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Evanston Communication Exchange Program

Welcome to the Northwestern Qatar Communication Exchange Program! 

This competitive program is for eligible Northwestern University in Qatar students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication. During the spring semester of their junior year, selected participants will embark on an enriching journey in the vibrant academic and cultural environment of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. This exchange program extends over two quarters, spanning from January to June, during which time selected students must be enrolled full-time.

Applications are evaluated based on the eligibility and criteria outlined in the Communication Exchange Program Policies and Procedure. Admission to the Communication Exchange Program is highly competitive and depends on the quality of your application. There are no alternates, and final approval and participation is subject to visa requirements in the United States.

Please explore the following sections for comprehensive information on how you can become a part of this remarkable academic adventure.

Download the policies and procedures


To be eligible for the Exchange, the applicant must:

  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 at the time of application.
  • Be a full-time student (taking a minimum of 3 NU-Q classes) at the time of application.
  • Have completed four full-time (fall and spring) semesters at the time of application.
  • Have completed five full-time semesters at the beginning of Communication Exchange.
  • Have earned junior standing (14 units according to NU-Q policy) by the start of Communication Exchange.
  • Have completed all MIT major requirements for the first two years of the degree program prior to participation in Communication Exchange. 

Students are NOT eligible to participate in Communication Exchange if they:

  • Are planning to graduate in the same academic year as participation in Communication Exchange.
  • Are on academic probation or warning.
  • Received an incomplete grade during the term immediately before Communication Exchange or have other unresolved incomplete grades. 
  • Have a registration hold.
  • Have any academic integrity sanctions or pending cases or an active academic integrity sanction such as probation or suspension.
  • Have any non-academic conduct violation or pending cases.
  • Have a financial hold. 

NOTE: Any disciplinary actions, past violations of academic integrity, or other academic standing issues will disqualify a student regardless of his/her other qualifications. If any of these issues arise between acceptance to Communication Exchange and departure to the United States, a student will be removed from the program.


Application Process Opens Summer Break
Application Deadline Second Thursday of Fall Semester
Pre-Departure Sessions Three sessions through Fall Semester
Fly to Chicago Day before the winter classes begin
First day of classes January
Last day of exams June


Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, USA. 


The Communication Exchange application consists of five questions that students should prepare to answer in advance of completing the online application. The answers to each of the following questions must be 250 words or less.

  1. Why do you want to participate in Communication Exchange? Please make clear the reasons you want to participate in this program as they relate to two things: A) your academic plan and goals and B) your career ambitions.

  2. Specify five courses you would like to take and explain how each is connected to your academic plan and the progress you have already made in your coursework. Note: You will take more than five courses. The committee is looking to see if you have done a thorough job of preparing and planning for a productive academic experience.

  3.  Beyond academic and professional interests, explain how and why participating in Communication Exchange will contribute to your personal development. How would Communication Exchange contribute to your personal growth?

  4.  What associations, activities, and experiences do you hope to engage in during your semester on Communication Exchange, if you are selected?

  5.  Describe the personal support network you would rely upon during the Communication Exchange semester, both in terms of family and friends as well as NU-E resources.

In preparing your response to Question 2, please review the Northwestern Undergraduate Catalog. In addition to the catalog, we encourage students to look at Evanston schedules for previous terms available on CAESAR for a clearer picture of courses that have been typically offered. As with all university course catalogues and schedules, all courses are not offered every term or every year. Hence, consulting with your Academic Adviser after this step will clarify what is realistic in planning for coursework during the Communication Exchange period.

The Communication Exchange application opens during Summer Break and closes during the second week of each Fall Semester. When the applications interface opens, a link will be sent by email and the application should be completed and submitted online.

Please note that the application must be completed from start to finish once you begin. It is not possible to save an unfinished form and return to it later. We recommend that students prepare their responses in a separate document ahead of time to enable copy-pasting them into the application form. Do not leave the form open in the browser for several days thinking to come back later. Doing so will prevent accurate submission of the application information. Inaccurate and incomplete applications are removed from the pool of files reviewed by the Communication Exchange Selection Committee.


The Comm Exchange Selection Committee consists of the Director and two faculty members from the Communication Program. Applications are blind reviewed. This means the Committee won’t know who submitted each application. All applications are evaluated equitably. The Committee will select the ten best applications evaluated based on the given criteria/rubric. All the applicants will be notified of the result of their respective application through their university email.
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