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The 7 Coolest UG Exchange Destinations

Date:15 October 2019
Japanese Culture Lessons 101
Japanese Culture Lessons 101

Every year hundreds of UG students venture out into the world to spend a semester studying abroad. Having been on exchange myself, I can say that spending some time studying and living in a different country is one of the best experiences one can have as a student. Not only because you get to know a different language or city, but because you get the opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture and make great friends along the way. Depending on the Faculty you are studying at, there are various destinations you can choose from. In this blog, I have collected some of the coolest exchange destinations offered at different faculties, so that you can start thinking about where to go for your exchange! 

1. Bangalore, India (Law)

I must admit that I am a bit biased on this one, as this was the place I chose to go to for my exchange. In India, I attended the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), which is known to be one of the best law schools in the country. During my 6 months in India, I also had the opportunity to travel through the country and explore beaches, cities, deserts and mountains. I learned how to ride a scooter through the notorious Indian traffic, tasted nearly everything the Indian cuisine has to offer (careful, delhi belly is the real thing!) and realised that I definitely still have to keep looking for my spiritual side. However, the best part by far was the people I met and the friends I made. My review? Ten out of ten, would definitely recommend. 

The face I make after 14 hours on an Indian bus to see the Taj Mahal
The face I make after 14 hours on an Indian bus to see the Taj Mahal

2. Bergen, Norway (BSS) 

If you are not too keen on going to warm and sunny places but still want to enjoy breathtaking nature, then Bergen should be your first choice. Located on the southern tip of Norway, Bergen does not get as cold as the rest of the country during winters, which is good news if you are not a penguin. Before going to Norway you should make sure to check your budget though because Norway is a lot of things, but it ain’t cheap. 

3. Mexico City, Mexico (Arts) 

Ahhh Mexico. Home of the taco, tequila and tamales. This is a place I would love to go to, not just for the food and sun, but because of the amazing cultural history and free Spanish crash course. With its metropolitan area containing 21 million inhabitants, you will probably not run out of things to do here. And in case you get tired of the big city life, you can always go to one of the beaches by the coast (Cancún baby!) or check out some ancient Mayan and Aztek sites! 

Mexican street food vendors be like
Mexican street food vendors be like

4. Budapest, Hungary (Philosophy) 

Budapest is arguably the most beautiful city in Eastern Europe. But before I have a hoard of Czech’s, Romanians and Slovaks proving me wrong, hear me out first. Budapest used to be a cultural hotspot in the Austro-Hungarian empire and therefore has a lot of amazing architecture to offer, most of which survived the communist regime. Besides this, Budapest is a party hotspot known for its low prices and also the home of some amazing thermal baths. I’ve been to Budapest at least five times already, and I’d go again tomorrow if you gave me a chance. 

5. Coimbra, Portugal (Religious Studies)

In case you have never heard about Coimbra before, let me sum it up for you. Coimbra is a bustling student city located a  couple of hours north of Lisbon. Called ‘a cidade dos estudantes’ (the city of the students) by locals, it is home to one of the oldest, and most international university in the country. Coimbra has a lot of history to offer and being a city dominated by students it is also very cheap. Not convinced yet? A very good friend of mine went there for his exchange and absolutely loved it!

6. Tokyo, Japan (Science and Engineering) 

Not into tacos and tequila? Well, how does sushi and sake sound? If you want to experience a different culture while living in the most technologically advanced country in the world, then Japan might be the place for you. Although you may have to pick up a few words of Japanese to find your way around, the hospitality of the Japanese, as well as the beautiful nature, are absolutely worth the effort. Having travelled to Japan a few years back, I can promise you that this is one of the most exciting and fascinating places I have ever visited.  


7. Johannesburg, South Africa (FEB)

If you have ever dreamed of going to South Africa and happen to study at the Faculty of Economics and Business, here’s your chance! Johannesburg is one of the newest (and coolest) additions to the FEB’s exchange destinations. Although some South Africans have adopted a slightly quirky interpretation of the Dutch language, this country sounds nothing like the Netherlands. Besides going to safaris, surfing or just hanging out by the beach, there are a lot of things to discover and do down there. Oh yeah, and of course you could try to do some studying as well while you are there.  

Do you already know where you want to go on exchange? Or do you have any questions regarding going on exchange? Let us know in the comments below! 

About the author

Hey there! My name is Asmo and I’m a Finnish/German student exploring life in the Netherlands. Besides being into photography and politics, I am currently doing my Master's degree in European Law. Oh, and I write blogs as well.


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