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Incoming Exchange Program

Four students on Swarthmore's campus, start of fall 2020

Applying | Deadlines | Eligibility | Academics | VisaArrival and Orientation | Housing and Student Life | Tuition and Fees | Student Health 

We're excited that you are considering Swarthmore College for your semester or year abroad! Currently Swarthmore College has international exchange agreements with Ashesi University, the University of Tokyo, and Yale-NUS College. We have domestic exchange agreements with Tufts University, Pomona College and Middlebury College. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept applications from students from other institutions.


Swarthmore can accept students for the fall semester, spring semester, or the full academic year. Students are nominated to apply by their home institutions and then are asked to complete the exchange student application on the Global Engagement portal. Interested students should consult with their home schools for more information about the nomination and application process.

After you have been nominated by your home institution's study abroad office, you will receive instructions from Global Engagement on how to start the online application process at Swarthmore. 


Fall semester only & full academic year:
Nomination deadline: February 20
Application deadline: March 5

Spring semester:
Nomination deadline: September 15
Application deadline: September 30

Ashesi University students should be in contact with the Ashesi Diversity and International Programs Office for more information about application timelines.


Successful candidates meet the following guidelines:

  • One strong letter of reference from a professor who has taught the student.
  • Approval by the study abroad office at their home College or University.
  • A minimum 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
  • A minimum 3.0 grade point average in courses that are deemed to be pre-requisites for courses that the student would like to take at Swarthmore.
  • Very strong English language skills. Students whose home school does not teach in English are encouraged, but not required, to submit test scores to corroborate their language level.


  1. For planning purposes refer to the Course Schedule, which lists the courses being offered during the semester you'll be studying at Swarthmore. The Catalog (also called the Bulletin) contains all the courses ever taught at the College, and also lists all academic rules at Swarthmore College.
  2. Some courses at Swarthmore may be unavailable depending on registration priorities, scheduling conflicts, and otherwise according to departmental policies. Limited access to some courses is common in economics. Access to honors seminars is very limited. Have a back-up plan in case your preferred class is not available. 
  3. Incoming exchange students are unable to take classes in the Computer Science Department; and are unable to take first year seminars.
  4. Note: Swarthmore College does not offer business classes.
  5. Students normally take a total of four courses.


For international exchange students: after you have been admitted for the semester or the academic year as an exchange student, you will be contacted by the Swarthmore International Student Services about the visa application process.  Here is general information about the J-1 visa

Arrival and Orientation

Exchange students join the orientation for new international students which precedes the beginning of the fall semester.  International Orientation begins about 5 days before the campus-wide program. In July, you will let our office and International Student Services know the details of your travel plans.

Exchange students starting in the spring semester will join the orientation for transfer students which precedes the beginning of the spring semester. Prior to arrival you will be in touch with the Global Engagement Office and the International Students Center about your travel plans.

Housing and Student Life

Information about housing and students activities is available from the Office of Student Engagement. Exchange students will be placed in one of the dormitories on campus.  Typically, exchange students will be placed in a double-occupancy room with another student, often a first-year or sophomore student. If you have any specific housing requests, please reach out to the Office of Student Engagement

Students will be automatically placed on the SWAT PLAN meal plan.  Detailed information on meal plans is located on the Swarthmore Dining website.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees depend on the type of exchange agreement that the home school has with Swarthmore College. All incoming exchange students pay their tuition to their home institutions and  will not be charged for Swarthmore tuition. Many students will also pay housing, food, and any other required fees to their home school, and will not be charged for Swarthmore on-campus housing or the SWAT PLAN meal plan. Students from schools where the exchange agreement only includes tuition will be billed for Swarthmore housing and the SWAT PLAN meal plan for the duration fo their stay at Swarthmore. Please check with your home institution about housing and food costs expected by your home institution and by Swarthmore. 

Incoming exchange students are required to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan at Swarthmore. Students may request to waive the required Student Health Insurance Plan by submitting an online waiver form by the deadline listed on the Worth Health Center's website. More information about student health insurance here. 

Student Health

Exchange students have access to the Worth Health Center. The center comprises Student Health Services, Counseling & Psychological Services, and a comprehensive wellness education team.

Profile in Art: Ashesi University Exchange Student Sebastian Dakey

Image by Emma Chiao 

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