Educational exchange programmes

The majority of students go onto higher education at university, public or private colleges or vocationally-oriented training (such as BTS or DUT). These courses usually involve studying part of the course abroad through educational exchange programmes.

Yes to going abroad, but no to going alone! 

Many students feel the urge to explore other cultures but the thought of doing it on your own can sometimes be daunting. Knowing what to do, completing all the registration formalities in foreign universities, finding somewhere to live, international health insurance, making sure the degree you’re taking is recognised at European level... all this can soon become overwhelming !

That is why bilateral agreements were implemented between universities to encourage student mobility. These agreements bring together two universities, schools or colleges in different countries allowing students to go abroad in a well-established university setting.

With this type of exchange come many benefits: 

  • simpler administrative procedures,
  • lower registration fees,
  • qualifications guaranteed to be recognised (through the validation of ECTS credits),
  • easier access to scholarships.

How does it work?

A bilateral agreement allows the two colleges or universities to work closely together:

  • There is no international  registration fee to pay: after registration in your home college or university and payment of the usual tuition fees and Social Security contributions, you have nothing more to pay to the university you are attending abroad.
  • Grades obtained in the foreign university are automatically transferred as well as any diplomas or tests (such as TOEIC, TOEFL, DELE etc.).

There is also a focus on the practical side of the stay:

  • The foreign college or university can provide accommodation. There are often university residences and all the areas of the university are accessible: laundry, canteen, gym, sporting and cultural activities etc.
  • Some colleges have set up associations that help international students integrate into the school and into everyday life in general.  This can include organising visits, excursions, welcome meetings, parties and so on. Everything is done to ensure that you make the most of your time studying abroad!

How to apply

Get in touch with the International Office at your institution to get a list of the colleges and universities that have signed a bilateral agreement. You will then know which colleges universities are partnered with yours and can choose the one that suits you best. You will be asked to provide some information such as:

  • an application form,
  • a CV,
  • the course you want to take,
  • your grades and reports.
Your application will then be reviewed by your college or university and, if your application is successful, they will forward it to the institute or faculty to which you are applying. You will generally be informed if you have been successful by the host college or university.  You will receive an official letter of acceptance, a document approving your study programme and some documentation to help you prepare your trip and make arrangements in your new town.
Successful applicants will be eligible for financial support.
Date of publication May 3 2012

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