The University of Waterloo has exchange agreements with over ninety universities in more than 25 countries. This means that you can study abroad while paying tuition fees to your home institution. You can also go for an international exchange with a letter of permission at a non-partner institution.

Before applying for an international exchange check Waterloo Passport for all available program options. To have all your questions answered about a particular international exchange talk to Arts International Exchange Officer, Robert Ryan (at x38645, PAS 2423). When you have fully researched your options and are ready to make your decision to study abroad official submit your application online through Waterloo Passport.

By doing an international exchange not only do you get learn, explore and experience a new country, you also get to take courses for credit towards your degree. As a political science major you can also fulfill an experiential learning pathway. In the semester that you plan to be abroad enroll in PSCI 497A Study Abroad (0.25 credit). This course will be available online and will require you to complete three, short reflection essays. When you return to UW in the following semester enroll in PSCI 497B Study Abroad (0.25 credit) to produce a final project that integrates your coursework on contemporary politics, policy and governance with your study abroad experience.

PSCI 497A Study Abroad Enrollment Form (pdf)

Check out the following links to see where our students have travelled!

France building picture.                     Downtown Singapore picture.                        Germany building picture.

      Heather's Story                                  Nike's Story                                           Irem's Story

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. When should I enroll in PSCI 497A?

You should have completed at least 2 years of university studies before going on exchange. Once you have confirmation from Waterloo International that you will be going on international exchange, initiate the PSCI 497A enrollment form during the enrollment period before the semester you spend abroad. Complete the form and submit to Karen Walo in room 314.

2. How do I research available opportunities for international exchange?

You can research available opportunities for international exchange using the search function on Waterloo Passport. There is also a wealth of information on the Faculty of Arts website. You can also consult with Robert Ryan, who is the Arts International Exchange Officer.

3. Is there funding available to offset the costs of international travel?

Yes, there is funding available to students. See Scholarships and Awards page for funding opportunities available through the Faculty of Arts. You may also search on the Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA) website for a full listing of awards you may be eligible for. Additionally, you can always consult with Robert Ryan as well.

4. Do I need a particular average to be eligible for international exchange programs?

The minimum average required varies by country or university. Your overall average needs to be 75% and above for universities in Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and United Kingdom.For all other exchange destinations your overall average needs to be 70% and above.

5. Do I need to speak the official language of the country that I am travelling to?

Many of the exchange program agreements do not require you to be able to speak the official language.Exceptions include some programs in France and Sweden, and most programs in China, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. However, proficiency in the language of the country you are going to may allow a wider selection of courses.

6. Will I earn credit for the courses I take while I am abroad? Will I get grades for these courses or will they be pass/fail?

You need the equivalent of a 60% in a course at another university in order for it to transfer back to your degree at Waterloo. Conversions to a 60% are available for each university we partner with. The grades you earn in your exchange courses are not calculated in your average and will only show up on your Waterloo transcript as credit (CR) or no credit (NCR).

7. What are the departmental expectations for the final project due at the end of PSCI 497B? Who will grade my final project?

Please see the PSCI 497B final project deliverables (pdf) for departmental guidelines and expectations for the final project due at the end of PSCI 497B.