Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the frequently asked questions from students considering going out on an exchange.

Who is eligible to participate in an exchange?

For undergraduate students, participants go on exchange during their third year. Students must have a GPA of at least 7.0 at the end of level 2. There is no minimum average requirement for MBA students, but you must be a student in good standing with no failed courses. Students go on exchange during their third study term.

Where can I go on exchange?

BizX offers exchanges in 17 countries and 55 schools across the world.
Students are also encouraged to explore the opportunity to go on exchange through International Student Services (MacAbroad) which is oriented toward university-wide (multi-faculty) exchanges.
For a full list of where you can go, check out our partner schools.

What kind of environment would I like to study in?

Would you like to study in a big city or a small town? Would you like to study on a big campus or a small one? Would you prefer the campus to be enclosed or integrated into a city? Choosing an environment that you are comfortable with or can adapt to can impact your studies and experiences abroad.

What are the language requirements?

While many courses overseas are offered in English, having a working knowledge or proficiency in a host country’s official language can expand your options for what you can do while overseas.

How can I apply?

A series of steps must be followed in order to apply. To begin the process, please visit the Application Process page.

How much will it cost?

Having access to the financial means necessary to cover costs that will be incurred while on exchange is extremely important to take into consideration. The following is a list of costs you may incur while on exchange. It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive.

  • McMaster tuition fees and incidental fees
  • Travel costs (return airfare and local transportation)
  • Mandatory supplementary health insurance
  • Room and board
  • Clothing and other personal items
  • School supplies
  • Phone calls
  • Field trips
  • Entertainment
  • Miscellaneous school costs (ex. sports fees, student fees, etc.)
  • Unforeseen expenses (ex. medical emergencies, legal costs, etc.)

It is also important to note that an exchange is not as expensive as it may seem at first. Tuition fees are paid to McMaster, which means you do not have to pay international fees. To explore payment options, please see funding for more information.

How long does an exchange last?

Students can go on exchange for one term or a full year. Term dates for schools differ depending on the institution and the region in which it is located.

What happens after I apply?

Once the application is submitted, applicants will be requested to come for an interview. Each interview is between 15 and 20 minutes long. Students will be ranked according to their commitment and their academic and personal fit with the program they have chosen. Students whose first program choice is competitive may be advised to consider their second or third choice.Successful candidates will then be nominated to the host institution selected by the committee. The decision to nominate a student for a given program is based on a careful review of their application, which includes the statement of interest, resume, reference and the interview. Of course, the availability of spaces at the host institution is also taken into consideration.

Nomination to a host institution does not guarantee acceptance to that institution. Once a student has been nominated, they then apply for exchange at the host institution. The host institution will review the application and send acceptances for successful candidates.

Important: Do not make any travel plans until you receive notification from the host institution confirming that you have been accepted.

How will I know if I am accepted?

Students will be contacted once their acceptance is received from the host institution. Students will then be able to apply for visas if applicable. Remember: Do not make travel plans until you receive an acceptance letter from the host institution.
It is important to note that after receiving an acceptance there are still many preparations that students must make before departure. Most of these preparations are the responsibility of the student. BizX can provide some guidance, but due to the country and institution specific nature of these preparations, the onus is largely on the student.

How do I register at McMaster during my exchange term?

Once nominated by McMaster (and once course registration at McMaster is open) students are expected to complete McMaster registration in order to:

  • Remain registered at McMaster University
  • Have access to advance registration for the academic period following the exchange
  • Apply for and use McMaster University’s awards and scholarships and remain eligible for study abroad funding and student loans

ISS (International Student Services) will provide students with information regarding registration at McMaster for the term(s) students will be abroad.

How do I register for courses and get credits transferred back to McMaster?

Meet with Academic Advisor to look over courses offered at the host university. Courses will be chosen so that they can be used towards your degree. Once you have chosen them, you will register for these courses through your host university. Credit transfer is dependent on McMaster University’s departmental / faculty approval of courses taken by the student abroad. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of and understand the faculty’s policies on credit transfer. It is also the student’s responsibility to ensure an official transcript is forwarded to BizX as soon as the results are available. No credit will be given until transcripts are received. Transcripts are required whether or not course work is completed. You will receive one original copy and the other will be sent to the Office of the Registrar. No grade or assessment for the course will appear on the student’s McMaster University transcript. The McMaster University transcript will note that a student has participated in a formal McMaster University Student Exchange Program.

Are there any other conditions to going on exchange that I should be aware of?

McMaster University and the host institution reserve the right to revoke a student’s nomination and cancel their exchange at any time if:

  • The student does not adhere to program procedures.
  • The student does not complete or submit required documents by the deadlines.
  • The student does not follow the student code of conduct or contravenes McMaster University’s or the host institution’s rules and regulations.
  • The student does not make required payments.
  • There has been a significant drop in academic performance after the nomination.
  • The student engages in activities that place their safety or the personal safety of others at risk.
  • The student engages in activities or behaviours that compromise the ability of the program administrators at either McMaster University or the host institution to ensure the success of your exchange program, in their opinion.
  • The student demonstrates behaviour, prior to commencing or during the exchange, which damages the relationship between McMaster University and the host institution.

What if I cannot go through with the exchange?

If a student chooses to withdraw before beginning the exchange program, they must inform BizX and their faculty, in writing, as soon as the decision has been made. Students who decide to withdraw during the exchange study period must contact BizX and their faculty immediately. They will need to confirm that the student is still eligible to register for courses at McMaster University and/or to receive any refunds. In order to withdraw or have a program terminated without financial penalty (forfeiting the tuition and fees paid) students must withdraw in accordance with formal withdrawal procedures and by the appropriate deadlines of the host institution. If a student does not complete the program and fails to withdraw by formal deadlines, they will not be eligible for tuition and fee refunds.

In addition, the academic record from the host institution will reflect incomplete academic work.

Where can I get more information?

Brochures, calendars and program descriptions are available in DSB 112. It is also possible for arrangements to be made for you to meet with students who have already gone on an exchange.
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