International Exchanges

Studying abroad or studying away on exchange occurs when you and student from another university trade places - not always at the same time, but often within the same year or next year. An exchange agreement allows each university to charge its outgoing student a fee that is close to home university tuition. Since our exchange partner universities tend to be 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. The exception is the National Student Exchange (NSE), which allows for students to pay either their home school tuition (or a fee pegged to the home school tuition) or the in-state/non-resident tuition of the host university.

This makes exchange one of the most affordable types of studying abroad or studying away.

But, be very thoughtful about deciding if exchange is the right fit for you. For our international host universities, 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. Studying on exchange at a university in the US will be more similar to your experience studying at WWU.

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

Exchange Advisor

For exchange advising, please contact Dan Lindeman.

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.

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.

National Student Exchange

Coming soon!

Founded in 1968, the National Student Exchange, or NSE, provides students access to study on exchange to universities across the US, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. The nature of the exchange waives non-resident tuition at the host university, allowing students to pay their host university’s in-state/resident tuition. Alternatively, students may choose to study with NSE on a plan where they pay their home university tuition. Likewise, students from other NSE member universities can study on exchange at Western. Learn more about NSE at

University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific

Coming soon!

University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP) expands Western’s university network in Asia, the Pacific, and beyond, providing our students access to study abroad on exchange to universities in those regions. In turn, students from UMAP universities can apply to study on exchange at Western. Learn more about UMAP on their page for students and by visiting its member universities page.

Info graphic outlining the differences between Western Exchange and ISEP.
Map of Canada and U.S., graphic or highlights of the National Student Exchange program.