Student exchanges


The Students Abroad Representatives (STAR) programme gives you a chance to make the most of your time on exchange and to engage with students abroad and at home.

We’d like you to act as a student ambassador for the University of Edinburgh, engaging with students at your home and host institutions to promote the University and Go Abroad, while gaining valuable skills and practical experience to add to your CV.

What's involved?

There are three components to our STAR programme:

  • Share your expertise While on exchange, you’ll provide advice and tips to current University of Edinburgh students who want to visit your host institution or country, using email, social media or an online forum.
  • Represent the University of Edinburgh Most universities host exchange and study abroad events either online or on campus. With support from the Go Abroad team, you’ll attend events in person or online to raise the international profile of the University.
  • Share your experience This is where you can get creative! During your exchange, we want you to let people know about what you’re getting up to. Whether it’s through a social media campaign, competitions for your fellow students, or arranging an event, how you engage with your host institution is up to you. On your return, you’ll sum up your experiences and share your unique knowledge of your host institution in a case study, to help those considering where to go on exchange.

Make sure you stand out from the crowd – we’ll be awarding prizes to the STARs we think have best represented the University during and after their exchange!

How much of my time will it take?

Your activities are likely to take around 30 hours over your 4 month exchange period, or 60 hours over a full-year exchange.  What we do ask is that you provide regular updates and plan your activities accordingly to cover your exchange period. 

The standard tasks required are outlined in the timeline below.

STAR Timeline (269.03 KB PDF)


Full details of the activities you’ll be expected to undertake can be seen in role description below.

What’s in it for me?

Being a STAR is a chance for self-development – learning essential skills and how to use them both on exchange and in your career after university. It’s a great way for you to integrate into life at your host institution, so you can make the most of your time there.

  • Develop new skills   Learn key skills networking, project planning, presentations and digital communications in our training session and put them into practice on exchange  
  • Be multinational and intercultural   Growing your international network as an official link between the University and your host institution
  • Inspire others   Use your STAR toolkit to create helpful and engaging communication for students
  • Get official recognition   Receive your Certificate of Recgonition from the Principal at the Homecoming ceremony
  • Boost your profile   Get a LinkedIn recommendation from Edinburgh Global on return from exchange
  • Add to your transcript   Combine your role as a STAR with the Edinburgh Award or a SLICC to have the experience recognised on your University of Edinburgh transcript

Tools and guidance for STARs

Training and presentations

STAR programme - Key Messages (6.09 MB PowerPoint)

Blog and Social Media

Read our handbook for guidance on social media dos and don'ts.

If you’d like to share any other content, remember to tag your posts with #uoeabroad so we can find and share them.

Edinburgh Exchanges blog

More useful links

Managing your digital footprint – the Institute of Academic Development’s guide to representing yourself online

University of Edinburgh Social Media Handbook – general guidance for students on using social media

What’s next?

On your return to Edinburgh, we’ll help you make the most of the experience and skills you’ve gained while on exchange. In conjunction with the Go Abroad team and the Careers Service, you can:

  • Find out how to sell your language skills
  • Make the most of your Go Abroad experience on your CV
  • Take part in Go Abroad events to build on your networking and presentation skills
  • Continue as a STAR and act as a buddy to incoming visiting students

What if I’ve already been on exchange?

If you have already had a great time on exchange, we would love you to share your experiences with current students.

Please get in touch with us to find out more, by emailing

We’ve put together a range of tools and resources that you may find useful during your role as a STAR. Whether it’s brushing up on your training or getting ready to write your first blog post, you’ll find resources to help you here.

We’ll be updating this page throughout the year, so if there is anything else you’d find useful, or if you have any questions, please get in touch with the STAR team.