Information for incoming exchange students
Semesters Available: Fall, Spring, or Academic Year
GPA Requirement: 3.0
Language of Instruction: English
Semester 1: August-December
Semester 2: January-May
Through a reciprocal agreement between the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at Cornell University, CALS undergraduate students may apply to enroll directly in any field of study at NUS for a semester or a year. Students study alongside NUS and international students, and are eligible to participate in the many activities sponsored by NUS and its
This exchange program is open to undergraduate CALS students of sophomore or higher standing, and is awarded on first-come, first-serve basis.
• Enjoy quality education in a vibrant English medium university in the heart of Asia
• NUS is consistently ranked in the top 40 universities
around the world and was recently ranked the 4th top university in Asia by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and the second highest English medium university in the top 20 Asian universities!
• Make friends with 7,500 international students from 30 countries among 23,000 undergraduates
• Join halls of residence and participate in vibrant inter-hall sports competitions and theatrical production
• Drive 10 minutes from the city center to trek through a tropical rainforest, with more species of flora than in the whole of North America
• English is widely spoken on campus, but you will also have a chance to learn Chinese, Malay, Tamil, French and countless other languages spoken by the diverse student population.
• Take advantage of attending a comprehensive university with 14 faculties (colleges) offering courses from architecture to history and physics by taking courses outside your major, including in Asian languages, cultures and history.
For more information on areas of study and other program specifics please refer to the CALS Exchange Program website.
What to expect if you apply:
First of all, we’re glad you’re interested in joining our exclusive group! Yep, we’re talking about the CALS Exchange Program! Since 1954, we have offered CALS students unique opportunities to study abroad. Through reciprocal agreements with select partner universities, CALS students integrate themselves into a partner university abroad, taking classes and living alongside degree-seeking students from the host university. In exchange, a student from our partner institution comes to study at CALS. Nearly all partner institutions in non-English speaking countries offer a wide range of classes taught in English.
Students are billed their regular CALS tuition, with no added administrative fees. Students purchase plane tickets and pay remaining costs such as housing, meals, student visa application fees, local travel, and personal expenses. Financial aid travels with eligible students. Hands-on experiences, internships, scholarships, and stipends are available at select institutions.
The CALS Exchange Coordinator is available by appointment for assistance with program selection, financial and travel planning, registration, credit, obtaining a student visa for host country, and pre-departure programming. Whether you’re completely new to the idea, or you’ve been planning to study abroad since you were in elementary school, we want you to feel supported every step of the way!
The CALS International Exchange Program: Selection Criteria
We take great pride in our students selected to attend a CALS Exchange Program. The criteria for selection are based on a combination of 1) grades and academic preparation and 2) personal suitability as assessed by interview with exchange coordinator, personal essay, and academic references. While grades (especially for some partner universities) are a major factor, they are not the sole criterion for selection. Students who are concerned about their academic performance have the opportunity to improve their application by taking extra care with their essay and other application components.
Applicants must have no pending disciplinary action against them. Any past or current disciplinary actions must be disclosed during the application process and may be grounds for barring participation by CALS and/or the host institution. Students may not participate in semester exchange while on disciplinary or academic probation. Students may apply while on probation, but any conditional approval is contingent upon removal from probation before participation.
Successful applicants must:
Step One: Meet with Exchange Coordinator
Demonstrate good interpersonal skills, the ability to study in an overseas environment, and enthusiasm to be an ambassador of Cornell University and CALS
Be a current full-time CALS student (except for EPFL, which is also open to ENG students) with at least two full-time semesters of study before commencing exchange period
Meet minimum requirements of host university (GPA, foreign language ability, prerequisites, study focus, etc.)
Apply by CALS application deadlines
Step Two: Application
The Exchange Coordinator meets personally with every student interested in going on an exchange. During this time she will pre-screen you for eligibility and answer any questions you might have
Step Three: Nomination
Apply for the CALS Exchange Program using our new online system (hosted by CU Abroad’s website)
Get your proposed courses you want to take abroad signed off by your major advisor
Complete the host/partner institution’s application (we will provide to you--and submit for you--unless it’s submitted online)
Apply for housing at partner institution or host location (unless you have to wait for your acceptance letter)
Step Four: Apply for student visa/residence permit
Our office nominates you to our exchange partner and will advise you when you’ve been accepted to the program
Step Five: Attend Pre-Departure Meeting(s)
Once you receive your official acceptance letter from the partner institution you will be able to apply for your visa. You will need a student visa/residence permit for just about any host country in which we have partnerships. It is important that you know what is needed for your visa—don’t worry; we will walk you through this process! (We even host visa sessions for students going to countries where the visa application process isn’t so intuitive!)Foreign University Application (if not paper/PDF application, include a printout of online application)
You’ll start making your travel plans now too!
While you’re abroad and upon return
All students must attend the CALS Exchange pre-departure session
It’s also a good networking opportunity to connect you with other students who are going abroad—before you go!
Interested in sharing events from your life abroad, as they happen? We have a student blog program just for you!
After you return you can volunteer to be a buddy to a visiting student (we also throw you a welcome back party!)
CALS International Exchange Application Checklist
Form A: CALS Exchange Online Application Search for program at cuabroad.cornell.edu (even though it’s a Cornell Abroad website, you’ll still be going through the Exchange)
Form B: Proposed Course of Study (must be signed by you and your faculty advisor)
Form C: CALS Student Exchange Program Medical and Accident Form
Form D: CALS Student Exchange Program Participation Agreement/Release Form
Form E: Authority for release of information to the Office of the Judicial Administrator
Recommendation Forms x 2 Submit two recommendations (via the online application website). One form must be completed by your faculty advisor, and the other by a non-family member or friend, of your choice. For example: another Cornell instructor, Graduate TA, or employer.
Statement of Purpose Write a one page essay describing why you want to participate in the CALS Exchange Program and attach it to your CALS application. Include personal characteristics, contributions you can make, personal benefits you anticipate, how you adapt to new situations or uncertainty, and how the program will fit into your curriculum and career plans. Also include reasons why you feel particularly qualified to represent Cornell and the United States on a CALS exchange program.
Paper Copy of Transcript (do not use digital service—we cannot print these copies for our partner universities) Request an official Cornell transcript (University Registrar, B7 Day Hall, or online at http://transcript.cornell.edu) and transcripts from any other university you may have attended before transferring to Cornell. Transcripts can be sent directly to Christine Potter, 140 Roberts Hall.
Copy of Current Passport (should be valid for 6 months past anticipated return date)