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. 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).
  • 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, 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 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 currently either Year 3 or 4 depending on the partner university (but the year 4 options are being phased out 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 5 year degrees in Mech ENg and Chemistry that combine a year abroad alongside a year in industry (Mech ENg : 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 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.
  • All students who undertake their year abroad via a student exchange agreement do not pay any tuition fees to the host 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 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 2020 (active for 2019-20 and 2020-21, but subject to change with recent changes noted)

Austria

  • University of Vienna: [Department of] Life Sciences

Belgium

  • KU Leuven: Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Update: Active in 2020-21 subject to a new agreement.

Denmark

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

France

  • INP Grenoble: Bioengineering; Civil Engineering; Computing; Mathematics; Physics
  • Ecole Centrale de Lyon: Aeronautics; Mechanical Engineering
  • Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon: Life Sciences; Mathematics. NEWS: The link in Mathematics will cease after 2019-20. Update: Life Sciences link active in 2020-21 subject to a new agreement.
  • SupAgro, Montpellier: Life Sciences. Update: Active in 2020-21 subject to a new agreement.
  • 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. Update: Active in 2020-21 subject to a new agreement.
  • 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 5, Descartes, central Paris: Life Sciences, Chemistry
  • University of Paris 11, Orsay Paris-Saclay. The science exchanges mean being located at their Orsay campus which is about 20km south-west of central Paris: Life Sciences; Physics. Update: Active in 2020-21 subject to a new agreement.
  • University of Strasbourg: Earth Science & Engineering; Life Sciences
  • ENSIACET, INP Toulouse: Chemical Engineering
  • ISAE, Toulouse (incorporating SupAero and ENSICA): Aeronautics. Update: Active in 2020-21 subject to a new agreement.
  • University of Toulouse 3, Paul Sabatier: Life Sciences. Update: Active in 2020-21 subject to a new agreement.

Germany

  • 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. Update: Active in 2020-21 subject to a new agreement.
  • Ludwigs-Maximillians University, Munich: Chemistry

Italy

  • 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, Physics.

Spain

  • 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. Update: Active in 2020-21 subject to a new agreement.
  • University of Valencia: Chemistry; Life Sciences; Physics
  • University of Valladollid: Chemical Engineering

Sweden

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

Europe (Switzerland)

correct as of January 2020 (active for 2019-20 and 2020-21, but subject to change)

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: Active in 2020-21 subject to a new agreement.

North America

correct as of January 2020 (active for 2019-20 and 2020-21, but subject to change)

Canada

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

USA

  • 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; Chemical Eng, Chemistry; Computing, Earth Science and Engineering; Electrical/Electronic Engineering; Materials, Mathematics; Mechanical Engineering, Physics.

Australia

correct as of January 2020 (active for 2019-20 and 2020-21, but subject to change)

  • 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

Asia

correct as of January 2020 (active for 2019-20 and 2020-21, but subject to change)

China (Hong Kong)

  • Hong Kong Polytechnique University: Civil Engineering

Singapore

  • 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).