Where to start

Before you begin
InformationPlease consult the list of our partner universities to find out if we have an exchange agreement with your university. If that is the case and you wish to apply for an exchange under this agreement consult Exchange student.

Research your study options

Visiting international students at the undergraduate level can either be enrolled part or full time. It is possible for them to enrol in classes offered in different disciplines, however, please note that the following classes are not available for visiting international students:

  • Classes offered by the Telfer School of Management;
  • Classes offered by the Faculty of Education;
  • Classes offered by the Faculty of Medicine;
  • Classes in the list of restrictions by Faculty.

We invite you to browse our full listing of classes, see the following:

Participation period
  • One term
    • Fall Term: September to December
    • Winter: January to April
  • Two terms
    • Regular academic year: September to April
Internships during your stay

Visiting international students cannot do a research internship during their stay at the University of Ottawa while participating in the exchange program.

If you wish to do a research internship at the University of Ottawa instead of an exchange, please refer to the Centre for Research Opportunities (Undergraduate and Graduate) website or email for more information. 


How to apply

Complete the application process

Determine your eligibility

To be eligible students must:

  • Submit their complete online application by March 31;
  • Meet the language proficiency requirements (see below), if necessary:
  • It is very important to get your results on time in order to attach them to your application. This will ensure your application is not refused due to missing documents
Application process
  1. Send an e-mail at informing us of your interest in applying. We will provide you with a link in order to complete your file online via MoveOn, our online application system. Please take note that the deadline to submit your complete file is March 31, whether you apply for the Fall term, the Winter term, or the full academic year.
  2. Pay a processing fee of CA$100.
  3. All applications must have the following documents:
  • All of your official university transcripts in English or French, including grading scales.
  • Official language proficiency test results, if required (check language requirements below)
  • A scanned copy of your valid passport
  • Students in Common Law, Civil Law, Theatre, Visual Arts and Music must also submit the following additional documents:
    • Letter of motivation (written in the language of instruction of the exchange, maximum one page). This letter should elaborate on your interests and academic objectives for your exchange program at the University of Ottawa.
    • Resume (maximum two pages)
    • Academic Reference Form (PDF) or a letter of recommendation 
    • Visual Arts students must submit a portfolio.
    • Music students can participate to the exchange program for the full academic year only and must submit a performance DVD with their application. 

Ensure language proficiency

Most classes offered at the University of Ottawa are given in English and French. Candidates must submit a language proficiency test at the time of application in the language that they wish to take classes in if that language is not their mother tongue.

Restrictions and exemptions from taking an English language proficiency test

Before consulting the language requirements, please note the list of tests which are not accepted by the University of Ottawa:

  1. Proficiency tests administered by home institutions
  2. TOEFLI (Institutional TOEFL)
  4. TOEIC

Also, please note that students from the following countries are exempted from English proficiency tests:

  • Students from the following countries
    • All countries where English is the official language (Canada, United states, England, Australia, New Zealand, etc...)
      • Denmark
      • Iceland
      • Netherlands
      • Norway
      • Puerto Rico
      • Sweden
      • Finland

Translation and Department of English students are exempted from submitting a TOEFL score except if they wish to take classes outside of the departments of English and Translation.

What are the language requirements for undergraduate studies?

For students who wish to study in French:

Scores indicated below are required for all programs offered at the University of Ottawa.

Even if you achieve the required score, we reserve the right to ask you to take language classes if we feel that your knowledge of one of the two official languages is not satisfactory.

Test scores are valid for two years.

  • DALF (external website, in French only)
    Required score: C1 or C2
  • DELF (external website, in French only)
    Required score: B2
  • TEF (external website, in French only)
    Required score: B2
  • TCF (external website, in French only)
    Required score: B2


For students who wish to study in English:

Scores indicated below are required for all programs offered in a direct-entry faculty.

Even if you achieve the required score, we reserve the right to ask you to take language classes if we feel that your knowledge of one of the two official languages is not satisfactory.

Test scores are valid for two years.

  • *TOEFL University of Ottawa Institution Code: 0993
    • Internet:
      Overall score: 86
      Required score in written section: 22
    • Computer
      Overall score: 237
      Required score in written section: 4,5
    • Paper-based
      Overall score: 580
      Required score in written section: 4,5
  • *IELTS
    Overall score: 6,5
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment
    Overall score: B2

* Faculty of Law, Common Law applicants must have:

  • an overall score of 100 and a written score of 24 on the TOEFL test;
  • an overall score of 7 and a written score of 6.5 on the IELTS test;
  • an overall score of C1 on the Cambridge English Language Assessment test.

Select desired courses

Select your courses
  1. In order to submit your mandatory class selection within your application, please refer to our class catalogue:
  2. When completing your application, here are the conditions you must know about:
    • Undergraduate students must submit a list of 5 classes per term but will be enrolled in a minimum of 4 and maximum of 5 classes per term;
    • Undergraduate courses are offered at the 1000-4000 level (5000+ are graduate-level courses);
    • You cannot enrol in classes as an auditor;
    • You must attend all your lectures (LEC), laboratories (LAB) and discussion groups (DGD).
    • Some of the classes listed in the faculty class calendar above are not offered every year. Please pay particular attention to the class timetable when selecting your classes in order to avoid scheduling conflicts.

      N.B.: The preliminary class selection submitted in your application is not an actual registration to your classes.This step will be completed once you are accepted to the University of Ottawa as a visiting international student.
  3. Your access to classes is limited by:Prerequisites. You will not be able to enrol in classes if you have not already taken the equivalent prerequisites.
    • Restricted faculties. You cannot enrol in classes from the Telfer School of Management (class codes ADM, MGT or MBA), the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Education.
    • Restricted classes. Mandatory classes in some programs may be reserved for uOttawa students only, and visiting international students are not eligible to take certain classes (see restrictions below).
    • Language. Ensure that you satisfy the language requirements for the classes you choose.
    • Six-unit classes run from September to April; three-unit class are offered from September to December or from January to April. Please take into account the duration, start and end dates for each class if you register for one term only.

      The International Office at the University of Ottawa cannot guarantee your place in the classes selected, especially classes with limited enrolment and classes requiring specific class prerequisites.Therefore it is important that you enrol in your classes as soon as possible.


What to do before leaving

As a visiting international student, you will have the status of a special student. You will be charged international student fees, including tuition and incidental fees. You may also have to pay some fees for some learning material (e.g. visual arts material). You will be responsible for all other costs related to your stay in Canada, including a compulsory private health insurance for all visiting international students; no exception will be considered.

Estimated costs for a single visiting international student (per 4-month term)


Estimated cost

Full-time basis tuition plus incidentals


Housing (from $650 to $800 per month)

$2,600 - $3,200

Food (approximately $85 per week)


Compulsory private health insurance


Books and other supplies


Clothing, entertainment and other items


Communications (telephone, internet)


*Based on 2016-2017 costs

**This is an estimated budget to help you plan your expenses. Amounts will vary according to your particular situation (eating in restaurants, living on campus and other factors).

***This is the cost for the compulsory period of 4 months for one person.

InformationWhen booking your flight, keep in mind that you might have an exam on the last night of the exam period. Unfortunately, it is impossible for visiting international students to write their exams before the other students. Please ensure you check the date of the examination period by referring to the site of important dates.

Apply for immigration documents

Academic matters

Class registration

The registration period for visiting international students usually begins at the end of June, including those coming for the winter term (January). Please note that the faculty cannot guarantee a place in classes unless enrolled, so it is important to complete your registration in the best possible time to maximize your chances of enrollment in the classes desired.

  • Please consult the class timetable tool in order to search for available classes;
  • You must complete, sign and send your registration form to your host the appropriate faculty as soon as possible so that the advisor can enroll you to your classes;
  • The faculty will confirm your final class registration with you.
Student email

Within 48 hours of your class registration, you will receive an email addressed to your personal email account explaining how to access your @uOttawa email account.  It is your responsibility to check your university email account regularly. If you are having trouble accessing any of your uOttawa accounts after this time has elapsed, fill out an online request for computing assistance. All emails from the University of Ottawa will be sent to your @uOttawa account.

Student card

In addition to being used as your student identification, your uOttawa card can be used to quickly and conveniently pay for items at over 100 locations on campus. You can also use your card to borrow books from the library, access the gym, and book an appointment with an academic advisor. Visit the uOttawa Card website to order your card online, or pick up your card in person when you arrive on campus. If you lose your card, you must pay a replacement fee of $25. 

Register for a private health insurance plan
InformationYou will need to purchase a proper insurance plan from your home country to cover you during your stay at the University of Ottawa


Arrival in Ottawa

Orientation program

Your participation to the Visiting international student orientation session is mandatory.  You must arrive in Canada in time to participate in the orientation session.  Please find the details below:

Welcome session in English

  • For students coming for Winter 2019:
    • Date: Friday, January 4th , 2019
    • Location: Tabaret Hall (TBT) - Room 333 (campus map)
    • Time: 9:00 a.m. to noon (please arrive no later than 8:45 a.m. to sign-in)


Meet with a mentor at the international mentoring center

The majority of the international mentors who work at the International Mentoring Centre are also international students and have gone through experiences similar to yours, and since they can relate to your experience, they can often provide very useful advice during your transition. They are your main resource on campus, linking you to all of the different services offered by the university.  They are available to answer your questions on:

  • Canadian culture
  • Academic life
  • Learning strategies
  • Challenges you could face during your time at university

They also offer Intercultural Communication Workshops where international and Canadian students discuss and learn about their respective cultures in order to acquire intercultural skills. These workshops provide a great opportunity for you to meet other students and facilitate your integration on campus.

Meet with an academic advisor

Exchange students who encounter problems when enrolling for their classes, must contact the faculty as soon as possible to schedule a meeting with an Academic Advisor.

Visit the academic writing help centre

The Academic Writing Help Centre exists to help students develop strategies and writing skills that will enable them to:

  • Understand the requirements of academic writing
  • Develop their argumentation skills
  • Expand their critical thinking abilities
  • Master the written language of their choice

The Centre can also help you to avoid academic fraud, including plagiarism. Last year, more than 100 University of Ottawa students were accused of plagiarism and received various sanctions, including expulsion from the University. To plagiarize is to borrow someone’s words or ideas without mentioning their name and/or without using quotation marks (“...”).

Download an information booklet on plagiarism to make sure that you do not commit academic fraud, even unintentionally.

Get involved and meet new people

There are many ways to get involved on campus, but here are some that we think might interest you:

  1. Join a cultural club
  2. Participate in a socio-cultural activity, such as uOConnexion, organized by the International Office;
  3. Attend an event hosted by the International House (notably the International Gala or International Week);
  4. Learn while helping the community with the Centre for Global and Community Engagement;
  5. For all things non-academic, visit the Campus activites page;
  6. Stay active and in good health while at university by taking part in recreational activities or joining a Gee-Gees sports team.
Useful contacts on campus


Contact InfoService

Tel: 613-562-5800

Health Services Clinic

100 Marie Curie

Tel: 613-564-3950

Campus Pharmacy

100 Marie Curie

Tel: 613-563-4000

University of Ottawa Students' Union

Contact UOSU

Tel: 613-783-1380 ext. 101 or 102

Student Academic Success Service (SASS)

Contact SASS

Tel: 613-562-5101 

Sports Services

Contact Sports

Tel: 613-562-5789

Protection Services

141 Louis-Pasteur

Tel: 613-562-5411


On-campus Housing

You have the possibility of living in a university residence on or near the campus. Please note that there are limited spaces in residence and they are offered on a first come, first served basis. There is no guarantee of on-campus accommodation for exchange students. Please follow the required steps should you decide to stay on campus.

Off-Campus Housing

A large number of students live in close proximity to campus, and sometimes in neighbourhoods densely populated by students. Please visit the Off-Campus Housing Office for more information.

If you’ve opted for off-campus housing, here are some tips to follow:

  • Many students live in the Sandy Hill neighborhood, adjacent to the University of Ottawa. Some houses located at the fringe of the campus are owned and managed by the University. Contact the Resource Centre at
    for more information, and use the Housing Portal (via uoZone) to apply.
  • Many other options are listed on the Student Housing Billboard. See how rent prices compare with the average monthly rent observed in the area.
  • Unless you deal with the University, we recommend that you finalize your housing arrangements only once you have arrived in Ottawa. This will give you the chance to meet the landlords and visit the dwellings.
    You should plan an early arrival and set a few days aside for that task.

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