Travel updates and guidance


What happens in the event of your placement being cancelled by your host institution.

A number of our exchange partners have already cancelled Semester 1 exchanges due to take place during the 2021/22 academic year.  

The implications of this will vary depending on whether an exchange period is a mandatory or optional component of your degree programme.  We have put in place some alternative options for students affected by partner cancellations.  

Students planning a mandatory full year exchange

If your degree programme requires you to complete a full year abroad, we have consulted with your School regarding alternatives, to ensure you won’t be academically disadvantaged as a result of being unable to travel overseas for the full year. 

The availability of alternative options will depend on your degree programme requirements and your host institution: 

  • Remote studies followed by in-person exchange: If remote studies can be accommodated by your degree programme, SWAY will liaise with your host institution regarding enrolling virtually in Semester 1, with a view to proceeding with your exchange in-person in Semester 2.  Please note that your host institution may not offer the option of enrolling remotely. If remote studies are possible, it is important to think carefully about the feasibility of undertaking remote studies through your host institution, in particular if there are significant time differences.
  • Moving your exchange to Semester 2 of 2021/22: If remote studies cannot be accommodated by your host institution or your degree programme, SWAY will liaise with your host institution regarding moving your exchange to Semester 2. Your School will advise you on alternative options for Semester 1, in line with degree programme requirements 
  • Re-allocation of full year exchange to another partner institution: due to lack of availability of suitable alternative places at partner institutions that are still accepting nominations, unfortunately it is unlikely that this option will be available for many students. If we are able to find a suitable alternative full year exchange for you, we will contact you directly. 

Students planning an optional full year exchange 

If your host university has cancelled your exchange for Semester 1 of the 2021/22 academic year, it will not be possible for you to proceed with your full year exchange.   In this case, there are two possible options: 

  • Postponement of your exchange to Semester 2: if your degree programme and host institution can accommodate a single-semester exchange
  • Discontinuation of your exchange: if your degree programme and/or host institution cannot accommodate a single-semester exchange

Postponement of your exchange to Semester 2

If your degree programme can accommodate a single semester exchange and you wish to proceed with this option, we will ask your host university to change to a single semester exchange in Semester 2 at the same host university.  

Unfortunately, we are unable to move you to a full year exchange at a different host university due to the availability of appropriate exchange places and the likelihood of further cancellations at these institutions.  

You should prepare for your studies at the University of Edinburgh for Semester 1. If you have any questions about enrolling in courses then your personal tutor (PT) or Student Support Office will be able to advise.  We will provide you with information from September onwards regarding the application process for your host university.  

If you no longer wish to continue with the exchange, you must notify the Study and Work Away Service and your Exchange Coordinator and Personal Tutor as soon as possible, in writing.  The Study and Work Away Service will inform your host university of your withdrawal and your Exchange Coordinator and Personal Tutor will advise you on registering for courses at Edinburgh. 

Discontinuing your exchange

If your degree programme does not allow for a single semester exchange, unfortunately it will not be possible to continue with your exchange plans. We understand this will be extremely disappointing for you and we regret that the ongoing Covid pandemic is continuing to disrupt planned international activities.  

Unfortunately, due to the extent of partner cancellations, the high take up of exchange places, and the University’s requirement to prioritise students with a mandatory exchange as part of their degree programme, we do not have sufficient exchange places available to transfer you to another host university.  

We wish to do all we can to support you with continuing your studies at Edinburgh.  If you have any questions about enrolling in courses then your personal tutor or Student Support Office will be able to advise.  

Accommodation arrangements

We realise that a change to your study abroad plans will have implications. If you require accommodation for Semester 1 as a result of your host university's cancellation, you will be guaranteed a place in University of Edinburgh accommodation if you apply by their deadline of 30 May

There are a number of key benefits to University of Edinburgh accommodation:

  • All bills are included in your rent
  • You don’t need to pay a deposit or organise a reference
  • There’s a choice of locations all over the City
  • Free Wifi is available in all accommodation
  • All accommodation has access to laundry facilities
  • All students in our accommodation can benefit from Residence Life support – 24/7 welfare and support service
  • You can choose from catered or self–catered accommodation
  • Payment plan options are available for rent payments
  • All Public Health advice in relation to COVID -19 will be adhered to and necessary changes made to ensure the health and safety of student residents

Apply for accommodation

If your Semester 1 study exchange has been cancelled and you wish to apply for University of accommodation, you will be guaranteed a place in University of Edinburgh accommodation if you apply before 30th May.  Applications after this date will be considered but an offer of accommodation cannot be guaranteed.

Apply for University accommodation here

Tuition fee implications

Your tuition fee status may be affected by any change to your planned exchange activity. 

For information on your fee status, please see the University's information on tuition fees for 2021/22.