Reviewing and Developing Exchange Partnerships
Exchange programs involve the exchange of students between NC State and an international institution. NC State students study at the partner institution for a semester or year and a student from the partner institution comes to study at NC State for a semester or a year, exchanging places. Exchange students pay tuition at their home institution.
In order to maintain a healthy portfolio of programs that meet the changing and unique needs of each academic unit, the Study Abroad Office welcomes new proposals from campus partners. We look forward to partnering with academic units to develop new programs that ensure student access to high-quality programs that meet both student needs and University strategic goals.
Criteria for Assessing Institutional Capacity for Student Exchange
- Equal and steady interest from both partners over a number of years
- By North Carolina law, NC State must remain in balance with exchange partners. Students at both institutions must be adequately interested in participating, or a balance cannot be maintained. What interest does the partner institution anticipate for their students to study at NC State? The Study Abroad Office along with the relevant departments or college can review together with an anticipated interest from NC State students to study abroad.
- Will not compete with current linkages
- If there is no agreement with a university, we must assess the agreements NC State has with similar universities. How many linkages does NC State already have in the same academic discipline or geographic region? Is there a need for an exchange with this university that is not being met by any other university with which we are partnered?
- Curriculum compatibility
- In order to maintain student interest in an exchange site, there must be an adequate number of courses for a variety of majors. Is the university so specialized that there is not enough range for our students? In particular, are there enough humanities and social science courses so that students can fulfill General Education Requirements? Is it possible for students to take courses across colleges and departments? Is course information readily available on their website or otherwise?
- Transfer of credit to fulfill degree requirements
- Will the College, department chairs, and faculty members give approval to courses so that students can receive meaningful credit for their time abroad? New student exchange linkages must have a significant list of pre-approved courses for entry into the Study Abroad Transfer Course Database.
- Language of instruction
- Courses in English must be available in countries in which the native language is not regularly taught at NC State (i.e. languages other than French, German, Spanish, Japanese).
- Availability of course information
- Is there course information available on the university’s website or in written materials that will be provided to the Study Abroad Office? Students need enough information from the university to receive approval for courses BEFORE they arrive on site.
- Does the university provide a transcript in a timely manner? (i.e. within 2 months after the end of exams)
- Academic Calendar
- Does the university’s academic calendar match NC State’s? Will students be able to return to NC State to begin the next term’s courses? For example, many European universities have final examinations in January, making it impossible for students to study there in the Fall only.
- If the calendar does not match NC State’s, is the university flexible? For example, can students take exams early or substitute them with another form of assessment so that they may return to NC State?
- Institutional contact
- Does the institution have an International Office or individual designated to coordinate institutional exchanges?
- Orientation/Arrival Support
- Is there a formal orientation process for incoming exchange students? Do they provide written materials/online guides for international exchange students?
- Does the university provide support in securing accommodation? Is housing guaranteed and can it be arranged before arrival?
- Are health care facilities available? Are there a variety of social programs arranged for exchange students? Are clubs/sports activities available?
- Emergency Contact
- Is there an on-site coordinator or other designated advisor available at appointed times and in emergencies?
- What is the travel alert level issued by the State Department on the country/location? Please note alert levels of a 3 require a petition while travel to level 4 areas is not permitted. See Restricted Travel Policy.
- Other international linkages
- Are there other international exchange students and visitors at that site?
- Is there appropriate transportation to/from and in/around the area?