Overview of Exchange Programs
Exchange programs are geared towards students who are independent and ready for cultural immersion. Think of when you started your freshman year at UNC Charlotte; you participated in an orientation where all of the available resources on campus were showcased, staff members assisted you with the registration process, and you had to choose and apply for your own housing either on or off campus. Once the semester began, it was up to you to attend class, seek out the resources you needed and keep up with your student expectations. Participating in an exchange program is a lot like this! You will essentially be treated as a local student at the host university where you'll have an orientation with other international students, be assigned an international student advisor, and then begin the semester just like everyone else.
Types of Exchange Programs
UNC Charlotte students can participate in an exchange program through a UNC Charlotte exchange, Statewide exchange or ISEP exchange. Please note that UNC Charlotte Partners, Statewide exchanges and ISEP all operate in a variety of different countries and offer courses in many different types of majors, so be sure to research each program to find the right one for you! One program type is not "better" than the other; it's all about what's best for you in terms of location, academics and cost. You can use the tabs on the left hand side to learn more about these different exchange opportunities.
Benefits of Exchange Programs
Exchange programs are offered on a "long-term" basis, which means they are offered on a fall, spring, academic year and/or calendar year basis. Depending on the host university, you may even take classes with local students. By participating in an exchange program, you'll become more independent and adaptable. Exchanges tend to give students a feel of deeper cultural immersion.
Students will receive academic credit for any courses they take abroad. However, it's ultimately a matter of what type of credit they will receive. Refer to our Exchange & Affiliate Credit Process page for more information.
GPA requirements and any major or class standing restrictions will vary and are indicated in the program brochure. Keep in mind that the "Area of Study" listed under the Fact Sheet on a program brochure simply indicates the types of courses available and does not necessarily indicate that the program is restricted to students within that major. The minimum cumulative GPA requirement for a "long-term" program (e.g. fall, spring or year) is a 2.5. However, some programs may have higher GPA requirements.
Because an exchange program essentially means that you will be going to a host university and a student from that university will be coming to UNC Charlotte in your place, there are limited amount of placement spots for each exchange program per semester. Generally students are approved to participate in their first choice university; however, in some cases, when the number of qualified applicants is too high, students may be switched to their second choice university. During your one-on-one appointment with an Education Abroad Advisor you can further discuss the selection process and protocol.
Ryan Glynn, Photo Contest Winner, Sweden