Q. What exactly is the International Exchange Programme?
A. The International Exchange Programme allows selected students to attend one of our overseas (non EU) exchange destinations for either a semester or a full academic year, which is normally in their 3rd year. Students gain credit for their year abroad and return to their sending college for their 4th year.
Q. Can anyone go?
A. In order to apply you need to be a full-time student at one of the UHI colleges. If you are enthusiastic about the opportunities available, committed to your programme, and keen to take on new challenges you automatically full fill the most important conditions of programme participation!
Q. Can I go at any point in my studies?
A. Students go on exchange in either semester 5 or 6, or for the whole of their 3rd year. Students choosing to study in Europe under the ERASMUS exchange programmestudy abroad usually go in semester 6.
Q. Where can I go?
A. At present we have exchange destinations in USA and Canada. More information on partner universities on our website.
Q. How do I apply?
A. The application form is available from our website ( How to apply?). This must be completed and returned to the UHI International Officer by the date given, usually mid-October for January semester and mid-April for September start. Students must receive approval from their academic department(s) to participate in the exchange programme. Students will be invited for an informal interview where they can meet with the UHI International Officer and ask questions. After you have been accepted you will be asked to sign an agreement with terms and conditions of the exchange.
Q. How am I selected?
A. UHI regards participation in the exchange programme as an academic and personal honour and seeks to select the best of its students on the basis of merit. Selection is made on the basis of one basic criteria - personal suitability. The application and interview process are intended to help students make the best case for selection that they can. We want to find students who are committed to their programme, enthusiastic about the representing Scotland and its customs and keen to take on new challenges. The programme is for everyone with a sense of adventure!
Q. Does everyone who applies get a place on the exchange programme?
We strive to accommodate all students who want to participate in the exchange programme, however as an amount of places is limited on each agreement, we can not guarantee student’s approval on the programme. The UHI International Officer will advise on availability of places at the time of enquiry.
Q. How do I decide which Partner Universities best fit my degree programme?
A. Look at the websites for each institution and see if the courses offered there fit your degree programme and are of interest to you. It is your responsibility to check if the host destination has appropriate courses. Catalogues (prospectuses) are best viewed online. You should also consult your course manager if you have questions about what modules you need to take whilst on exchange.
Q. What are the costs involved?
A. Costs can vary considerably between institutions. Course fees are paid to the your sending college in the normal way, you do not pay tuition at the host destination.
You are entitled to any loans/grants you already receive. Additional costs for students taking part are those of travel, insurance and accommodation.
You may wish to consider approaching an external organisation for funding support. Please see more at ‘ Cost and funding’.
Q. Where do I live whilst I am on exchange?
A. Details of accommodation available will be given to you by the host destination. On most exchanges you can live on campus or off campus but you may find it more cost effective to live off campus.
Q. Once I leave Scotland, am I on my own?
A. Our International Officer is available to assist with any non-academic questions or problems. They will also be able to help out by liaising with relevant people in case of academic issues that you may have.
Partner universities also have an International or Study Abroad Office with staff who can assist while you are there. Some of them run Buddy Schemes to support incoming students and make their experience as positive as possible.
Q. Do I get credit for the courses I take whilst on exchange?
A. Students who go on exchange will have their credits formally recorded on their student transcript. Subject to your performance while abroad, this will be counted towards your UHI degree study.
Q. Can I stay and finish my degree at my host University?
A. No. It is a condition of your participation in the exchange scheme that you return to your sending college and complete your fourth year of study here.
Q. I have more questions…
A. Drop us an email or make an appointment with the International Officer to come and talk about exchange opportunities.