The first step to studying abroad is to review the Western Abroad 101 session information.


An exchange is when you and an international student trade places—not always at the same time, but close. An exchange agreement allows each university to charge its outgoing student a fee that is close to home university tuition. Since our partner universities abroad are on the semester system, we charge you a fee that is close to the semester rate of in-state Western tuition for each semester you’re abroad.

This makes exchange one of the most affordable types of study abroad.

But, be very thoughtful about deciding if exchange is the right fit for you. Exchange offers total immersion, so you’ll attend your host university like a local student. While there will be an international student advisor or two to help you during the workday, host universities offer fewer services to exchange students compared to a study abroad provider program. Exchanges are a good fit for independent and mature students who are confident managing problem solving on their own.

Students are expected to meet all requirements listed by the host institution. This includes advanced ability in the language of instruction, GPA, specific course requirements, and class standing. Exchanges are not available during summer quarter.

Below, you will find two types of exchange opportunities: Western Exchange and the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP).

Western Exchanges

Western has a bilateral partnership agreement with a specific host institution. Students pay a fee based on in-state tuition to Western and all other costs abroad. You may review a listing of Western Exchanges or apply on the Programs page.

Exchange Advisor

For exchange advising, please contact Dan Lindeman.

International Student Exchange Program

ISEP is a membership-based organization that facilitates exchanges among member universities. WWU has been a member since 1983. ISEP students pay a fee based on in-state tuition, housing, and meals through their WWU student account. Visit the ISEP website for more information.

Info graphic outlining the differences between Western Exchange and ISEP.