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Plan and apply

 crowded street in Hong Kong, pagoda-style arch on the water at sunset, colorful staircase in Chile, Andes mountains, colorful buildings along a canal in Venice

While you normally go on exchange in your third year, you should start preparing for this experience as early as possible. You usually need to apply for exchange 8-12 months in advance!

In first year…

  • Research the exchange destinations that interest you and get an idea of how much it will cost.
  • Learn about the Global Experience Certificate.
  • Depending on where you want to go, consider taking appropriate language or culture courses.
  • Make an appointment with the Arts International Exchange Officer to talk about your plans. It is best to make the appointment before November 1st.

In second year…

  • Narrow down your destinations to your top three exchange universities. Ask yourself the right questions to find the perfect fit for you.
  • If you haven’t already, make an appointment with the Arts International Exchange Officer to talk about your plans.
  • Check the application deadlines and read about how to apply. Make sure to plan so you will have enough time to complete your application before the deadline.
  • Find out more about how to apply for international experience scholarships.
  • Apply for exchange and get ready for the experience of a lifetime!

In third year…

  • Make sure you have made arrangements for your visa, travel, housing, and courses—do not leave it until the last minute!
  • Your date of departure will depend on the term dates of the university you’re going to.
  • Enjoy your time abroad! Meet new people, see amazing places, and study the world through a new lens.

In fourth year…

  • Share your experience with us and other students by filling out an exchange debriefing form and send to Arts International Exchange
  • Sometime after you return from your exchange, the courses you took on your exchange will be applied to your Waterloo degree as transfer credits. After this happens, you may want to check in with your advisor to make sure you are on track to meet your graduation requirements.
  • Missed your chance in third year? You may still be able to go on exchange in fourth year if you’re willing to graduate later than planned.