8 Legit Student Exchange Programs for International Students

Actually, it can be hard to see beyond the mountain of assignments piled up on your desk while you’re at university. Thus, it’s important to make sure that you don’t get so caught up that you miss the incredible opportunities beyond your campus gates that your university can offer. Through student exchange programs, universities provide excellent opportunities to experience life and learning in another country. And when you think of the advantages they offer, it’s not difficult to see why these students take advantage of the services.

Student Exchange Programs
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In fact, exchange helps you to see in another country what it is like to live and learn. It is an eye-opening, once-in-a-lifetime experience for many. Before you start working full time, you will have the opportunity to rid yourself of the travel bug and have some fun. When you return from any student exchange programs, you will have a truckload of experience in life. For prospective jobs, the talents and attributes you will learn from training abroad, the fresh perspective you will gain, and the ability to put yourself beyond your comfort zone will look fantastic. In all facets of your life, it will serve you well.

Actually, these exchange programs for students have become a global trend of sorts. By establishing partnerships with educational institutions in other countries, several universities around the world have formed student exchange programs. Hence, this will offer an opportunity for their students to travel abroad. And if you are one of the students who are deeply interested in studying abroad, why don’t you start by joining one of the student exchange programs below?

1. The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (United States)

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program provides one semester scholarships to outstanding undergraduate students from around the world. Furthermore, it is available for non-degree full-time study. Also known as the Global UGRAD Program, it is combined with community service, professional development, and cultural enrichment. Plus, it provides non-degree undergraduate study abroad in the United States on a competitive basis to university students.

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program is open to anyone who is/has:

  • a citizen of a UGRAD participating country, currently residing in that country;
  • able to begin studies in the United States in August 2021 or January 2022 (selected participants may not defer to a later date);
  • a solid command of written and spoken English (English Language training for some finalists is possible);
  • cleared by a physician to participate in the program;
  • committed to returning to their home country after the completion of the program;
  • completed secondary education in their home country;
  • eligible to receive and maintain the US student exchange visa (J-1) required for the program;
  • enrolled as an undergraduate in good standing at any accredited university, public or private, and has at least one semester remaining at their home university at the conclusion of the UGRAD program;
  • over 18 years of age.
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The Global UGRAD student application opens on January 4th, 2021. Moreover, it will close on February 28th, 2021 at midnight Eastern Time.

2. The International Student Festival in Trondheim (Norway)

In fact, the International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT) is the world’s largest international student festival. It was available for the first time in 1990, and ever since then, ISFiT has been gathering students from all over the world for ten days of dialogue, cultural events, workshops and more. Specifically, this year’s program will invite students from different backgrounds to discuss the theme “Creating Knowledge”.

The requirements for ISFit are as follows:

  • Participants must be older than 18 years of age.
  • People applying to this program must be students.
  • The eligible students can be studying at any level of education.

The International Student Festival in Trondheim will be in February 2021, from 11th to 22nd.

3. The Youth for Understanding’s Student Exchange Programs

YFU Student Exchange Programs has been offering international exchange to high school students in Australia and New Zealand for over 40 years. In particular, it aims to provide students with an outstanding international exchange experience. As a result, YFU exchange students will become bright global citizens who will contribute to a better world. Specifically, these programs offer a unique opportunity to explore the world in a safe and supported way. Particularly, you can choose from programs lasting 2-12 months to over 25 destinations worldwide. Also, many of the destinations offer gap year programs for students who have recently graduated from secondary school.

The YFU Student Exchange Programs are open to anyone who is/has:

  • Average C (on an A to E scale) or better school grades over last two years;
  • Between 15 and 18 years old (students who are slightly younger or older may still be able to apply);
  • In good physical and mental health;
  • Mature, flexible, adaptable, responsible and willing to be challenged;
  • Still at school at the time of applying.
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The applications for departures July/August 2021 and beyond are open now.

4. The U.S. State Department’s Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program (United States)

The U.S. State Department’s Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program brings high school students from countries of strategic importance to the United States for an academic year. While on program, participants live with American host families, attend high school, and engage in community service and civic education activities. In particular, the program currently accepts students from the following countries:

  • Albania
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Cameroon
  • Egypt
  • Gaza
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Israel (Arab Communities)
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • North Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Mali
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • West Bank

In truth, the requirements for students from each country and their opening dates differ. As a result, you should check it directly on the official page of these student exchange programs.

5. JENESYS Program’s Japan-ASEAN Student Conference (Japan)

The Japan-ASEAN Student Conference is a program to promote the establishment of networks and mutual understanding, and to arouse the interest of youths who will bear the future of exchange between Japan and other East Asian countries.

In particular, the training-camp style programs are including proposals and/or reports on the discussion topic made and presented at the report session. Specifically, these programs are mainly composed of discussions about the future of cooperation in East Asia. After working with the pre-departure assignments, the youths participate in the program and stay together in a training camp for around 7 days. Through visits to topic-related facilities and interaction with local citizens, the youths repeat their discussions. All in all, the program currently accepts students from the following countries:

  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • The Philippines
  • Vietnam

For now, there is no further information on who should apply and when registration will open. However, you can prepare in advance.


As a non-profit organization, ISEP breaks down barriers to make the life-changing experience of study abroad accessible and affordable for everyone. Furthermore, it directly enrolls you at the member universities as it values the personal transformation that comes from cultural immersion. With experiences in more than 50 countries, ISEP has something for you.

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As a matter of fact, there are two ways to study abroad with ISEP:

  1. ISEP Direct: With ISEP Direct, you are guaranteed placement at your destination of choice as long as you meet certain requirements. There are diverse options available for all budgets and ISEP Direct can often be the most affordable way to study abroad.
  2. ISEP Exchange: On ISEP Exchange, you will pay your home university tuition and rank multiple sites across ISEP’s network on your application. Exchange space varies, and the most popular destinations may have a low chance of placement on ISEP Exchange.

As there are many different destination countries with their own criteria and opening dates, we would expect you to visit the official website live and choose the program you want.

7. AFS High School Student Exchange (France)

Through this program, you will receive early access to Rosetta Stone before departure to reduce the language barrier upon your arrival in France. Also, you’ll probably attend a public lycée (10th-12th grade) or collège (9th grade) depending on your age, but you could also be enrolled in a private school. In fact, France has 3 different specializations at most lycée for the equivalent of 11th and 12th grades. They are (L) arts, humanities, and languages; (S) natural sciences and math; and (ES) social science, economics, and history.

The AFS High School Student Exchange Program is open to anyone who is/has:

  • Minimum GPA of 2.5;
  • Between 15 years old to 17 years old at the start of the program;
  • Foreign language skills.

Although the opening date of this program is not yet available, you should prepare well in advance.

8. IPSF Student Exchange Program

As a matter of fact, IPSF Student Exchange Program (SEP) is IPSF’s largest project, offering professional pharmacy internships. Every year, more than 1000 students around the world are invited to experience pharmacy practice in more than 80 different countries. In particular, the IPSF member organizations organize the exchanges by finding host sites where the students are trained. Although the program runs throughout the year, the majority of the exchanges take place between May and September. Specifically, the length is usually 2 weeks up to 3 months with a minimum of 40 working hours per exchange.

Additionally, pharmacy students and recent graduates who belong to an IPSF Member Organization can apply for SEP through their associations. If your association is not a member of IPSF, you can apply for Individual Membership first and then apply as an Individual Member. If you have a Pharmacy or Pharmaceutical Sciences Students’ Organization locally or nationally, you can also join as an IPSF Member Organization.

As for now, more than 70 member associations are offering these Student Exchange Programs. Therefore, the opening for these programs also varies depending on the host country.

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