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Student Exchange Agreements

From the initial proposal to the signing of the agreement, it is essential to work closely with the Education Abroad & Exchanges office to ensure the final product is a program that works for the students, faculty, the college and the university.

General Summary and Information

A Reciprocal (Bilateral) Student Exchange Agreement is a legally binding contract allowing for the exchange of students between the University of Kentucky and an international accredited institution. It can be either university-wide or college-specific. 

  • college-specific exchange is ‘owned’ by the college and operated primarily for the benefit of students enrolled in that college. Generally, an exchange proposed by a college will fall into the college-specific category.  
  • A university-wide exchange is ‘owned’ by the Education Abroad & Exchanges office and is open to students across campus, regardless of college of enrollment. 

If you are proposing a student exchange in healthcare, please visit the clinical agreements page for information.  


All other student exchange agreements are managed by UK Education Abroad & Exchanges. In all cases, the agreements' provisions address the administrative concerns of both institutions, such as program management, tuition and credit exchange, selection of students, and any necessary declarations of responsibility regarding housing, transportation, risk management, advertisement, etc. 


First steps (for non-healthcare exchanges)

Contact the Education Abroad Exchanges Coordinator, Laurence Tuccori, to discuss the potential agreement, the scope of the exchange (college-specific or university-wide), and its implications for assigning financial and managerial responsibility for the exchange. During this time, you need to complete the Notification and Preliminary Approval To Negotiate International Agreements for UK as described here


While drafting the agreement, refer to the First Steps information page. Use the Student Exchange Agreement template to write the agreement. The template has been approved by UK Legal Counsel.  


All proposed exchange agreements must be approved by the relevant department chairperson and dean, the Executive Director of Education Abroad and Exchanges, and the Associate Provost for Internationalization. If a college-specific exchange is being proposed, that college’s approval confirms its agreement to assume financial responsibility for the program, including covering the cost of exchange imbalances. 

Additional Review Criteria 

Agreements must adhere to the criteria listed in the Agreement Guidelines. Additional review criteria for reciprocal student exchange agreements include: 

  • Capacity of the University, College, and/or Department to absorb projected enrollment increases 
  • Participants’ program(s) of study should complement with courses and programs at host institution 
  • Transferability of courses in both directions 
  • Articulation of language proficiency requirements 
  • Feasibility of recruiting a sufficient, sustained number of students at both institutions to maintain a balanced exchange over the term of the agreement 
  • Congruence of the exchange with the University of Kentucky’s priorities for education abroad 
  • Impact of the proposed exchange on existing education abroad programs 
  • Capacity of Education Abroad to promote and monitor the exchange 
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