UW CSE Direct Exchange
KTH, ETH, EPFL, and Saarland students nominated by their home university for an exchange with CSE should follow this comprehensive checklist. This information is intended only for students coming to the UW through UW CSE's partnerships with KTH, ETH, or Saarland University.
Other UW Exchange Programs
While CSE strongly supports study abroad, space in our courses is extremely limited for visiting students who are not from our partner universities (KTH, ETH, EPFL, and Saarland). Students from other schools may not be able to take any CSE courses. We strongly encourage students interested in CS to find direct exchange partnernships between your home school and other US universities. If you decide to visit UW through an exchange program that is not affiliated with CSE, please work closely with UW Study Abroad and with CSE advisers before arriving, to determine what courses options may be available.
CSE offers Direct Exchanges to KTH in Sweden, ETH and EPFL in Switzerland, and Saarland in Germany. Based on the high quality of these schools and our history with these exchanges, it is relatively easy for CSE majors to plan courses that will fulfill degree requirements. Exchanges can last a full year, or one semester (1-2 quarters). We hold an annual info session on CSE exchanges.
Please read this page with ALL details on CSE exchanges.
And read more specific details on each CSE Direct Exchange partner at the following pages:
- KTH in Stockholm, Sweden
- ETH in Zurich, Switzerland (German-speaking)
- EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland (French-speaking)
- Saarland University in Saarbruecken, Germany
All Study Abroad Programs
UW has hundreds of options for studying abroad. CSE's direct exchanges are the best programs for fulfilling CSE requirements. However, if you want to take electives or general requirements abroad, UW has hundreds of other options around the world. The UW Study Abroad office office coordinates these.
How to pick? Consider factors including location, academic subjects available, length of time, style of program, academic expectations, local culture and environment, and who you'll spend time with. Do you want access to big lecture courses at a major university? Or a small community of American students sharing an experience abroad? Will you be happy in the local weather and eating the local food every day? The following paragraphs provide general info on different options.
Regarding cost: studying abroad usually costs more than regular UW expenses (at least for Washington residents), but don't let money stop you! Scholarships exist specifically for study abroad, and financial aid may be adjusted. If you're an out-of-state student, program fees may actually be cheaper than your UW non-resident tuition. And, costs vary widely -- if expense is a factor, consider locations and programs that are less expensive.
If you want to fulfill CSE requirements, are highly motivated and independent, and want to be a real student at a top European university, consider CSE’s Direct Exchanges. The KTH, ETH, EPFL, and Saarland pages have more detailed info. All of these are strong schools, offering good CS courses. Classes are in English, with optional language classes available. It's relatively easy to pick classes that will fulfill CSE requirements. You can meet local students as well as other exchange students from around the world. Other things to consider: Students on these exchanges are fairly independent (you're not traveling with a group). Course style is very different than at UW. Grades are typically based on one exam at the end of a semester, with minimal required work during the term. There is little or no group work. Lectures often have minimal interaction. Courses may also be more conceptual, with few (or no) projects. Student support, like advising, may be less readily-available than at UW. The cost is close to your expenses at UW: you pay regular UW tuition, plus expenses such as transportation and insurance; however, a couple of the exchange schools offer stipends that offset many additonal costs.
If you want CSE-related electives in a small, highly-collaborative community, consider AIT–Budapest. AIT is small school offering CS courses abroad for students from the US (plus a smaller number of Hungarian students). AIT offers a variety of courses, but may particularly appeal to students interested in design or entrepreneurship. They also offer classes in Hungarian culture and language. Classes are very small: often 5-20 students. Many feature group projects, and students are encouraged to form a strong community. Staff are highly supportive. AIT is an affiliated study abroad program with the UW, and CSE has pre-evaluated some AIT courses to help you predict how they will fulfill requirements. Courses are most useful as senior eletives. Jill can tell you more about AIT and connect you with a former student, and representatives visit UW annually to offer information sessions.
If you want to visit a specific place and fulfill general requirements or electives, consider a faculty-led UW program. These one-quarter programs cover a range of class subjects around the world. Faculty often craft programs to reflect their academic specialties, and have connection to interesting local experts abroad -- so courses can be very special and interesting. Since these programs offer UW courses taught by UW professors, the academic expectations should be very familiar. You'll know exactly what credit you're getting before you go. You'll be with a UW group, so you have an automatic community (although it can take more effort to meet locals). Instead of tuition, you pay a program fee which is usually a bit more expensive than one quarter of in-state tuition and expenses.
If you want to go abroad with a short time committment, consider a month-long Exploration Seminar. These are similar to the faculty-led programs above, except they contain one UW course in one month, rather than a full quarter of coursework. Exploration Seminars happen in the month before Autumn quarter begins, so they fit in easily with classes and even some internships. Fees are pretty reasonable, since programs last only one month.
The CSE Department will pre-evaluate up to 4 courses for students after they have committed to a program. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for course evaluation. There will be a form to fill out that requires a course website and/or syllabus. Couse evaluations need to be sent to faculty for approval, so there is no need to schedule an advising meeting until you hear back about evaluation decisions.