Pre-departure

If your application to participate in the Exchange Program is successful, the IPO will send you an offer package.

Please read the steps below which explain what you need to do to next. 

​Return all required documents to the IPO to confirm that you wish to accept the offer. You must do this by the deadline specified. The exchange program is extremely popular. If you do not submit documents by the deadline, your spot being offered to the next qualified candidate.

Double check your semester dates

Make sure you know when classes start and if there are any mandatory sessions prior to classes. You should also check to see if the semester overlaps with another semester at Queen's. For example the University College Maastricht's semester 1 runs September - January.

The IPO will nominate you to your host university. Following this nomination, you will be prompted at your Queen's email to begin your host university exchange application. Applications may be made online or on paper depending on the institution.​ The specific requirements of the exchange university will be made clear to students by either the IPO and/or the exchange partner directly. 

Most applications have additional requirements which may include the following:

  • Official transcript (Registrar's Office, $15)
  • Reference letter(s) and/or form(s)
  • TOEFL (if English is a second language)
  • Statement of study
  • Photo (additional passport photo may be required)
  • Health certificate
  • Language proficiency
  • Financial disclosure
  • Passport scan

Partner institutions may have different requirements and documents. It is your responsibility to obtain these documents and to send them to the partner. In some instances, the IPO will courier documentation (see Step 3). 

When completing your application, please be sure to:

  1. read the application thoroughly and compile all required supporting documentation
  2. complete the application and ensure that you attach/upload all requested supporting documentation
  3. keep copies of your application and all documents for future reference

Once you have been nominated for exchange and have accepted, you must do some research on the courses that you will be taking at your host university. You must determine whether these credits will be transferrable to Queen's.

Meet with Your Undergraduate Chair

Prior to departing for exchange you are advised to consult with your Undergraduate Chair(s). You should review any courses you intend to complete that will contribute to your plan requirements.

  • Bring descriptions of the courses you want to take during your exchange. Discuss transfer credit details and ensure that you will meet course requirements for admission to Honours and graduation.
  • Please have your Undergraduate Chair complete a Pre-Exchange Transfer Credit Form. This will be provided to you after you attend your compulsory exchange orientation. 
  • If courses change upon arrival at the host university, we strongly recommended that you email or telephone the respective Undergraduate Chair to communicate these changes.

For more information about the transfer credit process upon return to Queen's, visit the Returning from Exchange section.  

Remember you are required to take a full course load while on exchange 

  • At Queen's, a full course load is 15.0 Queen's units per semester or 30.0 units for the year 
  • If you are meeting the course load requirements at the host university, that is considered equivalent to taking a full course load at Queen's. For example 60 ECTS credits is considered a full course load in most European institutions and is equivalent to 30.0 Queen's units.
  • You are encouraged to take elective courses when possible 
  • Transferring interdisciplinary courses can be challenging  
  • Courses are not always guaranteed at the host university. Be prepared to adjust your courses upon arrival. In this scenario, you are encouraged to contact the IPO with any changes, and also your Undergraduate Chair(s) to ensure that the newly chosen course(s) will transfer over to a Queen's credit.

Be aware of the transfer credit process

When the credits are transferred to Queen's, there will be NO numerical values assigned to the grades received on exchange

  • None of the grades received on exchange will count towards your Queen's GPA or appear on your Queen's transcript.
  • You must obtain a final grade equivalent to at least a C grade at Queen's in each course to transfer the credit.
  • You can refer to Regulation 14 of the Arts and Science Calendar for more details.
  • Please review the host university profile for more information on courses that have been taken by Queen's students in the past.
  • Students contemplating graduate studies should be prepared to provide transcripts from the host university that will provide grades achieved.

You may be required to submit the following documents to the IPO:

  • Paper copy of application to host university and supporting documents
  • Accommodation/housing application. Similar to the application to the exchange university, this application will be either in online or paper format. Upon acceptance by the IPO, students are encouraged to start researching the accommodation options at their host university.

You will be given a deadline to return required documents to the office in order for the IPO to courier them to the partner university. Failure to meet this deadline may jeopardize the application process and result in a late acceptance. This in turn can lead to problems with acquiring visas etc.

Safety

You must attend the mandatory safety briefing, and you must register your exchange through OCASP (the Off-Campus Activity Safety Policy). The OCASP form is not complicated but it is comprehensive. You will be required to provide detailed information about your exchange, including a personalised risk management plan. If you do not submit a sufficiently robust plan, or fail to provide other required information, your submission will be rejected for you to complete properly. If you do not submit and have your OCASP completed by the specified deadline the IPO reserves the right to remove you from the exchange program.

As part of the OCASP process you will be required to complete the online Predeparture Orientation (PDO). The PDO offers information on travel logistics, cross-cultural adjustment, health insurance, the Queen’s Emergency Support Program and more.

Academic Orientation

You are required to attend a mandatory exchange orientation. At this session the International Programs Office will review academic planning, transfer credit instructions, and discuss academic adjustment. We will also discuss your host university application and exchange timeline.

Attendance at this orientation is mandatory for your continuation in the exchange program.

Exchange Connect

You are encouraged but not required to attend Exchange Connect. This is a social event where we will connect you with other student travelling to your host country and/or students currently on exchange at Queen's from your host country. 

Cultural Programming

You may also wish to take advantage of other programming offered, such as the Intercultural Awareness Certificate which is offered by the Queen's University International Centre (QUIC) and the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre.

Exchange Timeline

The timings listed below are approximate, and may be different for some students. Please remember, these timings are specific to the Queen's part of your exchange. Your host university will contribute to your overall timeline after you submit your application. 

Fall Exchange

  • February: Check passport for expiry or order passport
  • February to March: Receive offer package via email
  • March: Attend orientation and social event
  • April to May: Prepare your paperwork:
    1. Complete host university application
    2. Register for courses at host university
    3. Apply for housing at host university
    4. Research visa requirements
    5. Research host university services
  • May and June: 
    1. Receive host university acceptance letter
    2. Finalize travel arrangements after receiving letter (apply visa, book travel, organize health and travel insurance)
  • June: Complete OCASP

Winter Exchange

  • February: Check passport for expiry or order passport
  • August to November: Receive offer package via email
  • September: Attend orientation and social event
  • August to November: Prepare your paperwork:
    1. Complete host university application
    2. Register for courses at host university
    3. Apply for housing at host university
    4. Research visa requirements
    5. Research host university services
  • October: Complete OCASP
  • October to December: 
    1. Receive host university acceptance letter
    2. Finalize travel arrangements after receiving letter (apply visa, book travel, organize health and travel insurance)