Student Exchange Programme

The Department recognizes Singapore’s strategic location and its networks and aims to prepare its graduates to engage in the global practice of design. In line with this aim, the Department creates opportunities and provides support for its students to enhance their academic experience and cultural exposure through its extensive student exchange programmes (SEP) with leading Architecture and Industrial Design schools.

To enable students to proceed on SEP, student exchange agreements are signed with reputable overseas universities allowing for reciprocal exchange of students. Exchange agreements can be signed at the University-level, School-level or Department-level. SEP places arising from University-level Exchange Agreements will be designated University Wide places and administered by Registrar’s Office while those from the Department-level Exchange Agreements will be administered by the Department.

School/Department Level Exchanges are established with the following Universities::

Partner University


Level/ Semester to embark on Exchange 


Hanyang University

South Korea

BA (Arch) Level 3/ Semester 1


Ecole Speciale d’Architecture (ESA)


BA (Arch) Level 3 or 4/ Semester 1

Opened to students in French LPP or with sufficient proficiency in French only

Tianjin University


BA (Arch) Level 4/ Semester 1


Tsinghua University


BA (Arch) Level 4/ Semester 1


Southeast University


BA (Arch) Level 4/ Semester 1


Tunghai University


BA (Arch) Level 3 or 4/ Semester 1


University of Seoul

South Korea

BA (Arch) Level 4/ Semester 1


Strathclyde University


BA (Arch) Level 3 or 4/ Semester 1


Czech Technical University in Prague

Czech Republic

BA (Arch) Level 4/ Semester 1


Technical University of Munich


BA (Arch) Level 4/ Semester 1


Places Available for AY2013/14 Exchange.

Please click here for the details.

1) Eligibility

Students have to fulfill the following requirements in order to be considered for the exchange program:

  1. Minimum CAP of 3.0
  2. Minimum C grade in all modules taken
  3. Satisfactory performance in Design modules

Architecture students can participate in SEP in Semester 2 of their 2nd year OR Semester 1 of their 3rd or 4th year of study.

2) Application

Application Period

Applications for SEP are opened in September to October each year.

Second round of application for Semester 2 exchange (subjected to availability of places) would be opened in mid July to mid August.

Application Process

The application process takes place in 2 stages.

Stage 1: Selection as an Exchange Student

  1. Students first apply for SEP via Overseas Programmes Application System (OPAS)

    Students need not submit the online study plan at this stage.

    For more information on OPAS system, please refer to here.

Stage 2: After SEP Allocation

Upon offer and acceptance of the placement, students would be required to submit the following:

  1. Copy of Passport particulars page
  2. Certification of Financial Resources issued by bank
  3. Assigned Partner University’s application form (if applicable)
  4. Study Plan
  5. 2 Letters of recommendation (original). One referee is an NUS lecturer or tutor
  6. Endorsement letter for SEP (Original) if applicable from Scholarship Awarding Organization.
  7. Any other documents as required.
  8. Full NUS result transcript (Original).

For Enquiries on SEP application, email:


Administrative Matters:

Am I qualified to apply for SEP?

All full-time coursework undergraduate students (Singaporean & non-Singaporean) are eligible to apply, except:

  1. foreign nationals receiving a scholarship financed or administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (e.g. Singapore Scholarships, etc.).
  2. Students in their final semester of study
  3. International students are not allowed to participate in SEP at Partner Universities that are located in their home country.

How do I apply for SEP?

Students would be notified of the application period via email. Interested applicants can then submit their application via the online OPAS System.

Is there a quota for SEP applicants?

There are limited places allocated for the exchange, students therefore compete for a placement in SEP. Choose the universities wisely so as to increase your chances of success.

How will I know if I've been selected for SEP?

Students would be notified via email of the result of their SEP application. Students who have been offered a place would need to accept or reject the placement via OPAS.

What is the financial cost of going on exchange?

Students on SEP continue to pay tuition fees and other related fees to NUS for the semester they are abroad. Additional cost of SEP includes airfare, accommodation, books etc.
Students should also note that they may be required to participate in fieldtrips which are part of the respective studio programmes during their exchange.  Hence they would need to prepare additional funds for these trips.

The estimated budget is approximately between S$6000- S$15,000 per semester The cost of living varies from country to country, even between different cities of the same country. You should access IRO website and the websites of the different universities to ascertain the estimated living expenses for the time that you will be away. You can also speak to other students who have done SEP at the same university or city where you will be heading.

What if I receive scholarship or tuition grant?

NUS students who receive scholarships, or who won awards/grants to finance their University studies, must obtain permission from the awarding bodies before applying for the SEP. This is to permit them to continue the scholarships or awards for the duration of the SEP. This requirement is waived for those receiving NUS Scholarships, and it is inapplicable to those receiving tuition grants, tuition fee or study loans.

Is financial assistance available for students going on exchange?

Various forms of support in the form of scholarships/ awards and Overseas SEP Loan are available. Please refer to IRO website under “Financial Aid” for the details.

Students can only submit their application for Overseas SEP Loan upon the receipt of the offer letter from Partner University. A copy of the offer letter must be attached to the application. Application must be made at least 3 weeks before their departure for SEP.

What about accommodation?

Some universities will arrange accommodation for students; others require students to make their own arrangements. You should refer to the partner universities’ websites for information on accommodation.

Accommodation would be provided for students participating in exchange at Hanyang University (South Korea) under Faculty Level Exchange MOU.

Can I withdraw from the SEP upon successful application?

Yes. Student must email citing the reasons for their withdrawal. Once it is approved Registrar’s Office will be informed accordingly. Student must also inform Partner University of the withdrawal if student has been accepted by Partner University.

What should I do if I cannot return on time from my exchange for the new academic semester?

Students are to inform the Department (via email to ) as soon as possible if they anticipate that they cannot return on time from their exchange for the new semester.

Delays in returning from exchange could affect students’ studio allocation (especially if overseas fieldtrips are involved) as well as their participation in workshops that are scheduled in the beginning of the semester.

Academic Matters

What are the programmes available to prepare me for exchange to Austria, Belgium, France, Germany or Switzerland which requires good knowledge of French or German?

Please refer to the Language Preparatory Programme hosted by IRO.

Alternatively students can consider taking French classes that are offered by NUS extension. For more information please refer to

What are the modules that I can read during exchange and how are modules taken during exchange mapped back to NUS?

Students should try to complete the essential modules specified for the semester of exchange. This is to avoid overloading of modules when students return from exchange which may delay their graduation.

It is the students’ responsibility to research on the modules offered by the Partner University (PU) and find a match for the NUS module(s) which they intend to read during exchange. Students may find information of the modules offered at the Partner University’s website.

Students can then submit their study plan with the following information on the module

  1. Description of the modules(s) – including level of the modules(s), code and title
  2. Description of the syllabus and/or readings and how the course is conducted
  3. Number of contact hours and/or schedule of lectures, tutorials, seminars
  4. Modes of Assessment

The SEP Coordinator would review the suitability of the modules as possible match to NUS modules.

For mapping of Breadths or Unrestricted Elective where there is no exact match to any NUS modules, a dummy code would be given to the approved Partner University’s module for credit transfer purpose.

What are the procedures for obtaining approval if I want to read a GEM module during exchange?

Students have to fill up the GEM mapping application form and submit it to the Department (via or to the General Education Committee Secretariat. Full details have to be furnished otherwise the mapping will not be reviewed.

If the mapping is approved, a dummy code would be given to the PU module for credit transfer purpose.

Please refer for more information on mapping of GEMs during SEP.

Will all modules read through the SEP be factored into the CAP?

No, there will only be credit transfer for such modules. Modules read during exchange have to be approved by the SEP/ Programme coordinator for credit transfer back to relevant NUS modules.

What is the maximum number of modular credits that that I can credit back from my exchange?

Students can refer to for more information.