This page provides an overview of undergraduate student exchange links. The lists which appear are firstly by region and secondly by country. The departments at the College for whom a link is relevant are given.

Let's start off though by quoting a study abroad participant from Imperial College: "My year abroad has made me reflect on what I am studying and re-ignited my love and passion for my subject. 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 have to find solutions to problems. 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. This includes "language for science" degrees.
  • 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). Please consult the Brexit (Erasmus) update.
  • Student exchange agreements with two Swiss HEIs (ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne) operate under a generously sponsored Swiss government scheme (Swiss-Euroepan Mobility Programme or SEMP) which normally allows our students access to a Swiss funded mobility grant.
  • Other exchange agreements exist to service opportunities for students (depends on the department as to which links are relevant) in Australia, Canada, Singapore, USA and Hong Kong. However, there are normally no mobility grants available to participating students, except UK home students can be means-tested by UK Student Finance for travel (and visa and medical insurance) support.
  • See TABS below for full list of UG Year abroad exchange links expected to be active in 2020-21 (with notes added where necessary).
  • See the Asia TAB for a presentation on the National University of Singapore (NUS). The presentation for 2019-20 is still available to view and remains valid. 

Other useful information concerning the Year Abroad at Imperial College

The following is a non-exhaustive list of useful pointers.

  • 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 (Earth Science & Engineering, Life Sciences, Mathematics and Physics) or Year 4 (Bioengineering, Chemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computing, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering. Aeronautics will send in Year 4 from 2022-23 onwards), except in Chemical Engineering where it is currently either Year 3 or 4 depending on the partner university (but the year 4 options are being phased out under the new curriculum). Under the new curriculum there are two year abroad options in Aeronautics, one a replacement year in a four year MEng and the other an additional year in a 5 year MEng. There are also 5 year degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry that combine a year abroad alongside a year in industry (Mechanical Engineering : Year 3 in industry, Year 5 abroad; Chemistry: Year 4 in industry, Year 5 abroad).
  • 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) and the aforementioned new Aeronautics 5YR option.
  • 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, and for EU students most certainly will for new entrants to the College commencing 2021-22.
  • All students who undertake their year abroad via a student exchange agreement do not pay tuition fees to the host university for the year spent abroad. However, registration fees are permitted (often providing subsidised benefits) as are miscellaneous fees where normally paid also by students of the partner university. Students planning to undertake a year abroad should consult the information provided by the partner university.
  • 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 $1.5K and $3.5K. Home students should note that means-tested financial support for insurance is available to apply for through the UK Student Finance system.
  • The Dept of Materials operates an autumn term (final year of MEng) only study exchange with selected partners, and much of the policy and good practice around managing a short study abroad placement is the same as for a year abroad.

Undergraduate Year Abroad Student Exchanges

Europe (Erasmus)

correct as of January 2021 (active for 2020-21, but subject to change with recent changes noted. Updates concerning 2021-22 will be added in due course)


  • University of Vienna: [Department of] Life Sciences


  • KU Leuven: Electrical and Electronic Engineering.


  • University of Copenhagen: Life Sciences. Update: Active in 2020-21 subject to a new agreement.


  • University of Grenoble (now incorporating INP Grenoble): Bioengineering; Civil Engineering; Computing; Mathematics; Physics
  • Ecole Centrale de Lyon: Aeronautics; Mechanical Engineering
  • Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon (ENSL): Life Sciences.
  • SupAgro, Montpellier: Life Sciences
  • ENSIC, University of Lorraine: Chemical Engineering. NEWS: this link will cease after 2020-21.
  • 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. Update: Active in 2020-21 subject to a new agreement.
  • 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.
  • Telecom, Paris Tech, Palaiseau (south of Paris): Electrical/Electronic Engineering
  • University of Paris, (incorporating Universite Descartes), central Paris: Life Sciences, Chemistry
  • University of Paris Saclay (incorporating Uni Paris Sud-Orsay). The science exchanges mean being located at their Orsay campus 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. NEWS: this link will cease after 2020-21.
  • 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.
  • Humboldt University, Berlin: Mathematics
  • University of Erlangen-Nurnburg: Physics.
  • 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: Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Electrical/Electronic Engineering; Mechanical Engineering.
  • University of Utrecht: Earth Science & Engineering, Physics.


  • 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. Update: this link will be suspended from 2021-22.


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

Europe (Switzerland)

correct as of January 2021 (active for 2020-21, but subject to change. Updates concerning 2021-22 will be added in due course)

ETH Zurich

  • Bioengineering; Chemistry; Civil Engineering; Computing; Earth Sciences; Electrical/Electronic Engineering; Life Sciences; Mathematics; Mechanical Engineering.

EPF Lausanne

  • Chemistry; Chemical Engineering; Mathematics; Physics. Update: a new link in Computing is expected to commence from 2021-22.

North America

correct as of March 2021 (active for 2020-21, but subject to change. Updates concerning 2021-22 will be added in due course)


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


  • University of California (Education Abroad Program): All Engineering Depts, except Dyson School of Design Engineering and Materials.
  • Carnegie Mellon University: Chemical Engineering.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta: Chemistry. NEWS: This link is suspended for outgoing mobility.
  • MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Aeronautics; Chemical Eng, Chemistry; Computing, Earth Science and Engineering; Electrical/Electronic Engineering; Mathematics; Physics. Please note that Materials is a fall-term only study placement (see other exchanges).


correct as of August 2020 (active for 2020-21, but subject to change. Updates concerning 2021-22 will be added in due course)

  • Australian National University: Earth Science & Engineering
  • University of Melbourne: Bioengineering; Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering; Chemistry, Life Sciences.
  • Queensland University, Brisbane: Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering
  • University of Sydney: Chemical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering


correct as of August 2020 (active for 2020-21, but subject to change. Updates concerning 2021-22 will be added in due course)

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 NUSStudent 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).