Study Abroad

Contact:
Brenda Riley
International Exchange Coordinator
International Exchange Office
Office: Bruce Brown 342
Tel: 902.867.4532
Fax: 902.867.5256
exchange@stfx.ca
briley@stfx.ca

STEPS FOR STUDENTS: EXCHANGE PROCESS

You have decided to apply to participate in an Exchange experience. You should complete the following steps and please take note of the additional information provided.

The process works like this:

SELECTING AN EXCHANGE LOCATION

  1. Based on your program of study at StFX (i.e., BA History, BSc Earth Sciences, BBA, BEd, etc.) search the websites of StFX Exchange Partner universities (hereafter referred to as the “host” institution).

a. Which of our partner institutions offer courses in the subject areas that are compatible with your StFX program of study? Translation: if the potential host institution does not offer a range of courses that you can use toward completing your StFX degree, then you should not plan to study at that institution.
b. Remember that you can look for subjects and courses that are part of your major field, your Honours field, StFX elective credits and StFX pairs.
c. In addition, you should search for subjects that are offered at the host institution, but not offered by StFX. Courses in these subject areas (i.e., Aboriginal or First Nations Studies, Danish language, Irish Studies, Communications, etc.) could be used as elective credits or credits to complete a StFX pair. After evaluation by your majors department Chair and/or your Dean, these courses may also be counted toward your StFX major. By locating courses not offered at StFX, you are taking an opportunity to sample topics that are not normally available to you.
d. WARNING: although tempting, you should avoid “geographic exchanges.” By this I mean that you ‘have always wanted to go to Peru or Australia’ and you see an exchange as a way of fulfilling your dream. If the potential host institution does not offer courses that you can complete in your major field of study, if courses are taught in a language that you do not speak or understand, or if the exchange agreement limits students to very specific subjects, then you should NOT apply to attend that institution. You should look for a viable alternative.
e. IMPORTANT: When does your study period begin and end at the host institution? You need to search your host institution website to learn about start and end dates immediately, if you have not already done so. Is there an orientation for Exchange and other international students? If so, when (dates)? THIS IS IMPORTANT because you will need to consider if you can participate in an exchange where the term dates are different from those at StFX. For example, some host institutions will begin first term classes in August or in October, rather than in September. Further, this means that the end dates for terms may also be earlier or later than what you are accustomed to at StFX.

APPLYING TO StFX FOR APPROVAL TO PARTICPATE IN AN EXCHANGE OPPORTUNITY

  1. Spaces at StFX Exchange Partner institutions are limited by number of students accepted annually and may be limited by program or field of study. This is a competitive process and not everyone who applies will receive approval to participate in an exchange.
  2. Students must have a GPA of 70 percent or higher in order to be considered for an exchange space.
  3. There is an initial cost of $75.00 CAD that will be applied to your StFX account when you submit your application.
                a. $25.00 is not refundable.
                b. $50.00 is refundable if…
                            i. you are approved to participate in an exchange but you decide to withdraw your application. In this situation you must inform the Exchange Coordinator, in writing, that you are withdrawing NO LATER than 60 days before your term was to begin at the host institution.
                            ii. the host institution does not approve your application (usually due to insufficient spaces).

Obtain an application form, and referee forms, from the Exchange Coordinator.
           a. Type or print CLEARLY when completing the application form.
           b. You require a minimum of 2 letters/forms of reference. One MUST BE from a professor whose course you have already completed or are currently completing at StFX. Complete the top, shaded area of the reference form before giving it to a potential referee. Referees may return the form directly to me or give it back to you to be included in your application package.
           c. Please attach all required documents – listed near the bottom of the application form – and sign the bottom of the application form before submitting everything to the Exchange Coordinator.

StFX DECLARATION OF MAJOR

All students applying for an exchange space MUST obtain a Declaration of Major form from the Deans Office. Complete the form, have it signed by the Chair of your Majors Department and submit it to your Dean. If you require assistance please contact a StFX Academic Student Advisor, the Chair of your Majors Department and/or a designated faculty member from your Majors Department.

NOTE: You Declaration of Major form must be submitted to the Deans Office before your Dean will grant approval for you to participate in an exchange.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

  1. Your application will be reviewed by the Exchange Coordinator. The Coordinator will be looking at your GPA, at the content of your statement of interest and reference forms and/or letters, and at the host institution(s) that you have selected. The latter to assess an initial “match” between your program of study at StFX and the subjects offered by the host institution(s).
  2. Your application is forwarded on to your Dean. The Dean of Arts if you are a BA or BBA student. The Dean of Science if you are a BSc student.
  3. The Dean will review your application, ensuring that you have submitted a Declaration of Major form, and send you a letter (to your StFX PO Box) indicating one of the following:
              a. You are approved to study at the host institution that you selected (your first choice).
              b. You are approved to study at the host institution that you selected (your second choice).
              c. Your application will be reviewed again once grades for the current term have been submitted.
              d. Your application has not been approved “for the following reason...”

YOU HAVE BEEN APPROVED… WHAT THEN?

  1. The StFX Exchange Coordinator will inform your host institution that you have been approved, the duration of time of your exchange and your major subject areas.
  2. You will then complete an application form from the host institution. This is only a formality. Once StFX nominates you for the exchange it is virtually “a done deal.”
               a. Download an application from the host university website, complete and submit as instructed.
               b.If you cannot locate the host university application, or if you have questions regarding the applications, please contact the Exchange Coordinator for assistance.
  3. You will receive a Letter of Acceptance and information about accommodation from the host institution.
  4. Do you have a valid Canadian Passport or a valid Passport from your home country?
              a. If you do not have a Passport please apply for one immediately! You will need this document both for travel and to obtain any required permission(s) to study in the host country.
              b. Canadian Passport applications can be picked up at any Canada Post Office or you can find them on-line at: http://www.ppt.gc.ca/ .
              c. Your Passport must be valid for a period of time that is not less than 6 months after you return from the host country.
  5. IMPORTANT: When does your study period begin and end at the host institution? You need to search your host institution website to learn about start and end dates immediately, if you have not already done so. Is there an orientation for Exchange and other international students? If so, when (dates)?
  6. Now that you know the dates of orientations and when classes begin you can begin searching airfares using a variety of methods, such as:
              a. Travel Cuts [http://www.travelcuts.ca] the Student Travel Service.
              b. On-line airfare purchasing locations (this is not always the cheapest alternative!!).
              c. Contact a travel agent for assistance.
              d. Please ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of the ticket. For example, can you change your return date and, if so, how much will it cost? Is your ticket refundable in case you are injured or are sick and unable to travel on the day indicated (buy cancellation insurance)?
  7. Do you need a Student Visa/Study Permit for travel to the host country?
              a. Go to http://www.embassy-worldwide.com to locate the Embassy, Consular Office or High Commission of the host country in Canada.
              b. There may be several Canadian locations where your host country government maintains offices. Ensure that you search the sites to determine if a specific location processes Study Documents for your area. For example, the Vancouver Office of the Mexican Embassy processes applications from Canadians living in western Canada.
              c. Search the appropriate Embassy or Consulate website to determine if you require a Study Permit or Student Visa or another form of official permission to enter the host country for educational purposes.
              d. Each Embassy or Consular Office will provide details about who needs official documents, who does not, and how to apply for documents.
              e. You will be asked to submit the host institution “Letter of Acceptance” along with other original documents, including your valid passport, when applying for a Student Visa or a Study Permit.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE CANADA….

  1. Do you have information about the courses that you plan to enroll in at the host institution? When are they offered? Are there any time conflicts?
  2. Print a StFX “Letter of Permission” form from the Exchange website or obtain the form from the Exchange Coordinator.
              a. Complete, in type or clear print, your personal information at the top of the page.
              b. Insert the name of the host institution where indicated.
              c. List courses that you plan to complete at the host institution in the appropriate section, indicating credit per course if known. Do not fill in the boxes for “StFX Equivalent.” This is for the Deans Office and the Registrar.
              d. Attach descriptions of each course to this form and submit to Academic Student Advisor in the Deans Office (Main Floor, Nicholson Tower).
    NOTE: Courses MUST BE approved by StFX in order for you to transfer the credits back to your degree program here. You can obtain assistance from the Academic Student Advisor or from your department chair when deciding on courses. Remember, these courses must “fit” your program of study here at StFX. For example, if you are majoring in PSCI, you might not need any courses in Italian language. Can you use French language courses as a pair? Do you need something else to put toward a pair? Have you already completed your pairs?
  3. Health Issues and Vaccinations. Please arrange to visit an International Travel Clinic or Healthcare Professional to determine if you need specific immunizations, etc. at least 3 months before you depart from Canada. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/travel/clinic_e.html
  4. You MUST HAVE Health Insurance that will cover you during your stay in the host country.
              a. Do your parents have Health Insurance beyond routine provincial coverage? If so, they may be able to modify their coverage to include the period of your exchange.
              b. You may need to purchase Health Insurance from a private company, such as Student Guard [www.studentguard.com], or another reputable company that can provide coverage above what your provincial healthcare plan will provide.
              c. Please ensure that repatriation (to your home in Canada), in the case of severe injury or death, are components of the insurance.
  5. Send proof of Health Insurance to the StFX Exchange Coordinator at: (fax) 1 902 867 5256, by mail or scanned and forwarded by e-mail. This MUST be received by StFX BEFORE YOU DEPART for the host country.
  6. Read (understand), sign and return the Exchange Student Waiver form to the Exchange Coordinator. Again, this form must be received by StFX BEFORE YOU DEPART for the host country.
  7. Make arrangements for someone – a parent or sibling – to take your Student Loan forms through the necessary process here at StFX (if applicable).
  8. Once you have received the appropriate documents from the host country embassy or consular office in Canada (if applicable) you can start packing….

REMEMBER:

  • You are responsible to pay for your round trip transportation to and from the host country/host institution.
  • You are responsible to pay for your accommodation, living expenses, etc. while studying at the host institution.
  • You will pay your tuition to StFX and any other academic expenses to the host institution.

WITHIN TWO WEEKS OF ARRIVING IN THE HOST COUNTRY:

  • You should send the completed “Host Institution Contact Form” to the Exchange Coordinator at StFX. This form – found on the StFX exchange website – contains information about where you are staying, your phone number, mailing address, your student ID number from the host institution, etc...

HAVE FUN…

Download the StFX Reference Form from the International Exchange Office website