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Student Exchange Programs

UC San Diego Global Initiatives and Study Abroad staff support faculty members interested in developing bilateral student exchange programs with key research and pedagogical peer institutions and programs around the globe.

Additionally, there are bilateral student exchange programs managed at the systemwide level through University of California Education Abroad Program. Our Study Abroad staff are available to support faculty members throughout the process of developing a new exchange program.

Responsibilities of the Faculty Member and Academic Department

The following responsibilities will be discussed during an initial meeting with Study Abroad staff. The initiating faculty member will complete this proposal form addressing the following:

  • Demonstrate the strategic priority of the exchange;
  • Provide evidence of student interest;
  • Review any existing exchanges for redundancy or overlap;
  • Map the curricular pathway for each targeted major so that student participation will count for their degrees (e.g. identify direct course equivalencies or courses that will be approved by the department to fulfill major or minor requirements);
  • Commit to recruiting and selecting outbound student participants;
  • Show evidence of ability to work with partner, both for student selection and to ensure reciprocal balance;
  • Designate faculty and staff who will be responsible for working with the Study Abroad office to ensure program success;
  • Participate in the promotion of the program and recruitment of outgoing students in addition to assigning academic advisers for incoming students; and
  • As available designate grant monies in the first two years of the exchange to help students defer expenses (e.g. airfare) and to assist with promotion of the exchange.

Responsibilities of Global Initiatives/Study Abroad

Global Initiatives, Study Abroad, and ISPO staff will:

  • Provide consultation to faculty to help determine what program model best meets the goals for the collaboration;
  • Draft the student exchange agreement and serve as liaison with the partner institution to negotiate the terms of the agreement;
  • Obtain necessary UC San Diego administrative approval for the agreement;
  • Vet proposal exchange program with the appropriate Academic Senate committees;
  • Route the agreement for approval and signature;
  • Once the program is established, Study Abroad staff will:
    • Advise students on the opportunity;
    • Advertise the opportunity to departments across campus;
    • Develop a student budget;
    • Assist outbound students with enrollment and registration at host university;
    • Advise outbound students about financial aid, health insurance, housing abroad, and visa regulations;
    • Provide outbound students with a pre-departure cultural, health and safety orientation;
    • Maintain contact with UC San Diego students while abroad to ensure wellbeing and to advise on transcript requests upon program completion;
    • Assist inbound students with enrollment and registration at UC San Diego
    • Assist inbound students with housing in San Diego;
    • Process visa documents for inbound students;
    • Ensure inbound students complete application materials (e.g. TOEFL/IELTS, tuberculosis screening, immunization requirements, academic integrity tutorial, health insurance requirements);
    • Provide orientation for inbound students upon arrival at UC San Diego.

Checklist for Faculty

  1. Submit proposal online
  2. Schedule initial consultation with Global Initiatives/Study Abroad staff
  3. Work with partner institution to assess curriculum equivalency
  4. Once curriculum equivalency is complete, inform Global Education/Study Abroad staff
  5. Confirm reciprocity capacity with Global Education/Study Abroad
  6. Once agreement is signed, begin marketing, outreach, and recruitment for program
    1. Work with Study Abroad staff on joint outreach initiatives, events, and the design and production of marketing collateral;
    2. Engage department colleagues to advertise the program to their students and in classes


Student Exchange Program Development Flowchart