Step 4: Being abroad

Health, Safety and Emergency

The International Office aims to ensure you have a quality academic experience in a secure environment. The pre-departure workshop will provide you important information to help you have a healthy and safe experience at your host institution. The workshop will also provide information on what to do in the event of an emergency. Make sure that you are aware of the resources available through the International Relations Office of the host institution to help you in the event of any difficulties.
After you have contacted the proper local authorities, should an emergency arise while you are abroad, you should:

  1. Contact the International Office at your host institution.
  2. Contact the nearest Canadian Embassy to inform them of your situation.
  3. Contact Protection Services of the University of Ottawa at + 1-613-562-5411.


Upon your arrival

Finalize your course registration at the host institution:

  • Remember that at your host institution you must register to courses that correspond to a full-time course load at uOttawa. 
  • Some host institutions will use your “Preliminary course selection” form to pre-register you before you leave Canada, others will not;
  • If pre-registration exists at your host institution, try to do as much as you can before you go;
  • Final registration will take place upon arrival at the host university
    • please note that the preliminary course selection you have handed in as part of your application form may not be your final course selection
  • As soon as you are registered, forward your final course registration along with course descriptions to your uOttawa academic advisor in a single document  (You can send this information by mail or by fax);
  • Course descriptions must include the:
    • course title
    • number of hours per week per course
    • number of weeks per semester
    • start and end dates for each course
    • number of units (European Credit Transfer System - ECTS- or other)
    • language level (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, or C2) for language courses

Once you have arrived, you must also send your complete address in the host country to the International Office at the University of Ottawa.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you register for your uOttawa courses in time for the upcoming term. 


Culture Shock

“I hate this place. When is the next flight to Ottawa?”

The tourist’s glamour may not be the resident’s reality. It is common for people to suffer from some form of culture shock after arriving in a foreign setting. This normal reaction to a new environment occurs while you are outside of your comfort zone. When adapting to a foreign culture, you could experience a range of emotions from euphoria and yearning for home.  Culture shock is a term used to describe what people experience when they are overwhelmed by unfamiliar surroundings and conditions, resulting in a sense of isolation.

Download our helpful brochure on culture shock for more information

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