Exchange Manual & FAQ
To be considered for an exchange, students must be enrolled in a full-time degree program, have completed a minimum of 30 credits, as well as have a minimum cumulative average of 70%, and the permission of their Dean. STUDENTS MUST ALSO MAINTAIN A 70% AVERAGE THROUGHOUT THE SEMESTER PRIOR TO LEAVING FOR AN EXCHANGE.
When to go abroad
The best time to participate in an exchange is during the 2nd year of a 3 year program or the 3rd year of a 4 year program.
Where to obtain information
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To attend an information session about exchanges in 2021-2022, please register using the form on the Student exchange and study abroad programs web page.
Formal application should be made to the International Students Office by January 30th for an exchange during the fall or winter semester.
Applying for exchange
Fill out the Bishop’s University International Exchange application form before January 30th (online form will be available no later than December 2020).
To complete this form, you will need to consult the academic calendar of the host institution you wish to attend and submit a preliminary list of full-time courses you would like to take at the host institution. This list of courses will be approved by the Chairperson and Dean of your department in March or April.
After the January 30th deadline
- Wait for an official approval from BU International that you are approved to continue the application process.
- You may now have your course selection approved by your academic program at Bishop’s.
- Complete a Credit Transfer Form (the form will be available here in January)
- Email/bring the Credit Transfer Form along with your list of courses and course descriptions to your program Chairperson.
- Forward the completed Credit Transfer Form to the Dean of your Faculty for approval and signature.
- Scan the completed form which includes a signature from the student, Chairperson and Dean to BU International (email@example.com).
- Wait for the green light from BU International.
- The next step will be completing the application process at your host university. Make sure you are aware of their application deadlines! If you have not yet heard from BU International and the application deadline is less than one week away, please contact BU International!
- Wait patiently until you hear back from your host institution to start preparing for your exchange! You will need formal approval and admission from your host institution first, so do not make any travel plans yet!
What to do once admitted by the host institution
- Apply for a student visa as soon as you receive the original copy of your letter of acceptance and purchase travel/health insurance. Do not wait until the last minute!
- Tuition and student service fees should be paid to the Business Office prior to leaving for an exchange. Deadline: August 15 for the Fall semester and December 15 for the Winter semester.
Other Important Information
- Look for/ apply for scholarships/Travel Bursaries.
- Inform the RAMQ of your study abroad program (for Quebec students only).
- Call a Travel Clinic (Clinique Santé Voyage) to find out if any vaccination is needed.
- Consult the Travel Health page of Public Health Agency of Canada.
- Visit your doctor and get any prescription needed (with generic name of the medicine). * Sometimes, medications available without a prescription in Canada require prescription in other countries.
- Obtain an International Driving Permit (available at any CAA office) if you plan on driving in other countries.
- Apply for a credit card and internet banking.
- Make photocopies/scan of your important documents.
- Obtain International Student Identification Card ISIC, available in a Travelcuts/Voyage Campus agency.
- Obtain a Hostelling International membership (if you plan on staying in Youth Hostels). www.hihostels.com
- Go to the Media Center and watch the pre-departure video entitled “World Within Reach”.
- Obtain information about the host country, cost of living, etc…
Once you are abroad
- If there are any changes to previously chosen & approved courses, then an additional Letter of Permission is required. Please follow up by faxing the Records Office (819-822-9616); include a letter requesting permission to take new course(s); you must also include course name(s), number(s) & description(s).
- Inform the Bishop’s University Admissions Office of your date of return to B.U.
- Upon completion of courses, ask host institution to send an academic transcript to the Records Office at Bishop’s University.
- Notify the International Students Office at the host institution should you experience any serious culture shock; they will ensure that you receive the proper counselling.
- Please remember to contact the Canadian Embassy should there be an emergency.
- Send us any good photos you may have taken while abroad; Bishop’s can always use them in brochures.
A student on a recognized Bishop’s Exchange must complete a 30 credit (or equivalent, determined by the Divisional Dean) course load at the exchange institution with a first class average for awards under $3000 or with an average equivalent to 85% for awards of $3000 or more. Please speak to your Dean prior to leaving for an exchange if you are a scholarship recipient.
- Loans and bursaries and University scholarships are tenable during an exchange providing that students do not take an academic semester off prior to leaving.
- Travel grants through Bishop’s University as well as the Provincial Government of Quebec are available to students. Please inquire through the International Office.
Upon return to Bishop’s
- Official marks sent to us from the host institution which you’ve attended, will not be transferred onto the Bishop’s transcript and will hence not be counted towards your cumulative average. A credit will be given for each course you have successfully providing it has been approved by the Chairperson and Dean prior to leaving for the exchange.
- Submit summary and questionnaire to the International Students Office.
For complete up-to-date information on currencies, see XE Currency Converter.
Residences, home stay programs as well as off campus housing are available to students.
Contact us as soon as possible should you decide to cancel your plans to study abroad. This may free a place for another student on a waiting list at the host institution.
Please keep in touch!
FAQ for Bishop’s students going on an international exchange
What is the procedure if I add, drop or change a course while I am abroad?
If you need to make changes to previously selected courses, you have to get the permission of your departmental chairperson. If you drop a course, make sure you maintain a full-time status (a minimum a 12 Bishop’s credits). Before adding a course, send the course name and description to the Records Office at firstname.lastname@example.org / fax: 819-822-9616. The Records Office will send all relevant documents to the departmental chairperson then Dean for approval.
When should I buy my airline ticket?
Students should only purchase their airline ticket once they have received the original copy of the acceptance letter from the host institution.
Can I work while I am abroad?
Some countries will allow you to work part time with your student visa. Please contact the consulate of the host country for more information. Visit the Global Affairs Canada website.
What is the best way to make international phone calls while abroad?
The least expensive way to make international phone calls is probably to use Skype, provided you have access to an Internet connection. You can also buy prepaid phone cards in the host country.
Which health insurance should I buy?
All students participating in an exchange are required to have health insurance. Unless your host institution requires that you purchase their health insurance, you can contact various companies. The Travelcuts agency offers special rates for students.
When you shop for travel insurance, make sure they offer a 24h/7 emergency phone number and decide if you want cancellation and personal effects insurance.
Do I need to be vaccinated before I leave?
You may require immunizations, depending on your travel destination and the length of your stay, it may also depend on whether your routine immunizations are up-to-date. To get more information, visit the Immunization and vaccines section of the Government of Canada’s Website.
You may also visit a travel clinic to make sure you receive the appropriate immunization for the countries you plan to visit.
Do I bring travellers cheques, cash, or a credit or ATM card?
Depending on where you are going, a combination of cash, traveller’s cheques and cards will give you flexibility. Think about this: cash is convenient and easy to use, but cannot be replaced if stolen. Travellers cheques can be replaced if stolen, but you may pay commission charges and handling fees. Cards usually get the best exchange rates, allow to quickly withdraw money, but you will pay withdrawal charges. However, we highly recommend you obtain a credit card prior to your departure, and it is not a bad idea if you leave with two debit cards, just in case one stops functioning or is rejected by the ATM.
What is the best way to have access to my bank account while I am abroad?
It is recommended you subscribe to internet banking before you leave, so you have access to all your transactions. If you choose to open a bank account in the host country, you might want to consider the fees of an international bank transfer versus the withdrawal charges from your debit card. You should contact your bank for more information.
Are there any scholarships or bursaries I can apply for?
Please consult the Scholarships and Travel Bursaries section.
Can I study at any university in the world?
Students may only participate in an exchange at a Bishop’s University partner institution. Please consult the Partner Institutions section.
How many semesters can I spend abroad?
Students may complete a maximum of 30 Bishop’s credits at a host institution. You usually complete 15 Bishop’s credits per semester for a maximum two semesters abroad.
Can I complete a practicum with the exchange program?
No, the agreements are for a “study semester”.