Photo of Cedric Ducoulombier, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico

Step 5: Finalize your preparations

Once admitted to your host university

Congratulations! You’ve gotten your exchange off the ground, and you’re getting closer to your big adventure. Before jetting off to your exchange destination, make sure to complete the following key actions to ensure a successful, rewarding, and safe experience!

Confirm your courses and credits

Make sure your academic coursework abroad counts towards your degree! As an exchange student, you can transfer credits for successfully completed courses back to McGill. To ensure this, it is highly recommended that you have your course selection evaluated and approved for credit transfer by your Faculty before leaving on exchange. McGill students are not permitted to take online courses while on exchange. Be sure to review the host's institution course delivery mode.*

Transfer credits apply to both elective and required courses and obtaining them depends on your:

  • Earning a grade that is equal to or higher than the grade required to graduate from the host university
  • Ensuring that your host university sends your official transcript directly to McGill Service Point’s mailing address. Electronic transcripts can be sent directly from the school to officialschooldocs [at]
  • Completing the Minerva Transfer Credit Assessment form and having it approved by your Faculty

It is your responsibility to research and understand how your faculty’s credit transfer policy applies to you. Select your faculty below to learn more, and if needed, consult your Faculty Advisor.

*Note: While on exchange students are expected to take the equivalent of 15 McGill credits per semester at their host institution. It is important to discuss your Faculty’s participation criteria directly with your Faculty Advisor. McGill students are required to pay for 15 credits for each semester on exchange.

Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Arts


Engineering and Architecture
Law Management



Register for courses at your host university

The process and timeline of course registration vary greatly across exchange partners. You will receive detailed information about the course registration process directly from your host university, but it is advised that you check the course registration and add/drop deadlines as soon as your admission is confirmed.

Though you may be eligible to enroll in courses at other universities or institutions while on an exchange, keep in mind that only courses completed at your approved host university are eligible for transfer credit.

Pay your McGill tuition

Your participation in the McGill exchange program is contingent upon your paying McGill tuition for the equivalent of 15 credits as well as related fees for the term during which you will be on an exchange. As you are focusing your attention on the adventure ahead, don’t miss the regular McGill tuition deadlines!

Explore host university services available to you

Make sure you know what to expect on arrival at your exchange destination by confirming what housing arrangements, welcome and health services, and buddy programs may be available to you as an exchange student. Refer to the information provided to you by your host university, consult their website or reach out to their incoming exchange office to make sure you're well informed.

McGill requirements

To ensure that your experience is successful, memorable and safe, you need to fulfill McGill requirements for students going on an exchange:

  • Attend Pre-Departure Orientation: a mandatory and beneficial session where all McGill students who are heading off to globalize their education will be introduced to concepts and tools to better prepare for their experiences abroad.
  • Register your travel:

Before you go, you must register your travel in two places:

  1. With your home government: If you are a Canadian citizen, register with Registration of Canadians Abroad, a free service to contact you in the event of an emergency abroad or a personal emergency back home. If you are not a Canadian citizen, register with your home country’s foreign affairs office.
  2. Every student participating in a university-related activity abroad must register their trip in the McGill Student Travel Registry.
  • Contact your insurance provider: ensure you have sufficient health, medical, travel and emergency insurance for the duration of your trip. 

Consult the Safety Abroad webpage to prepare for safe travel

Become a McGill Abroad Ambassador

McGill Abroad Ambassadors promote the advantages of global education to other students by designing and submitting engaging photos, testimonials, videos and more! Ambassadors collaborate with McGill Abroad on a flexible basis that suits their schedule and lifestyle.

Want to get on the road to growing your content production skills, channeling your creativity and reliving the most impactful moments of your exchange? Apply to become a McGill Abroad Ambassador today!

Not sure about being an ambassador, but have some stellar shots that the worlds need to see? Tag @mcgillabroad or use the #mcgillabroad on your favourite photos for a chance to be featured on our Instagram.

Follow the McGill Abroad Facebook, and Instagram.
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