Get ready to go!


Welcome to the Get ready to go! page for the 2024 Africa Field Study Semester. This website is designed to help you get ready for our departure in January. Please read through all the information carefully.

You will find here the PDF icon 2024 AFSS Student HandbookThis is the main document to prepare for your departure. Please read it carefully as this is where you will find information, guidelines, lists...

If you have any questions about preparations, please do not hesitate to [at] (subject: AFSS%20question) (contact us).

It is time to start getting excited about spending this winter in Africa!


Students will be expected to attend mandatory pre-departure sessions through the fall. We are holding our meetings in the evening to make sure that all students can attend. If you have a class during this time, please talk to your professor to explain your situation and see how you could make up for the missed information. 

Pre-departure session

dates, location

General information session Wednesday September 20 2023 - 6 to 8 pm, Burnside 426
Positionality training with Antoine-Samuel Mauffette Alavo

Wednesday October 18, 6 to 8 pm, Burnside 426

Group Dynamics and Wellbeing session with Kayla Adem

Tuesday October 24, 6 to 8 pm, Burnside 426

Health session


Wrap-up session



Preparing for the AFSS Program

Please respect all the deadlines and save the documents you send our way as PDFs under "Last name, First name, Document name (i.e. Insurance, Acceptance form).

Action to be taken

Due dates

If you do not have a valid passport, start the process to get a new one immediately. Be sure that your passport is valid for the duration of your travels, and for six months after your planned return.
Send us a color PDF of your passport via email by Nov.1st.

Get your passport now (if needed); color PDF due November 1st
Book your flight - as early as possible once we confirm the start and end date of the program. Once you have your flight, please fill the Flight Information Form. Book your flight as soon as we have the exact travelling dates. Update the Flight information form as soon as you have reserved your flight (by November 15th at the latest)
Fill out the Emergency contact, Passport Form and dietary restrictions. September 30th
Register and take the McGill Pre-Departure Orientation. The course is offered online, but registration is open only for a few days each month. Please visit their website to find more information. Email your completion certificate to our office. Completion certificate due by October 31st
Fill the Medical form and Immunization form, print them and bring them with you when you meet with your practitioner. Make sure to also print the PDF icon Physician Form that will need to be filled and signed by your practitioner during your meeting. Book your appointment now!! 

October 31st

Apply for your visa (s). Bring a printed copy of each visa with your passport to be stamped on arrival in each country. The Visa websites are a bit glitchy, and payment can be tricky. It is important to start this process early enough to have time to react if there are any issues. You will not be allowed on your flight leaving Montreal if you do not have your Kenyan visa in hand.

Start after November 15th (an email will be sent your way with more information for the Kenyan Visa).

 Course registration in Minerva

When courses are opened (we will let you know)

Sign and return PDF icon 2024 AFSS Acceptance Document December 1st

Please fill the form Insurance Information and send us your proof of insurance by email (PFD saved as last name, first name, "Insurance"). See extra information for insurances below.

December 1st

Fill up the McGill Student Travel Registry and register for Global Affairs Canada (see below)

December 1st

Payment required

Due dates

$1,000 deposit

September 15

First installment ($10,000)

October 15

Last installment (remaining balance)

November 15

Pay your McGill tuition

December 15


Buying your flight

We will let you know as soon as we will have set specific dates for the AFSS. Once you have exact dates, shop around to find the best deal for your flight. Make sure to buy a flight that is changeable as many students decide to stay in East Africa at the end of the program. The program starts in Nairobi, Kenya, and ends in Zanzibar, Tanzania.


Insurances General requirements

Insurances for Canadian Students - McGill degree students

If you are a Canadian McGill student, you can use your student health coverage (unless you have opted out of this plan). This plan covers students' travel insurance for academic study abroad programs. The insurance provided by ASEQ meets the above requirements. For details, visit I have a plan. Print your Travel Health Passport, available in the download centre, for future reference. Please note that you must notify Studentcare/ASEQ to advise them of your travel to Africa. Provide them your official acceptance letter to the AFSS. Note that it can take a few weeks for them to reply to your request, therefore you should start this process early.

Please provide us with a photocopy of your proof of insurance. Even if you are covered through McGill, we must still receive a copy of the official letter confirming your coverage.

Insurances for International Students - McGill degree students

McGill has a compulsory group sickness and accident plan for all international students. This fee is automatically charged to international students. To request the extended health insurance while participating in the AFSS, contact International Student Services. Note that it can take a few weeks for them to reply to your request. Please start this process early.


If your travelling using another insurance provider:

Make sure that your travel health insurance includes:

  • Personal travel medical insurance with a minimum $1,000,000.00 CAD coverage is required to participate in the Africa Field Study Semester (AFSS). This can be difficult to get in Europe. It might therefore be a good idea to exceptionally get the McGill insurance this year.
  • Medevac coverage - an emergency air ambulance service that flies clients from their home communities to the nearest hospital that offers the treatment they need.
  • Emergency health coverage

Make sure to understand what is not covered by your insurance.


Trip interruption and cancellation insurance

You may be able to get a trip interruption/cancellation insurance through our travel agent, but it is a case-by-case situation, depending on where you are from. Talk about possible insurance with your agent when you buy your ticket. 


McGill Travel Registry 

It is very important to fill the McGill Travel Registry before the AFSS. Personal information, emergency contact, travel documents, insurance information and immunizations must be provided. The website also asks for very specific information listing the cities visited, host institution, host to contact, phone number... We will be providing this information to you by email.

To access and complete the form, you must download the app on your personal Android or iOS device.

Make sure to have the following information in hand:

  1. Passport, and travel visa information
  2. Travel insurance coverage and policy details
  3. Vaccinations/immunizations
  4. E-ticket and itinerary

You can complete the form in more than one sitting, saving your changes and come back to it later.

To finalize and submit the form, you will be asked to accept the terms of the Travel Guidelines.

Until you accept the terms and submit the form, the status of your form will remain incomplete and you will receive monthly email reminders asking you to complete it.


Global Affairs Canada

Register with Global Affairs Canada

The Government of Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that we can contact and assist you in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform you of a family emergency at home.

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