How to get started
Follow the steps below to prepare your application for exchange.
What is the semester exchange programme?
The exchange programme gives you access to renowned overseas universities where you can attend classes for one or two semesters while earning credit towards your University of Auckland degree. You will still be enrolled at University of Auckland and pay tuition fees to University of Auckland, and access StudyLink assistance if eligible.
360 International is the office that manages the semester exchange programme at the University of Auckland. You'll need to apply to 360 International first for a place in the semester exchange programme.
The exchange application process:
- Review your academic plan
- Research host universities and courses
- Apply to 360 International on the learning abroad portal
- Receive a nomination offer
- Apply to the host university
- Organise course approvals
- Complete other pre-departure forms
Where do you start?
- You first apply to 360 International for the exchange programme (steps one to three).
- Provided you meet the criteria for the exchange programme, we will guide you through the rest of the exchange process (steps four to seven).
Funding for exchange
If you have questions any time during the exchange journey, you can contact the 360 International team.
When to apply for exchange
We have two exchange application rounds each year, one for Semester One and one for Semester Two. You apply a year in advance for the exchange (i.e apply in Semester Two 2023 for Semester Two 2024 exchange).
- Applications for Semester Two 2024 are open and close 1 December 2023
- Applications for Semester One 2025 are open and close 1 July 2024
Some of our partner universities are listed as December deadline only on the application portal, which means you will need to apply by 1 December round for Semester Two of the following year or Semester One two years in advance (e.g apply by 1 December 2023 for Semester Two 2024 or Semester One 2025). These typically apply to our Canadian Law partners, some UK Law partners and other selected universities.
Note, not all partner universities will accept students in each semester. Some partner universities may also only have an intake for Semester Two (fall/autumn semester) so please read the programme pages carefully on the application portal.
Applications will only be reviewed after the deadline, so we encourage you to take time to do your research and prepare your documents. It's important that you research carefully and you've considered suitability of courses, practical matters such as finances and what university experience you would be interested in.
Exchange and travel considerations
Terms and conditions
At the time of application, you are asked to acknowledge that you have read and understood the terms and conditions of the semester exchange programme, as well as the considerations for travel.
You will find this information on the page for student travel considerations, risks and responsibilities.
The University of Auckland reserves the right to suspend or cancel the exchange for any reason. Any decisions made with regards to the operation of the outbound exchange programme will be based on the most recent information available at the time and will take into consideration various factors, including the most recent advice and policy from the New Zealand Government, the status and likely stability of the quarantine-free travel, availability of appropriate insurance coverage, the University of Auckland’s travel policy, the cost and expectation of quarantine requirements (in and out of New Zealand), the operating status of our overseas partner universities, and other real and perceived risks or restrictions related to international travel.
Check your passport expiration date
Your passport should still be valid at least six months after the end of your exchange semester abroad. If your passport is due to expire in the next 12 months, we advise that you renew your passport as soon as possible. You will need a valid passport at the time you are applying to the partner university, otherwise you may experience delays with obtaining a visa or receiving an acceptance from the partner university.
For students applying for a Semester Two 2024 exchange:
- Check your host universities' end dates for the fall/autumn semester. For example, if the partner university's fall/autumn semester ends in December 2024, your passport should be valid until at least June 2025, if not later.
- If you have to renew your passport, you should have your renewed and valid passport ideally by February 2024, because you would be applying to the partner university betwen March to May 2024. Expired passports can cause delays in your application being processed by the partner university or your ability to apply for a visa.
Exchange application checklist
We understand that there are many steps when preparing for your exchange application, so we've prepared this checklist to help you get started with your application. You don't need to submit this in your application as it is a resource to guide you in your preparation stage.
What's in the exchange application?
When you apply to 360 International for the semester exchange application, you will complete:
- Online application: Complete one online application on the learning abroad portal
- Supporting documentation: You upload your supporting documentation to the online application on the portal.
The online application includes sections to upload your supporting documentation, answer short questions and acknowledge the terms and conditions for the exchange programme.
For the exchange application to 360 International, we require three supporting documents:
- Academic Planning Worksheet
- Host University Preferences and Proposed Courses Form
- Statement of Purpose
You can download the Academic Planning worksheet and Host University Preferences and Proposed Courses Form from supporting documentation.
Your Statement of Purpose should be approximately 500 words in length. We don't have a template to download for the Statement of Purpose, but you can browse the internet or other sources for examples on how to structure this. You will include your Statement of Purpose in the exchange application.
Step 1: Review your academic plan
Before you apply for exchange, you’ll need to check the eligibility criteria and understand how an exchange fits into your degree plan. The purpose of the exchange is to complete courses overseas that will count towards your Auckland degree. Provided you successfully complete and pass the courses overseas, you continue with the rest of your degree and you won't have to repeat these courses when you return from the exchange.
Supporting document one:
You'll need to determine the recommended time, whether you've met the GPA requirement and what courses in your degree you should leave for the exchange semester. Once you know this information, please complete the Academic Planning Worksheet available for download under supporting documentation.
Timing and GPA
To determine when the recommended semester to go abroad for your degree is and whether you've met the criteria for exchange, please review eligibility and timing.
On the exchange partner university fact sheets, you'll commonly see the GPA requirement for partner universities is 3.0 on the 4.0 scale. Please note this is the US 4.0 GPA scale, which is the standard international GPA scale. The University of Auckland uses a 9.0 GPA scale.
- A 3.0 on the 4.0 scale is equivalent to a B average, which is a 5.0 GPA (B) on the Auckland scale. This means students need to have at least a minimum cumulative Auckland GPA of 5.0 (B) to be eligible for the exchange programme.
Papers to do on exchange
You need a minimum of 45 points remaining in your degree that you can credit back from an exchange semester.
Contact the Student Hubs to discuss your remaining degree requirements to figure out what courses you’ll be looking to take while on exchange. You can also find your remaining courses on your programme requirements on Student Services Online (SSO). If applicable, check with the Student Hubs regarding eligibility for the GenEd exemption.
You can email your Faculty Programme Adviser for a degree planner (if applicable for your degree). You can find the email addresses to contact your faculty on the eligibility and timing page.
- If you are part of the Science Scholar Programme, you will need to consult the Programme Director and Administrator before planning to go on exchange. You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see Science student exchange requirements.
- Capstone courses must be completed at the University of Auckland, as they cannot be credited from the exchange programme.
Courseload on exchange: Students are expected to enrol between 45 to 75 points in one semester for exchange, with the average being 60 points that students complete. If intending to apply for exchange in the final semester of study, students must have at least 45 points remaining in their degree. Note, if you wish to utilise the GenEd exemption and plan to enrol in 45 points only, please read more information on the GenEd exemption page.
Step 2: Research host universities and courses
Now that you understand what courses you need to do on your exchange, you can start researching courses at your top five universities. We ask you to list five partner universities with your application to improve your chances of being considered for a nomination.
Supporting document two:
For each university option, you will be asked to identify 8-10 potential courses which could fulfil your degree requirements and complete the Host University Preferences and Proposed Courses Form as part of supporting documentation.
Researching your university options
In addition to suitability of courses, please also consider when researching:
- Accommodation options
- Cost of living in the host university/host city
- Campus life
- University experience that you personally want to have
- Funding available for your university or region(s) of interest
How to begin your research:
Partner universities: Please keep these notes in mind when considering partner universities.
- Applications may not be open for selected partner universities due to an imbalance in our spaces, meaning we are not able to send students to that destination until further notice. This information will also be listed on the partner university programme page on the learning abroad portal. Please consider other partner universities that have applications open instead.
- Some partner universities do not accept applications for a certain semester due to limited course availability, generally for Semester One intake (Spring semester). This applies to some of our UK Law partners.
- Two semester/full year nominations: For Northern Hemisphere partners, two semester nominations are more common for the Northern Hemisphere academic year (starting in Auckland Semester Two and Auckland Semester One of the following year). Some Northern Hemisphere partners may not accept a calendar year nomination which follows the standard academic year at the University of Auckland (starting in Auckland Semester One and Auckland Semester Two of the same year). If planning for a two semester application for Northern Hemisphere partners, an exchange starting in Auckland Semester Two would be recommended for finding courses and enrolment.
Pay close attention to course restrictions, prerequisites, language of instruction and years of study, including those outlined in the table below. Note, this is not an exhaustive list of partner universities with requirements to check, it is your responsibility to research your application choices carefully.
|Requirement to check||Examples of partner universities|
|Number of semesters completed prior to the exchange||
|Citizenship types which are excluded from the exchange programme||
|Higher GPA requirements (above 3.0 on the 4.0 US scale, which is above Auckland 5.0 GPA)||
|If a course is offered for one semester (autumn semester) or one full year (autumn semester and spring semester)||Check UK partners to see if a course/module is offered for one semester or one full year.|
- If you're looking to take compulsory/core courses on exchange, you need to find a matching course from the partner university catalogue that is equivalent to the specific course taught at Auckland. You will compare partner university course outline with the Auckland course outline.
- For the electives or any stage Subject X degree spaces, you can look for a specified or unspecified course match from the partner university catalogue (within a subject area at an appropriate year level, but it does not necessarily need to match a course on offer here).
Academic calendars: When researching, look for courses in the corresponding semester as academic calendars may differ. If next year's courses are not yet released, please refer to the current academic year's courses or the most recent courses available.
|Auckland Semester One||Auckland Semester Two|
|Generally ranges from January to June. This is the second half of the academic year in the Northern Hemisphere.||Generally ranges from July to December. This is the start of academic year in the Northern Hemisphere.|
|Winter/Spring semester (or second semester)||Fall/autumn semester (or first semester)|
|Applying for Semester One 2024: refer to winter/spring 2023 courses (Semester One 2023 courses) for your application.||Applying for Semester Two 2024: refer to fall/autumn 2023 courses (Semester Two 2023 courses) for your application.|
Step 3: Apply to 360 International on the learning abroad portal
Before you start an application on the learning abroad portal, ensure you’ve prepared your supporting documentation. You’ll upload the supporting documents onto your online application.
In addition to the two supporting documents mentioned above, you're also required to prepare a statement of purpose of up to 500 words on why you are applying to participate in a 360 International semester exchange. You'll upload this onto your online application and your statement will be assessed during the selection process. Your statement should include:
- Reasons why you'd like to participate in an exchange (i.e personal motivations, academic and professional benefits)
- Why you would be suitable representative for the University of Auckland
- Any additional information on why you've listed particular universities in your application
Where to apply: You submit your application on the learning abroad portal, please use this link to sign into the University of Auckland's learning abroad portal.
Please log in with your university username and password. You can read more about logging into the Via.
- You'll only submit one application for exchange, and you begin this on your first choice page on the university’s learning abroad portal. Please note, we have some faculty specific agreements with some partners, so you may need to apply to the specific faculty page (e.g. Melbourne Law, McGill Business, etc.).
- At the end of your application, you’ll list your remaining choices (second to fifth choices) as alternate options in order of preference. It is important that you select your alternates in the same order of your preferences listed on the Host University Preferences and Proposed Courses form.
Note on multiple applications: Please do not submit multiple applications on the learning abroad portal. If you have started more than one application, please only submit the application for your first choice and withdraw the other remaining applications.
If you need to make changes to an application you've submitted, please email email@example.com.
If applying for two semesters at one host university: Submit one application indicating two semesters. We cannot guarantee we can offer you two semesters, as this is subject to availability of space.
If applying for two consecutive semesters at two different universities: Apply for your first semester, and then your second exchange in the following application round.
Step 4: Receive a nomination offer
360 International will review and process applications after the deadline has passed. You will be notified of your application outcome four to six weeks after the deadline.
Nominations are based primarily on academic merit. Students with a higher cumulative GPA will receive priority consideration. Ensure you've done thorough research and are willing and able to attend any of your options. We'll make every effort to place you at one of your preferred choices, but we cannot guarantee that you will receive a nomination for your first choice.
Please note, a nomination offer is not admission to the partner university, it gives you permission to apply to one partner university for a space in the exchange programme. The partner university will make the final decision on your application for the exchange.
If eligible and accepted, you will be sent a nomination offer for one partner university, at which time you will need to:
- Accept or decline your nomination offer, and any awards, by the deadline given
- Attend a nomination session
Step 5: Apply to the host university
Once you've attended a nomination session, our team will nominate you to the partner university. Instructions will be shared with you after on how to apply to the partner university (please wait until we've provided you with instructions).
All students are also required to attend a pre-departure session (typically held during the study break before exams). This session will cover topics in preparation for your exchange, including health and wellbeing, risk management, intercultural matters and employability.
Step 6: Organise course approvals
360 International requires a completed course approval form which has been signed by your faculty before you go on exchange. You will begin working on the course approval process after receiving a nomination offer from 360 International.
Complete the Course Approval form and email the form and host university course outlines to your faculty for approval. The form is available under supporting documentation.
On your Course Approval form, indicate the number of points you intend to enrol in at the University of Auckland whilst on exchange (45, 60 or 75 points). Your enrolment points here at the University is the maximum number of points you can transfer back to your degree.
Email the completed Course Approval form to 360 International by the given deadline.
Note: Even if a course is on a faculty pre-approved list, you still need to complete a course approval form and submit it to your faculty for assessment.
Step 7: Complete other pre-departure forms
During the mandatory pre-departure session, 360 International will provide further instructions on forms that we need you to complete prior your departure for exchange. This includes your full travel itinerary details and confirmation of insurance, in addition to other forms. More information is available under preparing to go.
Notes on GPA
Your Cumulative GPA is a primary factor when determining whether you are eligible for exchange and where you are placed in the host university nomination process. Your application will be assessed based on your Cumulative GPA, including the most recent semester once all grades are posted (this may be after the exchange application deadline).
If you are concerned about not meeting the GPA requirement, please contact 360 International. Applicants with a GPA below 5.0 may be considered on a case by case basis.
Nomination spaces for partners that have more applicants than spaces available will be allocated competitively based on Cumulative GPA. Please take this into consideration when researching prospective host universities.
If accepted for exchange, you will also be expected to maintain your academic standing until the time of departure. If your grades drop significantly and/or your term GPA in the semester prior to exchange is below 4.0 (B-) you may be withdrawn from the programme at the discretion of 360 International and/or the Faculty.
- Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org