International exchanges have become an important and valued feature of university life. Large numbers of students in Europe participate in exchanges through programmes such as ERASMUS, which aims to promote mobility, enhance individual competences and develop understanding. A growing number of students exchange with countries where Europe's so-called 'least widely used and taught' languages are spoken. This paper explores the relationship between exchanges and language learning and reports on the reasons for coming on the exchange and learning Turkish of students on 4-week ERASMUS Intensive Language Courses (EILC) at a university in Turkey. The study discusses the purpose and content of training for exchange students and the need to manage participants' aspirations, recognise learning achievements and integrate with international standards.