Top 5 Student Exchange Programs for Indians

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Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Mar 06, 2023 04:18 PM IST

A student exchange programme is a study curriculum in which students can spend one month to one year attending classes at an international institute while gaining academic credits for their degree. Read below to learn about some of the most popular student exchange programmes for Indian students.

Top Student Exchange Programs for Indians

In a student exchange programme, students from an academic institution travel to a foreign nation as part of their host country's affiliation. Even several Indian universities and colleges offer their students the chance to participate in Student Exchange Programs, which allow them to experience life in a foreign country.

The international student exchange programme is the foremost common programme provided at various institutions. As the name implies, such a programme is based on formal student exchange between two partner universities, with one student from the first university swapped for another from the second.

To foster cross-border student mobility, institutions around the world provide exchange programmes that allow international students and researchers to study for a semester or conduct research in a variety of subjects. These programmes are an excellent approach to gaining international experience while studying from outstanding instructors and colleagues. Let us now see how these programmes work.

How do Student Exchange Programmes Work?

The student exchange program is a type of study abroad program that helps to see the world through a different lens. Several schools and universities around the world maintain student exchange programs with their partner universities where a student can study for a semester or year abroad and receive credits towards their home degrees. The enrollment of the student is at the home institute and they pay the tuition fees at home university rates. The exchange agreements work at a reciprocal rate with both institutes sending and receiving the same number of students.

 Whether you are a high schooler or a university student, the right exchange program can work wonders for you. You will get to experience a completely new outlook towards life and be more open to possibilities. Your self-confidence will boost and you will be equipped with multiple skill sets.

To get into a student exchange program, you will have to:

  • Contact a student exchange agency and enquire about the programmes available.

  • Fulfil the eligibility criteria for the process. 

  • Fill up the application form under their guidance. 

  • You will be connected further to your host family in your host country.

  • Volunteers will help you to cope with the new surroundings and help you in every way possible.

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Types of Student Exchange Programme

While looking at a student exchange programme, the first and foremost question comes to mind is where do you wish to study? Do you want to attend universities where English is the primary language or do you want to try and learn a new language? How long do you wish to study in another country? Do you wish to gain transferable credit when you are in another nation? All these questions can be answered if you know what type of exchange programme you want to pick. To help you decide, here are the top five types of student exchange programmes:

Long-term Exchange Programmes

A long-term exchange programme's duration can be anything from six to ten months to a year. Participants use a student visa to attend college in their host country. Guest students entering the United States on an exchange programme are usually granted a J-1 cultural exchange visa or an F-1 international student visa.

Students are expected to assimilate with their host families and become immersed in the local community and environment. They must incorporate this learning into their daily life after they return to their home country and provide a report on their experience to their sponsors.

Numerous exchange programmes, at least on a basic level, require students to be able to communicate in the host country's language. Before being admitted into a programme that sends them to the US, many programmes allow students to complete a standardised English language comprehension test.

Some programmes do not evaluate verbal aptitude. Many exchange students become fluent in the host country's language within a few months.

Short-term Exchange Programmes

A short-term exchange lasts from one to three months and does not require students to attend any specific college or university. Students are put through an intensive programme to develop their understanding of different cultures, societies, and languages.

These programmes, which are sometimes referred to as cultural exchange programmes or summer/intensive programmes, focus on housing, vocabulary development, community service, and cultural events.

Students in high school and university may apply to government or non-governmental groups that coordinate programme applications.

Top 5 Student Exchange Programmes for Indian Students

In India, student exchange programmes typically involve a preexisting affiliation between two or more universities where respective students can study. Aside from a few exceptions, student exchange is generally two-way. Furthermore, in terms of the application process, students must assert their interest in the exchange programme at least eight to ten months in advance to be considered. Let us now shed some light on the top five student exchange programmes for Indian students.

1. Rotary Youth Exchange Programme

The Rotary Youth Exchange is a lesser-known student exchange programme in India, offered by the worldwide Rotary International. It is specifically created for students between the ages of 15 and 19 who are interested in experiencing a different culture and environment.

The duration of the exchange ranges between short-term (about 3 months) and long-term (up to a year) exchange programmes. While Rotary International will cover the cost of housing and school fees, students will be accountable for travel, insurance, and visa charges. Students may contact their local Rotary Club in their area to apply for the Rotary Youth Exchange programme.

2. Fulbright Foreign Student Programme

The Fulbright Foreign Student programme, run by the US-India Educational Foundation, offers distinguished student exchange programmes in India and across the world. Selected students are allowed to study or perform research for 6 months to a year at renowned US universities.

Students from Indian institutes that do not sponsor applicants are also eligible to apply as private exchange or 'non-degree seeking students. Furthermore, the only minimum eligibility requirement is that you hold a bachelor's degree.

3. Japan Student Exchange Platform Programme

The Japan Student Exchange Platform is a multi-university collaboration between well-known schools in India and Japan that offers a large database of student exchange programmes in India. IIITs, IITs, and the University of Delhi are among the Indian institutions on the list, as are six top research universities in Japan. Engineering, Human Resources, Sustainability, Energy, and project-based learning are among the topics available to interested students.

4. ISEP Student Exchange Programme

ISEP is a non-profit organisation that has partnered with more than 300 leading institutions around the world to promote student exchange programmes in India and overseas. Lovely Professional University, Chitkara University, Symbiosis International University, and the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies are among the universities in India.

In addition to ISEP Exchange, it offers volunteer opportunities, summer programmes, and much more, with different eligibility requirements for each programme. Visit the ISEP website for further information on dates, supplementary fees, deadlines, application procedures, and eligibility.

5. University of Chicago Exchange Programme

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business has partnered with three Indian schools, notably IIM Bangalore, IIM Ahmedabad, and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, to enhance student mobility and research in the fields of business and urban poor.

Graduates and research researchers can get a diversified perspective on their subjects of interest through the student exchange programmes available in India. These programmes are also only available to students at IIM Bangalore, TISS, IIM Ahmedabad, and IIM Mumbai.

How Do I Become an Exchange Student?

To become an exchange student, you need to first research the exchange program available in the country in which you wish to attend. You will get to know about various exchange agencies that help students get a taste of this experience.

A word of caution is here. Seek assistance only from those agencies that have a proven track of record sending students to foreign exchange programs. Before applying, make sure that you understand the program well and the admission and qualification requirements for the same. Check out the duration of the program. 

Cost of Student Exchange Program for Indian Students

The cost of a foreign exchange program for Indian students depends on several factors such as the student exchange organisation, school or institutions. The cost also depends on the host nation, duration of stay or study and other particular circumstances. Several scholarships are also offered to students.

Sometimes the cost is sponsored by educational institutes themselves and students have to pay the same amount of domestic fees that they have been paying at their home institute.

Advantages of the Student Exchange Programme

If you are a student at an Indian college or university who want to gain international experience and knowledge for the short term or full-time at a university abroad. Mentioned below are five reasons why you should study in student exchange programmes:

1. Learning About Innovative Methods of Teaching

Every country has its method of instructing its students. When a student from one country travels abroad, they are exposed to different educational approaches and experiences. Students are likely to bring it back to their own country and share it with their classmates. The exposure, on the other hand, benefits not only their education but also that of their peers back home.

2. Developing a Strategy for the World Economy

People who understand and can work in the globalised trade are always in demand in the rapidly shrinking commercial sector. As most university students participating in student exchange programmes are about to enter the world of employment, they are qualified to deal in the global economy as a result of their international experience. They have a firm grip on global market dynamics and are significantly more prepared to deal with global issues at work.

3. An International Education at a Fraction of the Cost

The inexpensive cost of student exchange programmes is the most appealing characteristic. Going to university in another country is usually prohibitively expensive for most Indian students. When participating in a student exchange programme, students can obtain the experience of learning and dwelling in a different nation at a fraction of the expense.

4. The First Step Toward Personal Growth

Nothing compares to living alone in a foreign country, away from friends and family, for self-improvement. Self-esteem and confidence will improve as a result of the learning. It will help students improve their decision-making and critical thinking skills, as well as their awareness and appreciation of different cultures and environments. Staying abroad, even for a brief duration, would provide students with a true world perspective.

5. Create Life-Long Bonds

Many programmes require students to reside with a foster family in the host nation. This enables students to respect and comprehend the host country's culture and legacy. If they ever intend to work and relocate abroad, the experience of adjusting to a new way of life will come in handy. Living close to a group of people while enjoying their generosity and friendliness allows students to form life-long bonds with them.

To summarise, being a part of an exchange programme is unquestionably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, especially at such a young age! Fortunately, you can now have this life-changing event. Whatever your interests are, the chance to spend a semester, week, or a year in another country should be seized with both arms. You will return home with prior knowledge, cultural understanding, social empathy, and new friends from totally different countries. An undeniable one-of-a-kind and beneficial adventure await you!

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FAQs

What are the reasons to opt for an international exchange programme?

There are many reasons why students should choose international exchange programmes. Most universities nowadays provide a variety of exchange options. One of the reasons is that students gain valuable knowledge and skills during a foreign exchange programme. The international experience also adds to their resume. International exchange students get the opportunity to improve their English language abilities, gain new skills, and learn about a new culture.

How long does an exchange student stay in a foreign country?

An exchange student usually stays in a foreign country between six to 12 months, while some exchange students choose to stay for only one semester. Students part of a study abroad programme may even stay in the host country for work while simultaneously gaining their academic credits as per their visa conditions.

What are the best international student exchange programmes?

The best international student exchange programmes are Youth for Understanding, The Council on International Educational Exchange, Putney Student Travel, National Geographic Student Expeditions, Greenheart Travel, Rotary Youth Exchange, and The Experiment in International Living. Whether it is a week-long community service trip or a whole year-long programme, the cost of these programmes varies.

How much does it cost to be an international exchange student for a semester?

As an international exchange student, you can expect semester costs of approximately USD 18,000 per semester. As per studies conducted by the International Institute of Education, the total cost of studying abroad in a foreign country is estimated to be USD 18,000 each semester or USD 36,000 per academic year.

How can I get into a student exchange programme?

The simplest way to get into a student exchange programme is to get in touch with an exchange programme provider. The provider can help you choose a destination, length of programme, and type of exchange programme. They will also help you to find a host family and take care of all the logistics after you have confirmed or booked your exchange.

Can I be a part of an exchange programme for free?

No, exchange programmes for not free, as some types of expenses are always involved. Students can expect to pay around USD 600 per week as a programme cost. Adding to this, there is the cost of your travel, which could be the same as the exchange fee, then visa costs (if applicable) and insurance.

Are there any age restrictions for exchange programme aspirants?

Yes, there are age restrictions for exchange programme aspirants. To be eligible for an exchange programme students must be between the ages of 15 and 18 years. However, mature 14-year-olds can apply under special circumstances. Grade 12 students may apply for a short-term, semester or one-year programme, with the exclusion of programmes in Canada or the USA.

How do you get selected for the student exchange programme?

You get selected for the student exchange programme by contacting a student exchange agency and selecting the programmes they offer. The exchange agency guides you through the application process for an exchange programme at a school or university and matches you with a host family in your host nation.

Is student exchange programmes worth it?

Definitely, a student exchange programme is worth it since it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, sometimes with funding available. Participating in an international exchange not only improves students' employability but also helps them learn skills for future careers and strengthen global connections.

What happens in the international student exchange programme?

To put it simply, the international student exchange programme allows students to study abroad. This also means exchanging cultures, values, and languages as well as making new friends from around the world. Liaisons between indigenous and international universities/colleges/institutes are established under this programme to define a precise set of regulations for the programme.

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