University of Bristol Exchange

Language Requirement: None
Academic Standing by Program Start: Junior or above
Location: Europe, United Kingdom, England
GPA: 3.25
Program Overview

In this exchange program, you will enroll directly in classes at the University of Bristol, a prestigious research university in southwest England. Bristol is best known for its cutting-edge research center, but also offers many courses in the humanities, social sciences, and certain professional areas. You may take courses across disciplinary lines. The British system stresses in-depth study of a few subjects and provides a level of specialization that is not generally part of the American undergraduate experience. Learning in this system is self-motivated, with instructors serving more as guides than as teachers, in the traditional sense.  Bristol is a top research university associated with 13 Nobel Laureates, including its current Chancellor Sir Paul Nurse, a leading geneticist.  

Through Bristol Futures, Bristol provides extra opportunities to break down the barriers between disciplines, and between the university and the outside world, so that students have the chance to discover and explore new ideas that challenge their way of thinking. Bristol Futures is built around three interdisciplinary pathways, chosen to reflect the values of the University and the city of Bristol: Innovation and Enterprise, Global Citizenship, and Sustainable Futures.  
Bristol’s International Team organizes a program of welcome events and practical support for international students. Exchange students have access to a health center, academic advising, disabilities services, and multi-faith chaplaincy. The Student Counselling Service provides a safe place for you to talk through any problems. It offers a wide range of services, including individual counselling and therapeutic group sessions, a well-stocked resource library and workshops covering topics such as how to cope with stress. The University of Bristol Students' Union (Bristol SU) has more than 60 sports clubs, ranging from cycling to ultimate Frisbee and American football to skydiving.   The UK has laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination and is a marriage equality country. 

Bristol is the United Kingdom’s eighth most populous city (approximately 450,000) and the most populated city in South West England. Located about two hours by train west of London, Bristol is one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the South of England, hosting a wide variety of visual arts, theatre, specialty shopping and live music. It is a thriving, modern city that takes pride in its long history. Bristol is also a vantage point for seeing many of England’s famous sights. Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Stonehenge, Bath, and the southwest coast of England are all within a day’s travel 
Exchange students at Bristol are eligible for the Butex Scholarship.

** GEO programs are under continuous review during this period of global uncertainty and limited travel. All program details outlined on this page, including program cost, are subject to change if global or location-specific conditions require modifications to program structure.

Academic Details

The academic year at Bristol is organized in two semesters. The first semester runs from mid-September to mid-January and the second semester from late January to late May. Bristol encourages students to plan and manage their own work and study. This emphasis on independent study is excellent preparation for the self-motivation and discipline needed for graduate study. You may find that you have fewer hours of teaching than you expected. Use your time to study in the library or work through your course reading list.

Units are the equivalent to classes at the UO and courses are equivalent to UO majors.  Bristol allows you to take units from across the University.  Teaching methods include a combination of lecture, tutorials and smaller group seminars. Seminars are small group classes lead by a professor to discuss parts of the course in detail. They complement the lectures and help to monitor your progress. Science-based courses will include laboratory sessions and project groups. It is important to establish a good working routine so that you use time effectively. 
Bristol uses a variety of assessment methods, including examinations, continuous assessment or submission of coursework, including long essays or dissertations to supplement examinations. Coursework, tutorials and seminars are used to monitor your progress and to assess the level of competence in a subject. You are awarded credit points for successfully completing a unit. You will normally need to pass all forms of assessment in order to gain credits for a unit. 
Bristol credits are converted to the European Credit Transfer Scheme (ECTS) in your transcript: 

  • 60 ECTS credits represent a full year of study (equivalent to 120 University of Bristol credits) 
  • 30 ECTS credits represent one semester (equivalent to 60 University of Bristol credits) 

A typical course load is three units (courses) per semester, seven to eight credits each. You will be assigned an advisor at Bristol.

Note: You should consult with your UO academic advisor before submitting your course enrollment to the University of Bristol. 

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

Housing Description

Bristol offers residence halls equipped with Internet access and fully furnished study bedrooms, single or shared. Some halls are catered (meal services in a dining hall) while others are self-catered (includes a shared kitchen in each flat). The housing contract generally covers only the academic periods. You may stay in your room during vacation periods for an additional charge. Arrangements are made through the University’s Accommodations Office. You are guaranteed an offer of university accommodation if you are a new exchange student and apply for housing by the posted deadlines.

Note: If you are arranging your own housing, you are advised to arrive in Bristol early.

Additional requirements
  • Completed WR 121 and 122 or 123 with grades of B- or higher
  • Math/Science students: completed 200-level Math/Science sequences
Application process

Applying for an exchange program involves 2 steps. First, you will complete the GEO application process and interview. Selection for this program is based on a review of your online written application, transcripts, recommendations, and completion of the interview process. After your initial application is complete, GEO will review it and select successful candidates for nomination to Bristol. Nominations are made in March for the fall semester and in September for the spring semester of the following year. 

Next, you will need to complete a secondary application for the host university. After being nominated by GEO, students will receive instructions regarding the secondary exchange application for Bristol. You will be asked to print the complete application and get a signature from the program coordinator at GEO before submitting a PDF copy of it to Bristol. You will also provide documents such as your transcript, copy of passport, study plan, curriculum Vitae, and a cover letter outlining your study plan at Bristol. 

Bristol makes the final decision regarding acceptance into the program. The acceptance letter will also include information about registering for classes. 

Dates and Deadlines
Term Year Deadline Arrival Date Departure Date
Fall/Winter Semester 2022-23 02/01/2022 Late September Late January
Academic Year 2022-23 02/01/2022 Late September Early June
Spring Semester 2023 02/01/2022 Late January Early June

Travel Advisories

For current health, safety, and travel advisory information, search the US Department of State country webpage.