Study Abroad / Exchange Opportunities
Once you are an approved Study Abroad candidate, you pay your usual tuition to Okanagan College but attend classes at the international institution of your choice. Travel and housing costs are your responsibility, but our Study Abroad advisor will provide travel and residence information and host pre-departure orientation and returning-student sessions. Many partner institutions have on-campus housing, as well as helpful visiting student support services and activities.
Students are expected to enroll in a full-time course load while on exchange and will also be required to sign a Waiver of Liability and Ambassadorship Agreement.
Most students are attracted by the opportunity to live and study in a new and different environment, but the reasons for doing an exchange program are varied.
Take the time to thoroughly examine your personal reasons for wanting to participate in an exchange. If non-academic reasons such as travel or working abroad are your primary motivation, then other options may be better suited to your goals.
Which Exchange is Appropriate For Me?
You can choose an exchange that is university-wide or one that is faculty/school specific. In other words, you can choose to go to a university that has a wide variety of course topics, or choose one that is more focussed on your area of academic interest. Proficiency in the language of instruction will be a major determinant in the consideration of an appropriate exchange. All Okanagan College Study Abroad partner schools offer many courses in English. Many partner schools also offer "learn a new language" type courses as well. If you already speak another language you may choose to take courses in that language as long as the courses are pre-approved by Okanagan College.
Academics and Campus Life
Exchanges can be quite different from what you're used to at Okanagan College. It is usual to find differences in the provision and delivery of academic programs, different semester start and end dates, student services and facilities, campus culture, cost of living, living conditions, social behavior and customs. These differences will be less stressful if you preplan and research your chosen destination well before you leave Canada.
It's very important to research the courses available at your chosen Study Abroad school before you leave. You will need to have your Study Abroad courses approved by Okanagan College before you leave. However, also be prepared for possible course changes when you arrive at your Exchange school as there is no way to guarantee enrolment in your chosen courses at the partner school.
You may find courses and materials have changed between the time you choose a particular course and the time of your first actual class. You may even discover that some courses are not offered as expected. It will reduce your stress if you have an alternate plan in mind to deal with potential changes. It's also highly recommended you check with your Okanagan College Study Abroad coordinator if you need to make significant course changes while abroad.
The Study Abroad exchange program at Okanagan College is co-ordinated by the Okanagan School of Business. Our Study Abroad coordinator can provide information on general and administrative matters, immigration, culture, travel, pre-departure resources and procedures for applying for an exchange study plus specific information regarding eligibility requirements, course selection for degree requirements and related academic matters.
Information and applications for exchange bursaries, awards, scholarships and loans for participation in an exchange may be obtained from the Okanagan College Financial Awards department.
For information on health insurance coverage consult the Provincial Ministry of Health. For advice and information on health concerns for international travel, consult the staff at Campus Health Offices . There is also valuable information at Health Canada website.
Are You Eligible?
To be eligible for Study Abroad, Okanagan College students must have:
Complete the Study Abroad Application and submit completed application form and all supporting documentation to the Okanagan School of Business. You may email your application form and supporting documents to the Study Abroad Coordinator at email@example.com
Fall Semester - March 31
What Will be Different?
Being geographically separated from family, friends and loved ones for a lengthy period of time can be demanding and stressful for some students. Adjusting to a new environment may take some time and you may feel homesick or disoriented. This is a very common reaction and most partner school provide mentor students, activities and counsellors to help you with the transition to the new environment.
Health & Safety
Take all reasonable measures and precautions to ensure your personal well-being.
Sufficient and appropriate health and safety precautions must be taken before you leave on your exchange. You'll need to obtain proper health insurance and vaccinations against disease before you go. Medical services and safety issues may differ greatly from what you are accustomed to so research these on the official website of the institutions and countries you plan to visit before you leave Canada.
No one can guarantee an accident or injury-free semester away, so give serious thought to the possibility of such incidents. Research the areas you wish to visit and talk with other exchange students and professors who have visited the school you are interested in. Learn how you can safeguard yourself against the possibility of theft, burglary, property damage, personal injury or more serious crimes.
Returning to Okanagan College
When you return to the College after your time away, you may need to do some catching up on local, school and social events. Many students report feeling a bit out of touch with their home campus and fellow classmates. Your experiences may have changed your outlook and study focus. As a result you may also find your relationships with some friends and peers have changed. Finding a suitable housing arrangement with other students may present some difficulties. This is normal, so be prepared for some readjustment. It may be helpful for you to talk with the Study Abroad advisor or other students who have gone on exchanges. Any More Questions?
For more information about the Study Abroad program please contact the Study Abroad Coordinator by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (250) 762-5445 or toll-free (877) 755-2266 ext 4725.