FAQ

The University of Glasgow International Exchange programme is a non-European exchange programme. The Study Abroad Student Ambassadors go to countries such as Canada, USA, Australia and Singapore, representing the University of Glasgow for one-year. Please visit the official University of Glasgow international website for more information about the Exchange programmes. Also, see below for a list of frequently asked questions and answers written and answered by students.

**Please note that a section of these questions are written and answered by the students and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Glasgow.  Further, the student Q&A section does not constitute official information and therefore should be used as guidance only. For current information about the programme please visit the University of Glasgow International Office webiste.

Frequently Asked Questions (provided by staff):

Can I contact the students abroad directly? How?

Yes, but please keep in mind that they are very busy. You can contact the students through e-mail (email addresses can be found in the ‘About the Students’ section); alternatively,  you can join the Facebook group, linked on the right, and message the ambassadors or leave a question on the group wall.

Frequently Asked Questions (provided by students):

What’s the first thing I should to if I’m thinking of studying abroad?

Speak to your lecturers and see what they would advise.  They may have very good contacts with – or advice on – specific Universities that would be the most beneficial to your subject.

What grades do you need to do an exchange?

Everyone thinks that to do an exchange you have to be an absolute genius, but that’s not the case. You just have to prove that you’re going to be able to manage studying in a foreign country. Glasgow says a minimum of a C (B for certain universities) is required. However, Glasgow wants to send people abroad that are going to have amazing experiences, not just work 24/7. So get out there and join some clubs or societies. It proves that you can manage your time between work and fun.

What main things I should consider when wondering whether or not to study abroad i.e. social and academic issues?

Consider whether this is really what you want to do.  Take the decision seriously.  Do you have any medical or personal needs that will make being abroad for a year problematic?  Do you easily get homesick?  Are you ready for a year abroad?  Have you researched the area and culture and think it’s right for you?  Are you the kind of person who can handle problems, mistakes, difficult situations (e.g. problems with flights, passport, courses, accommodation issues etc) by yourself, and are willing to face challenges?  Which University would be the most suitable for your course?  Is there a particular country or area which would help you with your course or be useful for it?  Look for any clubs or societies and other things the University offers and see if it caters for your hobbies or interests.  Research thoroughly, think about the practicalities and realities of living abroad for a year and if you wish to go, ensure you apply to a University which will help you get the most possible out of your year both personally and academically.

What about the interview? Is there any way I can prepare for it?

Try and find out as many things as you can about the institution abroad by getting in touch with other students in your department who have studied abroad, chatting with the student representatives who are currently abroad, and, in general, making sure you’re completely aware of what you’re getting into. The interview really is the key that opens the lock to your chance at studying abroad, so be prepared for questions ranging from the education system abroad to coping strategies if things get difficult. Finally, be honest and look at the interviewers when you’re answering questions. It may seem obvious, but the stress of it is enough to make you forget simple etiquette.

When should I start preparing to go abroad?

As soon as you can; prepare from when you have applied to your abroad University as there may be various deadlines including applying to halls of residence or your student visa.  The sooner you prepare the more confident and comfortable you’ll be about leaving.

I need to apply for my visa, which I’ve heard takes 4-6 weeks to process, and I have to be in NZ for the start of term in the beginning of July. The embassy needs proof I have enough money to support myself abroad but SAAS hasn’t opened the application process for the coming session and I don’t have enough savings in my bank account to cover a whole year – how can I prove to the embassy I can support myself without proof that I will be receiving a student loan?

I was advised that sending copies of previous award notices and a note that I can expect an award again for the coming year would suffice, so I photocopied proof of my award notices from the SLC and SAAS for my 1st and 2nd years at Glasgow. That indeed did suffice and I received my visa 5 DAYS after I sent the application form off!

How will my grades be transferred when I return to Glasgow?

This will depend on how your grades are compared to others in your classes overseas and how they compare to your past grades at Glasgow. Most will be freely transferable, i.e. a B overseas will equal a B in Glasgow. It is possible for grades to be upgraded or downgraded, after comparing performance between Glasgow and the overseas university. Speak to your course administrator about this to get more detail as they will be the ones transferring your grades.

How do I keep in contact with Glasgow University and when should I?

Talk to the department(s) of the course(s) you are applying to study in your next year to discuss what information they will need from you throughout the year abroad including your thoughts on the dissertation you will have to write in fourth year.  Maintain close contact with them to ensure you do not miss any deadlines or important information about your course which you may need on your return.

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