International Programs Office

International Programs Office

International Programs Office

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Eligibility and Application for Independent Study Abroad (International Letter of Permission)

October 5 Update: Winter 2021 ILOP

Students residing outside of Canada may apply for an ILOP to take in-person courses at a university in the country in which they normally reside and in which they are currently located. Students should be sure to register as a visiting student at the host institution to avoid jeopardising their status at Queen’s.

Please read all the information below on this page, including the FAQs in this section (click the + button above) for eligibility requirements and application information.

How will you determine the country in which a student normally resides?

We will use your current address on SOLUS. You can update your address by following these instructions: http://www.queensu.ca/registrar/solus-address-change.

Can I take Queen’s online courses at the same time as I am taking courses approved on my ILOP?

Yes, but be cautious of the workload. Taking more than the recommended number of courses does not constitute sufficient grounds to appeal to drop retroactively a Queen’s course after the deadline to drop.

In response to COVID-19 barriers to onsite learning, Queen’s is offering a comprehensive list of online courses to ensure full participation for students living outside Canada and you are strongly encouraged to complete as much of your usual course load as possible through Queen’s online.

How many courses may I take on an ILOP?

"In any Fall-Winter period, full-time students may be registered in no more than 36.0 units, and no more than 18.0 units in either of the Fall or Winter Terms, including any courses being taken elsewhere on a Letter of Permission.” Please refer to Academic Regulation 3: Number of Units in a Term and Academic Year for full details. Please be aware of the relevant academic regulations and any impact on your degree progression.

What courses may I take?

We strongly encourage you to take Queen’s courses online where possible. If you do elect to apply for an ILOP we encourage you to take elective courses only. You should only choose core and/or option courses for degree plans following consultation with the relevant department(s). It is your responsibility to do this.

To assist you in selecting courses, we encourage you to look at this list of courses (PDF, 100KB) that have previously been transferred for credit. Please note that if a course has been previously transferred for credit at Queen's this does not mean your ILOP is automatically approved.

Some institutions and courses are not eligible for transfer credit. Check this list (PDF, 222KB) to make sure you do not apply to an ineligible course.

When can I apply for an ILOP for the Winter?

The application form is live.

What happens if none of the courses on my ILOP are approved for transfer credit?

You may reapply for another ILOP. You will be required to pay a separate fee for each ILOP application you submit.

How long will it take to process my ILOP application?

An International Letter of Permission (ILOP) may take 4 weeks or longer to process. Application timelines may vary from one student to another depending, for example, on the number of courses applied for and whether courses have previously been assessed for transfer credit.

We strongly recommend you apply for an ILOP and receive a response prior to applying to the host institution. Every effort is made to process ILOPs to allow time for you to apply to the host institution and before courses begin. However, we may not be able to process your ILOP before your host institution's application date, especially if the application is made very close to the application deadline. If you do not receive approval to transfer study abroad credit before enrolling in/paying for a course, this is done at your own risk.

Owing to the volume of applications we are unable to respond to individual queries about processing times. Please note the office is not open and staff are working remotely.

Do I need to obtain a certain grade at the host university to transfer credit?

Yes. The Faculty of Arts and Science requires students to achieve a passing final grade equivalent to at least C at Queen’s (minimum grade of 63 on percentage-based scale). If you are uncertain, please contact ipo@queensu.ca for further information.

Are the grades obtained in courses taken elsewhere included in my Queen’s Cumulative GPA?

No. Transfer credits are recorded on your Queen’s transcript with a notation of “TR” and, in most cases, these credits can count towards your degree requirements.

Do I need to complete OCASP?

If you are taking courses on an ILOP in the country in which you normally reside and in which you are currently located, you will not be required to complete OCASP. Your name will be passed on to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety for record-keeping purposes and you may be contacted in the event of an emergency in your country of residency.

The issuance of an ILOP is a guarantee of credit transfer and is not an endorsement of travel between or within countries.

To whom will I pay tuition?

You will pay all relevant fees to the host institution and not to Queen’s University.

Will I be eligible for funding from Queen’s while pursuing an ILOP?

Students will not be eligible for Queen's bursaries or scholarships. Please contact the Student Awards Office for more information.

July 23 Update: Winter 2021 ILOP

Winter ILOP application opens October 1, 2020. Applications submitted before then will not be processed before October 1.

July 20 Update: Fall 2020 ILOP

Students residing outside of Canada may apply for an ILOP to take in-person courses at a university in the country in which they normally reside and in which they are currently located. Students should be sure to register as a visiting student at the host institution to avoid jeopardising their status at Queen’s.

Please read all the information below on this page, including the FAQs in this section (click the + button above) for eligibility requirements and application information.

How will you determine the country in which a student normally resides?

We will use your current address on SOLUS. You can update your address by following these instructions: http://www.queensu.ca/registrar/solus-address-change.

Can I take Queen’s online courses at the same time as I am taking courses approved on my ILOP?

Yes, but be cautious of the workload. Taking more than the recommended number of courses does not constitute sufficient grounds to appeal to drop retroactively a Queen’s course after the deadline to drop.

In response to COVID-19 barriers to onsite learning, Queen’s is offering a comprehensive list of online courses to ensure full participation for students living outside Canada and you are strongly encouraged to complete as much of your usual course load as possible through Queen’s online.

How many courses may I take on an ILOP?

"In any Fall-Winter period, full-time students may be registered in no more than 36.0 units, and no more than 18.0 units in either of the Fall or Winter Terms, including any courses being taken elsewhere on a Letter of Permission.” Please refer to Academic Regulation 3: Number of Units in a Term and Academic Year for full details. Please be aware of the relevant academic regulations and any impact on your degree progression.

What courses may I take?

We strongly encourage you to take Queen’s courses online where possible. If you do elect to apply for an ILOP we encourage you to take elective courses only. You should only choose core and/or option courses for degree plans following consultation with the relevant department(s). It is your responsibility to do this.

To assist you in selecting courses, we encourage you to look at this list of courses (PDF, 100KB) that have previously been transferred for credit. Please note that if a course has been previously transferred for credit at Queen's this does not mean your ILOP is automatically approved.

Some institutions and courses are not eligible for transfer credit. Check this list (PDF, 222KB) to make sure you do not apply to an ineligible course.

When can I apply for an ILOP for the Fall?

The application form is live.

What happens if none of the courses on my ILOP are approved for transfer credit?

You may reapply for another ILOP. You will be required to pay a separate fee for each ILOP application you submit.

How long will it take to process my ILOP application?

An International Letter of Permission (ILOP) may take 4 weeks or longer to process. Application timelines may vary from one student to another depending, for example, on the number of courses applied for and whether courses have previously been assessed for transfer credit.

We strongly recommend you apply for an ILOP and receive a response prior to applying to the host institution. Every effort is made to process ILOPs to allow time for you to apply to the host institution and before courses begin. However, we may not be able to process your ILOP before your host institution's application date, especially if the application is made very close to the application deadline. If you do not receive approval to transfer study abroad credit before enrolling in/paying for a course, this is done at your own risk.

Owing to the volume of applications we are unable to respond to individual queries about processing times. Please note the office is not open and staff are working remotely.

Do I need to obtain a certain grade at the host university to transfer credit?

Yes. The Faculty of Arts and Science requires students to achieve a passing final grade equivalent to at least C at Queen’s (minimum grade of 63 on percentage-based scale). If you are uncertain, please contact ipo@queensu.ca for further information.

Are the grades obtained in courses taken elsewhere included in my Queen’s Cumulative GPA?

No. Transfer credits are recorded on your Queen’s transcript with a notation of “TR” and, in most cases, these credits can count towards your degree requirements.

Do I need to complete OCASP?

If you are taking courses on an ILOP in the country in which you normally reside and in which you are currently located, you will not be required to complete OCASP. Your name will be passed on to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety for record-keeping purposes and you may be contacted in the event of an emergency in your country of residency.

The issuance of an ILOP is a guarantee of credit transfer and is not an endorsement of travel between or within countries.

To whom will I pay tuition?

You will pay all relevant fees to the host institution and not to Queen’s University.

Will I be eligible for funding from Queen’s while pursuing an ILOP?

Students will not be eligible for Queen's bursaries or scholarships. Please contact the Student Awards Office for more information.

 

Eligibility

Any student who is in good academic standing (i.e., a cumulative GPA of 1.6 (unless specified elsewhere)) may participate in study abroad. Please see the criteria below for further details.

Important Additional Criteria and Information

To study abroad outside of the Arts and Science Exchange Program you must be successful in your application for an International Letter of Permission (ILOP), and apply successfully for admission to the host university. An ILOP is prior confirmation that a course you intend to take at a university outside of Canada is acceptable for Queen's transfer credit. Tuition fees are payable directly to that institution. Click the + button above for more information.

  • An ILOP is required by Faculty of Arts and Science academic regulations 14 - 14.8 for any undergraduate Arts and Science student studying abroad at another institution. Please ensure you read these regulations.
  • A non-refundable application fee of $60 must be submitted for each ILOP. If a student requests replacement or additional courses, a new ILOP application and application fee of $60 must be submitted.
  • Any amendments or requests for substitute courses must be submitted as a new ILOP by the deadline stated.
  • An International Letter of Permission (ILOP) may take 4 weeks or longer to process.
  • All ILOPs will be emailed to students once processed.
  • Students in first year may apply for an ILOP if the average of their mid-year grades is at least 60 per cent and if they have passed a majority of courses. A conditional ILOP would be issued pending receipt of final grades.  
  • If you wish to take your 3rd or 4th year of an Honours program away on an ILOP, you must obtain written permission from your department(s) of concentration and the Associate Dean (Studies). You will need to provide a statement, outlining the reasons why you wish to study abroad for your 3rd or 4th year. View the appeals process here.
  • Students who are studying at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC), or a Queen's departmental study abroad program which offers Queen's credits are NOT required to obtain an ILOP.

Read these FAQs and pay the $60 fee on the Arts and Science website before submitting your application

Some courses are not eligible for transfer credit. Check this list to make sure you do not apply for a course that will be denied.

Application

1. Find a Program

Decide where and when you would like to study. Search the website of the university you wish to attend and gather specific information about the availability of suitable courses and programs offered.

Study abroad programs facilitated by the International Programs Office requiring an ILOP are:

  • Matariki Indigenous Student Mobility Program (if requested)
  • Semester in Shanghai
  • KGU Cross-Cultural College
  • OUI Summer Programs

Some institutions are not eligible for transfer credit. Check this list to make sure you do not apply to an ineligible program.

Once you have found a university of interest, determine the application deadlines and procedures for applying as a visiting student and whether an International Letter of Permission (ILOP) is required.

An International Letter of Permission (ILOP) allows you to study abroad with the assurance that you will be able to transfer your credits back to Queen's. It is required by Faculty of Arts and Science regulations for any undergraduate Arts and Science student studying abroad at another institution. We strongly recommend you apply for an ILOP and receive a response prior to applying to the host institution. Every effort is made to process ILOPs before courses begin and to allow time for you to apply. However, meeting external deadlines is not the IPO's responsibility and we may not be able to process your ILOP before your host institution's application date. If you do not receive approval to transfer study abroad credit before enrolling in/paying for a course, this is done at your own risk. At the discretion of the IPO, retroactive ILOP submissions may be rejected.

If requesting replacement or additional courses, you must submit a new ILOP application and application fee of $60.

Apply Now

4. Apply to the Host University or Program
  • It is the student’s responsibility to apply for admission to the host university.
  • Students participating in an independent study abroad activity must register at the host university as a visiting student rather than as a student on a degree program. Students who register on a degree program will jeopardize their registration status at Queen’s University.
  • The student must complete and submit all documentation required by the host university, directly to the host university, by its stated deadlines.
  • Tuition and ancillary fees are to be paid by the student to the host university, in accordance with the host university’s requirements.
  • Students may be required to pay additional fees, such as mandatory health insurance, activity fees, etc., to the host university.
  • Application to the host university may in some cases come before applying for an ILOP. Students must determine application deadlines and requirements prior to applying. It is not the responsibility of the International Programs Office to determine this.
5. Before Departure

Safety and Travel

Note: OCASP is not required for online ILOP

  1. Independent study abroad falls under Queen’s University’s Off-Campus Activity Safety Policy (OCASP) (http://www.safety.queensu.ca/ocasp). As such, students must complete the mandatory OCASP Safety Planning Record (SPR) process prior to departing for their studies abroad. Failure to complete a Safety Planning Record may result in their International Letter of Permission being revoked and transfer credits not being granted.

  2. In the event that Global Affairs Canada (https://travel.gc.ca) issues a travel warning advising against travel to the location or region of the host university following the issuance of the ILOP by Queen’s, but prior to departure, the ILOP will be automatically rescinded. In this circumstance, to seek an exception, the student must apply in writing, giving reasons for the request and documenting how the hazards identified in the Global Affairs Canada warning will be mitigated. The ILOP will not be reinstated unless the student is able to demonstrate to the Health and Safety Specialist (OCASP) that the hazards identified in the Global Affairs Canada warning can be mitigated appropriately.

  3. In the event that Global Affairs Canada issues a travel warning advising against travel to or visits within the location or region of the intended host university after the student’s departure, the student is required to revise their OCASP Safety Planning Record (SPR) to reflect the new circumstances, and resubmit it for review and approval. If the new hazards cannot be mitigated appropriately, Queen’s University may require the student to leave the area of risk. Failure to revise and resubmit the SPR and to cooperate with Queen’s University in managing the student’s risk may result in the student not receiving academic credit for the affected term(s) of study.

  4. Students are responsible for obtaining the necessary immigration documentation as required. Please note that it may take a few months to obtain such documentation.

  5. Students are responsible for ensuring that appropriate and sufficient health insurance is obtained to cover the period of time while on the study abroad activity and while travelling abroad.

  6. It is the student’s responsibility to decide whether to purchase travel cancellation insurance. Cancellation insurance may provide coverage in the event that travel plans are altered because of circumstances that lead to the issuance of a travel warning by Global Affairs Canada.

Personal Expenses

  1. Students are responsible for all personal expenses, including transportation, medical insurance, food and accommodation. It is the responsibility of the student to secure their own accommodation.

Conduct

  1. Students participating in study abroad activities are bound by the terms of the Queen’s University Student Code of Conduct prior to, during, and following the study period. In the event that the student violates the Student Code of Conduct, permission to participate in the study abroad activity may be revoked.

  2. Students participating in study abroad activities are subject to the rules and regulations of the host university and laws of the host country.