Step 3: Plan for departure

Important: Travel/Medical Insurance

Before leaving for the host institution, students must purchase comprehensive health and travel insurance (including evacuation and repatriation) to cover the entire duration of the stay abroad. It must meet the requirements of the host institution and the University of Ottawa.

Medical insurance policies vary from one country to another. It is suggested to subscribe to supplementary insurance since some medical treatments abroad are not fully covered and the costs incurred must be borne directly by the student. If you already have a medical insurance policy which includes supplementary health insurance, it is useful to confirm the kind of coverage you have with your insurance company.

Obtain Travel Documents


If you do not already have one, apply for your passport. Please allow enough time for processing.

Letter of Acceptance

  • Your Letter of Acceptance from your host university must be submitted to the International Office (IO):
    • If sent directly to you make photocopies and keep the original safe; losing your letter of acceptance can cause significant delays
    • Please submit it to the IO immediately after you have applied for your Visa/Residence Permit (if necessary)
    • If your host university sends it directly to the IO we will inform you and send a memo along with a photocopy of your letter of acceptance to your Department, School, Section or Faculty for their files
  • An information kit from the host institution may arrive with your letter of acceptance:
    • Read all the information it contains carefully
    • Respect deadlines (housing deposit, course selection, etc...)

Visa/Residence Permit

Some countries will require a study visa for the time spent abroad.  It is each student’s responsibility to verify the entry requirement of the country they are entering. If you need a visa, start your visa process as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance from the host institution.

  • Contact your host country’s diplomatic mission (consulate, high commission or embassy)
    • Find out the entry requirements
    • Diplomatic missions will ask you to present the original copy of your letter of acceptance; faxed copies or photocopies are not usually accepted
    • You may also be asked to provide an Official Confirmation of Acceptance in an exchange program from uOttawa; if that is the case, contact the International Office and we will prepare you one

Find the closest diplomatic mission for more information about visas.

  • The visa process can take up to a month. Keep in mind that diplomatic missions’ staff take holidays during the summer
  • Be prepared to pay for your visa;
  • Don’t wait until the last minute - be proactive!
Attend a pre-departure workshop

It is mandatory for all outgoing summer exchange students to complete a pre-departure workshop. Details will automatically be sent to you after you apply for the summer program. 


Finalize Registration
  • Student participating in a Summer Program are still required to register directly with their faculty, in order for their credits to be transferred. Course codes for the Summer Program go as follow: 
    • A three-credit program: TRF1031
    • A six credit program (or two programs that award a total of six credits together): TRF1031 and TRF1032
    • A nine credit program (or two summer programs that provide a total of nine credits together): TRF1031, TRF1032 and TRF1033.
    • Please note that students participating in one  of the following programs will instead have to request a letter of Permission:
      • Ontario/Jiangsu
      • St. Etienne and Grenoble
      • Lake constance
      • Symbiosis University
      • Institut Bourguiba des langues vivantes
  • Please note that the course codes are linked to the University of Ottawa’s spring session, regardless of the dates of the chosen Summer Program. Because of this, the spring session deadlines will apply. We invite students to register for the appropriate course code and pay the corresponding tuition fees as soon as they receive their acceptance letter from the host institution. If a student receives their letter of acceptance after the final deadline to pay their fees, their will have 48 hours after having registered for the Summer Program course to pay their tuition fees. 
  • Students must register to the course codes above directly with their faculty at uOttawa. To do so, please fill out and sign the “MODIFICATION / CANCELLATION OF REGISTRATION” form:

Completed forms may be sent by fax or scanned and emailed to the faculty/academic unit.

  • Faculty of Arts  - Fax: 613-562-5973
  • Faculty of Social Science - Fax: 613-562-5311
  • Faculty of Law – Common Law Section - Fax: 613-562-5124
  • Faculty of Law – Droit civil - Fax: 613-562-5121
  • Faculty of Science - Fax: 613-562-5274
  • Faculty of Engineering  - Fax: 613-562-5187
  • Faculty of Health Sciences - Fax: 613-562-5149
  • Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies – Fax: 613-562-5992
Arrange your finances

Participants are registered at the University of Ottawa; they maintain their full-time status and continue to pay fees to the University of Ottawa, not the host institution.
Participants must budget for a number of expenses including the following:

  • accommodation and living expenses abroad
  • travel expenses (return airfare and transportation within host institution)
  • passport and visa costs
  • medical insurance
  • school supplies and books
  • any other incidental costs

Students are responsible for all living expenses during the exchange.
Download example of a budget for one and two semesters (PDF)


Scholarships, financial aid & bursaries


Student Mobility Scholarship

The University of Ottawa, namely the Student Mobility Fund and the faculties, offer mobility scholarships to all students selected to take part in an exchange program.

Students who take part in an international summer exchange receive a scholarship of $500.*

The mobility scholarship will be deposited in the students’ uOttawa account. If you cancel your participation in the summer exchange, you must reimburse the scholarship either entirely or partially within 30 days.



Financial Aid

Students eligible for financial aid continue to receive it during the exchange period.   Please clearly indicate your intention of taking part in an exchange program on the financial aid form. 
The amount of financial aid is calculated according to the Canadian cost of living rather than that of the host country. The number of weeks however is adjusted according to the host institution’s university calendar. To find out more about financial aid, please contact the Financial Aid and Awards OfficeIt is your responsibility to ensure that all financial aid matters are resolved prior to your departure.  

  • You must apply for financial aid before June 16  (approx.) in order to receive the funding on time;

Financial Aid and Awards Service
Desmarais Hall
55 Laurier Avenue East, Room 3156 
Telephone: 613-562-5800 ext. 4396
Fax: 613-562-5155
Contact the Financial Aid and Awards Service by email


University of Ottawa Scholarship Program

In general, if you are eligible for a renewable scholarship offered by the University of Ottawa Scholarship Program before going on an exchange, you will be eligible to receive it during your exchange. Since the cumulative grade point average remains the same during the exchange, you should be able to maintain the scholarship upon returning to the University of Ottawa. To ensure your eligibility, contact the Financial Aid and Awards Office.


Financial Aid and Awards Office - International Scholarships

Visit the Financial Aid and Awards Office website to search the database of scholarships available to students travelling abroad.


Embassy Scholarships

We strongly suggest that you visit diplomatic missions located in Ottawa early in the fall. In addition to providing useful information, diplomatic missions also have valuable information on several scholarships offered to Canadians wishing to study in their country. Deadlines for submitting an application are often in early January and February. Therefore, it is important to visit the missions during the fall session.


Country-specific scholarships

Ireland: Ireland-Canada University Foundation: Dobbin Scholarships
Korea: Government of Canada - Foreign Government Awards Program
United States: International Student Voice Magazine Scholarship

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