Student Exchange FAQs:

With which overseas institutions does CU Boulder have exchange agreements?

The full list of current reciprocal agreements can be viewed here. 

What is in a contractual exchange agreement?

Each contract describes the terms of exchange and benefits that students from both schools will receive from the other university.  Our standard exchange agreement template can be viewed here

How many students are selected for exchange?

An exchange is a reciprocal arrangement where the number of students CU Boulder accepts from an exchange university is balanced against the number of students CU Boulder sends to that exchange university.

What are the financial benefits of an exchange to a student?

Benefits vary by exchange partner. In most exchanges, the benefits include tuition and required fees. In this case, CU Boulder exchange students pay a study abroad program fee that includes the tuition and fees that will pay for the incoming exchange student's tuition and fees. That international student pays tuition and fees at his/her home institution for the Boulder student going abroad. The exchange students do not pay tuition at their host institutions; only at their home institutions. Then they trade places.

Incoming Exchange Student FAQs

How do credits work in the American academic system?

Exchange students must maintain full time student status as listed below, keeping in mind that a normal Undergraduate course load is 12 - 15 credit hours per semester (each course is usually worth 3 - 5 credits) while a normal Graduate course load is 5 - 9 credits per semester:   

  • 1000 - 4999 Undergrad level classes: 12 credit hours
  • 5000 Grad level (and higher): 5 credit hours
  • Undergrad and Grad level mixed: 8 credit hours

Most exchange students are admitted as advanced undergraduates, assuming they have taken the equivalent of about 90 credit hours (students normally take about 30 credits per year).

Will I be able to see which courses will be available for the semester before the deadline for my application?

Yes, you will be able to see the courses, but not until after you apply.  This is why we are emphatic by asking all applicants to be as flexible as possible!  Please do get advising on several alternative courses so that you have flexibility.  Again, one of the major reasons to do an exchange is to take courses that are different than what you can get at your home institution!  Please understand that we can never guarantee that a particular course will be offered, so this is another reason why you should have several alternatives in mind.

What courses can I take? Can I take courses from different majors? What type of requirements apply?

In general, you can take courses in the College of Arts and Sciences and if you are currently studying engineering or business, you may be able to take courses in the College of Engineering and Leeds School of Business.  If you are taking courses at the upper division level (3000 or 4000), then please make sure that you have sufficient background to take them before enrolling. If the course here has a pre-requisite, then the CU computer system will not allow you to enroll and you will have to get permission to over-ride the computer.  Be prepared to prove that you have the necessary background by sending copies of your appropriate course syllabi to the Office of International Education.

How do I get access to the detailed programs of the courses? Do I have to email the instructor?

This level of detail may be on the department’s website, so please look first.  However,  such details may only be available from the instructor of the course.  Once you are admitted, we will be posting instructions on how to contact the appropriate exchange academic advisor since this varies by college and sometimes department.

Is it possible to submit the TOEFL results two weeks after the application deadline?

Yes, but we cannot finalize your acceptance for the exchange until we receive the results of your TOEFL exam.