Your exchange goals

Students on exchange can study at hundreds of universities around the world. While the options are seemingly endless, we can help you ensure that you select a university that fits your needs best, both academic and personal.

The following questions relate to key criteria for exchanges and can help guide you in choosing the right university for a great Go Global experience.  We recommend you work through these questions before you conduct a partner university search.

exchange goals

Personal goals

Although it might seem scary at first, you can learn a lot about yourself by pushing beyond your comfort zone. This is a chance for you to get lost and then find yourself in an entirely new setting. Are you looking for a new culture or new courses? Below are some questions you should consider when trying to decide on your choices for your partner universities.


  • Is there a country or area of the world that has always sparked your interest?

Size of city

  • Do you want to be in a big city, a university town, or a small town?

Size of campus

  • Does campus size or style matter?
  • Do you want to experience a campus similar to or different from UBC's Okanagan campus?


  • What is the cost of living? Does it fit your budget?
  • Going on Exchange is not as expensive as you may think! For more information on financing your Exchange, check out the Money Matters section on this site.

Personal benefits

  • What are my personal goals for Exchange?
  • What do I want to get out of the experience?

Academic goals

What learning outcomes do you want to achieve while you're away? Studying abroad is an excellent opportunity to challenge yourself academically.

Length of stay

  • Do you want to go for Term 1, Term 2, both terms, a split-year (Term 2 then Term 1), or a summer?
  • How does the partner university's terms compare to UBC's terms? If you would like to go on Exchange in Term 1 and return to UBC for Term 2, check the term dates of your partner university. Some universities' fall terms end in January (after Term 2 has begun at UBC).

Language of instruction

  • Do you want to be in an English-speaking country? You can often study in English in non English-speaking countries.

Language training

  • Do you want to study another language? You have many options for this, depending on your language proficiency . For example, you can study French in France or study in Spanish in Spain.

Academic benefits            

  • What are your academic goals for Exchange?
  • Would studying in a specific location benefit your degree? You could practice Japanese in Japan, study earth science in Iceland, or see original Renaissance art in person.
  • Would studying at a specific university benefit your degree? Some of our partner universities are agricultural universities or social science institutions, while others offer a broad range of programs.

Course considerations

See how course have transferred back by looking through the Course Equivalency Database.

As part of our agreement with partner universities, students receive UBC credit for all academic courses taken abroad.

We suggest you keep the following in mind when you search for courses on partner university websites.

Unique course offerings

  • Partner universities will often have courses that are not offered by UBC.

Courses in English

  • Many universities offer courses in English. For example, English is the language of instruction at KoƧ University in Turkey, and universities in Scandinavia, Mexico, and Korea offer a wide selection of courses in English.

Courses in other languages

  • If you want to take courses in a foreign language (excluding language courses), you will have to meet language proficiency requirements.
  • Download and fill out the Language Proficiency Assessment form if you are planning to take courses in a foreign language at an Exchange university .

Different academic structures

  • Faculties and departments at our partners may be structured differently than at UBC. For example, at UBC, we have separate faculties for Forestry and Land and Food Systems, but at the University of Copenhagen, they are departments within the university's Faculty of Life Sciences.

University lingo

  • The terminology surrounding academic programs may be different than UBC's. For example, in the UK, courses are modules and majors are courses. In addition, credit systems can vary.

Course restrictions

  • Some subject areas may not be open to Exchange students at your partner university, or there may be a limit to how many courses you can take in a particular department. To find out if such restrictions exist at your partner university, please refer to the partner university's exchange website.

Last reviewed shim10/3/2013 11:23:15 AM