Exchange Programs: Leaving Western
Frequently Asked Questions
- What can I do during my first and second year to prepare for an exchange?
- I am a first year student, can I apply to go on exchange in my second year?
- Can I go on exchange during my fourth year?
- I am graduate student, am I eligible to go on exchange?
- Do I have to go for the full year?
- Are there exchanges for the summer term?
- Where will I live while on exchange?
- How much does an exchange cost?
- Are there scholarships available for students applying to the exchange program?
- Can I continue to receive my OSAP while on exchange?
- I currently hold a continuing scholarship, would going on exchange affect my eligibility?
- When will I know if I have been selected?
- Can I take classes in English?
- When do classes start?
- Are classes more difficult overseas?
- How many courses do I have to take while on exchange?
- How will my grades be transferred to UWO?
- I submitted an application, what now?
- I was selected to participate on the exchange program, what should I do now?
What can I do during my first and second year to prepare for an exchange?
Attend one of our information sessions and ask returning students about their experiences. You can also research the universities and countries that you are interested in visiting.
I am a first year student, can I apply to go on exchange in my second year?
Yes, you are eligible to apply. We encourage students to apply in second year for an exchange in third year. This enables students to prepare academically for the experience. Also, second year courses may be limited given that most students go on exchange in their third and fourth year.
Can I go on exchange during my fourth year?
Students who participate in an exchange in their final year of study may not graduate until the Fall convocation. Due to timing differences in academic years at universities around the world, your grades may not be available in time to meet published deadlines to graduate. Please note that these circumstances are beyond the control of the International and Exchange Student Centre and The University of Western Ontario, and as such, cannot be held liable for these occurrences. In addition, students applying to a professional school, such as Law, Medicine and Dentistry, after spending their third year abroad should note that a final transcript may not be available in time to meet the application deadline for these programs. The University of Western Ontario cannot be held responsible for these circumstances.
I am graduate student, am I eligible to go on exchange?
Graduate students are eligible to study at some of our partner universities. You will need your supervisor's approval to apply. Please contact the International Exchange Coordinator for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do I have to go for the full year?
No, you can choose to go for one term only. When selecting the term you would like to apply for, please note the start and end dates of the academic year at the host institution.
Are there exchanges for the summer term?
Very few of our partners offer a summer term in their academic year. However, some of them offer summer programs where you can take courses for credits here at UWO. Please visit the following link for more information: http://www.sdc.uwo.ca/int/exchange/index.html?outgoing_destinations.
Where will I live while on exchange?
Most of our exchange students live in on-campus residences at our partner universities. If the host institution does not own residences their International Exchange Office offers assistance in finding off-campus housing to their incoming exchange students.
How much does an exchange cost?
The overall cost of an exchange will vary significantly depending on your spending habits. The good news is that you will pay your tuition to UWO (NO international fees). Exchange participants are responsible for the cost of airfare, travel documents, applicable vaccinations, supplementary health insurance, accommodation, and other incidental expenses. Participants are required to arrange their own travel/immigration documents, plane tickets, health insurance, and vaccinations. Please note that there are scholarships available to exchange students to help cover some of the cost.
Are there scholarships available for students applying to the exchange program?
Yes, there are. For more information please visit: http://www.sdc.uwo.ca/int/exchange/index.html?outgoing_funding
Can I continue to receive my OSAP while on exchange?
Yes, you can continue to receive OSAP while on exchange. However, it is your responsibility to have all documentation ready before your departure. Contact Financial Services for more information. Hala Hussein at email@example.com
I currently hold a continuing scholarship, would going on exchange affect my eligibility?
No, going on exchange does not affect your eligibility.
When will I know if I have been selected?
Evaluations are completed by country , and therefore some students might be contacted before others. However, all students who applied during the first round will be contacted via e-mail by the end of February. Second round applicants will be contacted at the end of May.
Can I take classes in English?
Even if the local language is not English, most of our partner universities offer courses in English. Please check the information provided for each institution: http://www.sdc.uwo.ca/int/exchange/index.html?outgoing_destinations
When do classes start?
Please visit the following link for approximate dates for each institution: http://www.sdc.uwo.ca/int/exchange/index.html?outgoing_destinations
Are classes more difficult overseas?
Part of the exchange experience is learning to adapt to a different academic system. For some this might mean having less class hours and more independent work; more or less structured classes compared to the ones at UWO; fewer but more in-depth class assignments, etc. When asked this question most of our returning students respond "no". We encourage you to seek advice from our returning students on strategies to adapt to a new learning environment.
How many courses do I have to take while on exchange?
While on exchange you will need to be a full-time student. The number of courses you have to take varies depending on the institution you are attending. Each university has a different grading system and therefore you will need to be aware of the overall number of credits you need to take, rather than the amount of courses. The following link provides details on each university , including the number of credits required for full-time students.http://www.sdc.uwo.ca/int/exchange/index.html?outgoing_destinations
How will my grades be transferred to UWO?
As of May 1st 2010, students going on exchange will be assessed using a pass/fail system. This means that on your UWO transcript you will receive either a "pass" or a "fail", rather than a numerical grade. Please note that students applying to other programs (Graduate or Professional) will be requested to provide the transcript from the host university. This transcript will show the actual grade that you received for each course you completed.
I submitted an application, what now?
The committee will begin assessments once the deadline has passed. Your complete application will be assessed based on your academic suitability and ability to be a positive Western ambassador. The committee will select candidates based on the online application, letters of reference and transcript. We will contact you as soon as we have the results of your application (typically by the end of February for first round applicants).
I was selected to participate on the exchange program, what should I do now?
- If you have been accepted to the International Exchange Program you will be asked to confirm your acceptance in writing and pay a $125 Placement Fee.
- You will then be required to complete a Course Approvals Form (available at the International and Exchange Student Centre) and obtain signatures from your department and faculty. This ensures that you will receive Western credits for the courses you take while on exchange. If you do not complete and submit a Course Approvals Form, you will not receive credit for the courses you complete while abroad.
- The International Exchange Program will then ask you to fill out an application form for your host institution, which we will forward to the host institution for final approval. Be advised that approval from the host university can take several weeks. You are not officially accepted until your host university has approved your application and sent you an official offer letter. However, denial by the host university is a rare occurrence.
- Prior to your departure you will be required to attend a pre-departure orientation (typically mid-March). Failure to attend one of the sessions will result in the cancellation of your exchange. It is also your responsibility to conduct research on your own (via the Internet, travel agencies, foreign consulates, etc.) to ensure that you are knowledgeable about your host institution and country.
Last updated: November 7, 2011
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All information disclosed by students to IESC will be kept confidential. It will not be shared with family, university staff, course instructors, or others without written permission and will not become part of academic records.
The International and Exchange Student Centre is experienced in working with diverse populations.