Office of the Vice-Provost, International

Queen's students are drawn from all across Canada and more than 123 countries around the world. International enrolment is approximately 27% at the graduate level and 11% at the undergraduate level.

Queen's encourages and provides support for numerous program initiatives designed to internationalize the curriculum and the learning environment, and places a strong emphasis on providing students with opportunities to gain international experience.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information 

Last updated December 17, 2021 

Queen’s University administrators continue to respond to the impacts of the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19 that can cause acute upper respiratory illness and pneumonia. Protecting the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty, whether on campus in Kingston, at SmithToronto, the Bader International Study Centre (BISC), or elsewhere in the world, are our primary concerns, ​and we are continuously assessing what may be required in response to any spread of the virus.

Please review the dedicated Queen's University Safe Return to Campus for the most up-to-date information from the university.


Latest update 

Friday, December 17, 2021: 
We have provided information below regarding how university-sponsored essential international travel by fully-vaccinated members of the Queen’s community remains permitted, contingent upon registration in the Off Campus Activity Safety Plan and approval by department/unit head.  Please note that Global Affairs Canada continues to advise against non-essential international travel. See below for further details.

Latest update 

Friday, December 17, 2021: 
The Government of Canada has reinstated a global travel advisory, effective 15 December 2021: Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada due to the risk of the Omicron variant that causes COVID-19. The travel advisory will be in place for four weeks and will then be reviewed. In accordance with this travel advisory, university-sponsored non-essential international travel is not recommended at this time. 

Queen’s faculty, staff and students proposing essential international travel must have obtained approval that their intended travel is essential and must be registered in the OCASP online system prior to scheduling any travel.  Travel is considered essential if the person in authority, in conversation with the faculty member, staff and student, deem the benefits to outweigh the potential risks of travel. Reimbursement for university-sponsored international travel is contingent upon prior approval and registration in the OCASP online system before scheduling travel.

Faculty and staff planning university sponsored essential international travel are required to obtain approval from their unit/department head or delegate.  Graduate students planning essential international travel must have approval from their academic supervisors and also from their unit/department chairs/delegate (for example, graduate coordinator) before submitting an OCASP record.  Points of contact in non-departmentalized faculties/schools are as follows:

  • for faculty in non-departmentalized faculties/ schools: Associate Deans Research
  • for staff in non-departmentalized faculties/schools:  the Executive Director/delegate, Dean’s Office (Smith) or Executive Director, Non-credit (Faculty of Education); and,
  • for graduate students in non-departmentalized faculties/schools: the Associate Dean Graduate.  


OCASP International Travel Updates 
  1. All essential international travel to countries with an “Avoid non-essential travel” advisory related strictly to Covid-19 and no additional safety/security factors (e.g. civil unrest, unpredictable security situation etc.) will be classified as low risk (this is consistent with the OCASP process which defines travel to regions with a travel advisory where the plan can be revised to reduce the risk to a manageable level).
  2. All essential international travel to countries with a COVID-19 related “Avoid all travel” advisory WITH additional advisories against non-essential travel related to other factors (e.g. civil unrest, unpredictable security situation etc.) or where the nature of the activity itself involves greater risk (i.e. scuba diving, rock climbing, remote activity, etc.) will be classified as higher risk (this is consistent with the OCASP process which defines travel to regions with a travel advisory to be automatically higher risk).
  3. All undergraduate students travelling internationally are automatically classified as higher risk (this is consistent with the current OCASP process).
  4. All international travellers must complete either the high-risk or low risk path in the OCASP web-based planning tool.  Further instructions on which path to complete are provided within the OCASP tool.
  5. Re-imbursement for the costs of university-sponsored essential international travel is contingent upon OCASP registration and approval before beginning travel.  The Government of Canada continues to advise against all but essential travel and OCASP is a way to mitigate the risk of travel deemed essential through planning and registration of travel plans. This requirement will be in place for as long as the Global Travel Advisories are in place.
  6. University-sponsored international travellers must have received two Covid-19 vaccinations before travel. It is strongly recommended that the third dose is received before travel.
  7. International Offices in Faculties/Schools are advising students registered for outbound and inbound international exchanges for Winter 2022 on their options.  Contingent upon robust risk mitigation strategies in place and other required elements, international exchanges scheduled for Winter 2022 may proceed.  Faculty International Offices will advise students who wish to withdraw from Winter 2022 exchange to ensure on-campus registration for Winter 2022.

A check list will be embedded in the OCASP registration to ensure that required elements are in place before travel (for example, consultation with unit/department head and full vaccination).  Resources on the OCASP registration process can be found here under “Resources” – see Reference Sheets for Low Risk and High Risk Activities and the Example of a Comprehensive Safety Planning Record PDFs. Please direct any questions about the OCASP process to 

Insurance and Eligible Expenses

Review your current travel and health insurance coverage to ascertain limitations or restrictions, such as time frame, maximum reimbursements, or exclusions, for travel during the global travel advisory.  At present, supplementary COVID-19 insurance is considered by Queen’s University and most funding bodies to be an eligible expense since it could reduce the cost of unanticipated travel disruptions and provide additional medical coverage for charges ineligible under ordinary insurance packages, but it is important to check the rules of your specific funding body.  Queen’s University’s insurance provider offers a COVID-related supplementary insurance package.  Purchasing supplementary insurance before travel will ensure coverage of Covid-19 related costs, including mandatory quarantine accommodation.  

Contact Financial Services if you have travelled without supplementary insurance and if you have incurred quarantine costs for university-sponsored travel to determine if these costs will be considered an eligible expense.  

International Visitors

If you are expecting to host an international visitor early in Winter 2022, please contact for advice on the timing of the visit, given current vaccination requirements for access to campus and public health restrictions on size of gatherings and other factors.  

Please direct any questions about the OCASP process to and questions about any other aspect of international travel to

Queen's University has received approval for its COVID-19 readiness plan. As of October 20, 2020, designated learning institutions (DLIs) within Canada are approved to host international students who are not currently in Canada and who have, or have been approved for, a study permit and are travelling to Canada for a non-discretionary or non-optional purpose. If you are an international Queen's student who is not currently in Canada and you plan to travel to Canada to continue your studies, please visit the Queen's University International Centre for more information.

If you are planning to travel to Canada, it is vital to follow the advice for returning travellers provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada and your local public health authority to minimize the risk of transmission. 

If you are a Queen's student who intends to travel to Canada, please consult the Queen's University International Centre website for more information on planning your travel to ensure compliance with federal, provincial and local public health guidelines.

You can reduce the risk of spreading infection by following prevention measures when returning to Canada. Queen’s Safe Return to Campus website provides constantly-updated information, including information on how to protect yourself and others on and around the campus community. We strongly encourage you to regularly monitor the news and public health agency information for the country, province, city etc. to which you will be returning. 

International at Queen's

  • The university has a robust program of international exchange, involving bilateral agreements with more than 150 universities in 40 countries, and also has access to a further 60 universities through consortial exchanges.
  • Queen's operates an international campus, the Bader International Study Centre (BISC), at Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, U.K., that offers high-quality programs in humanities, social sciences, business and law. Two special features are small class size and a rich program of field studies that are integral to every course. The BISC accepts students from universities around the world.
  • The Queen's University International Centre (QUIC) provides many programs and services to support the international and domestic student population. QUIC also provides resources for students who are seeking to deepen their international engagement by participating in activities on campus that expose them to a global perspective.

Dr. Sandra den Otter joined the research portfolio as the Associate Vice-Principal (Research) in August 2018. This was expanded to include the interim position of Associate Vice-Principal (International) for a one-year term, effective July 1, 2019. Sandra began her term as Vice-Provost, International, on July 1, 2020.

Dr. den Otter, Department of History at Queen’s University, researches and teaches in the area of late 18th, 19th and 20th century Britain, colonialism and post-colonialism. She has a particular expertise in the history of colonial legal cultures, ideas of social welfare and humanitarianism, and the history of the social sciences. For five years, she served as the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at Queen’s, with broad responsibilities and success in the support of graduate student research achievement and new program development.

As part of the Research portfolio, Dr. den Otter will advance the University’s research mission, working with the faculties, faculty members and the broader research community to enhance capacity for research and innovation across a wide variety of disciplines.

The International portfolio oversees the Queen’s University Comprehensive International Plan and supports strategic international relationships, institutional coordination, communication and collaboration among partners, faculties, schools and units to assist students, faculty members and staff across campus involved in international learning, research and planning.

Comprehensive International Plan

Queen's Comprehensive International Plan (QUCIP) guides the university’s international activities and initiatives, decision-making, and resource allocation so that they reflect Queen's standards of excellence and are in alignment with the goals and objectives of Queen's Strategic Framework.

The QUCIP, which guides Queen’s international planning until 2019, is built on four themes:

  • International Research Engagement
  • International Mobility
  • International Enrolment Management
  • International at Home

 Download the Comprehensive International Plan (1 MB)

Learn more about the QUCIP...