FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.
I am an Incoming Student
Do I need to know French to live in Montreal?
Though Quebec’s primary language is French, Montreal is a fairly bilingual city, especially in the downtown area. If you speak English, you should have no problem getting around town. That being said, a little “Merci” or “S’il vous plaît” every once in a while is never frowned upon. Montreal is great city to practice your French skills!
How do I get around the city?
The bus and metro service will take you anywhere you need to go in the downtown area. For further information, please visit the STM’s website at: http://www.stm.info/en
What kind of food can I expect to find in Montreal?
Montreal is a multicultural city. If you are craving a croissant, a good pizza, Thai, Chinese or anything else, you are bound to find it in Montreal. The city is known for its variety of cuisines and we definitely encourage you to taste the different foods the city has to offer. Though all these international meals seem quite appealing, don’t forget to try poutine, a typical Quebec meal. The best poutine in town can be found at La Banquise on Rachel Street.
What do SGW and LOY stand for?
Concordia University has two campuses. One is located in downtown Montreal and the other in NDG. The downtown campus is called the Sir George Williams Campus (SGW) and the NDG location is the Loyola Campus (LOY).
Who can I speak to if I have more questions?
If you have any academic questions, you can contact the John Molson School of Business’ (JMSB) undergraduate office at 514-848-2424 x 2721. If you have any questions regarding Concordia University that are non-academic related, you can contact Concordia International at 514-848-2424 x 4986. For any information regarding events, how to meet other students, and Montreal in general, you can contact the JIC team. We are here to help you with all social aspects of your semester in Montreal.
I am an Outgoing Student
When should I start my application?
Applying for exchange is quite an extensive task. To ensure you have enough time to go through the process and receive your professors’ letter of recommendation, we recommend you start the application process in October or November of the fall semester if you are applying by the February deadline.
I am having difficulty deciding where I should study abroad – how should I choose?
If you are unsure of where to go, here are a few questions that could help you narrow down your selection:
- Do I want to study in a big city like Paris or a smaller city such as Pamplona in Spain?
- Do I want to study abroad in a country where they speak the same language I do?
- What types of foods do I want to eat while abroad?
- How comfortable am I in new environments and new cultures? (For example, studying in the United States will perhaps not be as much of a culture shock as studying in China).
What should I write in my letter of intent?
Your letter of intent should describe who you are, why you want to go on exchange and why you should be selected to represent Concordia University and the JMSB in a study abroad semester. . For more information, contact the JIC at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also meet with JIC’s VP Academic if you would like someone to review your letter.
When will I be notified about my nomination?
You should be notified about your nomination in March if you applied at the February deadline and during the month of July if you applied by the June deadline.
What happens if I was not nominated by any of my three choices?
In the unlikely event the three host universities you have applied for no longer have available spots, you will be asked to meet with an advisor from Concordia International. If you have met all the requirements to go on exchange (see the outgoing section on the website), you should be offered another host for a study abroad semester.
I am an accounting major and plan on pursuing the CPA program. Which classes can I take abroad for credit?
If and only if you plan on pursuing the CPA program in accounting must you take, as a general rule, all accounting courses at Concordia University. A few commerce classes must also be taken at the JMSB. For further information on this subject, please contact JIC’s VP Academic.
For how long can I study abroad?
You can study abroad for one semester (approximately 4 or 5 months) or for 2 semesters (one whole year).
What does my minimum GPA have to be?
You must have a minimum GPA of 2.7 when you apply and maintain it during the application process.
How did you estimate a budget?
It is important to estimate your budget around the cost of living in the city where you will be doing your exchange. You can visit the following website for a breakdown of estimated costs: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/
Is it better to rent a university dorm or an apartment?
Where you decide to live is completely up to the student. Most universities will offer accommodations where you will be surrounded by other international students. In the case where this is not provided or there is no place available, it is the student’s responsibility to search for accommodation on their own. The university may provide a list of suggestions where you can find short-term leases however it will be independent from the host institution.
Additional Questions and COVID-19
Can I travel to another country during COVID-19?
It is possible to travel however there are many things to take into account: is your host country allowing foreign students, review COVID-19 regulation proper to host country, you might need to get tested, and note that there are risks of catching COVID-19 while traveling.
Will the participation in an exchange program delay my graduation?
When planned appropriately and in consultation with your academic department, the exchange term(s) is intended to be an integral part of your degree program without delaying graduation. However, if you go on exchange in the final semester of your degree, your graduation will probably be delayed due to the time required for processing your credit transfer. You must contact your Faculty advisor to ask for permission to attend a final semester exchange
How will I be matched to my selected destination(s)?
Our selection process takes in consideration the following criteria:
- Meeting the eligibility requirements.
- Availability of spots at partner institutions.
- Suitability of the host institution’s program for your degree requirements.
- Interest and motivation for participating in the program.
- Reason for choosing institution(s).
I want to go to a specific school that doesn’t show up in the list of partner universities; can I still go there on exchange?
Students participating in the Concordia Student Exchange Program must select an institution from our list of partners. To study for a semester or a full-academic year at a non-partner, you will have to apply as a visiting student through your Faculty, apply to the school directly, and pay their visiting student fees, as opposed to your regular Concordia tuition fees. You can find out more about this option at the links below:
- Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science
- Arts & Science
- John Molson School of Business
- Fine Arts
Can I go on more than one exchange?
The Concordia Student Exchange Program allows an undergraduate student to study abroad for a period of up to one academic year (two semesters) throughout the student’s degree program. These two semesters do not necessarily have to be back-to-back, or at the same institution. Students who have completed a year of exchange are still eligible to participate in Concordia’s Short-Term Summer Programs.
Graduate students can study for one semester abroad only (this condition does not include collaborative research activities).
Can I cancel my exchange closer to the departure date if I do not feel safe travelling overseas strictly due to COVID-19?
Yes, you may cancel your exchange closer to the departure date if you feel uncomfortable about travelling abroad. We completely support your decision especially during these uncertain times. We encourage you to register for classes at Concordia University for your exchange semester as a back-up plan and drop them before the DNE if you decide to leave for exchange.
What will happen with any payments that I make concerning the exchange if my host institution or Concordia cancels my exchange?
We encourage you not to commit to any financial contributions for your exchange semester until;
a) you receive your admissions offer from your host university.
b) you are certain that you will travel to your host destination.
That being said, and due to the current COVID-19 circumstances, there are numerous aspects that we have no control over and as such, we encourage you to carefully monitor all the emails you receive from your host university, as well as stay up-to-date on all the travel advice being offered by your host government and the Government of Canada Travel Advisory.
An unforeseen emergency has made it so that I can no longer participate in the Concordia Student Exchange Program, what are the withdrawal procedures?
In the case of an unforeseen emergency, you can withdraw from the exchange program by first informing your International Liaison Officer as soon as possible. If you decide to withdraw from the CSEP past the DNE deadline, you will be financially responsible for all expenses incurred, including STOQ credits (15 credits)
For more information on traveling to foreign countries from Canada here are some other sources: