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Distant & "Alternative" Placements

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Take note: Applications for Distant Placements are suspended for the 2020-21 academic year.

McGill University has cancelled all inbound and outbound exchanges and term away for Winter 2021 which includes distant placements.

Take note: DistantĀ and "alternative" placements are only possible forĀ B.Ed. 4th Field Experience. In some cases, "alternative" placements can be done for the 2nd Field Experience. MATL students can only do an Internship at an Adult Education setting for their 2nd Internship.

DistantĀ and "alternative" placementsĀ are enriching and challenging experiences, however, they should only be undertaken by Student Teachers who have conducted a thorough assessment of their own strengths and weaknesses and are prepared for the unique challenges and opportunities.Ā 

In general, Student Teachers who are successful in undertaking a distant or "alternative" placementĀ are:Ā 

  • Proactive, resourceful, independent and enjoy new experiences; capable of identifying goals and making concrete plans to achieve them
  • Mature, haveĀ sound judgment and can adjust expectations; experienced in managing complex and/or stressful situationsĀ 
  • Comfortable being separated from support networks (e.g. friends, family, routine, etc.); comfortable with ICT (e.g. Skype, Dropbox, etc.)Ā 
  • Prepared to experience differences in communication and cultural "norms" (if travelling abroad)Ā 

Prior to considering a distant or "alternative" placement, Student Teachers should conduct a through self-assessment to evaluate whether or not they believe that they possess these key qualities.Ā 

Students should consult the details below and, if necessary, contact their Placement Coordinator for more details.Ā 


Alternative Placements

"Alternative" placements (i.e. non-mainstream), which encompass a wide range of opportunities (including adult education and outreach/"specific need" schools), are possible for B.Ed. 4th Field ExperienceĀ (and, in some cases, 2nd Field Experience). MATL students can only do an Internship at an Adult Education setting for their 2nd Internship.

These type of placements are arranged by the ISAĀ and will be communicated to students by e-mail and on the ISA website (see below).


  1. Minimum CGPA of 3.00
  2. Strong evaluation reports in previous Field Experiences (consistent marks of 'Thorough' or 'Advanced')
  3. B.Ed. Student doing 2nd Field Experience (FE2) or 4th Field Experience (FE4), or MATL Student doing 2nd Internship (IN2)

How to Apply

  1. Indicate your interest in doing an alternativeĀ placement in the "Comments" section of your placement form.

  2. Email [at] with the following criteria:

    • short personal statement (outlining reasons for applyingĀ and suitability)
    • Current CV (FE4 and IN2 applications only)

All placement requests are subject to availability at the host board/school and final approval for all alternative opportunities lies with theĀ ISA Director.Ā  You may also be asked to interview at the school.


Adult Education Including (but not limited to),Ā EMSB Adult Education Centres,Ā Place Cartier Adult Education Centre,Ā PACC Adult Education

B.Ed. Secondary



Work-Oriented Training Path (WOTP) Prework Training This path is intended to give students practical training for the workplace, while pursuing general education adapted to their needs. The purpose of Prework Training to prepare students for the demands of life in society and the world of work. Available at EMSB and LBPSB.

B. Ed. Secondary

B. Ed. K/Elem

Outreach/"Specific Need" Including (but not limited to),Ā EMSB Outreach Schools (Perspectives, Options, Focus, etc.) B.Ed. Secondary
Special Needs Including (but not limited to), EMSB Special Needs Schools B.Ed. K/Elem
Jewish General Hospital

Psychiatry Unit's Day School Program
Involves working with patients/pupils in a multi-disciplinary team; patients/pupils will eventually be re-integrated into their regular school.

B.Ed. K/Elem

*Bilingual preferred*


Distant Placements

Placements outside of Greater Montreal (i.e. within Quebec, within Canada, or internationally) are possible for B.Ed.4th Field Experience (not for MATL). Distant placements may either be organized by the ISA Office or beĀ self-directedĀ (i.e. arranged/organized by the Student Teacher).Ā 

Note: Applications for Distant Placements are presently suspended pending further information about travel restrictions for the upcoming 2020-21 academic year.


  1. Minimum CGPA of 3.00
  2. Strong evaluation reports in previous Field Experiences (consistent marks of 'Thorough' or 'Advanced'), in particular FE3
    • Students who are doing FE3 after the application deadline (i.e. in Fall 2019) will receiveĀ tentativeĀ acceptances, contingent on their FE3 evaluations. Priority may be given during selection to applicants who have already completed FE3 by the application deadline.
  3. Valid passport (if travelling outside of Canada)
  4. B.Ed. Student doing 4th Field Experience (FE4)Ā 

How to Apply

Self-Directed Distant Placements

Students who wish to seek out a self-directed distant placement forĀ B.Ed. 4th Field Experience must handle all aspects of coordination; however, as with all placements, final approval rests with the ISA Director.

Learn more about self-directed distant placementsĀ here.

Take note: Self-Directed Distant Placements can only be your 1st choice when applying!


Opportunities Arranged by the ISA

  1. Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria (see above)
  2. (Optional) Attend one of ISA'sĀ Distant Placement Info Sessions (schedule TBC)
  3. Complete the "Distance Opportunity Request - FE4"Ā webform by the stated deadline. You will be asked to upload your:
    • 1 page letter of intent (outlining reasons for applying and suitability)
    • Current CV
  4. Attend an interview with the ISA Director (scheduled after the application deadline)

All placement requests are subject to availability at the host board/school and final approval for all distant opportunities lies with the ISA Director.


Distant Placement Options

There are two major distant placement opportunities, arranged by ISA with partners in and out of McGill. For both these opportunities, accommodation and transportation are provided AND organized for you by ISA. These opportunities require less organization and arrangements on the part of student teachers and involve longstanding, established relationships with external partners.

  1. Indigenous Communities in Quebec

  2. Hong Kong (TESL only)

ISA also has other opportunities available to FE4 students teachers, subject to availability and approval. Funding for accommodation and/or travel MAY be available; however, student teachers will need to organize and arrange these. The ISA only coordinates the placement for these opportunities and will connect you to our partners so you can arrange the rest.

Click here for comprehensive information on all ISA-arranged Distant Placement options.

McGill University is located on land thatĀ has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. McGill honours, recognizes, and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which we meet. Learn more.

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