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Incoming Exchange Program

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

Applying | 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 exchange agreements with Ashesi University, the University of Tokyo, and Yale-NUS College. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept applications from students from other institutions.


Swarthmore can only accept students for the fall semester or the academic year. Students are nominated to apply by their home institutions and then are asked to complete the exchange student application on the Off-Campus Study portal. University of Tokyo and Yale-NUS students should be nominated by their home institutions by February 15th and complete their applications by March 1st. Ashesi University students should be in contact with the Ashesi Diversity and International Programs Office for more information about application timelines. 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 OCS on how to start the online application process at Swarthmore. 


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.


  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 computer science, economics, and engineering. Access to honors seminars is very limited. Have a back-up plan in case your preferred class is not available. 
  3. Note: Swarthmore College does not offer business classes.
  4. Students normally take a total of four courses.


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.

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, typically 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 Dining Services Website.

Tuition and Fees

Students pay their tuition, room, board, and any required fees to their home institutions. They will not be charged for Swarthmore on-campus housing or the SWAT PLAN meal plan. 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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