Educational Exchange Programs Around The World

For anyone out there who wants to travel the world without the repercussions of missing out on weeks of study, we have compiled a list of student exchange programs that will enable you to live abroad for a semester or two, absorb the new culture, all while studying at a host institute. The programs provide scholarships that cover tuition fees and accommodation, therefore, will require you to make sure that your profile shines bright through all the documents, motivation letters and recommendations.

Student exchange programs allow for international cooperation between partner universities in different countries. While some exchanges do not imply a stipend, others provide generous coverage of essential expenses which lift the burden of relocation. Here are several scholarship programs that provide funding for a non-degree semester/year-abroad study and short-term professional courses.


Stipendium Hungaricum

Happy student in Budapest
Happy student in Budapest

Stipendium Hungaricum is a scholarship program for foreign students, founded by the Hungarian Government in 2013. The program aims to promote cultural understanding, economic and cultural relations between Hungary and other countries. In addition to non-degree programs, the scholarship also funds students to complete their Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees in Hungary.

The program offers its participants tuition fee redemption and a monthly stipend as a contribution to living expenses coverage. Bachelor and master degree students receive a monthly stipend of HUF 43,700 (cca EUR 135) while doctoral students receive either HUF 140,000 (cca EUR 450) for the first two years and HUF 180 000 (cca EUR 580) for the remaining phase. The program also provides either a dormitory place or additional contribution to accommodation costs.

Applicants can select a study program from more than 500 options at local universities around Hungary. Studies are possible in both English or Hungarian. In order to apply for scholarship, candidates should fill out an online application and select their top priority universities before the deadline on 15 January annually.

Also, check out International Scholarships in Budapest.


Youth Exchange and Study Program in the USA

Group of students holding flag of USA on the university campus
Group of students holding flag of USA on the university campus

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program was established by Congress in October 2002 in response to the events of September 11, 2001. The program is funded through the U.S. Department of State and sponsored by the Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs (ECA) to provide scholarships for high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations to spend up to one academic year in the United States.

Students live with host families, attend high schools, engage in activities to learn about American society and values, acquire leadership skills, and help educate Americans about their countries and cultures. There are multiple rounds to the YES application and selection process. All applicants are required to take an English proficiency exam, write a proctored essay, complete a YES program application, and participate in group and individual in-person interviews. All finalists are selected on the basis of merit. The program can support students with disabilities and encourages their participation.

The competition for the Youth Exchange and Study scholarship is merit-based and open at no cost to all applicants who meet the following requirements:

  • Be between the ages of 15-17 and be enrolled in the last two classes of high school.
  • Have the equivalent of a B average or better without failing grades.
  • Not have spent a total of more than 90 days in the U.S. in the last five years.
  • Meet U.S. J-1 visa eligibility requirements (for instance, U.S. citizens are not eligible for J-1 visa).


Association for Student Exchange in Central and Eastern Europe (GFPS): Scholarship Programme

Group of friends at a park in Prague
Group of friends at a park in Prague

The scholarship programme is geared to students and doctoral candidates of any discipline from Belarus, the Czech Republic and Poland. Candidates are welcome to apply for a study stay or an internship in Germany. Study stays are financed on condition that the courses at the higher-education institutions are held in German.

Doctoral students are required to teach at the host institution or work on an on-site project. The grant amounts cover large part of the cost of living. The support furthermore includes personal mentoring and a seminar programme designed for the scholars.

The scholarship targets gifted and committed students and doctoral candidates in any subject discipline from Belarus, the Czech Republic and Poland. The duration of the program is one semester and the monthly stipend is worth EUR 600. The deadline are usually on 30 April of each year for the following winter semester and on 31 October of each year for the following summer semester.


Visegrad Scholarship For Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Two students lying on a grass in front of the Bundestag building in Berlin
Two students lying on a grass in front of the Bundestag building in Berlin

Visegrad scholarships allow students to undergo studies in eligible countries. Bachelor students can study in any Visegrad countries, i.e. Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia. Graduate students are eligible to study in abroad at any accredited university in other Visegrad country and in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine.

The country of your citizenship, permanent residence and home university must be different from the country of the host institution; moreover, the applicant’s previous level of university studies must be completed in a country other than where he/she applies for the scholarship.

Study period  of support is 1–4 semesters for full-time master and Bachelor programs, and 1-2 semesters for post-master studies. The amount of the support is €2,500/semester for the scholar and €1,500/semester for the host institution.  Your application must be submitted online the annual deadline on 15 March. Candidates should provide scanned transcript or records for the last two completed semesters or a diploma supplement as well as a scanned letter of acceptance from the host university.


MENA Scholarship Program

Girl on a bicycle in Amsterdam
Girl on a bicycle in Amsterdam

The scholarships are awarded in a competitive selection to highly motivated professionals change makers to take part in short courses in the Netherlands. While the scholarship is awarded to individuals, all candidates must be nominated by their employer to be able to participate. The need for training has to be demonstrated in the context of the organisation the applicant is employed by.

To be eligible for an MSP scholarship one must be a professional and national of, and living and working in one of the countries on the MSP country list valid at the time of application. The short courses on offer fall within several fields of study, and have a duration of 2 to 12 weeks. Once you select a course, contact the Dutch institution that is offering the course and double check the information on the selection procedures, application and the required supporting documents.

Foreign governments, foundations, and universities demonstrate great interest in young talent exchange programs as they allow for future collaboration and project development. Some of these scholarships emphasize the need for previous experience while others require candidates to demonstrate immaculate academic record. However, something that all exchange programs have in common is the need to demonstrate the future outcomes that the funded education will result in.

Photos: Shutterstock

Interested in more exchange programs and travel opportunities? Follow Education & Careers and sections in Youth Time Magazine:

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