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international programs

International Exchange Student Programs

office of international programs


Boston College offers a wide range of academic and interdisciplinary programs in the arts and sciences, management, education, and nursing.  Qualified students may also apply to take a class at the prestigious Boston College Law School.  Exchange students choose from the regular BC course catalog and take classes alongside their American counterparts.


Established in 1863 as a private, Jesuit university, Boston College is one of the most selective institutions of higher education in the U.S. Known as “The Heights,” the university’s 118-acre main campus has stunning Gothic architecture, a clear view of the Boston skyline, and easy access to the city’s amenities. With approximately 9100 undergraduate and 4900 graduate students, the university exhibits its strong commitment to academic excellence through its various undergraduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Carroll School of Management, the Lynch School of Education, the Connell School of Nursing, as well as its various graduate schools.

See what being an Exchange student at Boston College is all about! Watch this short documentary by Jessie Zinn, a University of Cape Town exchange student from Fall 2014.


Founded in 1630, the city of Boston is a blend of the past, present, and future.  Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century buildings are interspersed among tall, modern structures; the city is surrounded by a corridor of high-technology industries.  Boston boasts the greatest concentration of higher education institutions in the United States, and is a hub for the arts and culture with world-renowned museums and a wide variety of sports, music, and theater.


Each semester, new exchange students attend a mandatory orientation that includes essential information about academics, university policies, important resources, wellness, and emergency procedures.


To help with adjustment to BC student life, exchange students are matched with BC students who have studied in the exchange student’s university or home country.


Boston College offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities, with 34 intramural or club sports, over 150 social and intercultural clubs, as well as volunteer opportunities. The Office of International Programs and Office of International Students and Scholars also host social activities for all exchange and international students and BC mentors. Among these activities include OIP-sponsored walking tours in the fall semester which provide participants with an excellent opportunity to learn more about Boston’s rich culture and history. Exchange students are likewise encouraged to become active in community-based volunteer activities.


Exchange students are encouraged to plan an event that will teach the greater BC community something about their country or culture. Examples might be to teach a game, sport, or dance that is unique to your country, to show a movie that protrays an aspect of your country, demonstrating how to cook a special dish from your country's cuisine, giving a presentation about the politics, history, or music of your region. Of course, there are many other possibilities. Events may be individually or organized by a group. Some of the events that exchange students have organized in the past include: French students organized a crepe party; Dutch students hosted a King's Day celebration; Spanish students taught a session on how to play rugby; an Australian student gave a humorous talk about popular misconceptions about Australians. Students who participated in this program all reported that they had learned a lot about their own country and had fun too.


International exchange student Matthias Bakker,  University of Amsterdam,  pictured with US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, R. Nicholas Burns '78, during a campus visit in April 2007.