Hundreds of UCD students take part in a trimester or a year abroad as part of their studies. UCD has over 400 university exchange partners in more than 50 countries across the globe. These provide a wide range of opportunities for our students to experience studying within Europe and outside of Europe.
UCD also welcomes incoming students from our partner universities each year, adding to our vibrant international student community on our Dublin campus!
Students who choose to study a trimester or year abroad outside of Europe will take part in a bilateral exchange. Students choosing to study within Europe will take part in the Erasmus+ programme.
For more information, read through our Student Exchange FAQs below or visit the Exchanges section of our website.
Student Exchange FAQs
The Erasmus programme provides students with an opportunity to study in a different country within continental Europe. Erasmus exchanges are generally subject-specific with a grant available for your time abroad.
Non-EU Exchange provides students with an opportunity to study outside of Europe, across destinations in Asia, North America, South America, Australia and New Zealand
Each year, UCD hosts a series of virtual information sessions. The full schedule can be found on the UCD Global website. You can also watch video recordings of the information sessions on our Exchanges Sessions page.
A number of small in-person sessions may also be hosted during the trimester. UCD Colleges and Schools will also be hosting a number of College/School specific sessions.
Here are some top tips from students who have been abroad (and staff who supported them):
- Attend the Exchange information sessions during Trimester 1 of Stage 2 (September - December).
- Make sure you do your research on the partner universities you are interested in. You can find information about these universities via their website. They often have websites/fact sheets for incoming exchange students. Make sure you also check the classes on offer and language requirements.
- Speak to your Exchange Coordinator for advice on destinations and if they are the right fit for you.
Applications are not assessed on a first come first served basis but on academic merit. Please take the time to carefully consider and review your options before submitting your application.
All Exchange applications should be submitted online on SISweb before the deadline. The application form can be found under the Programme Services menu and is called "My Exchange Application". The form should be used to apply for both Inside and Outside Europe places.
On the application form you will be expected to do the following:
- Select if you want to go for a full year/trimester 1/trimester 2.
- Indicate your Language proficiency (if applicable).
- Select your preferred subject (for joint major students) for your top choice.
- List the universities you would like to apply to - up to 15 choices. You can include both inside and outside Europe destinations.
Applications are not assessed on a first come first served basis but on academic merit. Please take the time to carefully consider and review your options before submitting your application. Applications cannot be amended after their submission.
UCD has both Erasmus and Non-EU exchange agreements with leading universities throughout Europe, North and Latin America, Asia and Oceania. These are either specific or general agreements. Where you can go is dependent on the combination of subjects you study. The list of universities can be found on our website.
Please make sure you check your own College’s website, as depending on your subject combination, there may be more specific information about your exchange destinations.
When you can go depends on your programme. An overview is available on our Where Can I Go web page. Some programmes may only allow for a trimester or full year exchange, so please make sure to check your programme requirements.
You can find the main requirements to apply for exchange below:
- 3.0 GPA is the recommended minimum requirement for students going on exchange.
- Students may also need to meet the academic requirements provided by their College.
- Generally, for students going on exchange in stage 3, the average GPA is calculated as follows: (Stage 1 (trimester 1) + Stage 1 (trimester 2) + Stage 2 trimester 1) divided by 3
We endeavor to place as many students as possible. However, please note our exchange programme is competitive and meeting the requirements does not guarantee you will receive an offer.
You will receive only one offer for an exchange place based on your application, which you can accept or reject.
If you are eligible to study abroad but are not offered one of your preferred destinations (listed in your application), you may be contacted about an alternative destination to study abroad. We strongly advise that you include more than one destination in your application.
Students on a 3-year programme may be adding a year to their degree if they study abroad. If you are unsure if this is the case for your degree, please contact your College to check your programme requirements.
The cost of going on exchange can vary from country to country (or even city) and depending on how long you plan on being overseas.
The majority of our university partners have a page on their website outlining the cost of living at the university. This is a great place to start when researching the cost of living of the area you are going to.
Here is an outline of items to include when budgeting:
- Tuition: You will continue to pay the UCD tuition fee. You will not have to pay the partner university tuition but there may be a small administration fee.
- Monthly Costs: Accommodation, Bills, Groceries, Travel, Personal items
- Incidentals: Insurance, Flights, Passport, Visa, Vaccinations, Study Materials
Please make sure to review the recording of our Application and Budgeting session as we offer tips on how to go about budgeting for your exchange.
Students on exchange pay their usual fees to UCD. Students are not required to pay tuition fees at the host university, although there may be an administrative fee for registration, or student services charges. All other expenses such as travel, accommodation, language courses, health and travel insurance and general living costs are the student’s own responsibility.
We have a set number of places available for each partner university. This number may depend on our agreements with our partner and can change every year. For this reason, we are not always able to allocate every student’s preferred destination.
Most countries in Europe are part of the Erasmus+ Programme. The Erasmus+ Grant is approximately €300 or €350 per calendar month depending on the destination country. The total amount is based on exact mobility dates. Some countries offer some other/additional form of financial assistance, e.g. France – students can apply for CAF (Caisses d’Allocations Familiales) to help with accommodation costs.
*Additional funding may be available for upper-level SUSI grantees as well as HEAR students. Students who have been selected for an exchange destination within Europe, will automatically receive more details about applying for the grant. This information will be sent before departure.
Outside of Europe:
A scholarship of €500 per trimester is available for students at Universitas 21 (www.universitas21.com) partners in Latin America and Asia. Some partner universities in Asia offer other scholarships which students can apply for e.g. DUO Scholarship in Korea, JASSO scholarship in Japan.
As part of your application, it is important that you research the language requirements for any institution that you wish to apply for. You can find this information on their exchange website and/or course catalogue.
You do not necessarily need a second language to study abroad. Many universities in Europe and worldwide offer courses taught through English. However, we strongly advise you to start studying the host country’s language before you depart, and to continue studying it once you are there. The better your language skills, the more you will get out of living there.
It will be your responsibility to ensure that you are aware of the teaching language at the universities you are applying for and to check in advance their course catalogue to see if there are sufficient subjects/modules offered through English if you do not speak the local language.
Visa requirements will depend on where you are studying abroad and your citizenship.
If you are an EU citizen, you will most probably not require a visa if you travel to another EU member state. However, you may be required to register as a resident with the local authorities.
Please note: following Brexit, students going to the UK and who do not hold Irish citizenship may need to apply for a visa. Similarly, students holding British citizenship will need to check if they need to apply for a visa to study in another EU member state.
If you are going on exchange outside of the EU, you will need to apply for a student visa. Information on the type of visa you require will be provided to you directly by the host university. You are advised to apply for your visa as soon as you receive the relevant documentation from your host university.
The applications will be reviewed by the relevant UCD Global, Programme and Academic staff. Applications are assessed primarily on academic merit.
If you are successful, you will be notified in Spring and will receive an offer for one of our partner university destinations.
Once you have accepted your offer, UCD Global/the relevant Coordinator will contact you with further information on the next steps of your application.