportunities. They offer study, intern, and volunteer programs in over 50 countries around the world.
ISEP offers several student exchange programs, with many popular programs that offer courses in English. Some of the more popular destinations include Brussels, Milan, Bangkok, Tokyo, Edinburgh, and more.
ISEP’s programs differ based on price and eligibility, but most fall into their general “ISEP Exchange” program category. With an ISEP Exchange, you are swapping spots with a student from a foreign institution also participating in the ISEP Exchange program. Students rank their choices (up to 10), and ISEP does their best to place students for fall or spring semester.
ISEP helps facilitate the experience for students, offering support programs to prepare students, and also to assist them while there. They offer various financing and scholarship opportunities, to help keep the program accessible for everyone.
Student Exchange Programs Europe
Spending some time abroad as a student is a great experience.
It allows you to familiarize yourself with a new culture.
You can make new friends as you discover new places, try interesting foods, and gain knowledge.
We have put together a list of the best places for student exchange programs Europe.
Best Places to Study Abroad in Europe
This beautiful city has everything you need while studying abroad.
The University of Lisbon is the largest university in Portugal.
NOVA University of Lisbon is ranked as one of the best universities in Europe.
The city also has an awesome startup scene with many events and workshops.
It is perfect for students who are thinking about starting a business after finishing their degree.
Lisbon is always packed with international students from all over the world there to enjoy the vibrant nightlife and the beautiful weather.
Thinking about trying something new while abroad?
Many beaches in Portugal are perfect for taking surfing lessons or just relaxing in the sun.
Valencia is an awesome place if you want the best of both worlds.
In summer, you can enjoy relaxing at the beach.
In the winter, you can go skiing in the nearby mountains.
Life in Valencia is very affordable.
It is therefore perfect for a tight student budget. Students also enjoy its many events throughout the year.
The University of Valencia is one of the highest ranked universities in Spain with more than 100 possible study programs.
The Polytechnic University of Valencia is one of the best technological universities in the world.
Rotterdam, the Netherlands
This Dutch city is a perfect place for students who like modern architecture and appreciate diversity.
Rotterdam is very multicultural, yet still remains some tradition.
It is also a place with many international companies.
Therefore, it’s a perfect location for students who want to get hands-on, working experience with an internship during studies.
You will also enjoy that the Netherlands is relatively small.
It’s very well connected with public transport which will allow you to travel around and discover new places during your free time.
Rotterdam is also home to many universities.
Erasmus University is one of the best ranked in Europe.
Milano is a very vibrant city with many internationals.
In fact, it is considered as the most international city in Italy.
As one of the fashion capitals of the world, you can literally shop till you drop as the city is full of shops.
Italians also have a very special food culture which you will definitely appreciate: pizza, pasta in all forms and prepared in all possible ways, ice cream and many other traditional dishes.
You will not run out of options during your stay. Students also enjoy Milano’s nightlife.
There are many universities.
The University of Milano, for example, is one of the largest universities in Europe with more than 60,000 students.
The capital of Germany is full of attractions.
There are many events throughout the year, all from exhibitions to concerts and festivals.
Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin is ranked the best in the city.
As a student, you will also like that Berlin is one of the most affordable German cities.
You can enjoy a kebab, currywurst, brezel or any other delicious German specialty.
Due to the fact that Berlin is full of internationals, you won’t need to know fluent German.
You will be able to easily get around with English.
Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden and home to many students.
The education system in Sweden is considered to be one of the best ones in the world.
Although Sweden is in general not the cheapest place to live, Gothenburg is still more affordable than some other Swedish cities.
The University of Gothenburg is a strong research university.
If you are a fan of nature, you will love Gothenburg. It has a 137 hectares large park in the middle of the city, which is perfect for picnics and sports activities.
You will want to visit the more northern areas in Sweden where you can enjoy the beautiful sights of the northern lights.
The capital city, Copenhagen is the most populous city in Denmark.
Due to its practical location, it is very easy to travel to other nearby countries, such as Germany, Sweden and Finland.
The city is full of students.
In fact, there are over 94,000 students enrolled in its largest universities.
The University of Copenhagen is the oldest university in Denmark.
It attracts around 1,500 international students each academic year.
Many international companies have their headquarters in Copenhagen which is another great opportunity for students who want to gain some practical experience during studies.
Copenhagen has one of the highest numbers of bars and restaurants per capita in the world.
Brussels is a city where many European institutions and organizations have their headquarters.
It is therefore a perfect place for everyone that wants to have a future career in business or politics.
Since it is not very big, it is also relatively easy to get around.
As the capital of a western European country, it is also quite affordable to live in.
As an international student, you will also enjoy that Brussels has a very vibrant nightlife.
If you are fluent in French or Dutch, you may consider the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) & (mostly French-speaking) or Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) (predominantly Dutch-speaking).
Both are ranked in the top 220 in the world.
At the graduate level, both offer courses in English.
If you have a sweet tooth, you will also enjoy typical Belgian waffles and delicious chocolate.
Brussels is also very multicultural so you have an opportunity to get to know many different cultures.
This Austrian capital city is very vibrant and full of international as well as local students.
The city has many beautiful buildings and a lot of culture.
There are more than 100 art museums located throughout the city.
Austria offers many perfect opportunities for escaping the city life.
There are many beautiful lakes and mountains nearby where you can go hiking in summer and skiing in winter.
Vienna is home to many universities, among which are many international schools.
You will also like the fact that there are many beautiful parks and gardens throughout the city, where you can relax during your time off.
Are you a fan of coffee?
Then you will love visiting one of the Viennese cafés, enjoying a cup of coffee or eating a piece of traditional chocolate cake called Sacher Torte.
Best Places to Study Abroad Scotland
Scotland is the most popular destination for exchange students in the UK.
People have voted for it several times as one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Students make up about one fifth of the population.
Edinburgh has four universities.
The city’s Old and New Towns were listed as a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its unique character and medieval streets and buildings.
Edinburgh is also considered as the “birthplace” of Harry Potter as it is believed that JK Rowling wrote this famous book in one of the cafes overlooking Edinburgh Castle.
If you like to attend events, you will love that Edinburgh is home to numerous festivals that take place between the end of July and early September each year.
The city is also perfect for students who enjoy or want a career in music, theater or the film industry.
Best Places to Study Abroad Europe
While it’s important to choose a university in which to align with your studies, you will also want to consider the country and nearby places you can travel to.
There are wonderful countries to consider for a semester abroad.
Once you decide on the university, it’s important to start planning everything as soon as possible.
The main and most important task is finding a place to stay in a foreign city which can be quite confusing.
For that reason, there are websites you can use in order to safely secure your place abroad.
One of them is housinganywhere.com, a booking platform designed especially for international students.
What is it Like to be a Foreign Exchange Student?
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges as a foreign exchange student is knowing what to expect. It’s a brand-new experience for many, and not only is there culture shock, there is the stress of attending a new academic institution.
This is why we recommend using one of the reputable exchange organizations that we mentioned above. These programs specialize in orienting students beforehand, and providing them with constant support resources while abroad.
No matter the program, an international exchange will be an exciting, challenging, and life-changing experience. You’ll meet new people, experience new foods, embrace new cultures, and see new things. It sounds cliché, but the experience is what you make of it. The more open and receptive you are to new experiences, the more you can expect to enjoy it.
Do You Have to be Rich to Be a Foreign Exchange Student?
No, not necessarily, but there’s no denying that more affluent students have a definite advantage in terms of each programs’ affordability. That being said, most exchange programs offer financing and scholarship opportunities. Many organizations are non-profit, which means they focus on securing students the most affordable opportunities possible.
All this said, we can’t truthfully tell you that money isn’t an advantage, and won’t make the opportunity more accessible to certain students, especially in terms of stress. Hopefully you can find an exchange program with a financial commitment that works for you.