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Applying for International Exchange - A World of Opportunity!

Posted on July, 2019

Second year is an exciting time for your Commerce student as they apply for international exchange. Approximately 85% of students in the Commerce program participate in exchange, developing abilities and memories that will last well beyond their semester abroad.

The Exchange Application Process

Students apply for exchange in second year, one year prior to their departure. There are a number of steps to the application process, including:

•             Mandatory information sessions (both online and in-person)

•             A personal profile and resume

•             An in-person interview with the Centre for International Management

•             Attendance at our International Fair in the fall term

•             Their 15 chosen exchange options

•             Additional application materials

Each application is evaluated and combined with a student’s GPA for the final exchange application mark. This mark is used, alongside the universities they selected, to determine the exchange destination each student is assigned. Students may start to worry about their GPA affecting their chance to go on exchange; however, we use a similar approach to Commerce admissions, in that we consider more than just grades. When students apply for exchange, GPA only accounts for 30% of their overall score. The application process is designed to give students the opportunity to express their interest and preparedness for exchange, and does not strictly focus on GPA as the determining factor.

Where in the world?

The application process begins in August starting with an online webinar introducing the exchange program. It is important that students return to campus having begun their research on potential exchange destinations. Students have access to information about our partner universities through the Exchange Portal (accessible through the Commerce Portal).  We have over 110 partners in 39 countries, so encourage your student to start exploring the various schools on the Exchange Portal. For example, students can find information about cost of living, accommodations, and even read reviews of past students’ exchange experiences. Your student will be expected to short-list 15 exchange schools as part of the application process, and we recommend that you spend time discussing choices with them over the winter holiday period. Discussing the countries, cultures, and even languages that interest your student is a good way to help them narrow down their choices.

If a student is academically eligible for exchange, there will be an opportunity for them to participate; however, international exchange may not be the right fit for every student. If your student does not go on exchange, they will still have the opportunity to engage with incoming exchange students from our partner schools in their upper years. They also have the option of attending the Bader International Study Centre, for an international experience.

The Centre for International Management (CIM) is located in Goodes Hall, Room 321 (SmithExchange@queensu.ca). We look forward to navigating your student through this once in a lifetime opportunity!

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