Frequently Asked Questions for International and Incoming Exchange Students
How many credits are given per course?
A course is normally worth three credits. A three credit course gives 36 contact hours per semester for a duration of 12 weeks. Some courses may be worth 6 credits which give 72 contact hours per semester.
What is a normal course load? How many courses per semester do I need to take?
In general, students take five courses per semester for a total of 15 credits. If you are on exchange at Bishop’s, you are required to be a full-time student. It means that you need to take a minimum of 12 credits per semester (four courses). Unless you have the permission from the Dean, you are not allowed to take more than 18 credits (lab credits not included) per semester.
What is the course numbering system? What do A and B mean after a course code?
A fall semester course bears the letter “a”. A winter course bears the letter “b”. A one semester course that may be given in any semester bears the letter “ab”. A two-semester course bears no letter, and is expected to be completed during the fall and winter semester.
When will I register for courses?
All new exchange and international students will register in person with members of the faculty at the beginning of the semester. Consult the sessional dates.
How is the grading system?
At Bishop’s, your final grades will depend on the projects, oral presentations, midterm exams and papers completed during the semester and on the final exam written at the end of the semester. The grading scale is based on 100.
Passing grade: 50-100%, failing grade: 0-49%
90-100%: Excellent performance
80-89 %: Very good
70-79 %: Good
60-69 %: Satisfactory
50-60 %: Sufficient
0-49 %: Fail
How are the teaching methods?
Interaction and discussions are strongly encouraged between the faculty and the students. Students are expected to take an active part in class and are encouraged to ask questions.
Will Bishop’s University send a transcript to my home institution at the end of the semester?
Provided you signed the document given to you by the International Students Office at the beginning of the semester and that you do not have any outstanding fees (library, residences, etc.) at the end of the semester, a university transcript will be sent directly to your home institution and home address.
How much can I expect to spend during one semester (four months)?
There is an estimation of what your budget per semester could look like on the Fees & Living Expenses web page.
Is it easy for an international or exchange student to find a part-time job?
There are some on-campus positions for international and exchange students. However, in order to be allowed to work, you need a C.A.Q. and a Study Permit (even if you are staying for one semester only). For information about off-campus jobs, go to the Career & Leadership Development department on campus, located in the Student Union Building.
Will I need to open a bank account in Canada?
It is recommended to students who stay for more than one semester since it is less expensive than the withdrawal charges of aMaster Card or a Visa. There are two ATMs on campus from which you can withdraw money at no charge, provided a bank account in a CIBC or Royal Bank branch has been opened.
How do I open a bank account?
To open a bank account, you must first make an appointment. When you go to the bank, you must present two pieces of identification: your Passport with your Study Permit (or your Bishop’s letter of acceptance to confirm you are a student) and another official ID card: your Bishop’s student ID card, your driver’s license, etc. We recommend you ask for a Student Account.
If you choose to go to the Caisse Desjardins, please bring $5.00, which will be your membership share that will entitle you to patronage dividends. Patronage dividends are an amount of money that you receive at the end of the fiscal year. It comes from the caisse’s surplus earnings.
Banks in Lennoxville:
Caisse Desjardins (financial cooperative)
174 Queen Street
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
93 Queen Street,
Royal Bank of Canada
131 Queen Street,
Tel: 24 hours 819-823-4299
Do I need to bring my own bedding if I am going to live in residence on-campus?
You can order your bedding linen kits by contacting Stephanie Forgues at email@example.com.
Where can I go if I need to see a doctor?
There is an on-campus Health Clinic located in the John H. Price Sports & Recreation Centre. A nurse or a doctor are available weekdays. Outside the hours of the clinic on campus, you can go to a walk-in clinic or to the hospital in case of emergency.
When should I book my flight to return home?
You can fly home any day after the last day of exam period.
Look at the sessional dates to find out the last day of exams. The exam schedule is usually posted about 6 weeks prior to the end of each semester. It is possible that students may finish writing exams before the final day of the semester. Note that some students enjoy extending their stay in Canada after the exam period because it is a good opportunity to travel.
How is the weather in Canada? Do I need special clothing?
Canada has 4 different seasons.
|Fall||Sept. to Nov.||Between 20ºC and 5ºC||10ºC|
|Winter||Nov. to March||Between 5ºC and -25ºC||-10ºC|
|Spring||April to June||Between 5ºC and 20ºC||10ºC|
|Summer||June to August||Between 20ºC and 30ºC||25ºC|
We recommend you bring clothing for all seasons. During winter you will need a winter jacket, hat, scarf, gloves and winter boots. Bring warm sweaters as well. Note that all buildings and homes are heated during the winter.
Can I drive in Quebec with the driving license from my home country?
Yes, “temporary residents” (international students) don’t need an international driving permit. However, if your driving license is not in English or in French, it is recommended you apply for an international driving permit prior to leaving your home country.