Outgoing Academic Exchange

An academic exchange allows students to study abroad for one or two semesters (4-8 months) at one of our many partner universities worldwide. Students will travel to a different country, earn credits towards their degree, and learn about their academic field from an alternative perspective. Don't miss out on this opportunity of a lifetime!




Review the eligibility requirements below to ensure that you are able to participate on an exchange.

Level of Study:

  • Undergraduate student
  • Graduate student*
    • *Not all partner institutions offer graduate exchange options

Academic Requirements:

  • Good academic standing with York University
  • Minimum B average (5.5 GPA)
    • Some institutions may require a higher GPA
  • Completed at least 18 credits at YorkU at the time of application.
  • Registered as a full-time student
  • Have not already reached the transfer credit limit (60 credits) for the academic program at York University.

When in your program:

  • Completed at least 18 credits at YorkU at the time of application
  • Students in their final year of study can participate in the exchange program. However, note that there may be challenges with finding suitable courses at the host institution that qualify for credit transfer. Also, note that semester dates abroad differ from semester dates at YorkU. Therefore, students going abroad in their final year/semester of study may not be able to complete the credit transfer process in time for spring convocation (June).
  • Winter term abroad is often called “Spring” at the host institution and may be scheduled very differently than York (ex: April – July).

Please note:

  • Glendon students may apply for their department-facilitated exchanges and/or a York International Exchange
  • Schulich and Osgoode students interested in exchanges should speak with their home faculty about exchange options
  • Language assessment may be required if students attend institutions where the primary language of instruction is not English and the student choses courses in the language of the host (i.e., students take French history courses in France will need to complete a language assessment at the time of their application).
  • Students registered with Student Accessibility Services are encouraged to apply for an exchange and should discuss the best partner institution to meet their needs with the global learning team before applying.

Find a Program

York University has 300+ global partners in 65+ countries. Please visit our program list below to explore the locations and partner institutions available for exchange. When choosing a program, it is important to reflect on why you want to go abroad:

  • What are your academic, career, and personal goals for participating on the exchange?
  • Where would you like to go, and why?
  • What courses do you have left to complete in my program at YorkU?
  • Where can you go that allows me to take courses transferrable to York University.
  • Do you speak another language? It isn't required for the exchange program, but maybe you want to learn a language in an immersive environment, or have second language skills to help with settling in abroad.

EXPLORE: Where can you go?

Know Your Deadlines

Knowing when to apply for the exchange is a key part of the process. Most students will apply for the exchange program 6 months - 1 year before they depart for overseas. There are two deadlines for exchanges each year - be sure to visit our deadlines page so you don't miss out on the opportunity to apply!

EXPLORE: Global Learning Deadlines

Speak to a Global Learning Coordinator

We're here to help! Please reach out to one of our global learning coordinators who can help you through the exchange application process. We have in-person advising, virtual advising, and information sessions available to connect with you and answer your questions!

Tips before coming to a drop-in advising session with a GLC

  • Do some research about our partner universities
  • Know your degree requirements
  • Be flexible with your options

CONTACT: Our Global Learning team



Start your Application today -  Academic Exchange

Found a partner institution that you're interested in? Now it's time to begin working on your online application - NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE ACADEMIC YEAR 2024-25 (Fall 2024 and/or Winter 2025) - APPLY NOW!

  • Set-up your online account: log-on to our application portal and create your user account by entering your personal and academic details, and identify which partner institution who are choosing for your exchange. Note we suggest students list at least 3 institutions as spaces can be limited and some students will not be offered their first choice. Note that you can save your application and return to it as often as you need before submitting.
  • Before Applying meet with an academic advisor in your department: discuss the feasibility of an exchange, and academic restrictions and determine which degree requirements are outstanding.
  • Complete your application: a list of required documents is provided in your online application. Documents can include, but are not limited to:
    • Letter of Intent - similar to a one page cover letter that describes why you wish to go on an academic exchange, why you are choosing the partner institution, what are your personal, professional and academic goals for participating on the program.
    • Draft budget - it's important to think about the costs associated with an exchange program. The budget is meant as a tool to help you prepare financially for your exchange program.
    • Academic Letter of Reference - this can be from a TA or professor at YorkU. A link to the online reference form is provided in the application. Make sure you notify your referee of the deadline for your program as they will need to complete the reference by the deadline for your application to be considered complete.
    • Language Assessment Form - this form is only required if students are taking courses abroad in the language of the partner institution or advanced language classes. Similar to the academic reference letter above, a link to the online language assessment form should be sent to a professor who can attest to your language skills. Note that you may also need to take a language assessment at the partner institution later in the process.
    • Submit your application: review your application documents, remind your references of the application deadline and don't forget to hit submit. 

Get Nominated by York University

You've submitted your application - now what?! Once you have submitted your application, the global learning team will review - see selection criteria below. You can expect for the review process to take 10-15 business days. If there are any questions or concerns about your application, our team will be in touch. 

Selection is based on:

  • Academic Performance (i.e. GPA)
  • Letter of Intent
  • Academic references
  • Suitability of the partner institution’s program/course for your degree requirements
  • GPA requirements at the partner institution - some partners will require a higher GPA than YorkU's 5.5 
  • Spaces available at the partner institution

You will be notified if they have been nominated for an exchange by York University. Remember, you may not get your first choice, so it's important to list at least one alterative partner institution. If nominated, you will be sent a notification via the online application system which will require you to accept your nomination. 

Credit Transfer

Now that you've accepted your nomination to the partner institution, you will need to determine the courses that you will take abroad. It is your academic department that determines which courses abroad are equivalent to those at YorkU. This process is completed through the Course Assessment Form

The course assessment form is used upon the completion of your exchange program to facilitate the credit transfer process. It is required that you submit a completed course assessment form prior to your exchange program.

Step 1: visit your partner institution website and review the courses that are available to exchange students. Note that students must maintain a full-time student status at their host institution, which could range from 3-6 courses in total. 

Step 2: collect any information available from the host institution about the courses you wish to take overseas. Find the syllabus, course outlines, and course descriptions that can help your academic department review the course content.

Step 3: complete your course assessment form and submit it to your academic department. Be sure to include as much supporting information as possible (see step 2). To find the undergraduate program director (UPD) or Department Chair, you may use York Atlas and search by Department.

Step 4: Wait to hear from your academic department. Assessing course credit equivalency can take some time. The earlier you submit the form to your academic department, the better. Please allow for a minimum 4-6 weeks processing period.

  • When are signatures required? Great question! We included some guiding principles below:
    • If a student wants to fulfill a lower-level elective (1000/2000) outside of their major, no academic signature is required. Students must sign to confirm that they acknowledge credit transfer at this level.
      • For example: If a student is a Science major and takes a Science course on an exchange through INEX without academic sign-off, they will only receive lower-level non-major (elective) credits toward their degree.
    • If a student wants to fulfill an upper-level elective (3000/4000) outside of their major, signature is required by the department (UPD, UPA, Chair, or faculty member) in the subject area
    • If a student wants to fulfill a course to count toward their major, sign off is required at all levels (1000/2000/3000/4000) – by the department (UPD, UPA, Chair, or faculty member) in the subject area
    • All other courses (major/minor) need sign off at all levels (1000/2000/3000/4000) – by department (UPD, UPA, Chair, or faculty member) in the subject area.

Step 5: Submit your completed form online.

Note: that credit systems differ around the world and sometimes it can be difficult to find all of the supporting information needed to submit to your academic department.  The global learning team regularly offers credit transfer bootcamp sessions to help walk you through the process. You can learn more about upcoming sessions by visiting our Events Calendar

You can submit more than one course Assessment form. If you change your courses and would like to have the new courses count, you must complete and submit a course assessment form for the new courses.

Apply To Partner

Once you have accepted the nomination, York University will nominate you to the host institution according to the institution’s deadlines and procedures. The host institution will then contact you directly inviting you to apply to them as an exchange student from YorkU. Be mindful of their deadlines and get started on the host application early as there are often many steps to complete. Note that it is the host institution that gives final approval.

Once confirmed by the host institution, you'll get an acceptance letter, student ID and email, and the ability to review courses offered by the host institution to exchange students.

Enrolling at York University for your Exchange

Students on exchange pay tuition fees to York University, not to the host institution. The global learning team will communicate to you an INEX course code that facilitates your registration and tuition charge at YorkU. Students must adhere to the fee payment deadlines according to the YorkU academic calendar, despite being abroad.

Note that students are often required to take a full course load at the host institution.

Housing and Immigration

The host institution will guide you on their housing options, pricing, and deadlines, and will provide the acceptance letter required for visas and study permits. It is your responsibility to contact the appropriate consulate or embassy to ensure that you have the proper documents and apply in time prior to your departure.

Be sure to review the expiry date of your passport, and renew ahead of applying for a any study visas or permits. It is good practice to ensure your passport expiry date is 6 months beyond when you plan to return home from your exchange. 

International students participating on the exchange should connect with an immigration advisor at York International to ensure your Canadian study permit/visa are valid for your return to Canada after your exchange program.

Safety Abroad

All students traveling abroad on York University sanctioned travel must complete our safety abroad steps. Safety Abroad supports all York community members in managing risks associated with international travel and provides emergency support when needed. Please contact safetyabroad@yorku.ca for any further assistance. Visit our safety abroad website for more information on upcoming mandatory pre-departure sessions, our travel registry, and guardme insurance. 

ENGAGE: with Safety Abroad


There are additional costs associated with traveling abroad that you need to prepare for when going on exchange. Some times to consider: 

  • Tuition - paid to York University
  • Program Fees – can include housing, meals, extra curricular activities 
  • Travel – ground transportation, flights, vaccinations, visas/permits
  • Day to day living and miscellaneous costs

York University has financial support available to help offset the costs of your program abroad. Please visit our funding page to learn more about the York International Mobility Award (YIMA), our prestigious endowed scholarships, and external awards available to students

ENGAGE: with Funding for Outgoing Global Learning



While Abroad

  • Stay Connected with the Global Learning Team – we are here to support you!
  • Keep in Contact with the International Office at the Host
  • Reach out to your department at York if there are any changes to your courses
  • Reflect on your learning

Stay Engaged

Stay engaged with us! Make sure to tag us on Instagram @yorkugoglobal so we can share your posts and live vicariously through your academic adventure!

Check out some guidelines on social media while you are abroad

If you would like to be interviewed for our new podcast, Boarding Pass, send us a direct message on Instagram.

Transcript and Re-Entry

Click here for helpful tips to know before returning to York U

  • Re-entry workshops
  • Complete a Returning Student Report and share your experiences with other YorkU students interesting in going abroad
  • York International will receive the transcript from the host institution
  • York International will send the transcript and your Course Assessment Form to the Registrar’s Office on your behalf.
  • The Registrar’s Office updates your academic record with credits obtained abroad (these appear as Pass / Fail on the York transcript)
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that the host institution provides you with a copy of your transcript from their institution. Graduate and professional schools often require all transcripts of courses taken.



What is the difference between an information session and an advising session?

  • Information sessions are group sessions that introduce you to the exchange process and allowing you to connect with other students going through the process, or past participants who can share their experience.
  • Advising sessions are 15 minute one-to-one meetings with a Global Learning Coordinator. You should attend an information session first, and come prepared with questions about your exchange options. To set-up an appointment, please email goglobal@yorku.ca

Is there a language requirement?

Some Universities require you to be academically proficient in one of the languages of instruction. Over 70% of our partner universities teach at least some of their courses in English. We suggest you your own research to determine if the host institution you are choosing is the correct fit.

Do I need to have a certain GPA?

We require a 5.5 overall GPA. Some of our partners have a higher requirement so please refer to our list of partners.

Students with lower GPA should speak with a Global Learning Coordinator to discuss their options.

I am in my first year, can I apply to go on exchange?

Yes, you must have completed 18 credits at the time of application.

Can I go on exchange during my final year?

Yes, but please keep in mind that if you would like to graduate in the year that you go on exchange, you will only be able to go on exchange in the fall semester. If you decide to go for two semesters, the earliest you’ll be able to graduate is October. Please note that October convocation ceremonies are only held at the Keele Campus.

Where can I go?

Remember, this is an academic exchange, so your choice of university matters!

We understand that you will be pulled by a particular destination, but having your heart set on Italy when you aren’t academically proficient in Italian will not make a great academic choice and will not set you up for success.

The list of universities can be found here and we urge you to speak to one of our Global Learning Coordinators about your options. The world is your oyster!

How long can I go for?

You can go for one semester or one academic year (two semesters). When deciding, it is important to take into account your academic requirements as well as your financial situation.

How much does it cost?

The cost varies depending on where you go but these are some fixed costs:

  • Tuition: While on exchange you will be enrolled in 15 credits per semester and paying your regular YorkU tuition fees. Credits will be assessed upon return. No refunds will be given if fewer than 15 credits are completed.
    The fees will be payable to York University on your student account. Information regarding fees can be found here.
  • Living costs: Consider that living costs vary based on location and length of exchange. It includes accommodation, meals, local transportation, and entertainment. You can find more about living costs here.

Can I go if I am on OSAP?

Over 70% of students who go on exchange are on OSAP.
Some host Universities and countries require proof of funds. We go over that material in our information sessions and during advising.

Will the courses count towards my degree?

All courses taken on exchange will automatically count as electives. You may also have the credits count towards your electives OR major/minor/language requirements. See the credit transfer tab above for more information on the course assessment form process.

Will my grades count?

Your exchange does not impact your YorkU GPA. Your YorkU transcript will show your exchange grades as Pass/Fail. If you are considering graduate or further studies, you will need to submit your YorkU transcript and your transcript from your host (exchange) university.

When does my exchange start?

When our application portal opens, you would be applying one year in advance. This means that if selected you would go on exchange the next academic year. However, due to the academic calendars of specific countries, some exchanges start only in the Winter term (e.g. Australia, South Africa or Uruguay).