Information for

International exchange

Expand your world on an international exchange

Students in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences (AHS) are encouraged to participate in an international exchange opportunity. You can spend either one or two terms studying aboard. Courses taken while on exchange may be credited towards your University of Waterloo (UW) degree. Therefore, you can complete degree requirements while getting an experience of a lifetime!

AHS has more than 40 student exchange agreements in over 20 different countries.

By participating in an International exchange you have the opportunity to:

  • learn about a different culture by experiencing it firsthand;
  • learn to become independent, flexible, and confident;
  • make friends with people from different cultural and social backgrounds;
  • study courses within a different culture while obtaining credit toward your UW degree.

Who should apply?

Students selected for the exchange program serve as ambassadors to the University of Waterloo. Successful candidates must have:

  • at least third year standing (application accepted in 2nd year)
  • 70% or above overall average (75% for Australia exchanges)
  • completed at least one academic year in the department if they are a transfer student

Before you apply, you should meet with your academic advisor to determine if an exchange is possible based on your remaining degree requirements. If it is, your academic advisors will identify the best term for the exchange, as well as the required courses you must complete while on exchange to meet your remaining degree requirements. Academic advisors normally encourage students to participate in an elective-heavy term.

There is no guarantee concerning course offerings at UW. Although you may arrange your schedule to complete your degree requirements in four years, not all courses are offered every year and some courses may change time slots. This may lead to course conflicts. You must be prepared for the possibility that you may not finish your degree in four years.

How do you apply?

Applications are completed online through Waterloo Passport. Only one application per student is permitted. The application portal opens October 1 and closes November 1.

Co-op students will be required to submit the Request for Academic/Work Term Sequence Change form as part of the application. 

Waterloo International will notify you of your placement via e-mail by mid-February. You will then be required to submit a formal application for admission directly to your host university, as well as an application for accommodation. An official offer of admission from your host university will be required when you apply for a study visa to legally stay in the host country.

For more detailed information, consult Waterloo International's How do I apply page.


Once your placement is confirmed, you should submit your course equivalency requests for approval to the Student Success Officer. You will want to select your courses and initiate the approval process well before you leave so that you know what transfer credits to expect when you get back. Course choices may change throughout the application process. Please keep the Student Success Officer up to date as these changes occur. We cannot guarantee course availability abroad. It is therefore important that you remain flexible when selecting courses for any exchange or study abroad program.

You will be enrolled in REC 375/ KIN 372 /HLTH 405 International Exchange (2.5 units) for the term of the exchange. This is a placeholder course to bill tuition at UW for 2.5 units. It will be replaced by transfer credits once we receive your official transcripts from your host university.

You must complete pre-departure risk management requirements before you leave. Upon arrival at your host university, you must complete an arrival form.

For more detailed information, consult Waterloo International's process page.

Financing your exchange

While away on exchange, you pay normal full-time tuition fees to UW, rather than having to pay international student fees to your host university. You will pay for a full course load (5 courses) regardless of the number of courses you take at the host university. You will be required to cover all living and travel costs. It is important to consider the extra cost of living expenses that may be affiliated with some countries (such as currency exchange rates and flight fares).

Some exchange programs also offer direct scholarships or financial incentives to UW students once they’ve been accepted into the program. To learn more about financing an exchange, consult How do I pay for it?

The Canadian Bureau for International Education offers scholarship programs. To learn more, explore CBIE funding options.

What are my options for working overseas?

A part-time job may be possible during your exchange term; however, it does depend on the specific regulations of the country you’re going to. Check out the partner university’s website for any job information for international students.

There are many other ways you can work overseas. Here are some helpful links: