Exchange Partner Program

The Office of International Affairs is introducing a new initiative, the Exchange Partner Program, which matches current Ohio State undergraduate students with incoming international exchange students. Matches have been made for the 2017 – 2018 academic year, and the application for the 2018 – 2019 academic year will be available as of December 2017.

Students interested should be committed to helping exchange students feel at home on our campus and should show the desire to promote cross-cultural understanding at Ohio State.

Who are exchange students?

Exchange students are international students studying at Ohio State on a short-term, non-degree basis, for one semester or a full academic year. Ohio State has active Student Exchange Agreements with the students’ home universities, and we send students abroad to these schools. The students enroll primarily in the College of Arts & Sciences but are majoring in a variety of disciplines. They come from a variety of countries including Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

What are the eligibility requirements to becoming an exchange partner?

  • Ohio State undergraduate student in good academic standing (GPA of 2.0 or higher)
  • Open-minded and committed to cross-cultural exchange
  • Willing and eager to learn about other cultures
  • Able to take initiative and work well with others
  • Able to demonstrate a sustained interest in international affairs or cultures is desired, but not required

What will be the duties of exchange partners?

  • Attend an orientation meeting in late April with the other exchange partners.
  • Be in communication with your exchange student partner prior to their arrival in the United States, via e-mail and other social media. You’ll welcome them to Ohio State and answer questions they may have.
  • Once the exchange students are on campus, be a resource for your partner—help them understand how things work at Ohio State.
  • Meet in person with your exchange student partner at least twice per month.
  • Attend at least two events per semester with your exchange student partner where he/she could meet other students (OIA’s Global Engagement events, events offered through student organizations, etc.).
  • At least once per semester, take a trip off campus with your exchange partner. For example, introduce your partner to an area of Columbus or an event in town that you enjoy (Short North, German Village, the zoo, a Blue Jacket’s game, a festival, etc.).
  • Attend the exchange student snack hours throughout the term (with allowances made for class conflicts), and help your partner prepare the food for his/her country’s day.
  • If you notice that your partner is struggling, academically or in any other way, or if you are concerned about your partner for any reason, alert the exchange program coordinator, Caroline Omolesky, via e-mail.

Note that some exchange students study at Ohio State for just one semester, and some for a whole year. If your Autumn Semester partner is here for just one term, you may be assigned to a new partner for Spring Semester.