Going overseas on exchange is an amazing experience, one that you will remember for the rest of your life. It is exciting and everyone who comes home after a year or two raves about how much fun they had. If you want to study English in UCLA, for example, there are exchange programs that will make this possible. So what steps do you need to take if you want to go on exchange?
Maintain a Credit Average – Unfortunately for some under-performing students, your university will not just let anyone go on exchange. The students selected to study on exchange are representing the university, they are in effect ambassadors and it would be a bit embarrassing if a university’s ambassadors are failing in every subject. As a result no student with grades below a credit average will be allowed to study overseas.
The simple remedy to this problem is to study and study hard. Make sure you attend every lecture and ask questions during class. If you can show your lecturer that you have a real interest in his classes, he will be more than willing to write a letter of recommendation for your exchange.
Visit Your Students Services Department – If you have maintained a credit average or higher, visit to your student services department. A staff member will provide you with a list of all the available universities and the courses they offer.
Bear in mind that you can only study at a university that offers your course to international students. For example, the Melbourne Business School is a part of the Partnership of International Management (PIM), a consortium of international business schools. If you are a student at the MBS, you can only go on exchange to another PIM business school.
Apply – Applying is the easy part of the exchange process. You will have to fill in the Exchange Program Application Form in addition to submitting three references – one personal and two academic. This is why it is important to make a good impression on your lecturers by asking questions and getting involved.
After completing your Exchange Program Application Form, you will have to fill out a 500 word statement outlining the reasons why you want to study abroad. It is okay to write down that you want to have fun studying overseas, just balance it with some academic and career motivations.
Attend Final Interviews – If your application is accepted, you will have to attend some final interviews with an exchange officer. You will have to explain your motivations for studying overseas and the reasons for your overseas host university preferences. Make sure that you rehearse the answers to some common questions, such as – Why do you want to study overseas? What made you decide on this particular university? What do you want to get out of your exchange?
Go on Exchange! – After all of your paperwork has been submitted and accepted by your host university, you are ready to go on exchange. Have fun!