Incoming Exchange Programs

The GW undergraduate exchange program fosters academic immersion via direct enrollment in our university from one of over fifty higher education exchange partners around the world. The exchange model provides an enriching cultural experience within the United States, and in particular, in Washington, D.C.

International undergraduate exchange students work closely with the Office for Study Abroad at GW to enroll as a full-time student during the semester or academic year for which they are nominated. The Office for Study Abroad provides support and assistance for students throughout their entire exchange experience.

For more information on graduate-level exchange programs, there are detailed resources available through the participating schools. If you are seeking graduate exchanges with other GW schools, please send your inquiry to [email protected].

About GW & The Exchange Program

An exchange student posing with the GW mascot, George.

Life at GW

Learn more about student life at GW, from dining and housing to sports and extracurricular activities.

A GW exchange student sitting on a wall in front of the U.S. Capitol Building.

Schools & Colleges

GW has 10 undergraduate schools and colleges, offering a breadth of academic opportunies across all disciplines.

Asia

Europe

Latin America

Middle East & North Africa

Oceania

At GW, faculty and students not only study the world but also work to change it. GW provides a rare combination of academic resources in an engaging university setting in the heart of Washington, D.C. Offering a wide selection of learning experiences -- from lectures and seminars to hands-on labs-- partnerships with organizations and museums, a world-class library, and state-of-the-art technology, GW's goal is to prepare students to become citizens of a global society ready to face the challenges of this still new century.

GW's Academic System

GW operates on a semester basis, with 15 weeks in each semester. The semesters are referred to as fall (late August through late December) and spring (early January through mid-May).

Students attending GW for a degree enter a degree program that focuses on a particular major or area of study. Exchange students are admitted to GW as non-degree students and can register for courses in any of the undergraduate majors.

An individual course or class can be administered in one of two ways: large lecture or small seminar.

The lecture class is frequently used at the undergraduate level, particularly for the first two years of study. Lectures are sometimes large and make discussions difficult. For this reason, a lecture will often be supplemented with a recitation or discussion session to permit discussion and/or scientific experimentation.

A seminar is the most common form of instruction at the graduate level; however seminars are also used in upper level undergraduate courses as well. These classes are generally smaller, permitting opportunities for direct student participation and closer interactions with professors.

Credits

GW uses a credit system that can be used to determine contact hours . Typically, one credit hour is equivalent to one contact hour. Undergraduate courses range from 1 to 6 credit hours, however, a typical undergraduate course is usually 3 or 4 credits.

Exchange students are required to maintain a full-time course load which equates to 12 credits. Most students will elect to take 15 credits which typically equates to 5 courses. The maximum number of credits to enroll in is 17 credits.  Exchange students can enroll in a maximum of 17 credit hours as part of the tuition waiver.

Courses Available

Exchange students may enroll in any of GW’s six undergraduate schools and take undergraduate courses in any subject area. A sample of the various disciplines includes:

  • American Studies
  • Business Administration
  • Communications
  • Engineering
  • History
  • International Affairs
  • Marketing
  • Media and Public Affairs
  • Political Science

Restricted Courses

Exchange students may not enroll in these courses: graduate level courses (labeled 4999 and above), courses in the fields of interior design & architecture, law, nursing, medicine, or courses in the Semester in Washington Program (denoted as PGMT).

Choosing Courses

Students are encouraged to consult the GW Bulletin and Schedule of Classes when preparing for their course registration. 

Undergraduate exchange students must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Students must be an undergraduate student enrolled in a GW partner institution and nominated by their home institution.
  • Students must have the equivalent of a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 Scale
  • Students must supply proof of English proficiency*. GW only accepts TOEFL scores and Academic IELTS. Minimum scores are listed below.
  • Students must provide proof of financial support covering GW’s program costs. 

 

Test Minimum Score Standard Score
TOEFL
Paper-based Test 577 600
Internet-based Test 90 100
Academic IELTS
Overall band score 6.5 7.0
Individual band score 5.5 6.5

*Students from these schools are exempt from submitting the TOEFL or IELTS score reports:

  • American University in Cairo
  • American University of Sharjah
  • Australian National University
  • Cardiff University
  • Copenhagen Business School
  • Deakin University
  • King's College London
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • National University of Singapore
  • Queen Mary, University of London
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • University College Dublin
  • University College Maastricht
  • University of Auckland
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Hong Kong
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Sussex

English for Academic Purposes

Students who meet the university’s minimum requirements but do not meet or exceed the standard scores will be required to enroll in the English for Academic Purposes course. The English for Academic Purposes course is worth 3 credit hours and counts towards the overall credit requirement for students during their first semester. Students are notified in their admission letter if they are expected to complete this requirement.

In addition to fulfilling the academic requirements, exchange students are expected to show proof of financial support at the time of application. Information on the costs of attending GW for a semester is indicated in the Costs section.

GW's Cost of Attendance is published annually by the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

  1. Be nominated by your school for exchange.
  2. Complete the online exchange application through Passport and submit to the Exchange Team.
  3. Once accepted, the Exchange Team will send immigration documents to your school.
  4. Apply for the J-1 visa.
  5. Arrive in the US for orientation week with the Exchange Team.

GW Exchange Application Deadlines

Fall/Academic Year Admissions: March 1
Spring Admissions: September 15
 

For questions regarding the undergraduate exchange program, please contact [email protected].

Exchange Student Programming

The Office for Study Abroad offers specific programming to support exchange students during their time at GW.

Five exchange students smile for a photo in front of the U.S. Capitol Building.

Orientation

Exchange students acclimate to life at GW during a week-long mandatory orientation program prior to the start of the semester, run by the Office for Study Abroad Exchange Team and GW student volunteers, who have recently studied abroad.

An exchange student working on a computer in the Gelman Library.

Immigration Support

The International Services Office (ISO) and Office for Study Abroad work together to provide immigration advising and support for exchange students on a J-1 visa. The ISO serves as the primary administrative, programming and immigration advising office for the GW international community.

Information for Partners

Before each semester, the Exchange Coordinator notifies partners regarding the number of exchange spots available and then sends a Call for Nominations. In order for exchange students to access the online application system, partners must complete and submit the Exchange Nomination Form (PDF) and email it to [email protected] by the nomination deadline.  Once the Nomination Form is received, nominated exchange students are entered into the online application system and receive an email notification from the Office for Study Abroad to begin completing their application.

In the online application system, GW Passport, students can view a list of application requirements for admission.

Exchange students are required to submit specific documents to apply. Each of the items must be submitted by the applicant online through the GW Passport application system.

  • Signature Verification Form Sample (PDF) submitted online
  • GW Exchange Program Application (PDF) submitted online
  • Passport Information Form (PDF) submitted online
  • Scanned copy of the Biographical Page of Passport (passport must be valid through a period of 6 months AFTER departure from the GW Exchange or admission will not be processed)
  • Scanned copy of past U.S. Visas (does not include ESTA travel visas; only applicable to students who have been issued a U.S. visa within the past 5 years)
  • Scanned copy of Financial Certificate (PDF)
  • Scanned copy of Proof of Funding (PDF)
  • Scanned copies of Official Transcript(s) from all universities attended
  • Scanned copy of TOEFL or IELTS score reports to satisfy the Proof of English Language Competency Requirements* (official report required; only applicable for students who are coming from partner institutions that are NOT exempt from providing proof of English proficiency)
  • Application Certification (signed and submitted electronically online)
  • Upload a Photo on Your Application Home Page (signed and submitted electronically online; students need to upload their photo to their GW Passport application)

*Minimum and standard scores can be found in the Admission Requirements section. Student from the following schools are exempt from submitting TOEFL or IELTS score reports:

  • American University in Cairo
  • American University of Sharjah
  • Australian National University
  • Cardiff University
  • Copenhagen Business School
  • Deakin University
  • King's College London
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • National University of Singapore
  • Queen Mary, University of London
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • University College Dublin
  • University College Maastricht
  • University of Auckland
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Hong Kong
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Sussex

Exchange students who submit a complete application by the deadline can anticipate receiving a notification of admission approximately two to three weeks after the deadline. If admitted, they will receive detailed information regarding:

  • Visa Documentation.
  • Registering for Courses. Once accepted as an exchange student, students will receive more detailed information about exchange student registration procedures. Students receive assistance in the course registration process from the Exchange team. For more information on available courses at GW and a sample of course descriptions please see the GW Schedule of Classes.
  • On-Campus Housing.
  • Health Insurance and Required Immunizations.
  • Mandatory Orientation. The Exchange team provides a mandatory orientation for all exchange students. This specialized orientation gives exchange students the information necessary to succeed at GW and introduces them to campus services, important offices and academics.

If you have any questions, please contact the Exchange team at [email protected].

Term Call for Nominations Nomination Deadline Application Deadline
Fall Mid- to late-December February 15 March 1
Academic Year Mid- to late-December February 15 March 1
Spring Mid-July September 1 September 15