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 an international student in Canada, you have the obligation to be registered full time, which means that you need to be registered to a minimum of 12 credits if you are an undergraduate student and 9 credits if you are a graduate student.

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.

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.

As an example, for undergraduate students:

A passing grade is between 50% and 100%, and a failing grade is between 0% and 49%.

90-100%: Excellent performance
80-89 %: Very good
70-79 %: Good
60-69 %: Satisfactory
50-60 %: Sufficient
0-49 %: Fail

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
Sherbrooke, QC
J1M 1J9
Tel: 819-566-2515

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
93 Queen Street,
Sherbrooke, QC
J1M 1J5
Tel: 819-566-7833

Royal Bank of Canada
131 Queen Street,
Sherbrooke, QC
J1M 1J7
Tel: 24 hours 819-823-4299

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 an emergency.

How is the weather in Canada? Do I need special clothing?

Canada has 4 different seasons.

Meteorological SeasonsWhenTemperature variation Average
FallSeptember 1 to November 30Between 20ºC and 5ºC10ºC
WinterDecember 1 to February 28 (February 29 in a leap year)Between 5ºC and -25ºC-10ºC
SpringMarch 1 to May 31Between 5ºC and 20ºC10ºC
SummerJune 1 to August 31Between 20ºC and 30ºC25ºC

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.