Pre-Departure Orientation

Due to the current situation, all outbound international exchanges and independent study away for Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 have been cancelled.

All McGill-related international outbound travel, continues to be prohibited, in accordance with the Government of Canada advisory. Pre-departure sessions will resume once the travel ban is lifted. 


What is Pre-Departure Orientation?

All McGill students who are heading off to globalize their education come together to learn, prepare and meet fellow world-travelers. Attendance is mandatory and beneficial! You’ll learn about vital university requirements, government travel advisories, health questions, insurance, budgets, travel documents, sustainable travel and more. Pre-Departure includes regional sessions where you’ll meet McGill Abroad Hosts and Alumns, students who have already traveled to your destination and are eager to share their best tips on how to make the most of your time abroad!

Who must attend Pre-Departure Orientation?

  • All students who are traveling outside Canada for University-related activities, such as exchanges, internships, independent study-away, field study semesters and courses, and research. 
  • If you have previously attended a Pre-Departure Orientation session but are travelling to a different region, you may be required to attend the regional session only. Please email mcgillabroad [at] (subject: Already%20attended%20pre-depature%20)  for further information.
  • If you are a graduate student traveling outside Canada you must attend Pre-departure unless, you are going to an international conference or formally organized workshop. You must still complete the Travel Registry form on Minerva.

Attention Nursing, PT, OT, and 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 full details on the process. Nursing, PT, OT, and MDCM students do not need to attend the McGill Abroad Pre-Departure Session. All questions should be directed to [at]

What topics are covered?

  • University requirements
  • Government-issued advisories and how they affect your plans
  • Healthy, conscious + sustainable travel
  • Insurance, budgets, and travel documents
  • Paying your time abroad forward by participating in a McGill Abroad student engagement program

In preparation for going abroad, you can review our travel and safety checklist. It includes all essential information regarding University requirements, money, passports and visas, health, insurance and emergency planning. 

NOTE: All students travelling outside Canada for University-related activities are required to complete the Travel Registry form on Minerva

What topics are NOT covered?

At Pre-Departure, we provide you with general travel information and connect you to other students going abroad. But ultimately, it is up to you to do the research! There are certain topics that we do not cover at Pre-Departure, as they are too specific to each student. If you have any questions regarding these topics, please email mcgillabroad [at] for further advice! 

  • Visas
  • Accommodation/Housing
  • Transfer Credits
  • Course Equivalencies

When is Pre-Departure Orientation?

  • For Summer, Fall or year-long travel, Pre-departure is held in the early spring, usually in early April
  • For Winter travel, Pre-departure is held in the Fall, usually in mid-November

Pre-Departure dates are announced on average 6 weeks in advance. Follow us on Facebook to stay in the loop!

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