FAQs for Exchange and Visiting Students at York University


On Friday, March 13th, President Rhonda L. Lenton sent the York Community a message suspending all face-to-face instruction and moving courses to online formats effective March 16th.

This decision was made in light of COVID-19 developments in Ontario and in Canada, to ensure the safety and well-being of the York University community, and in support of the global efforts to contain and mitigate the further spread of COVID-19.

The following FAQs was developed for students currently at York University on academic exchange and research, and other academic activities.

For all other updates, please go to https://coronavirus.info.yorku.ca/

Can you provide more details about the move from in-person to online formats?

Beginning on March 16, York University:
Suspended all face-to-face instruction and moved courses to online formats.
Cancelled all in-person exams during the formal winter exam period of April 7-25, 2020

We understand that students will have questions about academic activities abroad and what the impact will be of an early return. The University is working to offer as much flexibility as possible to minimize impacts on students. Please be assured that the University is committed to completing the term and will mobilize supports to assist all students.

York International is your primary point of contact as an exchange student at the University. Please contact exchange@yorku.ca for further assistance or questions.

I am an exchange student, when should I inform York that I am going home?

Please email exchange@yorku.ca  once you have made your travel plans to go back to your home countries if you haven’t already done so.

Is there a checklist of items I need to do before leaving York?

There are three main items you need to take care of prior to your departure from York.

  1. Fees
    1. Your Student Financial Account must be at a zero ($ 0) balance 
  2. Housing
    1. If you were in on-campus housing, please inform Housing and cancel services, particularly phone and internet. Housing has a dedicated webpage for more information: https://studenthousing.info.yorku.ca/covid-19/
      Contact your relevant housing office if you have any questions; copy exchange@yorku.ca on your emails
    2. If you were in off-campus housing, follow the process outlined in your rental contract and cancel any services you subscribed to
  • Courses
    1. Check that you are only enrolled in the courses that you took.
    2. Ensure that you connect with your Course Director(s) to discuss how you will be completing your courses. York University in coordination with your Home University will support as needed.
      Please refer to information on York University website https://coronavirus.info.yorku.ca/2020/03/community-update-15-covid-19-course-completion-information/
    3. Ensure that the exchange and program coordinators at your Home University are informed about the academic considerations discussed with your Course Directors at York University

I am a visiting research student from a university abroad, when should I inform York that I am going home?

  • Make sure you inform your Faculty/research supervisor at York University of your plans to go back to your home country immediately.
  • Be aware of the current travel advisories and restrictions, in particular, to your home country considering COVID-19 developments and plan your return flights accordingly.
  • Please connect with iadvisor@yorku.ca if you are a visiting student researcher at York University, either self-funded or through Mitacs.
  • If you are at York University doing research and funded by Global Affairs Canada (ELAP, CARICOM, etc.), please connect with Beth Alaksa at balaksa@yorku.ca.

If I return to my home country earlier than my exchange or research program at York University, will I get a refund for on campus housing and/or my meal plan?

Residents who move out on or before March 31, 2020 will receive a prorated refund of their residence and meal plan fees, if applicable, for the month of April. Residents who remain in residence beyond this date will not be eligible for a refund.

Due to the nature of events and the speed at which our operational capabilities are changing, we cannot confirm when refunds will be processed.

Refunds will be credited to your York student account, and you will be able to request an electronic funds transfer by going to https://sfs.yorku.ca/refunds/request

More information can be found on the housing website: https://studenthousing.info.yorku.ca/covid-19/

When will I get my transcripts now that courses and exams are not in person?

We will be sending a record of your courses and grades to your home university in the end of May.
If you would like to request an official transcript for your records, you may order one online for a fee: https://registrar.yorku.ca/transcripts

Should I keep my York University login information?

Yes. Your York University login is valid for life. You will need to use it to order copies of transcripts for yourself, access your grades and your course history, and request any refunds you might be eligible for.

My Home University requires me to have a signed learning agreement, what should I do?

If your home university requires a signed learning agreement, please email it to exchange@yorku.ca so we may sign it and email it back.

What should I do if I am not able to return to my Home University / Country or leave Canada because of travel restrictions?

If you are not able to travel because travel restrictions are in place: