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Office of the Academic Vice President

Students Exchange Policy

Policy type:



Contact Office:

External Academic Relations Office (EAR)


Oversight Executive:

Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs (AAVP)


Applies to:

Bethlehem University graduate and undergraduate students



Purpose of the Policy:

Bethlehem University (BU) signs or has agreements with international universities and other institutions that involve the exchange of students for short and/or long periods of time. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the selection of BU students is done in a fair and transparent manner and to give guidelines for handling such exchanges with regards to logistics, course equivalencies, selection of students, and financial matters.


Policy Summary:

BU is committed to offering its students opportunities to diversify their educational experience. In the context of the present political and economic conditions and the restrictions on travel imposed by the Israeli military, the University believes that student exchanges with international universities/institutions offer an excellent opportunity for our students to enhance their university education by meeting people from other countries, traveling to different parts of the world and discovering new cultures, all this while pursuing their degree at BU.


Exchange Programs covered by this Policy

Short term exchange: is an exchange that does not involve transfer of credits and whose duration does not exceed 10 class days if occurring during a regular semester and require absence from classes.

Long term exchange: is an exchange that is at least one semester/one summer course long and requires the student to attend courses for credit in the host university/institution.


Policy Statement:




For a student to participate in a long-term exchange program the following minimum requirements must be met:

  1. Be enrolled as a full time student at BU.
  2. Have completed at least one year of full time study at BU.
  3. Have a CGPA and MGPA of 2.5 or above, if the CGPA or MGPA falls below 2.5 for the semester preceding the exchange, it may be subject to cancellation.
  4. Must not be on academic probation or pending disciplinary action.
  5. Must not have incomplete grades.
  6. Must be proficient in English or the language of the host university/institution.
  7. Must meet the language requirement of the host university/institution.
  8. Must accept the terms of the exchange as agreed between BU and the host university/institution.
  9. Must complete and sign the "Permission for Leave Form”.  He/She understands and agrees that he/she may not be able to maintain steady progress towards the degree and that graduation may be delayed.
  10. Priority will be given to students who had not participated in a previous exchange program.
  11. Exceptions to any of the above requirements must be approved by the AAVP.


Grades and credits

Transfer of credits and courses taken at host university/institution to the student’s transcript at BU is subject to both the “BU Credit Transfer Criteria” and the following conditions:

  1. The department prepares a list of courses that the student is expected to take in the host university/institution and their equivalent courses at BU.The list can not include any failed course at BU.
  2. The maximum duration of stay at the host university/institution is limited to one year (two semesters summer session not included).
  3. By a prior arrangement with and the approval of the department, the maximum number of credits that can be transferred for each semester of the exchange program must not exceed the number of credits the student’s paradigm requires in that semester (summer session not included).  
  4. A grade of C (70 %) and above must be earned in each of the courses taken.
  5. Students returning to BU must have official transcript stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country from which the transcript originated, and by the Palestinian representative office in that country. Additionally, the transcript has to be stamped by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs before it is taken to the Ministry of Higher Education for final certification.
  6. Exceptions to these conditions have to be approved by the AAVP. 



Financial support

BU cannot provide any funds to cover any exchange other than what is specified in the agreements between BU and the host universities/institutions. Students participating in an exchange program are expected to cover any and all additional expenses.



BU expects that the host university/ institution to be responsible for securing housing for students on exchange programs.


Health insurance

Unless covered by the terms of the exchange, students must provide proof of health insurance coverage for the whole period of the exchange.



In cooperation with the EAR Office, the Chairperson/Dean of Department/Faculty seeking students to engage in an exchange program announces a call for applications to their students. The announcement should specify the eligibility requirements, the conditions of the exchange program, where/how application forms can be obtained, and the deadline for submitting applications.

A selection committee made up from members the department and the Coordinator of EAR, screens the applications for eligibility and if necessary conducts interviews to decide the suitability of the applicants.

The selection committee recommends names of successful applicants to the chair/dean, who contacts these students.

Short-term exchange:

  • The Chairperson/Dean informs the AAVP and Registrar of students chosen for the short-term exchange. If the exchange entails absence from classes the Chairperson/Dean informs the AAVP and the Registrar in writing. 
  • The EAR Office informs the relevant teachers of the dates on which the students will be absent from their classes.

Long-term exchange:

  • The Chairperson/Dean in cooperation with the student’s advisor works out the courses that the student will take in the host university/institution and determines the courses that they are equivalent to at BU. The Dean/Chairperson must secure the approval of the AAVP of these courses and their equivalencies.
  • Students participating in long-term exchanges that will require them to be away for at least one semester have to apply for a “Permission for Leave Form” the University. A letter of endorsement from their Chairperson/Dean as well as the approved list of courses and their equivalencies (“List of Transferable Courses” form) must accompany the  “Permission for Leave Form” application.
  • Upon completing the exchange program, the student must inform the Academic Office in writing at least two weeks before the semester begins about his/her intention to return to BU and to transfer the courses taken at the host university/institution.  

The EAR office in cooperation with the Chairperson/Dean or his/her deputy coordinates with the host university/institution the logistics of the registration, travel, and accommodation of these students.





10.10.1 Next Scheduled review

10.10.2 Approved By

10.10.3 Date of approval

10.10.4  Revisions history


Dr. Irene Hazou, Academic Vice President

Dr. Irene Makhoul/Hazou
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Phone:02-2741241 Ext. 2420

Dr. Muna Matar
Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs
Phone:02-2741241 Ext. 2207

Esperansa Kattan
Ms. Esperansa Kattan

Manager of the Academic Office
Phone:02-2741241 Ext.2232

Ms. May Mubarak
Administrative Assistant 
Phone:02-2741241 Ext. 2420

Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine