Study abroad in Edinburgh

International Exchange

We have over 200 exchange places for students from partner universities outside Europe.

The programme at a glance

You can apply for International Exchange if you are currently enrolled in your first year (or above) of study at a non-EU university that has an international exchange agreement with the University of Edinburgh AND your home institution has nominated you to study with us.

You can check our exchange agreements to see if we have an exchange link with your university.


If we do, the next step is to contact the Study Abroad Adviser or International Office at your home institution to enquire whether International exchange will be a possibility for you.

Although it is possible to study in Edinburgh during Semester 1, Semester 2 or the full academic year, the length of time you can study here might depend on the exchange agreement we hold with your home university.

What can I study?

If you are coming on a general (university-wide) international exchange agreement then you are free to apply to either the College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences OR the College of Science and Engineering.

If you are coming on a subject specific international exchange agreement then you will be required to take two thirds of your courses in the subject area of the International exchange agreement.

Check with your Study Abroad Adviser at your home university for advice.

Entry requirements

To apply, you must:

  • Be nominated by your home university to study on an exchange agreement
  • Have completed a minimum of one full year of studies at your home institution*
  • Have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or over on a 4.0 scale OR equivalent (B average) OR ECTS ‘C’ at your home university
  • Provide a strong personal statement
  • Provide evidence of your written and spoken English skills if English is not your first language (please see below for further information)

Nominated exchange students *are not required* to submit a reference at the time of application. However, both College Visiting Student Offices reserve the right to request a reference from an exchange applicant at any point during the application period.

*Applicants to the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences will be required to provide a transcript at the point of application demonstrating they have completed a minimum of one full year of study at their home institution. Where one full year has not yet been completed, study at a previous institution will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants to the College of Science and Engineering will be required to provide a transcript demonstrating that they have completed 1 semester of study.

English language

You may be required to provide us with evidence of your English language ability if you are not from a majority English speaking country, and:

  1. You will study with us on a Student Route visa or/and;
  2. You wish to take third or fourth year level courses outside the subject area of your International exchange agreement (only applies to courses in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences).

The qualifications we accept meet both our minimum English language proficiency requirements and the minimum standards for Student route visas. Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE, or LanguageCert International ESOL in which case it must be no more than two years old:

Must be no more than two years old

  • IELTS (Academic module) – overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL iBT (including Special Home Edition) – 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Trinity ISE –  ISE II (distinction all components) / ISE III (pass all components)
  • LanguageCert International ESOL – B2 Communicator: High Pass overall with a Pass in each component 

 Must be no more than three and a half years old

  • Cambridge CAE/CPE – 176 overall (162 component), grade A-C
  • The additional qualifications as listed on our central English Language requirements website

If you wish to take 3rd/4th year (Level 10) courses in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences then you will need to meet a slightly higher score and you will be required to demonstrate a CEFR C1 Level.  Please contact the Visiting Student Office directly for further information about the requirements to access Level 10 courses (  

The above English language requirements may not apply if you are studying at an institution approved by the University of Edinburgh where English is the medium of teaching.

Tuition fees

International Exchange students will not pay any tuition fees to the University of Edinburgh.