Student exchange FAQs
An exchange allows students to spend a semester or year abroad studying at one of our partner institutions.
Exchange availability is dependent on the course and is generally only available for undergraduate degrees. Check your courses’ eligibility on the Global Opportunities section of Blackboard.
Studying abroad allows you to see your subject from another perspective and to experience things you may not have otherwise.
As well as having a great time, learning about a new country and culture, and expanding your network, taking part in an exchange also develops a range of skills which can set you apart from other candidates when applying for graduate roles.
We have international exchange agreements with institutions around the world, in countries such as the USA, China, Canada, France, Spain and Australia.
Where you can go depends on your course and the exchange agreements the course has. You can find out the options for your course on the Global Opportunities section of Blackboard.
When you go depends on your course. Some courses allow you to go for a full year exchange, usually between your second and third years, and others for a semester exchange, either semester 1 or semester 2 of your second year.
Please check the Global Opportunities section of Blackboard for when your course's exchange opportunities take place.
You're required to obtain an average of 55% in all modules taken up until your departure.
You'll also need the agreement of your Academic Exchange Coordinator, who is the academic responsible for exchanges for your course. You can find out who your Academic Exchange Coordinator is on the Global Opportunities section of Blackboard.
You're responsible for covering the cost of your exchange and will need to pay for travel, accommodation, a visa, insurance and the general cost of living while abroad. These costs will vary between countries and institutions. You can find some information regarding estimated costs of living at some institutions on the Global Opportunities section of Blackboard.
You won't pay fees to your host institutions. If you are taking part in a semester exchange you'll pay your fees as normal to the University of Westminster. If you take part in a year-long exchange you'll pay discounted fees to the University of Westminster. You can find the details of the current discounts on the Student fees pages.
Usually, full year and semester 1 applications open around January and semester 2 exchanges open in April. Please keep an eye on announcements on the Global Opportunities section of Blackboard to see when the application period is open.
You'll complete an initial internal application and if you are successful at this stage, you'll be offered a conditional offer for your host institution. At this stage you'll be nominated for exchange at the host institution by the Student Mobility Team and will then start the application process with your host institution.
Please note that your exchange isn’t confirmed until you have the final offer from the host institution.
You won't be able to take part in a study exchange unless it is included in your degree programme. However, there are several short-term opportunities that you are able to take part in, including summer schools, volunteering opportunities and internships.
Further information regarding these opportunities can be found on the Global Opportunities section of Blackboard. You could also ask your department if there are any field-trip opportunities offered on your course.
Yes. You must be enrolled as a University of Westminster student during your year abroad.
For study exchanges you will be entitled to your student finance loan as usual and will have the option to ask for it in a different number of instalments to help you cover the exchange costs.
You can find more information and the link to apply for the Student Finance travel grant here.
For study exchanges and placements, you'll be responsible for your travel and accommodation costs. There are a range of funding opportunities available which you can find information about here. For short term opportunities such as volunteering and internships you'll need to check with the organisation you'll be working for.
For study exchanges you'll be responsible for finding your accommodation, but your host institution should provide support and options for you during the exchange application stage. Check on the host institution’s exchange website for further information regarding the support they offer. For short term opportunities you'll need to check with the organisation you are working for/studying at to find this information.
You'll usually need a visa for study exchanges. The type of visa you'll need will depend on the country you are going to, the length of your stay and your nationality. It is essential that you research this and are aware of which visa is necessary for your stay. The same goes for short term opportunities.
If you are on a Tier 4 visa in the UK, it is essential that you notify the Tier 4 team of your trip also.
All students must provide evidence of travel insurance before they leave. We suggest you get comprehensive travel insurance, which covers medical emergencies, last-minute cancellations, lost baggage and money. It should cover any pre-existing medical conditions you have, and you should ensure it covers all activities you undertake. You can find more information on our ‘Before you leave’ section of the website.
You can keep up to date with Brexit information and how this will potentially affect your trip abroad via our home page.
Your Academic Exchange Coordinator is the individual from your academic department who is responsible for study exchanges. You can find the list of Academic Exchange Coordinators for all courses on the Global Opportunities section of Blackboard.
Other opportunities FAQs
Some courses have compulsory/ optional placement modules/years where you have the opportunity to take part in a placement abroad. Check with your academic department to see if this is available for your course.
There are a range of short-term opportunities available abroad including summer schools, volunteering opportunities and internships.
Further information regarding these opportunities can be found on the Global Opportunities section of Blackboard.
There are a range of short-term opportunities available abroad including summer schools, volunteering opportunities and internships. You could also consider an Erasmus+ traineeship.