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Canadian Exchange

Going to Canada

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Most U.S. member campuses exchange with members in Canada and can be identified with a maple leaf on the Member Campus Profile listing. Students are encouraged to consider single semester exchange to Canada which does not require application for a student study permit. A permit is required for exchange more than six months in duration. After your NSE placement is confirmed, your host Canadian institution will provide a letter of acceptance and detailed instructions regarding the Canadian entry process. Timely completion of forms is essential.

A Study Permit is required if you plan to exchange to Canada for more than six months and/or intend to seek employment on campus while on exchange. U.S. citizens and permanent U.S. residents apply for a Study Permit either through a Canadian visa office or at a Port of Entry upon arrival at the Canadian border. If at the Port of Entry, complete your application ahead of time and bring all supporting documents with you. If the application is made through the Visa Office and is approved, a letter of introduction is issued which you must then present at the Port of Entry in order to receive the Study Permit.

Students with other than a U.S. or Canadian passport and who are coming to Canada for less than 6 months will need either a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or, if from a country that doesn't require a TRV, they will require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Students must apply for this online prior to coming to Canada at https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/eta/apply.html

In order to be eligible for a Study Permit, you must prove that you have enough resources to pay for your tuition, fees, living expenses, and return transportation. You must demonstrate proof of health insurance that is applicable in Canada; be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record; not be a risk to the security of Canada; be in good health and be willing to undergo a medical examination if necessary; and satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay. The current cost for the Study Permit is $150 Canadian. This cost is subject to change without notice. You can learn more about the process here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/study-permit.html.

Language Proficiency
Canada has two official languages: English and French. All NSE members in Canada except those noted below are English-speaking. Students for whom English is not their first language may be asked to demonstrate English proficiency through submission of TOEFL or other test scores.

The language of instruction at the Universite de Montreal, the Universite de Sherbrooke, and the Universite du Quebec a' Montreal is French. Prior to placement, you must demonstrate French proficiency at your home institution. Additional proficiency testing may be required by your host university. The Universite de Montreal and Universite de Sherbrooke offer a French as a Second Language program which does not require language proficiency. Contact the NSE coordinator at these institutions for additional information.

Study in Quebec
If you are exchanging to NSE members in the province of Quebec, you must first obtain the Certificat d'acceptation du Quebec/Quebec Certificate of Admission (CAQ) prior to applying for the Canadian Study Permit. The current fee for the CAQ is $124 Canadian. The cost is subject to change without notice. Follow directions provided by your Quebec host university regarding applying for the CAQ. Plan on at least six weeks following application to obtain the CAQ. Upon arrival at Bishop's University in Quebec, exchange students are required to provide a certified copy or original birth certificate. You may learn more here: http://www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/en/immigrate-settle/students/

Age of Majority
In Canada, each province and territory decides the age of majority; in some cases it is 18, and others 19. Anyone under the age of majority is considered a “minor child.” If you are planning an exchange to Canada and would be considered a minor by Canadian law, you may need to have a custodian in Canada. See the web site below for age of majority by province and further details governing this matter. You may learn more here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/temporary-residents/study-permits/guidelines-on-minor-children.html

Health Insurance
You must provide proof of health insurance coverage in order to study in Canada. If your health insurance is not applicable in Canada, your host Canadian university will require that you purchase health insurance either through their institution or a private carrier. Some Canadian institutions require that you purchase health insurance regardless of your US health insurance. This information will be posted on their NSE Campus Profile.

Working While Studying in Canada
You must go to Canada with enough resources to live and pay your bills while you are studying without needing to work. In certain situations, you may be able to work on campus while studying to earn additional expense money. A Study Permit is required (see above) as is full-time enrollment if you intend to seek on-campus employment while on exchange. For additional information, contact the Canadian NSE coordinator and read the web site indicated below. Off-campus employment is not permitted for exchange students. You may learn more at: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/work.html

Criminal Charges/Convictions
Students with criminal charges or convictions could be prohibited from entering Canada. Contact your NSE coordinator for additional information.

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