Plan & Prepare

Plan and PrepareA successful study abroad starts with a good plan that defines your vision and goals. Review the steps below to find out how to prepare your study away.

Step 1: Set a goal

What are your academic and personal reasons for studying abroad? Take the time to reflect on your vision, goals and priorities.

Consider your goals and the duration of your study abroad. Can you achieve your goal(s) by taking a course or two at another university during the summer? Or would studying for entire semester be more beneficial? Keep in mind that longer study terms will require more research and involve more complexities.

Step 2: Know eligibility criteria, important policies

  • Eligibility criteria by activity:


CGPA, minimum and maintained

Be currently registered full-time

Have earned at least 12 graded credits at time of application

Have earned at least 24 graded credit before start of activity

McGill exchanges, fall/winter


Independent study away, fall/winter


Independent study away, incl. online, summer


QC university, fall/winter


QC university, summer





  • Degree residency requirement: You must satisfactorily complete at least 60 credits at McGill University.
  • Program residency requirement: At least 2/3rd of all program credits (Multi-track, Honours, Faculty program) must normally be completed at McGill; thus, a maximum of 1/3rd of all program credits may be completed at another university.

Departments may require specific program components to be completed at McGill, so check with program advisers.

  • Course load at the host university: You must register for the equivalent of a full-time course load; not more.
  • U3 students and graduation: Studying abroad in your final semester will delay your graduation to the next available term of graduation. You cannot graduate in the same term you are taking course(s) at another university.

For complete Arts OASIS policy, see Transferring credit,“U3 students and graduation” and the Arts OASIS graduation checklist

Step 3: Plan your degree

Having a well-thought out degree plan is an important part of the study abroad process. Read more about Degree Planning.

Step 4: Meet Departmental Advisors

These advisors provide academic advice on departmental programs and approve course selection for U1-U3 students. You have a departmental advisor for each program. Consult Departmental/Program Advising Information

Step 5: Planning Checklist

Use this PDF iconStudy Abroad Planning Checklist before you submit your application.

Step 6: Financing your study away

Plan a budget, taking into consideration all your expenses – such as, tuition, accommodation, airfare, food, medical insurance, passport, visas and personal spending.

  • Check out McGill Funding Opportunities
  • If you are receiving a scholarship, loan and/or bursary, discuss the financial implications of studying abroad with McGill Scholarships and Student Aid Office.
  • Tuition notes:
    • McGill Exchange at a partner institution – you pay McGill tuition directly to McGill. You are charged 15 McGill credits and related fees per term irrespective of the number of credits or courses you register at the host school.
    • Independent Study Away – you pay the host university’s tuition and related fees. You do not pay McGill fees during this term.
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