(to be updated for 2013)
The pre-departure workshop, which you will be required to complete through the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures (formerly known as the DEVS-Fudan Study Abroad Semester in Shanghai) and the International Center prior to the study abroad programme, will provide you with invaluable information regarding foreign travel and preparation. The following information is intended to reinforce keys themes and to emphasize important issues in your pre-departure preparation.
Prior to departure ensure that you hold a valid Canadian passport and/or all necessary documentation required to prove your citizenship. If you are not a Canadian citizen, ensure that you have a valid passport from your country of origin and have valid and current visas required for your re-entry into Canada following the program. Passport applications are available at travel agencies, passport offices, Canadian embassies, consulates, high commissions, and post offices.
Mailing your passport in, even through your local MP, can take up six weeks. If you drop your passport off in person it usually takes 10 business days to be processed and will be mailed back to you, extending the process to 2-3 weeks. Make sure that you apply early enough to deal with any problems that arise. If you are applying for visas, you will need to obtain your passport as soon as possible as you will require your passport to complete the visa application process. For an additional fee the passport office can speed up the processing of your Visa application if needed in a hurry.
Chinese authorities (along with many other nations) require that your passport be valid for at least six months AFTER your departure or you will not be allowed to enter. Some travel insurance plans make provisions for the theft and replacement of travel documentation while others do not. Be sure you are aware of the process to follow if your passport or other important documents are lost or stolen. You should consult
for information regarding obtaining a passport or reporting lost or stolen passports.
Visas are official permission from foreign governments to enter their country for a specified period of time. They outline which activities you are entitled to engage in while visiting such as work or study. Students going to Fudan must apply to the nearest Chinese Consulate for a Student Visa.
Students must submit:
a) standard Visa application form •their enrolment acceptance letter from Fudan
b) Foreign Student Application Form issued by the Chinese Ministry of Education
The admission letters and student visa forms will be sent from Fudan. Students must also enclose their passport (valid for at least 6 months following the student’s scheduled departure from China) and a recent passport-sized photo.
The Chinese Consulate does not accept any direct mail. Applications must be mailed in through a certified travel agency. Most agencies will submit your application for free if you have booked your ticket through them. If you have booked a flight independently you may still submit you application through another agency, though they will generally charge a small fee. Note: not all agencies handle Chinese visas and other agencies may not be willing to guarantee you if you have not booked through them so be sure to check all possible options in advance – Odyssey Travel in Kingston does provide this service. You may also drop off your application in person though you or someone on your behalf must be able to pick it up when ready.
The single-entry visa costs CAD $50. If you are sending your application by mail through a travel agency the fee will be CAD $60 plus courier fees. The consulate redirects all of their mail to CanaSino Travel Services who charge $10 extra for their processing services. Visa processing takes 4 working days though for special cases a rush service can be provided for an additional fee for processing on the same day of application (must be submitted before 11am) or for processing by the second or third day.
Travel to autonomous regions of China such as Hong Kong or Macao is normally considered a SEPARATE entry into China however Canadian passport holders only need a visa (separate entry) if planning to stay in HK or Macao for longer than 90 or 30 days respectively. Therefore a single-entry visa is sufficient for students wishing to do any travel to HK, Macao, or through mainland China. If you wish to visit other countries during your stay in China, contact the Chinese embassy or consulate nearest you to discuss your double/multiple-entry visa possibilities – these will be somewhat limited due to the student status of your visa. For more information go to
Be aware of the restrictions governing your visa. If you involve yourself in activities that are not permitted by your visa you could be fined, deported, or suffer “bureaucratic punishment” as you get shuffled through the bureaucratic process.
Proof of Immunizations
You are required as part of the Fudan study abroad program to ensure that all your immunizations are up to date. It is important to carry documentation of your immunizations with you in case of customs control, medical emergency or public health issues. You can request photocopies of your immunization records from your local health clinic or start a travel immunization record that lists all your immunizations in a passport-sized booklet. The Queen’s student health clinic can provide travel immunization record booklets.
You should carry all contact information and other pertinent documentation relating to your Queen’s student health insurance as well as any other property or health insurance you have purchased with you at all times. You should also leave copies of the details of your coverage plans with your emergency contacts in Canada as well as the Department of Global Development Studies and/or the Queen’s University International Centre. You should provide one or more of your traveling companions with the emergency phone number through which your insurance provider is to be contacted in case of an emergency.
International Student Card (ISIC)
An ISIC card is an invaluable resource for students traveling internationally as it provides you with reduced or free admission to museums, theatres, concerts and historical sites. It can also provide you with discounts at many restaurants, pubs and travel locations. More importantly, ISIC cards enable you to get student discounts on travel costs, especially airfares. Most travel agencies have fairly stable student ticket rates established in contrast to general fares that tend to rapidly increase in price. The difference between a student fare and a general fare can be more than $600! Having a Queen’s student card will not guarantee you these rates as an ISIC card is the only internationally recognized and validated identification of your status as a student. For information on ISIC cards go to
Power of Attorney
Before leaving for China you should be sure to square away all of your accounts. This means arranging for someone to have power of attorney over your affairs to handle any payments or other issues which arise while you are gone. You should arrange for someone to have power of attorney over your bank accounts so that they may pay bills, transfer money to you, or handle any other legal matters which may arise. You should also write a letter to the Queen’s registrar’s office declaring power of attorney over your Queen’s account. That person, having shown their ID, can then pick up any award or overdraft cheques for you and pay any outstanding fees. If you receive OSAP, you will need to download a power of attorney form from their website and deliver this to the Student Awards Office along with a photocopy of the front and back of your student card, Social Insurance Number, and government issued ID.
Credit and Debit
cards Credit and debit cards are rapidly replacing traveler’s cheques as the easiest form of non-cash currency while traveling. Prior to departure inquire with your bank regarding service charges while overseas for both debit purchases and credit cash advances. You must also remember that not all bank machines in China will accept foreign cards and that most overseas bank machines do not recognize PINs longer than four numbers and may not recognize PINs that start with zero. Debit cards that have a PLUS symbol on the back generally work in all international machines but check with your bank to be sure that your debit card will work internationally.
It is no secret that carrying large amounts of cash on you while traveling is a bad idea. It is also wise to purchase a money belt that slips under your clothes for the days you are walking throughout the city. Don’t carry more than you need or anticipate using.