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Going global: Your guide to studying abroad

Concordia Welcome Crew mentor Ashfaq provides tips for students looking to expand their educational boundaries

A young male student wearing a leather coat and a backpack smiles while standing in front of a fountain Ashfaq Islam Chowdhury is an undergraduate student in mechanical engineering and a Concordia Welcome Crew mentor with the Student Success Centre.

Have you ever wanted to immerse yourself in a different culture while pursuing your studies? While studying abroad may seem daunting at first, do not worry. At Concordia, there are several ways you can gain a global education without breaking the bank. Plus, it’s never too early to plan what you want to do in your degree. Here are some of the ways you can study abroad:

Go on an exchange program

Did you know that Concordia partners with more than 180 educational institutions all over the world? Through the Concordia Student Exchange Program (CSEP), you can study abroad for one-to-two terms while earning credits towards your degree. And the best part? You pay the Concordia tuition!

  • Duration: one or two terms
  • Application deadlines:
    -  January 15: fall, winter and full-year exchanges
    -  June 1: winter exchange (second round)
  • Rates and fees: Concordia’s tuition rate
  • Transfer credits: Depends on the course(s) you’ve chosen

Take part in short-term summer program

Concordia offers short-term international summer programs in Europe, Asia and South America. It’s your chance to gain academic and cultural experience, while earning credits towards your Concordia degree.

  • Duration: one to four weeks
  • Application deadlines: depends on the program of interest
  • Rates and fees: Check out the program to learn more about the fees and/or bursaries involved
  • Transfer credits: Depends on the program(s) you’ve chosen

Discover international research internships

Get hands-on experience by actively getting involved in funded research with foreign organizations and partner universities around the world. Check out the requirements and deadlines for each.

Preparing for departure

Once you've decided to take part in a study abroad program, you may be unsure of what's next. Here are my top tips on how to prepare yourself:

1. Organize your finances

Understand and plan your finances early on. While you are paying the Concordia tuition rate, going abroad also means paying for accommodation, health insurance, travel, food and the occasional time off. If you require help with budgeting, Concordia has some great resources to help you out:

Worried about finances? Whether you’re an undergraduate or grad student, funding programs are available to you. From taking classes, participating in an internship to performing research abroad — look out for application deadlines and have your forms ready.

2. Get familiar with travel tips and resources

When in doubt, know that Concordia offers a variety of resources to facilitate your transition abroad from securing travel insurance to staying safe!

If you are currently renting out an apartment, going abroad to study means paying for two apartments at once. Depending on your level of comfort, you can choose to sublet your apartment during your time away to a trustworthy friend (or another exchange student at Concordia). In the meantime, exercise caution and look out for scams when securing accommodation near your host institution.

3. Stay on top of your deadlines (and paperwork)

Travelling is a lot of fun — but also requires quite a bit of paperwork. Ensure that you always have your travel documents safe with you and keep paper/digital copies as needed. Attend the online information session by Concordia Student Exchange Program (CSEP), plan around application deadlines and prepare your academic plan well in advance. Here’s a great checklist to get you started.

4. Bring memories from home

Going abroad to study can be a lot to process, and feeling homesick from time to time is normal. Bring a photo album with you in your suitcase and brush up on some homemade recipes for dinner. Stay in touch with your friends and family back home while making new friends along the way.

Obtaining a global education can be rewarding as you experience a new culture, improve your employability prospects, hone your language skills and contribute to your personal development. Consider an exchange program and reach out to Concordia International.

Connect with a Concordia Welcome Crew mentor.

Check out more mentor tips.

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