Step 3: Planning for departure
Important: 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.
Letter to the provincial health insurance plan:
Participants should inform in writing the health insurance office of their province of origin of their intention of taking part in an exchange.
- Send a letter along with a photocopy of your Letter of Acceptance to the health insurance office of your province of origin to let them know that you will be taking part in an exchange next year;
- Ask if you can receive confirmation in writing of the health coverage to which you are entitled while at your host institution.
Obtain Travel Documents
If you do not already have one, apply for your passport. Please allow enough time for processing.
Generally, your passport must be valid for six months after the date on which you plan to return to Canada!
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 the letter to the IO immediately so that we may keep a copy. We will give the original back to you (to apply for the visa/permit, etc.). We will then forward a copy to your Faculty for their files.
- If your host university sends it directly to the IO we will inform you so that you may pick it up at our office. We will also send a memo along with a photocopy of your letter of acceptance to your Department, 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...)
N.B. 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 (some countries, very few, don’t require a visa)
- 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 exchange students to attend one of the following pre-departure workshops:
Friday, March 24th, 2017: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (French) - Fauteux Hall (FTX), room 147B
Saturday, March 25th, 2017: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (English) - Desmarais Building (DMS), room 1160
Saturday, March 25th, 2017: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (French) - Desmarais Building (DMS), room 1160
Monday, March 27th, 2017: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (English) - Fauteux Hall (FTX), room 147A
Tuesday, March 28th, 2017: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (English) - Lees (LEE), room C207
There will be no exceptions. If you do not attend one of the pre-departure workshops, your application to take part in an exchange will be automatically cancelled.
- If you have not already done so, register for a regular full-time course load for the academic year as if you were going to be here in September or January. You can start registering for you classes as of June for undergraduate students and as of early August for graduate students.
- Cancel your course registration in writing once you receive your letter of acceptance from the host institution.
- Please fill out and sign the “MODIFICATION / CANCELLATION OF REGISTRATION” form:
Change your regular full-time course registration to the TRANSFER OF UNITS code: TRF 1000 for both undergraduate and graduate students. Talk to your academic advisor if you have any questions.
Completed forms may be sent by fax or scanned and emailed to the faculty/academic unit.
Faculty of Arts
Faculty of Social Science
Faculty of Law – Common Law Section
Faculty of Law – Section Droit Civil
Faculty of Science
Faculty of Engineering
Faculty of Health Science
Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Please contact your department.
Please contact your department.
Please contact your department.
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
- Administrative fee charged by the host institution
- any other incidental costs
Students are responsible for all living expenses during the exchange.
Download example of a budget for one and two terms (PDF)
Scholarships, financial aid & bursaries
- Student Mobility Scholarship
- International Office Staff Bursary
- Financial Aid
- University of Ottawa Scholarship Program
- Financial Aid and Awards Office - International Scholarships
- Embassy Scholarships
- Country-specific scholarships
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 exchange receive a scholarship of $1,000 for one term or $2,000 for two terms abroad. Students who take part in an exchange within Canada receive a scholarship of $500 for one term or $1,000 for two term.
For students in the Faculty of Law (Common Law), the amounts are as follows:
- $500 for one term
- $1,000 for two terms
The mobility scholarship will be deposited in the students’ uOttawa account at the beginning of August (for students leaving for a full academic year or for the Fall term only) or at the beginning of December (for students leaving for the Winter term). N.B. If you cancel your participation in the exchange, you must reimburse the scholarship either entirely or partially within 30 days.
The International Office’s personnel holds student mobility to heart and want to reward student ambassadors from the University of Ottawa. The International Office’s staff members therefore offer a number of scholarships worth $ 500 each to the winners of the Video Challenge for international exchange students. The deadline to submit a video in person to the International Office is March 10th, 2017. Recipients of these awards will be announced at the end of March.
To be considered for the award, a student must :
- Meet the general eligibility criteria for the exchange program. Details are available on the International Office’s website.
- Submit your complete application for the exchange program.
- Submit a video in French or English to the International Office with a total length of 1 to 2 minutes maximum on the following topics:
- Why would I be the best ambassador for the University of Ottawa abroad?
- What ideas do I have to represent and promote the University of Ottawa abroad?
Candidates will be evaluated and selected based on the following three criteria,:
- Language quality
- Only students taking part in a Regular student exchange program are eligible. Programs not eligible for this scholarship:
- Ontario/Jiangsu Student Exchange Program (OJS)
- Ontario/Rhône-Alpes Student Exchange Program (ORA)
- Ontario/Baden-Württemberg Student Exchange Program (OBW)
- Ontario-India Exchange Program (OIN)
- Killam Fellowship Program
- Summer exchange programs
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 Office. It 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
55 Laurier Avenue East, Room 3156
Telephone: 613-562-5800 ext. 4396
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.
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 term.
Country-specific scholarships (external links)
- All destinations - Universities Canada - Scholarships
- All destinations - Government of Canada – International Scholarship Programs
- All destinations - International Education Financial Aid
- Germany - DAAD Undergraduate Scholarship
- India - Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (graduate studies)
- Japan - Scholarships for Study in Japan (graduate studies)
- Netherlands - Scholarships for International students
- United Kingdom - Education UK
- United Kingdom - British Universities Transatlantic Exchange Association (undergraduate studies)
- United Kingdom - Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships Plan (graduate studies)
- China - Canada-China Scholars' Exchange