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Exchange preparations

Studying in a different country is an experience of a lifetime. The entire process requires a proper planning to make full use out of it. International Education at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology is committed to helping you throughout the journey. 

  • Exchange preparation

    Preparing for an outbound exchange is very important for a successful exchange experience. Please review the following necessary steps to prepare for your exchange:

    Step 1:  Submit a final copy of your faculty approved Study Plan/Transfer Credit Form to the International Education department.

    Step 2:  Attend a mandatory pre-departure session with the International Education department.

    Step 3: Register online with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development's Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA).

    Step 4: Submit all necessary forms to the International Education.

  • Preparing to leave

    Please review the following items to consider before you depart for your exchange:


    • motives
    • expectations
    • approaches


    • short-terms goals
    • long-term goals


    • scholarships and bursaries
    • financial assistance
    • complete an income and expense worksheet


    • When you arrive: Transportation from the airport to accommodations.
    • Where you will stay: Short-term and long-term agenda.
    • How to commute safely during your stay.


    • keep a journal/blog
    • get a guidebook
    • banking overseas (currency exchange, bank account, transferring funds)
    • money (e.g. emergency funds)
    • proof of immunization
    • mail, phone, email
    • health insurance
    • external hard drive
    • credit and debit cards


    • Be mentally prepared for your journey.
    • Make sure your passport will not expire during the time you are away. Some countries require that your passport be valid for six months after your planned return.
    • Arrange for the appropriate visas and/or permits.
    • Arrange for a method of banking.
    • Make copies of all important documents (e.g. credit cards, passport, health insurance, telephone numbers/addresses).
    • Leave a copy of important documents with someone at home.
    • Register online with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development's Registration of Canadian Abroad (ROCA).
  • While you are away

    Once you have arrived at your exchange destination, please consider the following:

    • Contact the University of Ontario Institute of Technology's International Education department and confirm your arrival.
    • Connect with the co-ordinators at the host institution.
    • Communicate your arrival to friends and family.
    • Consider the safest daily travel methods.
    • Map out the commute to the nearest consulate, doctor's offices, hospitals, banks and emergency services.
    • Share your new address and phone number with the International Education department.

    Share your experience:

    • Keep a journal (video/photo journal).
    • Start a blog.
    • Make a photo collage.
    • Share your stories with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology's International Education department.
  • Returning home

    All exchange students are expected to attend a re-entry session hosted by the International Education department. Students will debrief about their experiences and discuss feelings and expectations associated with re-entering Canada and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Students may also be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire regarding the exchange, which will be used as a source of data for our future students. 

    Students may want to consider the following when making the re-entry transition:

    • Keep in touch with friends and family.
    • Think about what you want to do when you return.
    • Plan your finances.
    • Give presentations to family, friends, your school, and community.
    • Take courses that will help you apply what you’ve learned.
    • Volunteer and share your experiences.

    Returning exchange students will have an opportunity to share their exchange experiences with other students during events and information sessions held by the International Education department.

  • Insurance

    It is important to consider trip cancellation, property insurance, and health insurance before departing for an international exchange. 


    Some homeowner’s insurance policies contain a clause about extending worldwide. Check your policy to see if additional coverage is needed. Learn about what your insurance covers:

    • What are the deductibles?
    • What is the maximum you can claim?
    • What items will not be covered?


    You must ensure you have proper and adequate health insurance and medical coverage during your exchange. Provincial health plans only cover a set fee rate for emergency health services outside Canada. Before you start looking for health insurance, make sure you do not already have coverage through your university or your parent’s plan. Once you establish your coverage, make sure to consider the following:

    • Does the plan include hospitalization coverage for accidents and illnesses while abroad?
    • What is the maximum amount of coverage?
    • Are there any deductibles?
    • Will the plan include emergency room/transportation expenses?
    • What is the coverage for medical evacuation?
    • What is the coverage for repatriation?
    • Does the plan cover doctor’s visits and prescription drugs?
    • Does the plan include dental coverage?
    • How do you file a claim?
    • When does the plan begin and end?

    Understand your health insurance policy and how bills are paid. Carry the details of your insurance with you, and make sure they are in a safe location. If you do receive medical attention during your international exchange, request detailed invoices.  Always submit original receipts for any medical services or prescriptions you received during you time away.

  • Documents


    Before departing for an exchange, it is important to ensure you have a valid passport, visa and/or study permit when needed.


    Your passport is your official identification used when traveling. If your passport will expire within six months of your departure, it is important to check with your destination embassy or consulate to learn about the rules and regulations associated with the validity and expiration of your passport. Many countries will not allow you to leave if your passport is close to expiring. Having a passport that is valid up to six months after your return to Canada will prevent challenges associated with passport expiration.


    A visa gives official permission from foreign governments for you to enter their countries and to stay for a specific period of time, and for a specific purpose. Visas vary from a stamp in your passport upon arrival at the time of entry to an official document with a photo attached. When participating in an outbound exchange, you will require a visa to travel to a certain country. It is important to check with the consulate or embassy well before traveling to confirm the documents needs and the visa requirement for visiting the host institution.


    Students are responsible for making sure the following documents are submitted to the International Education department before departing for an exchange:

    • Outbound Application
    • Student Travel Form
    • final study plan (signed by faculty)
    • course outlines (host institution)
    • Student Exchange Nomination Letter
    • Exchange Acceptance Letter
    • acceptance letter from the host institution
    • Photo Release Form
    • Travel Waiver
    • ROCA registration
    • travel itinerary
    • accommodation information
    • copies of:
      • passport
      • health insurance
    • emergency contact information