What is Exchange?

Please note that COVID-19 restrictions are affecting Exchange.

Normally, the Exchange Programme enables you to study outside of Europe as part of your degree programme, usually for a full academic year. Most mobility opportunities operate as an exchange and Heriot-Watt has a number of international exchange partnerships outside of Europe. Due to the agreements with our exchange partners, you will not pay tuition fees to the institution you study at abroad.

However, due to the global restrictions around travel, semester 1 and 2 of 2020/21 are closed for applications. 

Students participating in an exchange placement are awarded credit which counts towards their degree marks.

If you are interested in opportunities within Europe, please see European exchange.

If you are currently studying at a university outside of the UK and are interested in taking part in an exchange to Heriot-Watt, please see information for incoming exchange students or contact

Erasmus+ and the new Turing Scheme

Although the UK government has decided not to participate in the forthcoming 2021-27 Erasmus+ programme, this has not affected Heriot-Watt's participation in the 2014-20 programme. Our projects have been extended to 36 months, meaning that we are still able to provide grants for Europe-based student mobility projects up until 31 May 2023.

The new Turing Scheme is the UK Government's replacement to Erasmus+ and was launched in 2021. It is available to support mobilities taking place from September 2021 onwards. Unlike Erasmus+, support for placements is not restricted to activity taking place in Europe. This means, if we are successful in our bid for funding, that we can support students on placements all over the world.

Where can I study?

We have links with a wide range of institutions around the world and where you can study will depend on the exchange agreements signed for your degree programme.

To help you decide where would be the best place for you, take a little time to consider these questions:

  • What country am I interested in studying in? Why does it appeal to me?
  • Do I want to develop my language skills or be in an English speaking country?
  • Would I prefer to be based in a city, or a large or small town?
  • Would I like to study in a large or a smaller university?
  • Do I want to be where other Heriot-Watt students are?
  • What interests/activities do I want to develop around my studies? Where is the best place to achieve this?

Visa information

The International Student Advisors Office (ISAO) will be able to provide you with all relevant and up-to-date visa information. 

Key information