Exchange Programs

Exchange programs are geared towards students who are independent and ready for cultural immersion. Students will essentially be treated as a local student at the host university. The term "exchange" means that UNC Charlotte students study abroad at partner institutions and an international student studies at UNC Charlotte (essentially "swapping places"). This model is ultimately what allows UNC Charlotte students to continue to pay full-time tuition & fees while they are abroad on this type of program.



Exchange Program Types

Exchange programs are offered on a fall, spring or year basis only. Some programs may not offer a fall semester option because the host university's academic calendar does not align with UNC Charlotte's academic calendar. There are three different types of exchanges: UNC Charlotte Exchange, Statewide Exchange and ISEP Exchange. Combined, there are over 150+ exchange programs to choose from in over 50 different countries. One exchange type is not better than the other; the program structure and universities are simply different. Students are encouraged to research each exchange type to find the right fit for them. Use the following buttons to explore the different exchange options:

UNC Charlotte Exchange

UNC Charlotte has partnerships with 30+ universities all over the world, including South America, Europe, Africa & Asia. 

Explore UNC Charlotte Exchanges

Statewide Exchange

Several universities in North Carolina manage exchange programs open to UNC Charlotte students in China and Germany.
 

Explore Statewide Exchanges

ISEP
Exchange

ISEP is a third party organization that helps connect students to high-quality, academic programs in 50+ countries.

Explore ISEP
Exchanges

Cost structure

Before reviewing the costs specifically associated with a give exchange program, students should familiarize themselves with the Costs to Consider and Financial Planning sections of the OEA website. A Cost Estimate Worksheet for each exchange program will be listed on the program brochures. Cost Estimate Worksheets provide a list all of the expenses paid to the OEA along with estimated costs for anticipated expenses not billed by the OEA. 

Exchange Program Costs
  UNC Charlotte Exchange Statewide Exchange ISEP Exchange
Paid to the OEA
  • Application fee and deposit
  • Remainder of study abroad administrative fee
  • International health insurance
  • Application fee and deposit
  • Remainder of study abroad administrative fee
  • International health insurance
  • Housing
  • Meals
  • Stipend
Paid to Third Party N/A Students will pay an application fee to the North Carolina institution that manages the exchange Students will pay an application fee, placement fee and health insurance fee to ISEP
Paid to the Host University or in Host Country
  • Housing
  • Meals
N/A
Paid to UNC Charlotte Student Accounts Full-time tuition and fees
Other Costs to Consider
  • Flight
  • In-country transportation
  • Passport
  • Visa or immigration document
  • Books and supplies
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal travel
  • Travel insurance
  • Medical and emergency funds

Academic Credit

Students should reference the Can I Get Credit? and Earning Credit Abroad sections of the OEA website to understand how credit works on study abroad programs and academic policies.  

Phase Description
Before Research Programs
  • Meet with your Academic Advisor(s)
  • Determine what UNC Charlotte courses you have yet to take to complete your degree requirements
While Researching Programs
  • Look at list of courses this program offers
  • Compare it to the courses you had yet to take to complete your degree requirements
  • Determine whether or not the program offers courses you're interested in taking or that you think would satisfy your degree requirements
  • Compare the course descriptions of the host courses with the UNC Charlotte course you think it matches
  • If there are several courses that you think might work for you and the course descriptions are similar, chances are your academic department will be able to assign the equivalent credit
Applying
  • Once you determine a program is a good academic, financial and personal fit for you, apply to the Office of Education Abroad in order to receive approval and placement
Upon Approval & Placement
  • If and once you receive approval and placement, you will then be given access to a document called a Course Equivalency Form. Here you will list all the courses you plan to take, including some alternatives, at the host university
  • Print the course descriptions for the host courses
  • Submit the Course Equvialency Form and course descriptions to the relevant academic department(s) at UNC Charlotte
  • The Department Chair of the corresponding Academic department will assign a UNC Charlotte equivalent course
Upon Acceptance
  • Work with the host university to register for courses abroad (note that this may also take place upon arrival on-site)
While Abroad
  • The OEA will put you in a full-time placeholder course while abroad to keep you active and full-time here at UNC Charlotte
Upon Return
  • Official host university transcript will take 1-6 months to arrive in the OEA
  • Once the transcript is received, grade processing will begin as long as you submitted an accurate Course Equivlanecy Form that matches the courses listed on the host university transcript
  • The OEA will convert all host grades into A-F letter grades
  • Total grade processing time takes 4-5 weeks after transcript is received
  • Registrar then removes study abroad placeholder course and replaces it will the UNC Charlotte equivalent credit and A-F letter grade earned abroad

Reviewing Course Lists and Descriptions

Each program brochure will have an "Academics" or "Courses" section where students can access a list of courses offered at that institution. Students may find it helpful to first find out what UNC Charlotte courses they will need to take in the upcoming semesters to complete graduation requirements by meeting with their academic adviser. It is then recommended you search for the UNC Charlotte course descriptions on the academic department's websites, if possible. By having a list of courses and course descriptions you need to take here at UNC Charlotte in front of you while researching courses on programs abroad you will be better prepared to determine whether or not a host university course may satisfy a curriculum requirement. 

Tips for Researching Courses:

  • Keep in mind that areas of study may be called something different in the host country 
  • Ultimately the Department Chair of the corresponding academic department or Graduate Program Director here at UNC Charlotte will have the final say on what UNC Charlotte equivalent courses can be assigned to any courses taken abroad
  • The course description or syllabus is most important when the Department Chair/Graduate Program Director determines the UNC Charlotte equivalent course.

Application Process

First visit the How to Apply section of the OEA website to learn more about the steps to applying for a study abroad program. The first step to applying is completing the Study Abroad 101 requirement. After completing the 101 students should request access to an application by filling out the OEA Application Request form. Students applying for an exchange program will need to complete two or more applications. The first step will be to complete the OEA application in order to receive approval to go abroad. The second step will be to complete supplemental application materials either to the host university or a third party organization (e.g. ISEP) facilitating the exchange in order to receive final acceptance into the program. 

OEA Application Request Form 

OEA Application Review and Approval Process

First, the OEA will determine if the student meets the general eligibility requirements for study abroad as well as any program specific eligibility requirements. After the application deadline passes, the OEA will review and evaluate all application components to see if the student can be approved to participate in the program. Once approved, students will then be placed with a host institution. If placement spots are available, and the student has been approved by the OEA, the student will then be notified via email 3-5 weeks after the deadline has passed.

Note that approval and placement is not guaranteed. Students will have the opportunity to list a second and third choice university from the list of UNC Charlotte exchange programs in their OEA application. In the event that the OEA cannot place a student at their first choice university, they will attempt to place the student at their second or third choice.

Supplemental Applications

Once a student has been notified by the OEA that they are approved and placed at a host university, the student will then need to complete supplemental application materials required by the host university, the sponsoring institution, and/or ISEP in order to receive official acceptance into the program. Upon your placements, the OEA will provide further instructions on supplemental application requirements, how to complete them, and deadlines. Students must be prepared to be diligent in completing supplemental application materials in a timely manner or they may not receive consideration from the host university.