International at Reed

How to Become an Exchange Student at Reed

Reed has exchange relationships with the following universities:

  • American University of Cairo
  • American University of Beirut
  • Bogazici University
  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Howard University
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Sciences Po University Lille
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Lille 3
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Rennes 2
  • University of Sussex
  • University of Tübingen

If you are a student at one of these universities, you should contact the International Office at your university to discuss participation in an exchange semester or year at Reed College. Upon approval or nomination from your International Office, you can submit the application for consideration by Reed.

**If you do not attend one of the partner institutions listed, you should contact Virginia Groves-Katz in the Office of Admissions to inquire about attending Reed as either a degree candidate or visiting student.

Reed Experience for Exchange Students 

Three former exchange students answered questions about their experiences at Reed.

Why did you choose to study at Reed?

I wanted an experience incredibly different to my home University of 15,000 students, to be part of a small, rigorously academic liberal arts community as a person rather than a number! The culture of Reed as an incredibly liberal space was also a huge factor. As was having the opportunity to live in the incredible city of Portland!” - Student from the University of East Anglia in the U.K.

Among the institutions my home university has partnerships with, Reed College directly stood out from other options. Reed being in Oregon, although incident and unrelated to the content of the class I attended, greatly motivated my choice. To be based in Portland offered nice travel perspectives from central Oregon, to California and Canada.” 
- Student from the University of Lille 3 in France

There is a mandatory year abroad included in my 5-year program. I chose to come to Reed because I wanted to research gender and feminist studies (which aren’t really popular in France or even in Europe). Reed was a great place to do so. I also wanted to experience living and studying on an American campus in small liberal arts college, where life pretty much is all about academics and good books and good discussions. I had a feeling it would be a good environment for me to be in.” - Student from Sciences Po University Lille in France

What surprised you the most about Reed?

How much happens outside of the classrooms - conversations and debates spill out of seminars, it was not uncommon to overhear intense chats about identity politics on a Saturday night!” - Student from the University of East Anglia in the U.K. 

The involvement of most students into their studies is impressive. The participation of students in class shows that a lot of people take intellectual matters seriously. The relationship with the teachers was a great surprise for me as well: we call them by their first name.” - Student from the University of Lille 3 in France

I guess everything I expected to be good felt even better than I thought it would be. I loved living and studying at Reed for a full year, experiencing finals weeks and Renn Fayre and such a great student and staff community. I wasn’t surprised by anything, I would say, but was so happy to see that everything I had been told about the school was true and even more. The international students services took great care of me and organized plenty of great activities.” - Student from Sciences Po University Lille in France

What were the most beneficial and the most challenging aspects about academic life at Reed?

Academically I elasticated more in one year than possibly the whole time at my home university. Reed shaped me into a critical thinker and constantly challenged me to reassess my opinions and ideas.” - Student from the University of East Anglia in the U.K.

The amount of work one has to provide for each class is big, and I can say I’ve actually learnt how to work at Reed. I came back home with an increased capacity for work and a real intellectual project and ambition.” - Student from the University of Lille 3 in France

I got to read and write exclusively in English (a bit of German too, since I took an advanced German class during the first semester), which was new for me. I enjoyed having many readings and discussions in class instead of many boring lectures like I used to have in France.” - Student from Sciences Po University Lille in France

What was your niche at Reed and how did you find it (ie: Interests you pursued on campus or in Portland)?

I discovered hiking! Being a city in the mountains, Portland and the surrounding area had the most breathtaking landscape too enticing to be ignored. On campus I very much found a nest in the Creative Writing department, there was always readings to be organized or attended from visiting writers, weekly literary salons to go to and an incredible series of creative writing courses to take and be inspired by some of the most incredible professors!” - Student from the University of East Anglia in the U.K.

As the other international students are whom you meet first when you get to Reed, I made friends with people from all over the world and we spent most of the year together.” - Student from the University of Lille 3 in France

I wanted to know more about the feminist and the vegan communities in Portland and at Reed. Their thinking is really developed and smart and kind and awesome, especially at Reed!” - Student from Sciences Po University Lille in France 

What were the highlights of your experience at Reed?

Renn Fayre of course!” - Student from the University of East Anglia in the U.K.

I was part of the host family program, but far from having meetings only once in awhile with my ‘host dad,’ we really became friends. I live memorable moments with him and this really participates into the positive retrospect I have on my year at Reed.” - Student from the University of Lille 3 in France

I got a great job at the library. I had great classes in which I learned so many new things about feminism, (eventually) saving the environment, culture, food! All of which I approached in my papers from a feminist perspective, and was allowed and encouraged to do so!. I got to improve both how I think and how I write, in French and in English. I made great friends (international students team, yay!) and found a great partner.” - Student from Sciences Po University Lille in France

What advice would you give to future exchange students at Reed?

Not to be overwhelmed by the workload - my classes surprisingly were a lot less heavy than other Reedies seemed to be, so there is definitely a way to negotiate study with experiencing Portland and the glorious Pacific Northwest! It is definitely worthwhile making yourself leave the campus bubble (even when it will feel like home), there are so many beautiful coffee shops to study in and so much to explore in Oregon!” - Student from the University of East Anglia in the U.K.

 Ask for a host-family, do the Gray Fund trips, allow yourself to travel around whenever you can, make friends from everywhere so you have to visit them all in the upcoming years.” - Student from the University of Lille 3 in France

Be prepared for the work. It’s hard. Really hard, so hard sometimes you forget to sleep. But it’s worth it, for Reedies will remind you to do the important things, take a walk in the canyon, eat vegan food carts’ food from downtown, and have a nice chat all afternoon at Tea Chai Té (the best place to study for midterms and write finals papers).” - Student from Sciences Po University Lille in France