Applying and cancelling

  • I have no passport or it is no longer valid. Can I still apply?

    You can apply with your ID card or old passport and send us a copy of your new passport once you have it. Please make sure to submit the new passport copy before the application deadline. For all attachments submitted after the deadline, there is  an additional charge of 100 EUR (or 120 USD for students outside of Europe), according to our terms and conditions.

  • Can I only apply online?

    You submit all the applications and application documents online. Please don’t send us any documents via regular mail.

  • What is a ”free mover”?

    A free mover is someone who either hasn’t found a suitable study abroad placement through their home university or college, or hasn’t been granted one.  This leaves the option of finding a study abroad placement and organizing everything on your own. This makes you a free mover.

    The same rules apply for free movers as for all other exchange students when it comes to choosing courses. The number and type of courses you complete abroad should match the requirements set by your home institution.

    You can include the courses you complete abroad into your degree in much the same way you would on regular exchange programs (e.g. Erasmus or bilateral exchange agreements). Consult your exchange coordinator beforehand about credit transfer. That way you can avoid any nasty surprises afterwards.

    Unlike in bilateral exchange programs which are free, as a free mover you pay the tuition fee of the foreign university. This is where we help you to apply both affordably and conveniently. We keep the fees low while eliminating much of the hassle and paperwork that goes into organizing a study abroad semester.

    You can ask about scholarships for free mover students from your home institution as well as from private organizations and foundations.

  • How come the confirmation is so quick?

    Our partner universities have given us the right to process and accept applications on their behalf. If you organized a study abroad placement on your own, you might have to wait weeks or months for a confirmation. This is what we’ve wanted to eliminate: the sooner you know you’ve been accepted, the better. With IPU New Zealand, it currently takes about two weeks to get an acceptance.

  • Can I be certain of being accepted in the study abroad program?

    Yes! You only need to fulfill the minimum requirements. For most of our destinations this means being at least 18 years old and having sufficient English skills. With some destinations you need to currently be a university or college student. Check the destination specific requirements here.

     

  • Can I apply together with friends?

    Yes! One of the problems with normal exchange and study abroad programs is that there are strict placement quotas. Our programs have either no such quotas, or they are quite high. This means that you can apply with your best friend, significant other or even a group of friends. As long each of you fulfills the application criteria, you’ll be accepted!

  • What subject should I be majoring in to be able to participate?

    Our study abroad programs are meant for everyone who is interested in Asia and wants to broaden their horizons. You don’t have to be studying a certain major. That said, some courses offered by our partner universities might require that you have studied a certain subject before. There are however many study fields and courses to choose from even if you have no background in them. On the other hand, you can be sure to find some courses that match your study background.

    Most participants in our programs are students of business, technology, political science and tourism There are many students with other majors as well, who take courses outside of their major and so expand their academic horizons.

    If you don’t find courses that match your major, it’s often possible to include them as a part of a minor or an elective module. We understand that your home university or college has a final say in this, and that’s why we encourage you to make a study plan beforehand and have it approved by your faculty staff and / or exchange coordinator. For more information about credit transfer, see study credits.

  • Can master's level students participate in your programs?

    Master’s / graduate level students can also participate in our programs. There are Master’s level courses available at Siam University and Rangsit University in Thailand. Siam University also has a full MBA degree you can take.

    Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in South Korea, Shih Chien University in Taiwan, Udayana University in Bali and Warmadewa University in Bali.

    Our other partner universities offer Bachelor’s level courses. Even if you’re a Master’s student, you might be able to take Bachelor’s level courses as minor or elective courses, for example. This is quite common, since Master’s courses are often harder to find when choosing a study abroad program. Please consult your faculty staff and / or exchange coordinator about your options.

  • Do I have to be enrolled at an institution of higher education?

    You can join many of our programs even if you’re not currently a university or college student. You only need to be 18+ years old and have a high school diploma or similar.

    If you’ve just finished high school, our study abroad programs are a great option for you if you want to take a gap year before pursuing a university or college degree. In fact, many have done so and found a direction for their future. What’s more, the courses you take abroad during your gap year can often be included into your degree once you start it.

    The following universities require that you’re a university or college student at the time of your study abroad semester, however:

    • Kasetsart University in Bangkok
    • Rangsit University in Bangkok
    • Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in South Korea
    • Shih Chien University in Taiwan
    • Universiti Putra Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur
  • Can I go on a study abroad semester with my family?

    Yes, you can. Being expatriate is a great experience for your family and can brush up the entire family’s language skills. Your child will benefit from gaining a more open-minded attitude towards new things and your study abroad semester will inspire intellectual and cultural curiosity in the whole family.

    Many dads and moms have done it before so there are numerous blogs on the topic online. All of our destinations are family friendly and very safe. There are several accommodation options to choose from, many of them very child-appropriate.

    You can consider hiring a nanny or bringing an au pair from home for babysitting. Both options can be very affordable since it’s relatively affordable to hire a nanny in Asia. If your partner comes with you, (s)he can also stay at home with the children.

    In the above cases, the children’s daily routines don’t necessarily differ much from what would be at home. We’ve had students with families in our study abroad programs before and heard wonderful things about children being very flexible and disarming in new situations. Playing overcomes language barriers quite effectively and there are various international schools and day cares in most of our destinations as well.

  • At what point in my studies should I go on exchange?

    Most students go on exchange during their third year of studies but this varies a lot depending on the field of studies. Anyone with a high school diploma or similar can apply to many of our study abroad programs, and we recommend doing a study abroad semester as early as possible (even though it’s never too late to go). Many go during their second year.

    You should have mastered some basic study techniques before studying abroad to ensure you get the most out of your time abroad. Nonetheless, the most important ingredient of a successful study abroad period is having a curious, eager and open attitude towards everything that you encounter. That takes you a long way.

     

  • Can I apply for a study program after the application deadline?

    We can ask the host institution if they can still accept late applications, and the host institution makes a decision typically on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact us immediately by phone or email if the deadline for the study program of your choice has already passed.

  • Am I required to take an English language proficiency test?

    Language proficiency requirements differ from country to country and continent to continent. Most of the universities where English is the language of instruction require students to take the international language proficiency test TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) and get a certain score.

    Taking a TOEFL test costs about 185 USD and takes time. To save your time and money, we’ve agreed with most of our partner universities waive the English proficiency test. You still have to have sufficient English skills to follow the instruction (approximately B2 level), but you don’t need to prove it. The exceptions are Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and IPU New Zealand.

  • Will my GPA affect my chances of getting a placement?

    We believe all students should study abroad at some point. It’s simply one of the best things you can do for your personal, professional and academic future. In our opinion, what matters is not so much your grade, but your motivation. We don’t think the grade point average (GPA) tells the whole truth about someone’s capabilities and potential, and so a low grade is not a barrier to entry.

  • Can I cancel my participation in the study program?

    Yes. Canceling is also free of charge if it is done before the tuition fee payment is due (about 30 days before the semester starts) or before it has been paid.

    If you need to cancel, you can do so by sending us a an email or a letter. Do not send us an SMS, live chat message, Facebook message, or call us. To be valid, a cancellation has to be done via email or regular mail. You don’t have to state the reason for your cancellation. Just stating that you want to cancel is enough.

    If you cancel your participation after the tuition fee is due, but no later than 14 days before the beginning of the semester, you’ll be refunded 50% of the tuition fee. The tuition fee will not be refunded if you cancel later than 14 days before the beginning of the semester. If you haven’t sent the cancellation notice via e-mail or regular mail, you will be charged the whole tuition fee. The cancellation policy can also be found in our Terms and Conditions.

    When you apply for a study program, you will be charged a 75 EUR (or 50 EUR for Udayana University) fee for administrative costs. This fee is non-refundable because it covers the costs of processing the application and ensures that only the most motivated students apply for a study place through us.

Studies abroad

  • I still have some exams in my home university when the semester starts. Is it possible to start the program later?

    We do not recommend you start the program later. Please ask your home university if you could write the exams somewhat earlier. The orientation is compulsory and absence is allowed only for compelling reasons. The required attendance for the semester abroad is 80 %.

  • Which courses are available at the host universities?

    You can find course catalogs and course descriptions for each study program on our website under study programs. The offered courses mainly consist of business, tourism and the local language and culture. On average, students complete 20–30 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) study credits during their exchange. If you are not studying in Europe, remember to ask your home institution how the course credits you complete abroad will translate in your degree. Our partner universities offer high quality education, thoroughly depicted on our website in the exchange reports and blogs which have been written by former Asia Exchange students.

  • Can I choose courses from other programs such as GoBali and Study in Bali?

    No, each program has its own course offer. We can not guarantee the quality of the other study abroad program providers.

  • Do I have to wear a school uniform and where can I get one?

    Out of all our study abroad destinations, Thailand is the only country which requires students to wear school uniforms. The top is a white dress shirt with long or short sleeves. Women wear black skirts and men wear black trousers. The uniform also includes a belt buckle and a pin with the university logo on them. There are no exact specifications about the design and the materials but, in general, a school uniform should look nice and neat. Our students have said that it only takes a few days to get used to the school uniform and that it’s actually quite practical because there’s no need to spend time in the morning thinking about what to wear! You can buy an outfit in your home country but the easiest and cheapest way to get one is to buy it from the exchange destination. The uniform and a few extra shirts cost about 20 EUR. The host university will help students buy the uniforms during the first few days of classes. Students are not required to wear school uniforms during the first week.

    Even in the countries that do not require a school uniform, students are expected to attend lectures in neat clothing. The clothing you wear to the beach is not suitable attire for attending classes. For example, flip-flops and miniskirts are not appropriate.

  • Can I work during my studies?

    In our destination countries working with a student visa is usually either wholly prohibited or restricted. Please contact the nearest embassy in order to get more detailed information on the visa policy of your destination country.

Fees and Funding

  • When do I have to pay the tuition fee?

    The invoice for the tuition fee will be sent 2.5 months before the semester starts and is due one month before the semester starts.

  • When do I have to pay the application fee?

    The application fee invoice will be sent soon after the initial acceptance letter. The fee is due within 10 days of receiving the invoice.

  • Do I have to pay the tuition fee all at once?

    Yes, it is not possible to pay the tuition fee in several parts.

  • Can I get a receipt of my payment?

    If needed, Asia Exchange can prepare a receipt for you. Please contact us at info[at]asiaexchange.org

  • How can I receive funding for studying abroad?

    Ask your home institution’s exchange coordinator about possible funding for free mover studies abroad. We also recommend trying to find information about grants and scholarships that organizations and foundations give students for studying abroad. However, please keep in mind that many scholarships have conditions that students must fulfill, such as completing courses which can be included in the degree etc.

  • What kind of expenses will I have when studying abroad?

    You will receive an application fee invoice with the initial acceptance letter. The university-specific tuition fee will be paid about a month before the beginning of the semester. In addition to the application fee and the tuition fee you should consider, e.g. the following expenses: plane tickets to the destination, vaccinations, insurance, visa expenses and the general living costs in the destination country. Living expenses in our destinations are very low when compared to Europe and North America.

  • Cash and withdrawing money?

    It’s good to take some cash in your destination country’s currency with you from your home country. The most affordable way of getting cash at your study abroad location is to take cash in your home country’s currency with you and exchange it at a local money exchange in the destination country. Remember to compare the exchange rates and be attentive during the actual exchange. We also recommend taking a Visa Electron or a credit card with you. Don’t wait until you’re all out of cash until you withdraw more because sometimes there are malfunctions in the ATMs. If you plan on signing a rental agreement immediately after arriving at your destination, you should have at least the first month’s rent and the safety deposit with you in cash.

Preparations before the semester

  • Can I get in touch with other Asia Exchange students before the semester starts?

    We create destination-specific Facebook group for each semester. The link will be sent to you by email after the application period has ended.

  • How can I acquire a student visa?

    Many countries require longer-term residents and students to have a passport and a visa. The process of applying for a visa varies from country to country and sometimes even depending on the embassy employee with whom you are dealing with. The formalities are often case-specific and may change quickly. Asia Exchange recommends contacting each country’s embassy directly in case there have been recent changes to the visa protocol. You can find more information and thorough, country-specific instructions with examples of filled out visa applications on our website. Remember to check the latest information about the visa application procedure and the required documents from the target country’s embassy.

    Indonesia
    Malaysia
    Thailand
    China
    South Korea
    Taiwan

  • Do you help me finding accommodation?

    Not directly, but we have gathered a list of popular accommodation options located near the universities at each location. Some universities also offer a possibility for on-campus housing. You can find information about accommodation on our website. We will also send you our Asia Exchange guide one month prior to the start of the study program. The guide offers detailed information about accommodation options, booking accommodation and other practical matters about living in the destination country. It may take some time to find accommodation independently, especially if you have no previous experience with it. Ask your travel agency for hints if the task seems too overwhelming.

  • What insurance policies should I buy?

    Each student is required to acquire their own insurance which covers the study abroad period. We recommend taking out traveler’s and baggage insurance for the duration of the study program. Ask your insurance agency for more information on different kinds of insurance policies. Contact your insurance company well in advance, so that you will have a copy of your insurance card and proof of the insurance in English with you when you leave.

  • Which vaccinations will I need?

    Anyone traveling to Asia should have the most commonly recommended vaccinations against diseases such as diphtheria and tetanus which remain effective for 10 years (make sure your vaccinations are up to date). In addition, travelers should have vaccinations against polio, measles, mumps and rubella. Most often vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B are also recommended. However, it’s up to the students to decide which vaccinations to acquire before the study abroad program. Ask your home institution’s health care provider or your personal physician for more information.

  • When should I arrive at the study abroad destination?

    You should arrive at the study abroad destination at least a few days before the start of the study program. It will help you settle in and gives you some time to find long-term accommodation before the start of the study program. It is not advisable to travel to the destination weeks in advance, because you need to apply for a student visa and applying for it might be possible in your home country only. You need the official acceptance letter in order to apply for the student visa. The letter will be sent to you at the latest one month before the semester starts. Unfortunately it is not possible to speed up the process due to host universities’ schedules.

  • Can the acceptance letter be sent to me earlier?

    The acceptance letter needed to acquire a visa will be delivered one month before the beginning of the study abroad semester at the latest. Usually the acceptance letter is delivered slightly earlier but the delivery is conditional to the schedule of the receiving university. The acceptance letter can be sent abroad as well, for instance to a hotel address, in case you travel from your homeland notably earlier than a month before the beginning of the study abroad semester.

    You can apply for the student visa in your host university’s country’s embassy for example in a neighboring country. This is a good option in case you are doing another exchange semester or an internship in some other country before the upcoming study abroad semester. Please note, however, that it is not always possible to apply for the student visa in a country where you are not a resident. Usually you can only apply for the Chinese and Malaysian student visa from your home country. For the Indonesian student visa you will need a so called embassy letter, which is by default addressed to an embassy in your home country. Read more about the embassy letter.

    If you wish to travel to the destination country even earlier than a month before the beginning of the study abroad semester, we recommend traveling there as a tourist and applying for the student visa later from one of the embassies in the neighboring countries that represent your future host country. The official acceptance letter required for a visa can in this case be reclaimed directly from the receiving institution. The application process is similar to what it would be in your home country but please check the updated information on the embassy website of the country in question before applying. This is also due to the fact that only a student visa officially entitles for studies in the destination. Please inform us well in advance of the previously mentioned special arrangements.

  • Should I get to know the destination in advance?

    We recommend finding things out about the destination country in advance, for instance by reading material online and by buying a travel guide (e.g. Lonely Planet). Wikitravel and Wikipedia are great sources of information online. See also the Destination guides on our website.

  • Should I buy a local SIM card in Asia?

    When settling in to your destination we recommend buying a local prepaid SIM card, for instance from a 7 Eleven/a similar store. A local cell number is one of the cheapest ways of making calls within the destination country as well as keeping in touch with the folks at home.

After the study abroad semester

  • How long can I stay in the destination country after my studies?

    The residency permit guidelines always vary from country to country. For this reason, when leaving your visa application, we recommend that you ask the embassy officials about possible residency restrictions that may apply to people traveling under student visas. Remember to state the beginning and ending dates of your exchange period and the possible reasons for staying in the country longer (traveling etc.).

  • When will I receive my Transcript of Records?

    Like everywhere in the world and Asia, it takes up to 4 months to get the transcript of records from the courses you have taken. The host universities are responsible for the transcript of records. We send the transcript of records out as soon as they arrive to our office. Please contact us if, for some reason or other, you are in a hurry to get your transcript. If you have a new address, please inform us immediately.

  • I have lost my Transcript of Records. Can you send me a new one?

    In principle, our partner universities prepare only one transcript of records per student. Documents older than one year can only be delivered electronically.

  • How can I transfer the credits completed abroad into my degree?

    Most institutions accept course credits from abroad into a degree as long as they meet the requirements set by the given institution. Sometimes a course from abroad can substitute for a compulsory course at your home institution or the courses can be added to your degree as electives. The studies you complete abroad will not be added to your degree automatically, you must apply for credit transfers separately from each faculty. You can get detailed information about transferring credits from your home institution. Usually, students are required to submit a transcript of records from the host institution, detailed course descriptions about the courses they have completed and any possible work which has been completed as part of the course. Careful preparation and presenting as much material as possible at the home institution helps ease the credit transfer process. Remember to ask what your home institution’s requirements are regarding credit transfer and read more about them under study credits.

  • I can’t find an answer to my question

    You can send us your question by email at info[at]asiaexchange.org and we will answer your it as soon as possible. All our students receive an Asia Exchange Guide approximately two months before the start of the study program. The Guide includes information about the host university, accommodation, practical things and settling in at the destination.

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