Study Abroad Participant: "Going abroad is always a good idea both for personal reasons and academic ones. This year has made me reflect on what I am studying and has made me find my love/passion for my subject again. I am not the only one that has said this, going abroad makes you see your subject in a different light. You are faced with a challenge and you always find solutions. On a more personal note I have thoroughly improved my French and met some really amazing people. At the end of the day, it's up to you to make your time abroad what you want it to be."

Imperial College has offered whole academic year study abroad opportunities since the late 1980s.

  • Currently, all departments other than the Dyson School of Design Engineering, the Dept of Materials and the School of Medicine offer a "year abroad" type degree.
  • All current exchange agreements with partner universities in Europe, excepting Switzerland, operate within Erasmus. Students are normally able to apply for an Erasmus mobility grant (for studies).
  • Student exchange agreements with Swiss HEIs (ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne) operate under a generously sponsored Swiss government scheme which normally allows our students access to a Swiss funded mobility grant.
  • Other exchange agreements exist to service opportunities for some students (depends on the department as to which links are relevant) in Australia, Canada, Singapore, USA and Hong Kong. However, there are normally no grants available to participating students.
  • See TABS below for full list of UG Year abroad exchange links expected to be active in 2019-20 (with notes added where necessary).
  • See the Asia TAB for a presentation on the national University of Singapore (NUS). This will be updated by December for studnets going in 2020-21. The presentation for 2019-20 is still available to view and is very largle valid.

Other useful information

  • All study placements abroad are covered by the College's policy on placement learning, and as well as the general good practice for placements there is additional/specific good practice for the year abroad. These documents can be accessed here.
  • The year abroad is currently undertaken in Year 3 (Aeronautics, Earth Science & Engineering, Life Sciences, Mathematics and Physics) or Year 4 (Bioengineering, Chemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computing, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering), except in Chemical Engineering where it is either Year 3 or 4 depending on the partner university. A new Aeronautics option will be available in due course.
  • In Computing a MEng student attending the University of California would do so only for terms 1 & 2 in Year 3 ahead of undertaking the mandatory industrial placement from April in Year 3. A whole year away from College as opposed necessarily to it being a whole  "year abroad".
  • In all cases the year abroad is currently a replacement year for a year which would otherwise have been undertaken at Imperial (MEng/MSci degrees), except in the case of the Dept of Life Sciences where their BSc degree system requires it to be undertaken as an additional year (3+1).
  • The Registry supports departments who offer a "year abroad" degree with the production of a Year Abroad Hand-out in January/February each year for the specific use of students who are planning to study abroad the following academic year. The Hand-out links to the Placements Abroad Handbook. The Assistant Registrar (Placements), as the College's advisor on student exchanges, is available for 1:1s with students or to attend departmental briefing sessions.
  • Home/EU students who undertake a year abroad as part of their degree are currently eligible for a substantial tuition fee discount (fees payable to Imperial College for the year spent abroad). This is subject to change.
  • All students who undertake their year abroad via a student exchange agreement do not pay any tuition fees to the host university (except some Earth Science & Engineering undergraduates who are bound for the University of California, who should speak to their department on the issue).
  • Students who go to the USA on a year abroad should expect to pay for health insurance, normally an insurance policy offered by the host university. The cost of this insurance is currently between $1K and $3K and Home students should note that means-tested financial support for insurance is available to apply for through the UK Student Finance system.
  • Miscellaneous fees may be applicable at any host university. Read the guidance provided by the host university.

Undergraduate Year Abroad Student Exchanges

Europe (Erasmus)

correct as of January 2019 (active for 2018-19 and 2019-20, but subject to change with recent changes noted)


  • University of Vienna: [Department of] Life Sciences


  • KU Leuven: Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • University of Copenhagen: Life Sciences


  • INP Grenoble: Bioengineering; Civil Engineering; Computing; Mathematics; Physics
  • Ecole Centrale de Lyon: Aeronautics; Mechanical Engineering
  • Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon: Life Sciences; Mathematics
  • SupAgro, Montpellier: Life Sciences
  • ENSIC, University of Lorraine: Chemical Engineering
  • Ecole Polytechnique. The institution is part of the wider l'Université Paris-Saclay and is based at the new Châtenay-Malabry [Hauts-de-Seine] campus about 15km south-west of central ParisChemistry; Electrical/Electronic Engineering
  • Centrale Supelec. The institution is part of the wider l'Université Paris-Saclay and is based at the new Châtenay-Malabry [Hauts-de-Seine] campus about 15km south-west of central Paris: Mechanical Engineering
  • Ecole Normale Superieure, central Paris: Chemistry
  • Ecole de Ponts et Chaussees, Paris Tech (Champs-sur-Marne, c.15km south-east of central Paris): Civil Engineering
  • ESPCI, Paris Tech, central Paris: Chemistry. NEWS: The Physics exchange will no longer be active from 2018-19.
  • Telecom, Paris Tech, central Paris: Electrical/Electronic Engineering
  • University of Paris 5, Descartes, central Paris: Life Sciences, Chemistry
  • University of Paris 11, Orsay Paris-Sud, located in Orsay which is about 20km south-west of central Paris: Life Sciences; Physics
  • University of Strasbourg: Earth Science & Engineering; Life Sciences
  • ENSIACET, INP Toulouse: Chemical Engineering
  • ISAE, Toulouse (incorporating SupAero and ENSICA): Aeronautics
  • University of Toulouse 3, Paul Sabatier: Life Sciences


  • RWTH Aachen: Aeronautics; Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering, Computing; Electrical/Electronic Engineering; Mechanical Engineering. NEWS: The Earth Sciences exchange and Life Science exchange will no longer be active from 2018-19.
  • Humboldt University, Berlin: Mathematics
  • University of Erlangen-Nurnburg: Chemistry; Physics. NEWS: The chemistry link will be terminated at the end of 2018-19.
  • University of Freiburg: Physics
  • University of Hannover: Chemistry
  • University of Heidelberg: Life Sciences; Physics
  • Ludwigs-Maximillians University, Munich: Chemistry


  • Politecnico di Torino: Civil Engineering
  • University of Padova: Life Sciences; Physics
  • University of Rome, Tor Vergata: Electrical/Electronic Engineering

The Netherlands

  • University of Leiden: Chemistry; Life Sciences
  • Technical University of Delft: Bioengineering; Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Electrical/Electronic Engineering; Mechanical Engineering. NEWS: The bioengineering exchange will not be active from 2019-20.
  • University of Utrecht: Earth Science & Engineering.     NEWS: new link in Physics from 2019-20.


  • University of Barcelona: Chemistry; Earth Science and Engineering
  • UPC Barcelona: Civil Engineering
  • IQS, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona: Chemical Engineering
  • La Laguna University, Tenerife: Physics
  • University Polytechnic of Madrid (UPM): Civil Engineering
  • Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM): Life Sciences; Mathematics; Physics.
  • University of Valencia: Chemistry; Life Sciences; Physics
  • University of Valladollid: Chemical Engineering


  • Karolinska Institute: Life Sciences
  • KTH Stockholm (Royal Institute of Technology): Chemical Engineering; Electrical/Electronic Engineering

Europe (Switzerland)

correct as of January 2019 (active for 2018-19 and 2019-20, but subject to change)

ETH Zurich

  • Bioengineering; Chemistry; Civil Engineering; Computing; Electrical/Electronic Engineering; Life Sciences; Mathematics; Mechanical Engineering. NEWS: new link in Earth Sciences from 2019-20.

EPF Lausanne

  • Chemistry; Chemical Engineering; Mathematics; Physics

North America

correct as of January 2019 (active for 2018-19 and 2019-20, but subject to change)


  • University of British Columbia, Vancouver: Earth Science & Engineering


  • University of California (Education Abroad Program): All Engineering Depts, except Materials. IMPORTANT: Students of the Dept of Earth Science and Engineering should speak to the department's exchange co-ordinator about a year abroad within the UC system.
  • Carnegie Mellon University: Chemical Engineering
  • Columbia University (New York): Chemical Engineering. NEWS: This link is suspended.
  • Emory University, Atlanta: Chemistry
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta: Chemistry
  • MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Aeronautics; Chemistry; Electrical/Electronic Engineering; Materials, Mathematics; Physics. NEWS: introduced for 2018-19. The list of departments are those who have sent to MIT in 2018-19. Other departments within the Faculties of Engineering and Natural Sciences may send in 2019-20.


correct as of January 2019 (active for 2018-19 and 2019-20, but subject to change)

  • Australian National University: Earth Science & Engineering
  • University of Melbourne: Bioengineering; Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering; Life Sciences. NEWS: a new link in chemistry will be active from 2019-20.
  • Queensland University, Brisbane: Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering
  • University of Sydney: Chemical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering


correct as of January 2019 (active for 2018-19 and 2019-20, but subject to change)

China (Hong Kong)

  • Hong Kong Polytechnique University: Civil Engineering


  • Nanyang Technological University: Chemistry
  • National University of Singapore (NUS): Aeronautics; Bioengineering; Chemical Engineering; Electrical/Electronic Engineering; Mechanical Engineering

Powerpoint Presentation for NUS (NEWS: the new presentation for 2020-21 will appear here in due course): Student Exchange: An intro to Singapore & the National University of Singapore (used in prep for students going in 2019-20, but is mainly still very valid).