Pre-Departure Orientation

What is Pre-Departure Orientation?

Pre-departure Orientation covers practical information related to pre-departure preparations, your time abroad, and your return to McGill. The sessions, which were previously delivered in person, are now offered entirely online via MyCourses! This orientation remains mandatory for all students* who are traveling outside of Canada for University-related international activities, including exchanges, internships, co-ops, independent study-away, field study semesters and courses, and research.

* This excludes Nursing, Physical Therapy (PT), Occupational Therapy (OT), and Doctor of Medicine and Master of Surgery (MDCM) students: Online pre-departure training for Nursing, PT, OT, and MDCM students is coordinated by McGill Global Health Programs (GPH) office in collaboration with the Schools of Nursing, Physical and Occupational Therapy, and the Faculty of Medicine. Please check here for more information. All questions should be directed to [at]

When is Pre-Departure Orientation?

The August registration cycle is now CLOSED. The next registration cycle will begin on September 1st, 2022.

IMPORTANT NOTE for Exchange Students: Please do not register using the online form. You will receive further instructions from McGill Abroad regarding Pre-departure Orientation. 


Pre-departure Orientation is offered on a monthly basis. We recommend completing Pre-departure 3-6 months prior to departure for your international activity. Students have 7 days to register and will be granted access to the online course within 1 to 2 working days. A notification e-mail will be sent to students and the online training will be available on MyCourses until the given deadline. Students are given the remainder of the month to complete the course.

Please see the important dates* below

Cycle Registration dates Course access
August 2022

Opens: August 1st at 10:00 AM

Closes: August 9th at 4:00 PM

Ends on: August 31st at 4:00 PM
September 2022

Opens: September 1st at 10:00 AM

Closes: September 8th at 4:00 PM

Ends on: September 30th at 4:00 PM
October 2022

Opens: October 3rd at 10:00 AM

Closes: October 10th at 4:00 PM

Ends on: October 31st at 4:00 PM
November 2022

Opens: November 1st at 10:00 AM

Closes: November 8th at 4:00 PM

Ends on: November 30th at 4:00 PM

*Registration cycle dates will be updated on a continuous basis, please check regularly.

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Should you require access to Pre-departure Orientation outside of the dates stated above, please e-mail mcgillabroad [at] (McGill Abroad) with your travel dates.

What is covered?

While this course helps you prepare for your international activity, it must be paired with other activities such as research on the particularities of your destination/community and host institution and meeting with others who have traveled to your location. There are certain topics that we do not cover in Pre-Departure, as they are too specific to each student. Additional academic requirements specific to your program/international activity may apply, contact your Faculty Advisor or Supervisor for more information.

University requirements (e.g., the McGill Student Travel Registry)
Transfer Credits
Course Equivalencies
Insurance, budgets, and travel tips 
Visa requirements 
Government-issued advisories and how they affect your plans
Valuable resources to assist with planning for your international trip
Inclusive personal safety tips and resources
Tips on healthy, conscious + sustainable travel
Information on staying connected while abroad (e.g., McGill Abroad Ambassador program) 

Obtaining your Certificate of Completion

Upon completing pre-departure orientation, students must obtain 100% passing rate on the Final Quiz to receive the certificate of completion. A confirmation email will be sent to all students automatically upon receiving the award and they may retrieve it, at any time, in MyCourses by selecting "Awards" and then "My Awards".
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