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Saturday, April 30, 2016

IIUM Student Exchange Program: Part 1

Probably a lot of students heard about the exchange student program, but not many know that there are actually a lot of IIUM students going out for exchange every semesters.

Some of us from IIUM celebrating Eid al-adha at Istanbul.
Just last semester more than 30 students went for exchange student program in Turkey alone. Imagine that! IIUM sends students to Turkey, South Korea, China, Japan and the US to name a few countries. Alhamdulillah I was one of the students who is blessed enough to experience becoming an exchange student. When I came back, a lot of other students asked me about my experience. Here's some of the response I received

"I wish I could be like you!"

"Wah you are so lucky!"

"I want to go, but I bet the CGPA needs to be high to apply for the program."

First, yes, you can be like me. Anyone can be like me. Anyone can apply for the exchange program.

Second, I am blessed indeed, but to be able to get to that phase of finally accepted as an exchange student, there's a lot of process I went through. Spent half of my short semester holiday going back and forth to the office. So yeah, hard work is needed. No luck applied.

Thirdly, I believe this is a taboo. Of course having a high CGPA would be a great advantage, but seriously, if you are really up to this, just apply. If rezeki is with you, you'll definitely get it. By the way, it's always a NO if you never try.

So to help my fellow friends to get started with the application, here's a few requirements to be met before deciding to go for an student exchange program (SEP).

1. You must be a full time student.
2. Submit your application through the university.
3. At least in your 2nd year during exchange period and at most 4th year 1st semester. Final semesters students are not allowed. You need to finish your final semester in IIUM.
4. Costs and expenses will be covered on your own, unless you have sponsorship.
5. Minimum duration is 1 semester, maximum is 1 year.
6. You must at least take 4 subjects and be sure that it can be credited.
7. You can only apply to universities that have MoU with IIUM. They are listed outside ICEO office.
8. For the fees, you don't have to pay to the other university. Just pay as usual in IIUM.

ICEO office is in charge of the SEP for your information. ICEO office is previously located at level 4 but now has moved to level 2 of the admin building.

Now we know the requirement. What should we do now?

First, you need to know which university you want to go. Go to ICEO office and check out the list of universities that has an MoU with IIUM. Select which country you'd like to go for an exchange. In my case, initially I listed Australia, UK, Indonesia and Turkey as my preferences.

Second, check whether the university you chose offers you the courses that are also available in your study plan. This is important as you would want to have the credits of the subjects taken to be transferred later into your transcript. I actually went through the website of almost 20 universities to see whether they offer Psychology and the subjects that are similar to my study plan. Only about 5-6 universities met my criteria.

Third, once you got the right university, you need to look at their requirement of student exchange program. Some universities have CGPA requirement. For example, University of Nottingham requires you to have at least 3.0 CGPA to apply for their program. Some universities requires a lot of supporting documents. Some universities have deadlines for applications. So all these information are what you need to be aware of. Every university is different. The one that I was accepted into only needs to have the application form from my university and no CGPA requirement.

Fourth, now when you meet those requirements, go approach the university itself. Find a way to contact them and confirm whether you can go for SEP there. I've emailed a university in UK and found out that there is an MoU with IIUM but only for certain courses, no psychology. So out of my list. As for Australia, they welcome me to their university but I have to pay the full fees at their university, which will cost me around RM25k. Absolutely no. So again, Australia is out of my list. The university in Indonesia doesn't even reply my email. Too bad. I received two replies from two universities in Istanbul, and decided to go for one of them.

An example of my reply email.

Fifth, once you have confirmed that you can apply at the university, then go to ICEO and start the application process. However, it is also important for you to ask if the hosting university has any procedures on their own. So you need to follow both IIUM procedures and the hosting university's procedures.

Reply from FSMVU

Yes, as easy as that!
Let me summarize the process.

However it still requires a lot of time and effort in order to get to the fifth stage.
I started doing the research on February 2014, before finally choosing the universities I wanted to go and approaching them by early 2015. I started early because I was first still unsure, and I used my leisure time to do the research. So it's kind of relaxing for me. I did not rush.

Anyway, I hope this post helps my friends in IIUM to know a bit about SEP here in IIUM and I wish to see more of my juniors going for this SEP. In my next post, I will write my experience dealing with the procedures from both universities and to finally have my dream came true, Istanbul aku datang!

If you have any inquiries, leave your questions at the comment box below or contact me directly at izzatzaid1015@gmail.com

Assalamualaikum. :)

Click here to see IIUM Student Exchange Program: Part 2


  1. Salaam sister. I am currently minoring in psychology so in that sense, we are looking into the same thing in terms of the modules. How do you know that a certain module from the other university is the same as in our uni (Or can be creditted) since they sometimes don't have the same name for the module? Can you share the modules that you took in Istanbul? (: thank you! Jazakillah!

    1. Wasalam IishaRadhiah :)
      I see.. First you need to have the psychology study plan from IIUM, then you need to go through the other university's website and look through theirs as well (the courses they offer). You will find subjects that are similar (e.g social psychology, cognitive psychology).

      The one I took was
      -Environmental psychology
      -Health Psychology
      -Child abuse (credit transferred as child psychology)
      -Contemporary approach to psychology (this is similar to HOP)

      Anyway before deciding, it's easier to ask opinion from our academic advisor :)

  2. Assalamualaikum wbt.

    Dear sister,

    Thank you so much for sharing these informations with us. I'm very glad that you decided to enlightened us with such detailed step by step instructions. I'm currently a first year student in IIUM and am looking forward to apply for this SEP as well! Wish me luck!

    1. Waalaikumussalam Shahirah.

      Glad to hear that! InsyaAllah, I pray Allah will make everything easy for you. :)
      Would be nice to experience from others as well ^_^

  3. Sister ... thank you soooo much for sharing (in english).. i am an international students currently studying in iium ... will this programme work for me? ... and how was your fees paid?! ... could you tell me about the financial coverage?!