Graduate Exchange Programs

Available programs for AY 2022-2023

Program duration: semester only

Peking University (PKU), located in Beijing, ranks among the top universities in China. Considered to be a leader in the basic sciences, the university also has highly ranked programs in the applied sciences, social sciences, humanities, management, and education. PKU has more than 200 research institutes and centers, including 12 national key laboratories.

This program is intended for independent research at PKU for up to one semester. The first semester begins approximately the first week of September and ends the third week of January. The second semester begins the third week of February and ends the last week of June. Students selected for the exchange program may have some flexibility in their start and end dates, but this is ultimately at the discretion of PKU. 

Applicants should have a clear research agenda that PKU can accommodate. Although preference will be given to applicants with Chinese language proficiency, applicants who lack Chinese language proficiency may be considered if their research interests align with specific faculty research interests at PKU.

Indiana University provides funds for the cost of round-trip airfare and a stipend for accommodations, insurance, and living expenses for a standard semester (financial support for stays shorter than one semester will be pro-rated). PKU will recommend housing options for participants.

Program duration: Semester or academic year

Free University of Berlin (FUB) is one of Germany’s top universities under the German Excellence Initiative. It is ranked number one in Germany for the study of the humanities and has leading programs in the social sciences, health sciences, natural sciences, and area studies.

This exchange program is intended for independent research or coursework at FUB. The academic year at FUB is divided into winter (November-February) and summer (April-July) semesters. Dates are subject to change. You can check the current calendar on the FUB website. Students selected for the exchange program who intend to do independent research may have some flexibility in the start and end dates of their program.

For 2022-2023, four spots for a semester stay at FUB are available. One of these semester spots may be reserved for a master's level student in Germanic Studies.

In the event fewer students apply for the program, doctoral student applicants may have the option of spending an academic year at FUB. If you are interested in that option, please select "academic year" on the application. 

Applicants must have a clear research agenda or course of study that FUB can accommodate. Preference will be given to applicants with German language proficiency. Applicants who are not proficient in German will be considered for this program if their particular research interest aligns with those of faculty members at FUB.

In 2020-2021, FUB provided IU participants with a monthly stipend of €850 (Ph.D. students may qualify for €1,200), health insurance allowance of €450, student fee allowance of €270 per semester, waiver of registration fees, and a travel allowance of €1,200. 

Language proficiency requirements

Please note that the majority of academic programs at FUB require high German proficiency. Students who intend to take courses or engage in research in German are required to submit the foreign language proficiency form with their application.

A six-week intensive German language course will be offered before the beginning of the winter semester. Basic knowledge of German is required. The course fee will be approximately € 500.

German language courses which are offered during the semester are free of charge. If you wish to participate in a German language course, you have to take a placement test which is offered during the orientation period shortly before the semester starts. Without this test, exchange students are not eligible to take language classes.

Available areas of study

Areas of study open to exchange students include:

  • Department of Biology and Chemistry
  • Department of Earth Sciences
  • Department of Education and Psychology
  • Department of History and Cultural Studies
  • Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Department of Philosophy and Humanities
  • Department of Physics
  • Department of Political and Social Sciences
  • Institute for East European Studies
  • Institute for Latin American Studies
  • John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies

Severe restrictions apply in law, business administration, and economics. Students in most professional master’s degree programs in these fields are not eligible to participate.

Program duration: semester only

Founded in 1088, the University of Bologna (UNIBO) is the oldest university in continuous operation in the Western world. Today UNIBO enrolls more than 85,000 students across campuses in Bologna, Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna, and Rimini. Each campus has its own distinct scientific and educational identity and its own institutional, cultural, social, and sports facilities and services.

The university has 11 schools and 33 departments. The schools include agriculture and veterinary medicine; arts, humanities, and cultural heritage; economics, management, and statistics; engineering and architecture; foreign languages and literature, interpreting and translation; law; medicine; pharmacy, biotechnology, and sport sciences; political sciences; psychology and education; and science (chemistry, biotechnology, physics, astronomy, biology, geology, environmental sciences). Research and training centers focus on public administration; advanced fiscal studies; health policy; electronic systems; tourism; history, philosophy, and sociology of law and in computer science law; cancer; integrative studies in bioinformatics, biophysics, and biocomplexity; interdepartmental environmental sciences; studies on the city and the territory; humanities; and legal professions.

This exchange program is intended for independent research for one semester. Two spots are open each year to graduate students on any IU campus. The students selected for the exchange program may have some flexibility in their start and end dates.

Applicants must have a clear research agenda or course of study that UNIBO can accommodate. Preference will be given to applicants with Italian language proficiency. Applicants who are not proficient in Italian will be considered for this program if their particular research interest aligns with those of faculty members at UNIBO.

Indiana University will provide participants with a stipend to cover round-trip economy international airfare, as well as board and lodging for a standard semester (financial support for stays shorter than one semester will be pro-rated). UNIBO will help the IU participants locate housing.

Program duration: semester only

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), located in Mexico City, is the second-highest-ranked university in Latin America and one of the most recognized universities in the region. UNAM is a comprehensive institution with faculties of accounting and administration, architecture, chemistry, economics, engineering, law, medicine, odontology, philosophy and literature, political and social sciences, psychology, veterinary medicine and animal sciences, and sciences. It is particularly outstanding in the humanities and social sciences. Scientific research at UNAM is divided between faculties, institutes, centers and schools, and covers a range of disciplines. All research centers are open to students from around the world.

This program is intended for independent research or coursework at UNAM for one semester. The academic year runs from early August through early May.

Applicants must demonstrate high proficiency in Spanish and have a clear research agenda that UNAM can accommodate.

Two students are selected each year as IU's nominees for the exchange program. IU provides each participant with funding for round-trip airfare, as well as a living stipend and insurance coverage for the time of their stay.

IMPORTANT: Nominees are required to complete and submit an application to UNAM (by April for fall semester visits, by October for spring semester visits). That application requires documentation of the necessary knowledge of Spanish, a three- to four-page description of the research project with a schedule of research activities, and an acceptance letter from an academic contact at UNAM. For the latter, IU's Global Gateway office in Mexico City can help nominees identify a contact. The relevant academic program at UNAM will review the application and determine if a nominee can be admitted. This admission process can take several weeks, with the decision often made just weeks before the semester begins. As a result, nominees should have backup plans in case they are not admitted.

Program duration: semester only

The John Rylands Research Institute is a unique partnership between The University of Manchester Library and the Faculty of Humanities to conduct new research into the university’s special collections. The special collections contain some of the most significant printed books and manuscripts ever produced, alongside remarkable archive collections, visual material, and maps.

The printed collections encompass almost all the landmarks of printing through five centuries: magnificent illustrated books, examples of fine printing, landmark works in typography, key historical texts, and exquisite bookbindings. The library holds over 4,000 incunables, including the largest collection of Aldines in the world and the second largest collection of works printed by Caxton. They also cover a wide range of subjects: theology and philosophy; literature, drama and music; art and archaeology; science and medicine; economic, social, political, and military history; and travel and exploration.

The library’s manuscript collections cover more than fifty languages, including all the major European and Middle Eastern languages, and numerous Far Eastern ones. They span five millennia, and are written on virtually every medium ever employed. The subject range is vast, encompassing literary, historical, antiquarian, genealogical, biblical, devotional, ritualistic, medical, scientific, legal, and administrative texts. The library also holds several hundred archives of companies, business associations, trade unions, charities, social organizations, and religious institutions, as well as landed families.

Particular strengths include nonconformist archives (especially of Methodism), archives of recent and contemporary literature and drama, the archives of the University of Manchester, and the papers of individual scientists and academics.

This exchange program is restricted to doctoral students and is intended for independent research at the Rylands Research Institute for up to one semester (minimum length of stay is one month). Two spots are open each academic year.

Applicants should have a clear research agenda that is appropriate for use of the special collections. In the proposal, applicants must specify the materials they intend to use. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Rylands Research Institute as they prepare their proposal to ensure that appropriate archival materials are available.

Indiana University provides funds for the cost of round-trip airfare and will provide the participant with a living stipend and insurance coverage for up to a standard semester (financial support for stays shorter than one semester will be pro-rated).

Application deadline for 2022-2023 participation

The application deadline for participation during the 2022-2023 academic year is November 1, 2021.

Eligibility and guidelines

To apply, you may be a graduate student from any discipline, department, or IU campus and must be making normal academic progress. 

You must be enrolled at IU while you are abroad and have sufficient funds to cover any enrollment costs. These exchange programs do not include fee remissions or other financial aid to cover the costs of enrolling in courses or research credit hours.

If you previously participated in a semester-long exchange program, you may reapply; however, priority is given to applicants who have not previously participated.

Prior participants in yearlong exchange programs (i.e., for a full academic year) may reapply only in exceptional circumstances with a support letter from their dissertation chair and a proposal that justifies the extension. Please be aware that some partner universities limit participation to one academic year.

Before you apply

Meet with your academic advisor to discuss the pros and cons of participating in the exchange program, including whether it will be beneficial to your degree progress and/or academic and professional goals. Also consider the timing of your potential participation and any obstacles or challenges that might affect your choice. On your application, you will be asked to indicate that you met with your academic advisor.

If you are an international student at IU, you must ensure that you qualify for a visa in the destination country for the exchange program. You must meet with an international services advisor on your campus to determine if you are eligible to participate and to find out the enrollment requirements to maintain your visa status while you’re abroad. On your application, you will be asked to confirm that you have met with an international services advisor and are eligible for a visa to study or do research in the country where the program is located.

If foreign language proficiency is required for the exchange program and you are not a native speaker of that language, you must ask a qualified evaluator (e.g., a current or former instructor) to submit an online language evaluation form attesting to your foreign language proficiency. The evaluation form must be submitted by the application deadline. Scores from a language assessment exam offered by a foreign language department/program are a reasonable substitute; scan and upload a copy of your scores with the application as prompted. Native speakers are not required to provide documentation of their language proficiency.

Determine whether you have sufficient financial resources to maintain enrollment at IU while you participate in the exchange. Ask your department about how your participation might affect any existing financial support you’re receiving from IU or other sources, such as scholarships, fellowships, or assistantships. Research your eligibility for other financial aid. Be sure to consider other costs, such as subleasing your apartment and storing your personal possessions while you’re abroad.

Prepare your application materials

On the application form, you will upload a proposal of 600–900 words (double-spaced, 12-point font, one-inch margins) describing your intended activities for study, research, and/or professional development. In the proposal, you should make a compelling case for how the exchange program will constitute an integral part of a well-conceived graduate degree program. If you plan to focus on research, you should identify in your proposal a faculty member(s) at the partner institution with whom you would like to work during your stay. Be sure to include any additional information required by your desired program.

You should ask two faculty members (preferably at IU) to write letters of recommendation for you. On the application, you will be asked to provide the name and email address of both recommenders. Once the application is submitted, the recommenders will receive an email with a request to send their letters to the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs by November 15. We suggest that you follow up with your recommenders prior to that date to confirm that they sent their letters.

Questions? Contact the exchange program coordinator.

Please note that the exchange program coordinator will not review a draft of your proposal prior to submission. The GradGrants Center, a free service open to currently enrolled IU graduate students, can review your proposal and offer feedback.

Ready to apply?

Double-check to be certain you have all of your materials before you start the application. 

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Funding for exchange participants

If you are selected to participate in an exchange, you will receive funding to cover most of your expenses. For all programs, Indiana University covers the cost of airfare. You will receive a living stipend from either IU or the partner institution. The partner institution either provides housing or directs participants to online resources for housing.

All funding support from IU will be posted as a fellowship award to your student (bursar) account approximately ten days before the start of the semester in which you will be traveling abroad. Any outstanding charges on your student account will be deducted from the fellowship award, and you will receive a refund on any remaining funds. You are responsible for ensuring that you have direct deposit set up for your refund. The Office of the Vice President for International Affairs will not handle any refund checks issued by the bursar. There are no exceptions to this policy.

For the majority of programs, you will need to book your flights before the fellowship award posts to your student account. In exceptional cases, the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs may request that the bursar post awards earlier; however, these requests are not always granted.

Are you participating in an exchange program?

If you are nominated for and/or formally admitted to participate in a graduate exchange program between IU and a partner university, you are required to complete certain forms, provide required documentation, and complete orientation sessions.