1. Apply to Your Host Institution
  2. Develop Your Academic Plan
  3. Obtain Your Passport & Apply for a Student Visa
  4. Attend the Pre-Departure Orientation Session
  5. Final Steps Before You Travel
  6. Arrange to Obtain Your Transcript

Male student standing in front of the Sydney Opera House in Australia during a summer's sunset

Congratulations on your upcoming exchange! Studying on exchange is an enriching, and often life-transforming, experience where learning extends beyond the classroom walls.

In order to prepare you for your upcoming journey, the Exchange Team has put together the following pre-departure checklist. Please note that it is important that you track and meet all responsibilities and deadlines outlined below. Failing to meet pre-departure requirements may result in your removal from the Exchange Program. Your host institution will also provide you with information about your upcoming exchange that may include important pre-arrival instructions. Please continue to check your Carleton email address regularly as you prepare for exchange to ensure you do not miss any correspondence from your Host Institution or from the Carleton University Exchange Team.

If your plans change at any time and you decide that you no longer wish to study abroad, you must notify the Exchange Team (ISSO, 128 UC) of your withdrawal as soon as possible by contacting exchange@carleton.ca. Please include your full name, Carleton ID number, and the name of your host institution.

Apply to Your Host Institution

After you have been accepted to the Exchange Program, the Carleton University Exchange Team will nominate you to a partner institution. Once you have been nominated, you will be required to complete an application to that institution. Check your host institution website for upcoming application deadlines and procedures. Some applications can be completed entirely online by the student. In other cases, you may need to complete a hard-copy application for the host institution.

The timeline to submit your application to the host institution will vary depending on which semester (Fall or Winter) you will be starting your studies. Students beginning their exchange in the Fall term will typically receive application instructions in the spring prior (March/April). Students going on exchange in the Winter term will typically receive application instructions in the late summer or fall before their exchange term. Make sure to check your Carleton email regularly in case of any updates from the Exchange Team or from the partner institution.

Final confirmation of your participation in the Exchange Program is at the discretion of the partner institution. This can take several weeks or months depending on the partner’s internal timelines. We strongly recommend that you do not book your flight until you receive your official letter of acceptance from the host institution. If you wish to book early before receiving your letter in order to take advantage of discounted flights, consider purchasing cancellation insurance (note: always consult with the insurance provider before purchasing flights and insurance to confirm you will be covered for all application contingencies).

Develop Your Academic Plan

Meet With Your Departmental Advisor

We strongly encourage you to meet with your Departmental Advisor to ensure you are fully aware of which courses you require for your program of study both now and after you return from your exchange. The Exchange Team does not offer academic advising. 

Course Equivalencies

The Registrar’s Office maintains a Course Equivalencies Database which includes any courses from our partner institutions that have been assessed for Carleton credit in the past three years. Please read the disclaimer carefully before exploring this resource. Not all courses offered by a partner university will be listed in this database. We recommend also visiting the partner university’s website and researching their current/past course offerings to get a more complete picture of what might be available to you during your exchange. It is important to remember that the availability of specific courses at a partner institution can vary from year-to-year and semester-to-semester.

We also recommend visiting the International Exchange: FAQ page maintained by the Registrar’s Office to get a better understanding of how credits earned during exchange transfer back to a Carleton degree.

After the Pre-Departure Orientation Session – Submitting Courses to the Registrar’s Office

The Registrar’s Office will present at the mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation Session to explain how courses are approved for exchange. You can also refer to the Registar’s Office website for additional information on this process.

After the Pre-Departure Orientation Session you will have access within your “Outgoing International Exchange Application” in Carleton Central to view the equivalency list as well as add and create courses you wish to take while on exchange (for approval by the Registrar’s Office).

The course approval status will be communicated to you via your “Outgoing International Exchange Application” in Carleton Central. Check your status regularly. For questions regarding your transfer of credit equivalencies and your academic audit please contact the registrar@carleton.ca.

Architecture Students

Architecture students must present course syllabi and course work completed while on exchange to the Associate Director (Undergraduate) at a meeting held in October (after completion of the exchange study period). The exact date of this meeting will be announced by the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism two weeks in advance. The Associate Director (Undergraduate) will determine course equivalencies at that meeting and will communicate the results to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduate Students

Before leaving on exchange, Graduate students should visit the FGPA website and complete the Approval Form for Outgoing Graduate Students form under “Inlt’l Exchange Program Forms”. You must obtain the appropriate permission with your Faculty Advisor and Department Administrator. Submit the form to the Exchange Program Coordinator at the ISSO for signature, who will then submit the form to the FGPA. Once completed, the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs will process your registration. Make sure to check your Carleton account regularly to review the number of course registrations and to arrange fee payment.

Paul Menton Centre (PMC) Students

PMC students should note that not all host institutions will be able to provide accommodation in the same manner as Carleton. You must contact the accessibility services office at the host institution to determine what services are available and arrange for those accommodations. To facilitate this process, your PMC Coordinator can provide you with a copy of your documentation and a letter outlining the accommodations your receive at Carleton. For more information, please visit the Paul Menton Centre.

Obtain Your Passport & Apply for a Student Visa

Make sure your current passport is valid (or apply for a passport well in advance of your anticipated departure date if you do no have one already). The expiry date on your passport must be at least 6 months beyond your expected date of return. Canadian passport applications are handled by Service Canada.

In some cases, a student visa is required to study in the country of your host institution. After you receive a copy of your Letter of Acceptance from your host institution, you can apply for a student visa from the Embassy or High Commission of your country of destination.  Contact the appropriate Embassy or High Commission to find out what documentation is required in order to apply for your student visa.

Note: Students applying to the French student visa must present a Nomination Letter from Carleton University as well as the Letter of Acceptance from the host institution to have a successful visa application. To request a Nomination Letter, please email exchange@carleton.ca  and include your Carleton student number and the name of your host institution.

Attend the Pre-Departure Orientation Session

The Pre-Departure Orientation Session is mandatory and is held each year in April for outgoing exchange students departing in both the Fall and Winter terms.

The Pre-Departure Orientation Session will be on April 09, 2020 from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm in room 231 University Centre. You will need to present your student ID card at the session to confirm attendance.

Topics Include:

  • Credit transfer (Registrar’s Office)
  • Risks and responsibilities
  • Travel insurance
  • Health & Wellness
  • Scholarships, bursaries, and government student loans

Pre-Departure Orientation Package

Outgoing exchange students will receive a Pre-Departure Orientation Package at the session. This package includes important information as well as mandatory forms that must be returned to the ISSO. More information on these forms is available below (“Submit Required Documents”). Read over the information in this package carefully and make note of any forms that must be returned and their applicable deadlines.

Access the slides if you would like to revisit any of the information covered during the Pre-Departure Orientation.

Submit Required Documents

1. Exchange Assignment

All outgoing exchange students are encouraged to review and complete the  Exchange Assignment. This document does not have to be returned to the Exchange Team but is a useful tool as you prepare for your departure.

2. Liability Waiver

All outgoing exchange students are required to review and sign the Liability Waiver. This waiver must be witnessed by an ISSO staff member. These forms will be distributed, signed, and witnessed at the mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation Session.

3. CU Travel Registry

All outgoing exchange students must complete their travel information to the CU Travel Registry in Carleton Central. In the event of a natural disaster or emergency in your location, the University will make every effort to communicate with you as soon as possible using this information and will offer any feasible assistance. It is essential that you include updates to your travel plans in the registry as soon as they occur. 

Learn about the instructions on how to access the Travel Registry, create a new entry, and upload documents.

All outgoing exchange students are required to complete Proof of Insurance form. This form must be uploaded as part of your CUTravel Registry on Carleton Central no later than August 31 for fall term exchanges and full year exchanges or November 30 for winter term exchanges. Read about the Consular Affairs Canada Travel Advisories, which are updated regularly.

5. Certificate of Arrival at the Host Institution

All outgoing exchange students must have the Certificate of Arrival completed and signed by the exchange coordinator at their host institution within 2 weeks of their arrival. The completed form must be uploaded as part of your CU Travel Registry on Carleton Central.

6. Certificate of Departure from the Host Institution

All outgoing exchange students must have the Certificate of Departure completed and signed by the exchange coordinator at their host institution prior to their departure at the end of their study term. The completed form must be uploaded as part of your CU Travel Registry on Carleton Central.

Final Steps Before You Travel

  • Know the start and end dates of your exchange term as well as the add/drop deadline(s) at the host institution (for each term you will be on exchange). Once you have registered for exchange, email this information to the Carleton University Registrar Specialist handling your file. A list of all Registrar Specialists can be found here.
  • Prior to departure, consult the U-Pass website to see if you are eligible for a refund for the academic term(s) during which you will be on exchange. Students participating in the exchange program are not required to complete the opt-out form because their opt-out will be processed automatically by the U-Pass Administrator in Student Affairs. Students going out on exchange in the Winter term are required to return their U-Pass to the Campus Card Office (407 University Centre) by the specified exemption deadline indicated on the U-Pass website if they wish to receive a refund.
  • Prior to departure, obtain health and travel insurance. Notify OHIP (or your provincial health insurance program) if you are out of province for more than 212 days (or approx. 6 months). If your provincial health insurance program requires a letter of support to maintain your coverage while you are abroad, please visit the ISSO (128 UC) or email exchange@carleton.ca. Arrange for medical, dental, and eye check-ups before you go abroad.
  • Review our “Travel Tips” page and complete your CU Travel Registry as well as the Government of Canada’s Registration of Canadians Abroad (once you know your address abroad).
  • Make arrangements to pay your Carleton University tuition and other fees for your term(s) abroad. Carleton fee payment deadlines apply even if your term(s) at the host institution do not match with Carleton’s calendar. Your are required to pay full-time tuition to Carleton University while you are on exchange (and must take the equivalent of a full-time course load at the host institution).
  • If applicable, visit the Awards Office website for information on your government student loan, Carleton renewable scholarship, and/or Carleton bursaries for your exchange. Other scholarship opportunities may be available and we encourage you to do your own research. The ISSO’s exchange “Scholarships & Budgeting” page is a good place to start.
  • Arrange for someone (e.g. Power of Attorney, if required) to take care of your finances while you are abroad. Contact the Awards Office for more details on this process.

Arrange to Obtain Your Transcript

Near the end of your exchange period, make arrangements to have an official transcript sent by your host institution to the International Student Services Office at Carleton (mailing address below). We recommend that you request an additional copy for your own records. If you plan on applying to graduate school or other future opportunities, you will want to request an additional copy from your host institution at this time as it may be challenging to acquire copies at a later date.

Transcripts should be sent to:

Exchange Team
International Student Services Office
128 University Centre, Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Canada  K1S 5B6
Tel: +1 (613) 520-6600