Student exchanges

How do I apply?

Read the step-by-step guidelines on how to apply to go on exchange, and once you are ready, complete your online application from this page.

Exchanges application process

Before submitting an application to go on exchange you must first complete the following steps:

Step 1: Attend a pre-application information session

Step 2: Research partner institutions

You should research prospective partners thoroughly before submitting your application. You can do this via the partner university's website. You should find out about course offerings, assessment, accommodation, and semester dates. 

Guidance notes for many of our General Exchange partner universities are also available here:

Partner guidance notes

Step 3: Read the relevant Exchange Application Policy

Read the Exchange Application Policy that relates to your application in full. These are linked to below, depending on whether you are applying via the General route or the Subject Specific route.

This document outlines all the policies and procedures relating to your exchange programme. You will be asked to confirm that you have read and understood it before submitting your application.

There are two application routes which you can take to an exchange:

The General route

The General application enables you to apply for exchanges which are open to students from Schools and Subject Areas across the University. These exchange places are managed centrally by the Go Abroad Office.

The Subject Specific route

The Subject-Specific application enables you to apply for exchanges which are restricted to students in a particular School or Subject Area. These exchange places are managed at School level.


Step 4: Complete online application

Once your pre-application research is complete, you must submit your application(s) via the Mobility-Online system and upload your personal statement to Learn. 

You may submit a General and/or a Subject-Specific application. 

Step 5: Peer marking (General applications only)

Students applying via the General application route will be required to undertake a peer marking exercise, following application deadline. Applicants will receive 5 randomly assigned personal statements via Learn.

What next?

Successful applicants will be contacted by Edinburgh Global in December/January 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.

If successful, and after you have formally accepted your place, Edinburgh Global will inform the partner institution of all nominated students.

You will then begin 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

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 Go Abroad office at Edinburgh

What if I decide not to take up my place?

If you decide to withdraw from the programme before departure, you must notify Edinburgh Global and your Exchange Coordinator and Personal Tutor as soon as possible, in writing.

Edinburgh Global will inform your host university of your withdrawal and your Exchange Coordinator and Personal Tutor will advise you on registering for courses at Edinburgh.


Timeline for preparing to go on exchange
October Go Abroad Fair and pre-application Information Sessions
Early November Online application opens
Late November Application closes
Late December Offers issued to successful applicants
Late January Deadline to accept or decline offer
Late January - June
  • Nominations and applications made to partner university
  • Attend compulsory pre-departure session
  • Complete necessary pre-departure paperwork - learning agreement, grant contracts (Erasmus only)
  • Make practical arrangements - accommodation, visas, book flights, etc
June - October Depart on exchange