Earn a Global Experience Certificate

Interested in a life changing international study term, work term or volunteer experience? As you plan for those incredible adventures, earn a Global Experience Certificate (GEC) too and showcase your cross-cultural achievements to prospective employers. 

What you need

Undergraduate students are required to complete a GEC plan and academic calendar outlining how they will complete the following three GEC components:

  • Three for-credit courses (1.5 units)
  • One international experience (minimum 6 consecutive weeks)
  • One cross-cultural volunteer experience (minimum 20 hours during 1 term)

Once you have completed the certificate requirements, you will be awarded a Global Experience Certificate upon graduation. The certificate will appear on your transcript, and your international experience and cross cultural volunteer experience will appear as milestones. 

Please note

  • Applied Language Studies students completing APPLS 205R, 304R & 306R for the volunteer experience component are exempt from the 1 term requirement
  • International experiences and cross-cultural volunteer experiences cannot be started prior to submitting your GEC plan. 
  • There is a $100 dollar withdrawal only fee associated with the Global Experience Certificate (GEC). If a student withdraws from the program for any reason after being approved, or fails to complete the components upon graduation, a $100 fee will be administered. 

Submit an application

  1. Fill out the Global Experience Certificate plan (PDF). Once you have completed the two-page form, print it and sign it. Carefully follow our GEC application guide to complete all the necessary steps.
  2. Create a calendar indicating where the GEC components fit into your overall academic plan. These samples by previous GEC students can help you develop yours. 
    1. Accounting & Finance Management calendar
    2. AHS calendar
    3. Arts calendar
    4. Engineering calendar
    5. Environment calendar
    6. Math calendar
    7. Science calendar
  3. Submit your GEC plan and academic calendar to the Global Learning Coordinator, Paula, in person. Email gec@uwaterloo.ca‌ to set up an appointment.


  • Go abroad - The University of Waterloo has agreements with institutions around the world offering exchange, study abroad, summer language and research program opportunities. 
  • Beyond Borders - A study abroad program through St. Jerome's University. 
  • My World Abroad - Research work, study and volunteer opportunities around the world. 
  • Field work - As part of your 4th year of study at Waterloo, you can spend two terms working with a local development organization or project in a developing country. 

Contact us

Contact Paula Murphy, Global Learning Coordinator, for more information.