Interested in studying abroad?
Argentina and Denmark and Malaysia, oh my! For a Concordian wanting to study abroad for one semester or two, the choices — and the process — may seem daunting.
Enter Concordia International, the on-campus office dedicated to creating opportunities for the university’s students to study abroad.
Attend a student exchange information session
Claudia Deme, manager of Concordia’s Education Abroad Programs, says many students consider an international exchange, but don’t know where to begin.
“They’d like to know more about the countries where they can study, and the costs associated with taking part. For answers to these, and other questions, we’re here to help.”
The Concordia International staff helps students identify whether an academic exchange is the right decision for them, and offers guidance throughout the application process. The team hosts weekly information sessions during the fall semester to help prepare students for the February 1 deadline.
The Concordia Student Exchange Program (CSEP) information sessions are held every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 4 p.m., from September 19 until December 15, and on October 17, November 14 and December 5 at 6 p.m.
In the info sessions, students will discover if they are eligible to study abroad, and how they can pay Concordia tuition while overseas. They’ll also discover how to earn credits towards their degrees, and even apply for bursaries.
All sessions are held in the Concordia International offices at 2080 MacKay in the X Annex.
“An exciting opportunity to discover new things”
For recent graduate Gift Tshuma (BA 16), Concordia International was instrumental in making his dream of studying in Australia come true. Tshuma lives with reduced mobility, but he didn’t let that stop him.
“I was the first Concordia student with physical limitations to do an exchange,” says Tshuma, 26, who chose to study at the University of New South Wales in Sydney for a semester in 2015.
“It was a learning process for everyone: myself, Concordia International and Concordia’s Access Centre for Students with Disabilities. We worked in unison.”
Concordia International helped Tshuma navigate the host university’s requirements and the visa process. The Access Centre for Students with Disabilities was instrumental in securing funding from the province’s Aide financière aux études so that Tshuma could be accompanied by an attendant to assist him with physically demanding tasks.
“Concordia International did a lot of organizing, as did the Access Centre, making sure I’d have academic services in Australia and making sure I had all my documents in order. The Australian visa office needed a letter from a medical specialist — not just my family doctor — to confirm my disability and document my diagnosis. That takes time,” says Tshuma.
Tshuma was able to take his “dream classes,” studying the Australian legal system, criminology and human rights.
“Each day was an exciting opportunity to discover new things,” he says, stressing that Sydney’s accessible metro system dramatically increased his autonomy and freedom. “Plus, Aussies are very open and friendly. In the first week, I made four real friends to hang out with outside class.”
Find out more about the Concordia Student Exchange Program. Attend an information session and have all your questions answered!
Check out this video for information about other student mobility programs.