Self-Directed Distant Placements

B.Ed. students participating in their 4th Field Experience can request permission to organize their final student teaching placement outside of the Greater Montreal area, also known as a "self-directed distant placement".

Self-directed means that students assume full organizational and financial responsibility, including:

  • Securing a placement at an eligible host school (to be approved by the ISA Office)
    • Please note, paid placements are not eligible for consideration and no stipend is offered to host schools
  • Finding an eligible Co-operating Teacher (to be approved by the ISA Office)
  • Arranging travel, accommodation, legal documents and insurance, etc. (if applicable)
  • Arranging funding (if applicable)

The Internships & Student Affairs Office (ISA) provides the overall approval for the distant placement and assigns a Field Supervisor.



Self-directed placements can either be in a host school in another province in Canada outside of Quebec, or in a host school outside of Canada.

Placements in Quebec CANNOT be self-directed. If you have a preference for a specific school/school board in Quebec outside of the Greater Montreal Area, please indicate this when you complete your placement form.


Student Eligibility

In order to be considered for a self-directed distance placement, students must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Strong performance in previous Field Experiences (i.e. received ‘PROFICIENT’ or ‘EXCEEDING’ on Summative Assessment)

    • If completing 3rd Field Experience in the term immediately before 4th Field Experience, provisional approval may be granted; however, final approval will not be granted until the outcome of FE3 has been determined
    • If you believe your performance in previously Field Experiences does not accurately convey your ability to do a distant placement, please explain why in your letter of intent.
  • Evidence of adaptability, ability to work independently, and a high level of professional maturity
  • CGPA of at least 3.00

Please note, meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee that approval will be granted for a distance placement. The Internships & Student Affairs Director will take a student’s record and history in the Faculty of Education into consideration prior to granting final approval.


Student Liability

Students who undertake a self-directed distant placement are solely responsible for:

  • Obtaining adequate insurance (e.g. travel, medical, dental, etc.) for the duration of the distant placement

  • Acquiring the appropriate travel documents/permits to undertake an unpaid Field Experience (“internship”)
  • Funding all aspects of the distant placement, including but not limited to, travel, accommodations, legal documents, etc.
  • Any consequences, including financial, academic, or otherwise, resulting from cancellation and/or termination of the distant placement



If a self-directed distant placement is cancelled at least 30 days prior to the start date of 4th Field Experience, the ISA Office will endeavor to seek a suitable placement in the Montreal area; however, there are no guarantees that a placement will be found which may result in delayed program completion/graduation.


Host School Eligibility

In order to be considered eligible for a distant placement, a host school must:

  • Be accredited by the local governing authority (i.e. equivalent to QC’s Ministry of Education)

    • Given the requirements for graduation from McGill University, as well as provincial teacher certification in the province of Quebec, the ISA Office will only consider distant placement options in countries where the schools and educational systems are equivalent to those found in QC.
  • Allow for instruction in English and/or French by the student teacher (for the purposes of evaluation by a Field Supervisor)
  • Agree to provide appropriate classroom teaching opportunities and mentorship, in addition to adhering to the guidelines for 4th Field Experience, including the progression of tasks (80-100% of a full teaching workload by Week 3-4)
  • Have adequate pedagogical and physical resources to mentor and support a student teacher

Please note, all regular Field Experience policies apply, which means that students are not permitted to be placed in a school where they have friends/family either attending or working. Failure to disclose this information will be grounds for dismissal from the placement.


Co-operating Teacher Eligibility

In order to be considered eligible for a distant placement, a Co-operating Teacher must:

  • Possess at least 5 years of teaching experience

  • Teach at least an 80% workload in the appropriate subject area
  • Agree to follow the Field Experience guidelines and complete and submit the appropriate evaluations
  • Agree to communicate regularly with the Field Supervisor according to the agreed upon schedule
  • Be recommended as a mentor by their School Administrator


Field Supervision

Students on self-directed distant placements will be assigned a McGill Field Supervisor who will conduct supervision in one of two ways, at the discretion of the ISA Office:

  1. On-site

    1. A qualified representative near the host school will be retained and will conduct on-site evaluations according the guidelines
  2. Remotely
    1. A Field Supervisor from Montreal will be assigned and will conduct remote evaluations according to the guidelines
    2. The student and Field Supervisor will both attend a pre-departure briefing arranged by the ISA Office
    3. The student assumes logistical and financial responsibility for arranging evaluation of student teaching, either by live remote observation (e.g. via Skype) or by recorded observation (e.g. via video)
    4. Each week, the student, Field Supervisor and Co-operating Teacher will have a “conference” either by telephone, online chat or Skype to review progress and address concerns/issues; this schedule will be established at the outset of the Field Experience
    5. Each week, the student must submit an update to the Field Supervisor, including an overview of lesson plans; this may take the format of an e-mail, a reflective journal, a blog, etc. and is to be determined by both parties


How to Apply

Please Note: When completing and sending the fillable PDF forms, be sure to download them to your computer's desktop and re-open with Adobe Reader(as opposed to completing in the web browser); otherwise, forms may appear blank to recipients.



May - October

  • Obtain provisional approval from your ISA Placement Coordinator ( [at] to seek a distance placement for FE4
  • Research potential host schools and province/country to ensure compliance with eligibility criteria
  • Research the required judicial, medical and travel documents well in advance (these take time to process)
  • Download and complete the 'Student Teacher' portion of the Distant Placement Request Form
  • Download the appropriate introductory letter template (Letter to School Board; Letter to School Administrator)
  • Send the introductory letter and the completed Distant Placement Request Form to the host school/board so that they may complete their portion
  • Download the appropriate request letter template and the Distant Placement Request Form; complete the ‘Student Teacher’ portion of the form (all documents found on the ISA website)
  • Submit the letter and completed form to the host school’s board and/or Principal/Administrator

By October 16th

  • Download and complete the Distant Host School Form
  • Complete the "Distance Opportunity Request - FE4 webform. You will be asked to upload your:
    1. 1-page letter of intent (outlining reasons for applying and suitability)
    2. Current CV
    3. Completed Distant Host School Form
    4. Completed Distant Placement Request Form

NOTE: The Self-Directed option can only be a 1st choice when applying!

Late Fall

February 1st

  • For international placements, complete McGill’s mandatory Travel Registry in Minerva (have flight, health insurance and emergency contact information handy)
  • For international placements, complete the Student Acceptance Form and Behavioural Contract and submit to the ISA Placement Coordinator


  • Attend mandatory pre-departure briefing held by the ISA Office
  • For international placements, upon arrival in host country, register with the Government of Canada: Registration of Canadians Abroad (or equivalent for non-Canadian citizens)
  • Notify the ISA Office of any issues/problems that arise immediately


  • Attend debriefing session held by the ISA Office




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