International Programs Office

International Programs Office

International Programs Office

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Preparing to Go

If your application to participate in the Exchange Program is successful, the IPO will send you a nomination letter.

Please read the steps below which explain what you need to do to progress your application. 

1. Confirm Acceptance

​Return all required documents to the IPO to confirm that you wish to accept the nomination. You must do this by the deadline specified. The exchange program is extremely popular and consequently failure to do so will result in 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 of Aberdeen's semester 1 runs September - January.

Winter term exchanges in Japan and Germany typically start in March/April

2. Apply to the Host University

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
3. Plan Academics

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 and 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) for a review of 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, which will be provided to you after you attend your compulsory academic and safety orientation. 
  • If you plan to take courses that fall within different departments, it is important that you meet with the Undergraduate Chairs for those departments.
  • If courses change upon arrival at the host university, it is 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 (e.g. 60 ECTS credits is considered a full course load in most European institutions and is equivalent to 30.0 Queen's units)
  • Students 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, students are encouraged to contact the IPO with any changes, and also their undergraduate chair(s) to ensure that the newly chosen course(s) will transfer over to a Queen's credit.  

Be aware of the credit transfer 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.
  • Students must obtain a final grade equivalent to at least a C grade at Queen's in each course to transfer the credit
  • Students 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
4. Submit Documents to the IPO

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

  • Paper copy of application to host university and supporting documents
  • Accommodation 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, which could in turn lead to problems with acquiring visas etc.

5. Pre-Departure Programing

The programs listed below are mandatory for all outgoing exchange students as they are in place to ensure the safety of students while abroad. It is important to note that the OCASP form is time-consuming and requires a great amount of detail. If students do not research and spend adequate time on this form, it will be rejected and students will be required to do it again. OCASP is a mandatory requirement of the exchange program.

You will be required to partake in the following offered through Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS):

  1. Emergency Support Program and Pre-departure Session
  2. Off-campus Activity Safety Policy (OCASP)

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 Aboriginal Student Centre.

Find your exchange destination on the International SOS portal to get detailed country and city-specific information. Log in using the Queen's membership number found at MyQueensU

Other Considerations

Need to find a subletter?

Students who are going on exchange for one semester and live off campus can choose to sublet their room to an incoming exchange student. For more details on how to submit housing rental listings, please visit the QUIC housing website.