Student exchanges

Accept or decline your place

Find out what happens once you accept or decline your place, and what happens if you decide to withdraw.

Successful applicants will normally be contacted in December/January after the application period, with details of where they have been allocated a place. Those who have been unsuccessful or who are on the reserve list will be informed after the Christmas vacation.

Accepting your exchange place

If successful in your application, you will be asked to confirm acceptance of your exchange place.  SWAY will then nominate you to your designated host institution -  this communication will initiate the application process to your host university. 

This is usually a formality but is absolutely necessary - your exchange place is provisional until you have successfully completed your host university's admission process. 

Failure to complete your host's application process fully and on time may result in your exchange place being forfeited.

Conditions of your acceptance by the host institution

Once your application has been received in full by your host university, they will usually send a letter of acceptance or similar, confirming your exchange place, course of study and study dates.

Your offer is subject to the availability of courses appropriate to your degree programme at the host university, and also subject to the successful completion of the academic year at Edinburgh prior to your departure.

The following requirements must normally be met in order for you to take up your exchange place:

  • Successful completion, at first sitting, of all exams during the academic year prior to departure, and completion of full academic credit up to point of departure
  • Completion and submission of your host university's application by their deadline
  • Completion and submission of all documentation requested by the Study and Work Away Service at Edinburgh

Declining your exchange place

If you do not wish to accept the place offered, you must inform SWAY.  It is important that you let us know as soon as possible if you do not plan to take up your place. 

This will ensure that you are removed from student exchange lists and your status is recorded correctly for the coming year.  It will also enable your place to be offered to another student who may benefit from the opportunity.

Withdrawing from the programme 

If you decide to withdraw from the programme at any point after accepting your place, you must notify the Study and Work Away Service and your School Exchange Coordinator and Personal Tutor as soon as possible, in writing.

Withdrawing before departure

If your withdrawal is before your departure, the Study and Work Away Service will inform your host university of your withdrawal.  You should contact your Personal Tutor for advice on registering for courses at Edinburgh.  

Withdrawing after your exchange has begun

Withdrawing after you have begun your exchange could have implications for your studies, as well as financial implications, so you should consider these carefully before taking any action.

Your School Exchange Coordinator and Personal Tutor will be able to advise on the academic implications.  You should be aware that it may not be possible to return to Edinburgh after a certain point in the semester without having to repeat your year. 

It is possible to request an Authorised Interruption of Study but this would not be approved automatically.  You should first discuss it with your School Student Support Team or Personal Tutor.

Financial implications of withdrawing from your exchange could include the following:

  • repayment of any grants or funding you have received relating to your exchange
  • possible changes to your fee status
  • loss of accommodation costs/deposits paid upfront