Partner program or exchange

Partner program or exchange? What’s the difference?

UMass Abroad offers two types of education abroad programs. One is not better than the other and depending on the location, you may only have one option. No matter the type of program, you will have in-country support, 24/7 emergency assistance and an incredible international experience!

UMass has exchange agreements with universities around the world that set a specific number of students that can literally be exchanged each semester. Students attending exchange programs enroll in courses with local students and live in university housing, just like local students. You need to be independent and proactive when it comes to meeting people, joining events, and seeking help, the same way you are at UMass. The host university’s International Programs Office will provide orientation and events for international students, and help you access any services you need on their campus. Since each exchange has a set number of spots, you must be nominated by your Education Abroad Advisor, who will provide you with the application instructions for your host university. Students on exchange programs pay UMass tuition fees to UMass; see payments and billing for details.




Partner programs are managed by US-based companies that send US students to program centers and universities around the world. They have US based staff who support you through the application and enrollment process, and overseas staff who support you throughout your time abroad. Partner programs charge a program fee that includes tuition, fees, housing, excursions and activities. Some programs provide direct enrollment at a host university with local students, some provide courses for study abroad students at a program center, and some provide a combination of the two.  Apply to your partner program on their website AND submit your UMass Abroad application.

Return to the Steps to Study Abroad

No matter where you are in your journey to Be UMass Abroad, here are some resources to help you plan:

Still have questions? We’re here for you!