How do I know if I'm a good candidate for the exchange program?

The Acadia University Student Exchange Program is open to undergraduates entering the third year of a four-year degree, carrying a CGPA of 3.0 or better. Exchange students study abroad in their third year of study only; therefore, they must apply to the exchange program in their second year of study. First-year students, particularly those considering a double major, are strongly encouraged to talk with their academic advisor during their first year of study about the possibility of study abroad. 

NOTE: If you wish to participate in the Canadian Year in Freiburg Program, please visit German Studies to learn more about this program's different eligibility requirements.

Typically, in addition to having strong grades as indicated above, good candidates for the exchange program are mature, independent, open-minded, and sociable.  They’re not afraid to go outside their comfort zone; they like to try new things and meet new people. Final selection for the Acadia Exchange Program is based in part on these more intangible qualities. Successful applicants should also have an appropriate level of expectation and be good representatives for Acadia.

Is there anything else I should consider?
  • Are you doing a Co-op work term? If so, this could affect your available start and end dates for study abroad terms.
  • Have you considered the costs involved? As an exchange student, you will pay Acadia tuition, which will invariably be much less than the cost to enrol with one of our exchange partners as an international student. However, you will also need to consider the cost of airfare to and from your host university, the cost to apply for a visa, and living expenses during your semester/year abroad, which can vary significantly from one partner to another.
  • Is there anything about your program or the courses you need to take in your third year that would prevent you from going on exchange or perhaps limit the semester in which you could go?  Make sure you discuss the idea with your advisor first.
How do I get more information about studying abroad?

To learn more about the Acadia Exchange Program, you can attend the Study Abroad Information Session during International Education Week held in November each year. This session talks about the exchange program in general, the application process and your experience abroad.

This "Frequently Asked Questions" section also contains a great deal of helpful information, so read on!

Finally, if you still have questions after having read all of the FAQs, you can contact Michael Holmes, the Exchange Program Officer, at exchangeprogram@acadiau.ca with your specific questions or to set up a meeting.

What do I need to consider before choosing a destination?

You don't have to apply to a partner institution that offers your major. You can apply to any of our partners as long as the courses available there can be used to fulfill remaining requirements in your degree program, either as specific required courses or as electives.

Aside from the academic experience, you should consider your interests outside the classroom. For example, going on exchange in Europe means you can quickly and easily visit a number of other countries due to their relatively small size and close proximity with one another. You probably won’t have the same opportunity if you attend a partner institution in Australia; however, there is plenty of travel to do “down under” without ever leaving the country, not to mention the great beaches and surfing opportunities.

You should look into the costs associated with the partner institution that you have in mind. The airfare, visa costs and living expenses can vary greatly from one country to the next.

Before making a decision to travel, and certainly before purchasing an airline ticket, read the Country Travel Report for your destination on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT): http://travel.gc.ca. Travel Reports offer information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues of which you should be aware.

Because the Exchange Program is competitive, be sure to include a 2nd and preferably a 3rd choice if you are flexible about your destination.

How does the exchange application process work?

To start with, you'll need to submit an application to the Acadia Exchange Program. The application is available on the Exchange website here. You'll also need a reference letter from a faculty member who has taught or supervised you recently and thus has some basis on which to endorse you as a good candidate for the exchange program.  The reference form is available here. The application form and the reference form must be submitted to the Admissions Office in University Hall no later than January 31.  You can submit the application, but the reference letter should be submitted directly by the referee.

Do I have to indicate the period during which I plan to go abroad?

It's important that you indicate when you plan to go abroad when you fill out your application. Placements are determined by how many students are applying to each insitution and for which study period -- during the fall, the winter or for the entire academic year. Our partner institutions need this information as well. They may be able to accept multiple students from Acadia, but they might not be able to accept them all in the same semester. 

What happens after I apply in January?

The Acadia Exchange Program is competitive. After January 31, a selection committee from Acadia meets to review the applications and choose candidates for the program. If you are chosen as an eligible candidate your name will be forwarded to the host university. Under the terms of the exchange program, host institutions have the right to accept or refuse any application on the basis both of academic suitability and/or the availability of space in the course of study selected. You'll be notified of the decision as soon as the host university responds to our nomination. Note that you still have to formally apply to the host institution, much like you applied for admission to Acadia when you started your degree program here.  You'll need to make contact with the host instititution at this point to start the application process, discuss accommodation options, and so on.

Any acceptance is conditional upon successful completion of the courses in which you are enrolled for the current academic year.

Where should the Acadia Exchange Application and Reference Form be sent?

The application form and reference letter should be sent to Mike Holmes, the International Admissions and Exchange Program Officer, in the Admissions Office in University Hall.  They can also be emailed to exchangeprogram@acadiau.ca.  Note that you can submit the application yourself, but the reference form should be submitted by the referee.

Who do I contact if I need help applying to or have other questions about the host university?

If you need help with the application form for your host university or need information about accommodations, courses, fees, the visa application and so on, you should contact the International Office at the host university. They are best equipped to assist with questions related to their own incoming students, much like Acadia’s Admissions Office and International Centre assist students who are applying to Acadia and travelling to Canada.

How do I choose courses at my host university?

Students are expected to carry sufficient courses to maintain full-time status (as defined by your host institution) while attending the host institution, the details of which must be determined in consultation with, and approved by, the appropriate academic personnel at the home institution.

Please consult with your academic advisor to ensure the courses you have chosen will meet your degree requirements at Acadia.  Once you have selected your courses, you'll need to fill out an Letter of Permission/Application for Transfer Credit and bring this to the Registrar's Office to confirm that you are allowed to take the selected courses at the host university and transfer them back to Acadia.

When will I get my acceptance letter?

Acceptance letters from some host universities (particularly those in the United Kingdom) will not be sent to applicants until late June because in some cases study visas are not issued until three months prior the start of classes at your host institution.

Do I need a Visa?

The Wong International Centre does not provide any information related to visas. As well, the Centre does not call the foreign government offices on your behalf.  It is your responsibility to find out what documents you need to submit and apply to the appropriate government offices (i.e. embassy, high commission, consulates, etc.) of the country nearest to your residence.

The following is a list of websites with information about your host country’s respective student visa application (Note: if you require assistance regarding visa applications/requirements, you should contact your host university directly):

Australia:
www.border.gov.au/Trav/Stud

France:
http://www.campusfrance.org/en/rubrique/preparer-son-sejour

Germany:

www.daad.de/deutschland/nach-deutschland/bewerbung/en/9199-visa-application/

www.ottawa.diplo.de/

http://www.embassy-worldwide.com/embassy/embassy-of-germany-in-ottawa-canada/

Spain:  

Embassy of Spain in Canada (Montreal)

www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/MONTREAL/en/InformacionParaExtranjeros/Pages/Estudiar.aspx

Sweden:
www.migrationsverket.se/info/studera_en.html

Norway:
www.udi.no/en/

United Kingdom:
www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa 

United States:
https://ca.usembassy.gov/visas/canadian-students/

China (Hong Kong):
http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/study.html#firstTab

** Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China. There may be separate entry requirements for China and China-Macao.

 

How do I pay my tuition?

Participants register and pay tuition and student fees to Acadia, then travel to a university abroad to study for one academic year (or one semester).

Please note that students carrying Acadia scholarships may use this money to pay their tuition fees to Acadia.

The first installment of tuition is due the first day of Fall classes, with the remainder due by the first day of Winter classes.

How do I register with the Canadian government before leaving Canada?

If you are Canadian, you should register with the Canadian Government before travelling abroad. Please use link below:

https://www.voyage2.gc.ca/Registration_inscription/Register_Inscrire/Login_ouvrir-une-session-eng.aspx?fwd=true&hash=p0V4sJhYtXNnDsAOImpW8w6161