9 Reasons Why You Should Go On A Student Exchange Program

The idea of going overseas to study is thrilling and yet, worrisome. But you can be sure you’ll learn about a new culture, make new friends and acquaintances, and develop personally. Here are several benefits you’ll reap from participating in a student exchange program.

Student Exchange Program
Photo by Zen Chung

What is a student exchange program?

Student exchange programs allow students to study abroad for a set amount of time at one of their university’s partner institutions with the support of their home institution. Thus, an exchange student represents their nation by travelling to another country to study, absorb, and share cultural information.

Additionally, it allows students to take part in foreign education and fully experience a different culture without needing to spend much time away from home.

Although an exchange program differs from studying abroad for the full degree, it’s still beneficial for students to get a taste of living overseas.

Student exchange program benefits

Here’s how participating in a student exchange program will improve both academic and personal life.

You’ll get to experience a brand-new culture

Spending time abroad allows students to immerse themselves in another country’s culture fully, meet people from the area, sample the local food, experience local traditions, and discover the nation’s history.

Moreover, it’s a chance to venture outside one’s comfort zone and encounter new scenarios. As a result, students will be able to view things more objectively and better tolerate various customs and traditions.

You will improve your language skills

There will be opportunities to study the host nation’s language while abroad. And because practical immersion is the key to learning a language, you’ll be able to speak a new language quickly.

Thus, working with native speakers is the greatest approach to becoming fluent in the language. For instance, to brush up on Italian, participating in a cultural exchange program in an Italian country enhances competency.

You’ll be able to relate to the locals and use their language due to regular exposure to local media, such as radio and television.

In addition to the significant amount of daily language practice, the host institution may provide language classes, offering the ideal combination of colloquial and formal language abilities.

Your writing and reading abilities can be strengthened as some classes may be taught in the native tongue.

You will increase your employability

Many of the abilities picked up on the exchange program are transferable, and employers will likely be curious about your experiences. In addition, exposure to a different educational system and practices is often an advantage in the job market.

Time spent studying abroad proves that you are nimble, adaptable, open-minded, and have a global worldview. It also demonstrates how effectively one can adapt to different environments. Additionally, it improves various cultural understanding, which is something that employers highly value, especially in multinational corporations.

The contacts students meet abroad while participating in an exchange help build their professional network and may lead to future internship and career opportunities. Additionally, it looks good on a resume.

Students who study abroad graduate with higher-calibre degrees, have lower unemployment rates, and are more likely to hold graduate-level positions if they do find employment.

You will be exposed to different teaching methods

While abroad, there’s also the chance to explore other educational approaches and take advantage of various academic possibilities. Not only does one gain access to some of the best institutions in the world, but also the chance to experience different teaching methods, enhancing critical and creative thinking skills.

Additionally, the host university may offer courses or modules that are not accessible at one’s home university. Students will also bring their experiences back and share them with their peers. Thus, student exchange programs impact both the exchange students and their home-country classmates.

This is also a chance to choose what kind of learning suits students the most. It’s a terrific approach to immerse oneself in a different academic environment and, hopefully, discover a new aspect of their degree.

It’s an opportunity to travel and see the world

Like never before, students will have access to travel to nearby nations. It’s a wonderful chance to go to places one may not otherwise go, and the trip can teach a lot about other people’s cultures.

Remember that there will be plenty of planned field trips, excursions, and travel companions from day one because you will be surrounded by international students keen to explore.

You will make new friends from different parts of the world

Students who study overseas will develop some unique and lifelong friendships. These ties, whether with someone from the same course, someone who happens to be on the same exchange, or friendship one develops with locals or other foreign students, will last a lifetime.

After graduating, it will be advantageous to have acquaintances in other nations. These people may develop into a significant network of business contacts later in your career, justifying travelling to many different countries.

You will discover new interests

Students start learning a lot about themselves once going on an exchange, as there are opportunities to take risks and try out new things in this situation. In addition, options that aren’t available in their home country can be available in the new exchange country.

It is an opportunity for personal development

While abroad, one’s world perspective will probably be tested several times. Students develop the ability to push beyond their comfort zone by being exposed to unique events that force reevaluation or reinforce principles.

As a result, there will be a clearer understanding of who one is, what matters and even wants from life.

Naturally, students also pick up new skills, become more independent, self-reliant, and self-sufficient, boost self-confidence and resilience, acquire priceless life experiences, and become more well-rounded.

These life skills will enable students to seamlessly integrate into a global workplace and give them the self-assurance needed to communicate with others from other cultures or nations.

Because of this, it is suggested that children study in a different setting to help them acquire these abilities more quickly.

It is an opportunity to make global connections and build a global network

When returning home after an exchange program, you will have had the opportunity to meet many people from different backgrounds. This will help in developing global connections.

Hence, exchange programs aid in developing a worldwide network since it connects you with individuals from all over the globe who might not be similar but have something in common. These connections can be useful in both personal and professional life.

How to become an exchange student?

become an exchange student
Photo by Armin Rimoldi

Some universities offer an exchange student program as part of their course. For instance, UOW Malaysia allow students to spend one semester abroad at UOW Australia with local tuition fees.

If you’re part of UOW Malaysia, all you need to do is fill out a student exchange program application form.

UOW Australia can assist you in making arrangements for on-campus housing. A confirmation of enrollment will also be sent by UOW Malaysia, along with assistance with the certification of your supporting papers.

Tips before you leave for a student exchange program

While a student exchange program can sound like an exciting experience, the fact is you’re still leaving for new country. Even if you’ve visited the country before, living there will be a different experience. So, here are some tips to take into account before leaving.

  • Ensure your paperwork is correct.
  • Find the right kind of accommodation.
  • Pack properly and sensibly.
  • Start learning basic phrases of the country’s language (Eg. Duolingo).
  • Research your destination’s history and culture.


A student exchange program is a life-changing experience. Being a representative of your home nation, be sure to act professionally. Remember to keep an open mind and be receptive to the things learned in the host country.


24 May 2023


Education and Career