Frequently-Asked Questions

On this page: Exchange | Travel Health and Safety | Travel Registry


What is an exchange?

If you participate in a bilateral exchange, you switch places with a student at another university (host university) while earning McGill credit. McGill has nearly 150 bilateral partners.

When is the best time to go on exchange?

Most undergraduate students go on exchange the year before their final year. Talk to your advisor about going on exchange to determine when would be best for you, with regard to your program requirements.

When do I apply for an exchange?

The deadline to submit the Request for Exchange form on Minerva is around mid-January* for the following Fall and Winter. * Exception: If you are in the Faculty of Law, you must submit your request by early November. Note: If there are remaining exchange opportunities after the deadline, the Request for Exchange form on Minerva will re-open and stay open until mid-May. Click here for exact dates.

How do I choose a host university?

Consider things such as academic programs, culture, climate, costs of living, and language when selecting a host university. Check out the university websites and social media tools, talk to professors, friends who have visited the area, and your academic advisor. Review a few schools that you are interested in, and then narrow your choices down to three or four. Need help deciding where to go? There are often visits from our exchange partners. Learn more about McGill's exchange partners.

How do I apply?

Click here for instructions.

Will going on exchange defer my graduation?

If planned carefully, in consultation with an academic advisor, most exchanges do not defer graduation. However, if you choose to go on exchange in the final semester of your program, delayed receipt of your transcript from the Host University and subsequent delays in the processing of transfer credits could delay graduation.

How do I get credit for the courses I take while on exchange?

To ensure you get the credits earned at the host school transferred back to McGill, ensure you speak to your advisor. Click here for details.

I have accepted my nomination to go on exchange but can no longer go, how can I cancel my exchange?

Submit your cancellation request via this webform

This form should be used by students who have been officially nominated by McGill University to participate in the exchange program and have accepted their nomination. The cancellation request should be made prior to the exchange term itself.

How much does it cost to go exchange? Is financial support available?

When going on exchange you can expect to incur additional costs such as airline tickets, accommodations and other living expenses – but don’t let this stop you from gaining an international experience! Financial support is available.

How many courses can I take on exchange?

You are required to take the equivalent of a full-time course load at your host university. It is a good idea to have 8 - 10 courses approved in advance.

Do the grades from my exchange studies count towards my GPA at McGill?

No, the grades you receive at your host university do not count towards your McGill GPA but you will receive an official transcript from the host university showing the grades you received.

Travel Health and Safety

What do I do if the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) issues a travel advisory for the area that I am in?

McGill’s International Mobility Guidelines prohibit student travel for academic reasons to locations that the Government of Canada has issued a travel advisory (i.e., "avoid non-essential travel:, "avoid all travel"). Latest news and warnings released from DFATD can be seen here.

The Government of Canada issues travel advisories when the security of Canadians visiting a particular region abroad may be compromised. It provides the Government of Canada’s official advice regarding travel to a country or specific region(s) of a country.

In the event a travel advisory is issued prior to departure, students are advised that academic activities in the area are cancelled. Students should then plan for an alternative activity in consultation with their faculty or department. If a student is already in the affected area, he/she is advised to leave the area.

Where can I get information about travel health?

Travel Health and Safety section of this website

Visit McGill Student Health Services (514)398-6017; 3rd floor, Brown Student Services Building.

Travel Registry

Do I have to complete a TRAVEL REGISTRY form?

You are required to complete a Travel Registry form for all university-related travel activities. Some activities within Canada, such as internships, may also require that you complete a Travel Registry form.  

If a Travel Registry form is created for you it can be found in Minerva under the Student Records Menu. When the form is ready for you to complete, you will receive a notice by email linking you directly to the form.

Your Student Affairs Office can create a travel registry form for you.

I am attending an international CONFERENCE. Am I required to complete a Travel Registry form?

Yes, you must complete a Travel Registry form when participating in international conferences and formally organized workshops, but you are not obliged to take part in a Pre-Departure Orientation session.

Ask your Program Administrator to create a travel registry form for you.

Who is my Travel Registry Program Administrator?

Your Program Administrator is usually your advisor or the administrator in your Faculty or Department, or Graduate Affairs Coordinator if you are a graduate student. Click here to consult a complete list of advisors.

As a Program Administrator, how do I create a Travel Registry Form?

Click here for a detailed guide explaining the process for creating a travel registry form.

Am I required to provide my passport number?

The University will only use your passport number if it is required to identify you in communication with the Canadian or other governments in the event of an emergency. If however you would rather not share your passport information, you can enter arbitrary numbers, e.g., “123456789” and “2099-01-01” for your 'Passport Number' and Passport Expiry' fields respectively.

Am I required to purchase supplemental Travel Insurance when I study abroad?

You must carry sufficient travel insurance, including emergency medical evacuation, which provides transportation in the event of medical emergencies.

The insurance plans offered by SSMU and PGSS, which include emergency medical evacuation insurance, are ACCEPTABLE, but note the LIMITATIONS in the plan. For example, there is a requirement that you check with the insurer before receiving care. Carefully review the coverage provided by your plan to ensure you are adequately insured.

Canadian non-residents and international students MUST CONSULT International Student Services to register for the extended study away health insurance plan before going abroad. Address any questions to International Student Services.

Other travel insurance can be purchased from any travel agency, i.e. Voyages Campus (Travel Cuts), the student travel agency on campus.
In the Travel Registry form, if your insurance plan provides unlimited coverage enter “999999” in the Amount of Coverage field; and if your insurance plan has no expiry date enter “2099-01-01”.

I submitted my Travel Registry form by clicking the I ACCEPT button and now need to make a change. What do I do?

Once you accept the terms of the agreement, the status on your form changes to ‘Accepted’. But you can still access your form and update the following fields: mobile telephone, emergency contact information and personal itinerary. If you need to make changes to any other section, you must contact your Program Administrator, and ask them to change the status to ‘Incomplete’. You can then access the form, make any changes, and click I ACCEPT to submit it.

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