Going abroad on an academic program inevitably involves navigating institutional paperwork and policies. The following section should help to make this process a little easier.
What fees you pay and to whom depends upon the type of academic travel you are undertaking. For most exchange programs you pay your tuition and certain fees to your home institution and incoming exchange students from the partner institution do the same. For overseas field trips and, semester or year abroad programs run by your institution you will pay tuition and program costs at home. Letter of permission programs require you to pay the host institution. Keep in mind you may be subjected to higher international student fees.
If you take courses offered by another institution (usually on exchange or letter of permission) the credits must be transferred back to you home institution. In most cases, you need to get preliminary approval for specific courses before you leave to ensure they will count toward your degree requirements.
Some things to consider:
Before going on an overseas program, you need to let your institution know what you are doing and where. This is usually done by registering as an exchange, letter of permission or semester/year abroad student. By registering properly you ensure that you will be billed correctly for your tuition and fees (if applicable) and that your status for your time away is recognized.
Also, if you are on a longer term program (one semester or more) you will need to register for subsequent semesters either in advance of going, or while you’re away. This may mean registering for a second semester on exchange or registering for the semester following your time abroad. Here are some tips for ensuring you maintain your registration and avoid late fees or other problems:
Finding money to finance your study abroad is hard. Expect to do a lot of research, to use a lot of energy and your imagination to fund your trip. For more information on money matters go to the Minding Your Finances section.
If you are currently on a provincial or federal student loan program, you may be qualified for funding for study overseas, especially if you will be registered and paying regular tuition and fees to your home university. However, in some cases, you may not be eligible for interest-free status during your study abroad. You may be required to pay interest on outstanding student loans. Arrange for a Power of Attorney to take care of your finances while you are overseas.
If you are applying for government student loans, make sure your application is submitted prior to the deadline or decisions regarding bursaries and funding could be delayed. Also remember:
You can visit the Canada Student Loans site at - http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/student_loans/
Check with your academic department or on your institution's website to find other scholarships or bursaries available to students studying abroad.
When studying at another institution on an official program you will be viewed as a representative of you home University and Canada. Disruptive behaviour, excessive partying or insensitivity to local standards of behaviour could cause trouble not only for you, but for your home institution and all those who study on the program after you. It is important to remember:
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