About ESE

Equal Student Exchange (ESE) is a volunteer-based student network which provides free information about student exchange and study overseas opportunities.

Focusing on providing information to students from developing countries, ESE acknowledges the financial and organisational obstacles these students must often come to face. It is the belief of ESE that both universities and students can benefit through international engagement. A more culturally diverse range of international students will contribute to the continued exchange of knowledge, ideas and culture between different universities and countries.

The volunteers of ESE recognize the importance of establishing enduring educational, cultural and professional links through student exchange.

Follow this link for more in-depth information About Us.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

PEOI Online Education and Volunteering Opportunities

Professional Education, Testing and Certification Organisation International (PEOI)
This month, Equal Student Exchange (ESE) shares information about another organisation with an equity-based vision. PEOI is an organisation which seeks to provide equity-based opportunities and access to education for people from developing contexts and particularly those who would otherwise experience difficulty in gaining access to education, testing and certification.

The article is relevant for two main target audiences - 
  1. Those who would like to gain access to these online courses and programs of study through PEOI. education
  2. Those who would like to contribute to PEOI as online volunteers. PEOI is one of the many organisations promoted by UN Online Volunteering. 


PEOI, provides complete university level courses online free of charge in twelve languages to absolutely anyone in the world. PEOI's goal is to help disadvantaged students and aspiring professional to improve their lives and help their country.

PEOI began in 2001. PEOI it is not [currently] a university. However, PEOI designs its courses so that they can be taken as part of a program of studies with a professor at an accredited institution. PEOI listens carefully to prospective employers in order to offer courses that are authoritative, complete, up-to-date and relevant to professionals. PEOI courses can be thought of as dynamic textbooks that can be modified by each professor. Course content improvements are invited by everyone. PEOI would like to become a central location where reliable, high quality and cutting edge learning is available for all professions at little or no cost.
The creation of PEOI has been part of a wider movement to prove that professional education can be made available at little or not cost to all that need it.

Read more About PEOI here.

PEOI's courses are first of all complete high quality open textbooks. After studying a chapter, students can take tests, submit assignments and participate in class discussions. Students enrolled in a completed course with average grade of 70/100 or better on all tests in the course are awarded a course completion certificate.

PEOI has over 500 courses under construction, but only two dozen completed courses.

In addition to professional programs of study, PEOI is developing language courses since fluency in some key language may be crucial to secure employment. Language programs currently developed are in
- English as a second language

PEOI was created back in 2001 and is run by over 5000 volunteers. These volunteers believe that it is time for open post secondary education be made available to all free of charge, and that the Internet is making this possible.

Developing course requires either writing content in teams or importing it from open education sources. Developing or translating course content is high demanding, requires having completed university studies and preferably having teaching experience. Volunteers must also have advanced computer skills because all work is done online in PEOI's course development platform.
PEOI has been developing its courses for over ten years, but this is only the beginning: there is still an enormous amount of work, and a wide range of tasks must be completed (from research of references on the internet to illustrations, writing test questions, cases, assignments, class discussions and answering student questions). 

If you are interested in being a part of this equity-based effort you can read more through the following links

PEOI's goal is to serve millions and millions of students who do not have access to higher education because of cost or location. We believe that the internet make it possible to deliver free university education to all. But this can only happen if volunteers like you join in PEOI's course development.

Check out PEOI on facebook 
And visit their website here

Australia Awards for the Africa Region

Maasai Mara - Kenya - Wikimedia Commons Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

This month, Equal Student Exchange (ESE) shares information about study and scholarship opportunities in Australia for students coming from the region of Africa.

The particular program is called the Australia Awards Africahttp://www.australiaawardsafrica.org/

The Australia Awards aim to develop the capacity and leadership skills of Africans to enable them to contribute effectively to development in their home country. 

The Australia Awards, are a part of the Australian Government’s development assistance program for Africa. The awards provide access to postgraduate education, training and professional development opportunities for suitably qualified Africans from specific eligible countries such as Kenya.

On their return to the workplace, Australia Awards Alumni are expected to contribute actively to development in their home countries.

  • Masters level degreesAustralian Awards Scholarships, to undertake higher degree Masters studies in Australia
  • Targeted professional development fellowships - Australia Awards - Africa Fellowships, to undertake short-term, targeted professional training courses, in Australia and/or in Africa, in a range of development-focused sectors.

Applying for an Australian AID Scholarship

The Australia Awards Scholarships are prestigious international  awards offered by the Australian Government to the next generation of global leaders for development. Through study and research, recipients develop the skills and knowledge to drive change and help build enduring people-to-people links 
with Australia. 

In terms of broad criteria for selection, applicants will be assessed for their professional and personal qualities, academic competence and, most importantly, their potential to impact on development challenges in Africa. Applications are strongly encouraged from women and people with disability.

Wikimedia Commons - AusAID awardees from Africa meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu - DFAT Australia

From the Australia Awards Handbook for 2014 - p.17

To be eligible to receive an Australia Awards Scholarship, applicants must: 
  1. be a minimum of 18 years of age at the time of commencing the 
  2. be a citizen of a participating country (as listed on the Australia Awards website) and be residing in and applying for the scholarship from their country of citizenship 
  3. not be married, engaged to, or a de facto of a person who holds, or is eligible to hold, Australian or New Zealand citizenship or permanent residency, at any time during the application, selection or mobilisation phases (note: residents of Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau with New Zealand citizenship are eligible but must apply for a DFAT (subclass 576) visa 
  4. not be current serving military personnel 
  5. not be a citizen of Australia, hold permanent residency in Australia or be applying for a visa to live in Australia permanently 
  6. not be applying for another long-term Australia Award unless they have resided outside of Australia for twice the length of the total time that they were in Australia (for example, a previous awardee who has been on an Australia Awards Scholarship in Australia for four years will not be eligible to apply for another Australia Awards Scholarship until they have been home for eight years) 
  7. have satisfied any specific criteria established by the Program Area or the government of the applicant’s country of citizenship 
  8. be able to satisfy the admission requirements of the institution at which the award is to be undertaken (this may mean that Program Areas will need to withdraw an award offer if the recipient cannot satisfy the institution’s admission requirements. This may not be known until Program Areas request a placement at selected institutions) 
  9. be able to satisfy all requirements of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to hold a DFAT (subclass 576) visa. This may mean that the Program Area will need to withdraw an award offer if the recipient cannot satisfy the visa requirements. 
  10. Applicants must inform the Program Area of any connection or relationship to staff employed at Program Areas or with managing contractors so that the application may be properly and transparently managed. 

Scholarship recipients will generally receive the following: 
  • return air travel 
  • a one off establishment allowance on arrival 
  • full tuition fees 
  • contribution to living expenses 
  • introductory academic program 
  • Overseas Student Health Cover for the duration of the 
  • Scholarship 
  • supplementary academic support and 
  • fieldwork allowance (for research and masters by course work which has a research component where fieldwork is a compulsory component.).
Wikimedia Commons - Brisbane Town Hall - Lacrimosus

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Where can I get more information about the Australia Awards program?
  2. I need financial support towards my primary or secondary studies. Can I apply for a Scholarship?
  3. Can I apply for a scholarship for a Bachelor degree under Australia Awards?
  4. How can I apply for an Award?
  5. When can I apply?
  6. If my country is not on the list of eligible countries, can I apply for a scholarship?
  7. I already have an offer for admission to an Australian university for a Masters degree. Can I now apply for a scholarship?
  8. What is the best way for me to find the most appropriate course for me in Australia?
  9. What costs are covered by Australia Awards?
  10. Can I take my family to Australia if I receive an Australia Award?
  11. Am I covered by health insurance while I am in Australia?
  12. How do I prepare for going to Australia if I receive a Long Term Award?
  13. What support can I expect from my chosen university when I reach Australia?
  14. What is the policy of Australia Awards towards encouraging participation by women in the program?
  15. Is there any special support available to assist women who receive an award?
  16. What support does Australia Awards provide for people with disability to assist their participation in the program?
  17. Abbreviations and Acronyms
  18. Can I apply for the awards if I am HIV positive?
Wikimedia Commons - Melbourne at night - Photo Attribution Dillif

Subscribe to future articles:
If you are interested in searching for other scholarships, study opportunities and student experiences in other countries, don’t forget to join and follow our ESE blog.

You can also find more information on our facebook community page. We hope that the information here can benefit students from developing countries.

Opportunities for Africans (OFA)

This month, Equal Student Exchange (ESE) shares information about study and scholarship opportunities in Australia for students coming from the region of Africa.

About OFA
About 65% of Africa’s population is below the age of 35 years,
Over 35% are between the ages of 15 and 35 years.
Africa is the most youth full continent.
By 2020, it is projected that out of 4 people, 3 will be on average 20 years old.
About 10 million young African youth arrive each year on the labor market (ILO 2008).
six of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are in sub-Saharan Africa.

Opportunities for Africans (OFA) is an online information portal that seeks to connect Africans to the latest life changing opportunities.

The Opportunities for Africans portal hosts life changing opportunities such as scholarships, fellowships, internships, conferences, jobs, competitions, Volunteering and other life changing Opportunities for Africans.

The OFA portal was created with the aim of helping Africans achieve their potential by seizing the latest opportunities around the Globe.

Subscribe to future articles:
If you are interested in searching for other scholarships, study opportunities and student experiences in other countries, don’t forget to join and follow our ESE blog.

You can also find more information on our facebook community page. We hope that the information here can benefit students from developing countries.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

UNESCO ESD Youth Conference

The UNESCO ESD Youth Conference
 Application deadline 1 June
Program Flyer and terms of reference

The ESD Conference makes a call to youth leaders around the world committed to building a better future through education:

• Are you between 18 and 35 years old?

• Are you engaged in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as an educator, trainer, member of a non-governmental organization, private sector professional, policy maker, researcher, or in any other capacity?

• Do you want to meet and collaborate with other ESD youth leaders from around the world?

• Do you have success stories or innovative initiatives to share, and wish to contribute to the global conversation on ESD?

• Do you want to add your voice to youth recommendations to be presented at the World Conference on ESD?

If you answer YES to these questions, you may be interested in taking part in the UNESCO ESD Youth Conference in Japan!

When is the application deadline?
Please read the information on the following pages and send in your application by 1 June 2014 to join. 

What kind of application process is involved?

The application form is composed of 6 main questions and an optional video submission. Along with the usual required generic data.

How to apply?
Applicants must submit the following documents to be considered:

1) Application form 
Please complete the Application Form in English. The document file must be saved in Microsoft Word format with filename “LAST NAME_First Name_Country Name.docx” (in this format).

Download Application Form at:

2) Recommendation letter
: A letter from a head or officer of an ESD/youth-related organization or institution stating the applicant’s engagement and relevant competency in ESD. The letter must be written in  English and include contact information of the signatory (in any format, no longer than one page).

Please submit your application by email to esd2014@goipeace.or.jp
with the subject line “LAST NAME_First Name_Country Name.docx” (in this format).

Note: Please send only one email with both documents attached. Do not send your application more than once.

What is the UNESCO ESD Youth Conference about?
The UNESCO ESD Youth Conference will bring together 50 young ESD leaders from around the world in Okayama City, Japan on 7 November 2014
As a Youth Conference participant you will have an opportunity to exchange your ideas and experiences with peers. You will be able to discuss innovative approaches to ESD and ways to promote young people’s contribution and further involvement in the global ESD movement. And you will help elaborate commitments to future ESD actions. 

Conference participants will also be involved in developing recommendations for the UNESCO World Conference on ESD, which will take place in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan from 10-12 November 2014. All Youth Conference participants will be invited to take part in the World Conference.

The Youth Conference is being organized by UNESCO, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT), the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, the City of Okayama and The Goi Peace Foundation.

Please see the Application Guidelines for the UNESCO ESD Youth Conference for further information, including timelines and selection criteria. 

If you have questions about the application procedure, please contact:

If you are interested in searching for other scholarships, study opportunities and student experiences in other countries, don’t forget to join and follow our ESE blog.
You can also find more information on our facebook community page. We hope that the information here can benefit students from developing countries.

UN Conference on Small Island Developing States

2014 | The International Year of Small Island Developing States
UN Conference on Small Island Developing States

Apia Samoa 1-4 September | 2014

2014 is the International Year of Small Island Developing States. The symbolic appreciation celebrates the contributions that this group of countries has made to the world. Small island developing states are home to vibrant and distinct cultures, diversity and heritage.

The event also acknowledges that the people of Small Island Developing States are also at the forefront of efforts to addressing pressing global issues through ingenuity, innovation and use of traditional knowledge.

The challenges facing the small island developing States are challenges that confront us all, and they are determined to work with all countries to find solutions that will ensure a brighter future for generations to come.

The Year will also help raise awareness of the UN Conference on Small Island Developing States, which will be held in September in Apia, Samoa, and will focus on building partnerships for sustainable development.

The Conference will be held from 1 to 4 September 2014 in Apia, Samoa, to be preceded by activities related to the conference from 28 to 30 August 2014, also in Apia, Samoa. It will focus the world’s attention on a group of countries that remain a special case for sustainable development in view of their unique and particular vulnerabilities.

The overarching theme of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States is "The sustainable development of small island developing States through genuine and durable partnerships".

The Conference will seek to achieve the following objectives:

  1. assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation;
  1. seek a renewed political commitment by focusing on practical and pragmatic actions for further implementation;
  1. identify new and emerging challenges and opportunities for the sustainable development of SIDS and means of addressing them; and
  1. identify priorities for the sustainable development of SIDS to be considered in the elaboration of the post-2015 UN development agenda.

The United Nations General Assembly resolution called for "a concise, focused, forward-looking and action-oriented political document.".

Youth Forum:

Stay tuned for further information about the Youth Forum at the SIDS Conference on the 28th of August. At this stage the committee are still working on the conference. You can find some information about the Youth Forum for the SIDs Conference through this link. 

At this stage the Conference and committee are relatively closed and difficult to reach. Perhaps due to a heavy workload they do not have a general inquiries or ‘contact us’ section on their website. Equal Student Exchange (ESE) has made efforts to contact them to ask about Youth participation in the youth forum. Stay tuned to this space for more information as it comes in. 

For more information visit:

General information about SIDS

The year of Small Island Developing States

A United Nations Sustainable Development Journal - SIDS

If you are interested in searching for other scholarships, study opportunities and student experiences in other countries, don’t forget to join and follow our ESE blog.
You can also find more information on our facebook community page. We hope that the information here can benefit students from developing countries.  

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Fullbright - Foreign Student Programs

As part of our series of articles on Fullbright Programs such as the Fullbright English Teaching Program for Indonesian ESL teachers, we would also like to provide more general information for students from other developing countries.

This general information will soon be followed up with an article detailing the experiences of Fullbright alumni to provide insights into the program application process and the study experience itself. 

Below we provide additional information about the Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) - for a range of different countries. 

All Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) program applicants must be nominated by a U.S. Embassy or a Fulbright Commission; independent applicants do not qualify.  You are eligible to participate in the Fulbright FLTA program if you:
  • Reside in the country of nomination at the time of application
  • Possess the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor's degree with a good academic record; Master's degrees are highly desirable at many institutions
  • Are a young teacher of English or training to become a teacher of English, or are a young educator in a related field; prior teaching experience is preferred
  • Have a sincere interest in teaching your native language and culture to students in the U.S.
  • Are fluent in English, as demonstrated by a recent score of no less than 550 (Paper Based TOEFL), 79-80 (Internet Based TOEFL - IBT), or 6.0 (Overall Score International English Language Testing System - IELTS); test scores can be submitted to IIE by indicating the institutional code 2326 on the day of the test
  • Are able to work creatively and be self-reliant while being willing to work cooperatively as part of a team with faculty, staff and students
  • Are flexible and have a willingness to learn
  • Are adaptable to living in rural or urban areas
  • Clearly demonstrate maturity, dependability, integrity and professionalism
  • Do not hold U.S. citizenship; dual citizens are not eligible for the program participation 

Applying and Program Design
If selected for participation in the Fulbright FLTA Program, you will have the opportunity to spend one academic year sharing your culture and language with American students by supporting an existing language program or helping to establish a new one on a U.S. university or college campus. FLTA duties vary widely from institution to institution – some FLTAs are expected to teach language courses on their own with minimal in-class supervision, while others may be much more involved in extracurricular support of established language programs such as leading conversation groups, participating in community events or lectures, working in language laboratories, or contributing to language materials development.
In addition to duties as a teaching assistant, all FLTAs are required to participate in coursework. This provides an opportunity to increase your understanding of topics related to your personal and professional goals, increase your English proficiency, as well as allowing you the opportunity to benefit from the cultural exchange inherent in sharing ideas with American students within a classroom setting.
The Fulbright FLTA grant is one academic year (approximately 9-10 month) non-renewable opportunity. The program is non-degree; if you are interested in a degree-seeking program, you are encouraged to explore the Fulbright Foreign Student Program.
As a Fulbright FLTA, you would be able to engage in a meaningful cultural exchange opportunity on a U.S. university or college campus, while at the same time deepening your pedagogical skills, increasing your English proficiency, and promoting mutual understanding through engaging with American students and getting involved in local communities. At the conclusion of your program, you will be expected to return to your home community, making an immediate impact by utilizing the skills gained and sharing the experiences gleaned from your time in the U.S.
If you believe that you would be a good fit for the FLTA program, we encourage you to apply here. Prior to making an application, please be sure to notify the Fulbright FLTA Program affiliate in your home country. Here is a list of participating countries, along with contact information.

All the best for ESE followers and applicants... 
For more information about scholarships, study opportunities and student experiences, don’t forget to join and follow our ESE blog through the link below.

About Me

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"Equal Student Exchange" (ESE) - non-profit/grassroots community, is a student network made up of students who want to help make international student exchange a more equal process. We hope to do this by assisting students from developing countries gain access to information and opportunities about studying/vocational experience overseas. Our audience is primarily students who want to study/travel overseas. The information we provide may include advice about: *International Universities, *Costs and fees (travel/living/study), *Procedures for obtaining Visas, *Possible support through scholarships and grants, *General tourism information, *Other study overseas opportunities Programs and conferences overseas. *international conferences Benefits and Opportunities: This is an opportunity to bring local and international students together, make new friends and give students from developing countries the same opportunities that are enjoyed by students from advanced developed countries. The group also encourages international students to contribute back to the university and community which is hosting them.