Plan your exchange

What is the eligibility criteria?

CIE is a competitive program. This eligibility criteria exists to ensure that students are prepared to thrive academically while studying abroad.

Students must meet the following eligibility criteria to be considered for the CIE program. The student must:

  • Be a full-time student in good academic standing as defined by the UBC Faculty of Applied Science.
  • Be in their third or fourth year of their degree and align their exchange semester with the recommended timing for their program. (View program specific information)
  • Have achieved at least a 70% average (or 80% average for Bachelor of Environmental Design students) in the most recent academic term of full-time studies. Note: some institutions require a more competitive average (i.e. ETH Zurich 75%)
  • Have maintained a 70% average (or 80% average for Bachelor of Environmental Design students) prior to participating in the CIE program.

Term 1 (Fall term) grades will be considered in Round 1 (December deadline). Term 2 (Spring term) grades will be considered in Round 2 (May deadline). Please contact your CIE advisor to discuss possible appeals or exceptions to the requirements outlined above, and prior to applying if you require academic or other accommodations abroad.

If you are on a Co-op term, your most recent term of academic study where at least 12 credits of coursework were completed will be used to calculate your grade average for admission to this program.

How much does exchange cost?

Going on exchange is not as expensive as you might think, in fact, a term abroad could easily be in line with your usual expenses at UBC. Your choice of destination country and the cost of living in that region are particularly important to consider along with your budget, as these choices significantly influence the overall cost of an international experience.

The Go Global application fee ($415.00) is required for all students applying to go on exchange. Other known costs include; airfare, accommodation, insurance, visa applications, living expenses. Estimates of local costs at our different partner institutions can be found in student reports collected from students featured on individual partner institution profile pages of the Go Global website. Your Enrolment Services Advisor (Vancouver), or Student Services (Okanagan), can offer help in planning your finances abroad. Researching the cost of living of the destinations you are considering applying for and comparing this to your budget is an important stage of the planning process. Use the Exchange Budget Worksheet to compare multiple destinations against your expenses of a typical term at UBC to better understand some of the key financial elements of the destinations you are considering.


All students who successfully begin their exchange will receive the $1000 Applied Science International Experience Award. View the funding pages on the Go Global of your campus (Vancouver)(Okanagan) to explore other awards you may be eligible for.

When you are abroad you will be charged the UBC tuition rate for 15 credits per term, regardless of how many credits you choose to study while abroad. You do not pay tuition fees to the partner institution. Travel and accommodation arrangements are also organized independently by each student. Some partner institutions will reserve spots at their residences for international and exchange students, other partner institutions have limited or no on-campus housing options. Carefully consult the partner institutions websites when selecting your destination preferences for information regarding housing options.

Important timelines

There are two deadlines each year to apply to go on exchange;
Round 1 – mid-December. Applications for Term 1, Term 2, or Full Year placements for the following academic year. (Eg. Apply in December 2021 to go abroad in the 2022/2023 academic year)
Round 2 – early May. Applications for Term 2 for the following academic year. Only seats which were not allocated during Round 1 will be available to apply to. (Eg. Apply in May 2022 to go abroad in Term 2 of the 2022/2023 academic year)

After applying, it may take up to 6 weeks to receive your partner institution allocation. Don’t worry, if we can’t allocate you to one of your top preferences we will work with you to find another partner institution, or you will be given a full refund of your application fee.

Once you have been allocated to a partner institution, the next step is to complete your application to your host university to enroll as an endorse exchange student from UBC. Your host institution will walk you through this process. This usually begins around 4-6 months before the start of your exchange.