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.
- 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.
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 email@example.com with your specific questions or to set up a meeting.
It is possible to go on exchange in your fourth/final year. However, the program is designed for students to go abroad in their third year, and courses done in the final year of a degree program are normally required to be completed at Acadia. Applicants who wish to go on exchange in their final year must have the permission of their academic department and the Registrar’s Office to do so. If granted permission, you could apply to the exchange program to go abroad, but only for the first semester of your final year. Part of the value in the exchange program includes the knowledge and experience that the student brings back to our campus. As such, you would not be able to go on exchange in your last semester or for your entire final year.
The exchange program is also quite competitive. There are limited places available with each of our partners, and sometimes we are unable to assign a placement for eligible applicants at all due to demand. As the program is designed for third-year students, those students will get priority for placements over students in their fourth/final year. We certainly have had students go on exchange in their final year in the past, but you should be aware of how increased competition may restrict your chances.
It is important to discuss the prospect of exchange with your academic advisor to begin with and then the Registrar’s Office to make sure you are allowed to take some of your remaining credits elsewhere during your final year. The specific credits you have left to complete and those that you plan to take overseas will make a difference, so you should consider that in your discussions with your advisor and the Registrar’s Office, as well. It is usually easier if you still have elective credit hours to fulfill, plus that will expand the number of exchange placements available to you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that you can submit the application yourself, but the reference form should be submitted by the referee.
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.
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.
First, you'll need to check with the host institution to determine which courses are available to Acadia students on exchange. Once you find courses that you'd like to take, you'll need to consult with your academic advisor to ensure the courses will meet your degree requirements at Acadia. Then you'll need to fill out a Letter of Permission from the Registrar's website, get your department to sign off on your selections and bring the form 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. Be sure to keep a copy for yourself!
Acadia normally gives transfer credit for individual courses which are applicable to your undergraduate degree program of study. Approved transfer credits from other institutions (e.g. your host institution while on exchange) are transferred to your Acadia student record with the letter grade indicated on the official transcript as issued by those institutions.
To ensure that you will receive credit for the course work done while on exchange, you will need to complete a Letter of Permission form (available on the Registrar's website). You should indicate the courses you wish to take while on exchange on your Letter of Permission, get signed approval for these selections from your academic department, and then bring the form to the Registrar's Office for their final approval. Be sure to keep a copy for yourself! Once you complete your course work, your host university should provide a transcript to Acadia's Registrar's Office.
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.
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):
Embassy of Spain in Canada (Montreal)
China (Hong Kong):
** 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.
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.
If you are Canadian, you should register with the Canadian Government before travelling abroad. Please use link below: