Updated: May 5, 2020
A couple of members of the Non-Engineers blog were interested in knowing more about the exchange program at IIM Ahmedabad. This post will briefly introduce it to you.
When can a student go on exchange?
Students at IIM Ahmedabad go on an exchange program in their second year. There are two kinds of programs available - for one term and dual degree program. They go in the fourth or fifth semester depending on the academic calendar of the foreign institute.
Is it compulsory to go on exchange?
No, it is an optional program and only interested students go for it. I didn't opt for it and close to 67% of the 2017-2019 batch didn't go for exchange. So, it's completely up to the students.
Is it paid or free?
The students are required to pay additional fee for the exchange program depending on the VISA fee of the country. For most people the total expenses of going on exchange varied from an additional Rs. 5 Lakhs - Rs. 10 Lakhs depending on where they went and how much they spent on food, travel, etc.
How can one pay for it?
There are two ways - you can either pay for the fee out of your pocket or get the amount adjusted from your education loan. Banks are willing to adjust it or even offer more loan for exchange.
Which all institutes are covered?
There are about 80-100 institutes that are a part of the exchange program at IIM-A. They include names like:
HEC School of Management, France
University of Bocconi, Italy
University of Chicago, USA
Columbia Business School, USA
Schulich School of Business, Canada
China Europe International Business School, China
NUS Business School, Singapore
Australian Graduate School of Management, Australia
University of Capetown, South Africa
For continent-wise list, check out this list - List of Exchange Institutes
How can one select an institute?
Since some institutes are preferred more than others, a ranking system is used. Students are allotted exchange ranks basis their first year performance at IIM-A. The ranks are based on the following components:
Academic Performance - Maximum weightage (more than 65-70%)
Non-Academic Performance - This includes activities like being a member of clubs, being an elected member of SAC, organizer of any event or fest, team member of any inter-IIM sports event, member of a group which had done an FII project, etc.
These are then totaled and students are ranked. The institutes are selected rank-wise, so students need to share their preferences. If the waitlist moves, they get the institute of their choice, else they have to select another one basis their rank.
Who cannot go on exchange?
Any elected member of the student union, a club coordinator and placement cell member cannot go on exchange. If you're a member of a club, you can go. This is only applicable for the heads. Students with more than 6 months of foreign work-ex and students with a foreign internship are also ineligible.
How are marks of those terms adjusted?
The students on exchange are required to appear for exams in the institute they've selected for exchange. The institute is required to certify that the student has cleared all of them. They get standard number of credits.
What do students get out of exchange?
It is a wonderful experience, especially for someone who wants global exposure. Most students go for travel purposes and hence select institutes that don't have attendance requirements. They explore different countries during their visit and only give exams (no need to attend classes). Some students take up institutes only basis their rigorous academic exposure (most institutes in USA).
Should I go for exchange?
If you like to travel, can afford the program and are not worried too much about maintaining your CGPA (to become a topper), then you should go for the exchange program. Most students who are in top 20 didn't go for the program because they wanted to increase their credits and CGPA at IIM Ahmedabad.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other queries.
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