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Students are encouraged to begin researching their study abroad and exchange options as early as first year. Some students begin with a geographical preference (e.g. Europe, Asia, Oceania, etc.) and narrow down their options from there. Others start with their desired program of study (e.g. International Relations, Biology, Commerce, Music, Fine Arts, etc.) and then consider their country options next. The following documents provide good starting points for students who know where or what (in the world) they want to study
Determine your priorities
Knowing what you're looking for in a study abroad or exchange experience will help you to determine which programs represent the best fit for you personally and academically. Are you looking to experience life at a large university or a small(er) one? Are you looking to live in a big city or a smaller town? Do you want to live in an English-speaking environment or do you want to completely immerse yourself in a foreign language and culture? Do you want to be part of a group of Mount Allison students or do you prefer to be one of only a few (or the only) Mount Allison student?
Get to know the universities
Visit each university's home page to learn more about its size, location and academic offerings. When does the semester begin? When does it end? How extensive are the course offerings in your Major area? In your Minor area? How many courses are offered in English? What are the on-campus housing arrangements? What extracurricular opportunities are available to students? What is the cost of living? How much does it cost to get there?
Go to the study-abroad & exchange fair
The annual study-abroad & exchange fair - organized each fall by the International Centre - provides a showcase of Mount Allison's many international programs. Visiting and recently-returned exchange students provide first-hand information about student life at each partner university and institution. Browse through brochures, look at pictures, and consider the accounts of other students who lived - or who are living - the exchange experience.
Get a handle on the academic equation
Do a degree audit. Look ahead over the next 2-3 years to determine which courses you need to take a Mount Allison and which credits can be satisfied elsewhere. Make an appointment with the academic advisor (email@example.com) to learn more about the practical side of building an international experience into your Mount A degree. Speak to the program advisor assigned to the exchange. Learn more about the academic strengths of the university and how certain courses might transfer back.
Get to know the International Affairs Coordinator (IAC)
The IAC (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the first point of contact for Mount Allison students going out and exchange students coming in. The IAC can walk you through the process of narrowing down your options, navigating the paperwork, and putting you in touch with other students who are away, have come back, or are here on exchange. The IAC's office is located in the International Centre.
The application period for exchange programs in 2018-19 will open in early October 2017.
To be considered for an exchange program, students must meet the following criteria:
- Must have completed at least one year of studies at Mount Allison
- Must have a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.5 or higher
And the following considerations should also be kept in mind:
- Exchange programs are ideally-suited for students during their third year of studies. This allows them to complete their 4000-level courses and specific degree requirements in their final year back at Mount Allison.
- Students who are approved to participate in an exchange program in their final year should consult with the faculty program advisor to make sure that they can successfully satisfy their degree requirements with the courses they earn while on exchange.
- Students who spend the winter term of their graduating year on exchange will not be eligible for graduation until the following October.
- Graduating students who wish to participate on a study abroad program can do so by applying for re-admission to the University following Convocation. Regular Mount Allison tuition fees and changes will apply for all Mount Allison programs.
Characteristics of a successful candidate
- Someone who has a solid academic record at Mount Allison. This is especially important for the more competitive exchange program destinations where there are many applicants but only one or two exchange placements per year.
- Someone who has spent time researching their possibilities and options for going on a study abroad or exchange program and has researched the individual universities and institutes that Mount Allison has partnerships with.
- Someone who demonstrates a genuine interest in an openness towards having an international experience, for all the challenges and rewards that it offers.
- Someone who has a range of interests and extra-curricular involvement.
- Someone who stands to represent Mount Allison well while on exchange.
Please note: Previous international experience is not a requirement, nor will students with previous international experience be disadvantaged. A student's GPA counts in the exchange committee's consideration of his/her application, but it is only one of several factors. A student's GPA alone will not determine his/her final ranking or suitability for an exchange.
Interview & selection process
Each exchange program has its own exchange advisor and its own selection committee. If a student applies to three programs, it is possible that the student will be interviewed three times by three different committees. In instances when exchange advisors team up to form one "super committee" it's possible that two interviews will be combined into one.
Please note the following:
- Not all applicants will necessarily be offered interviews. In cases when the number of applicants is high and the availability of the selection committee is limited, a short list of applicants to be interviewed will be created. In all cases, the exchange advisor will contact you directly to indicate whether you have or have not been selected for an interview.
- Interviews will normally begin two to three weeks after the application deadline (normally this falls in the last week of January and continues through the first two weeks of February.)
- Each selection committee will set its own interview dates.
- No exchange placement decisions will be announced until all the selection committees have completed all their interviews and returned their decisions to the International Centre.
Selection & announcement
Once all of the selection committees have completed their interviews and ranked the candidates, the exchange advisors will send their lists to the international affairs co-ordinator.
The international affairs co-ordinator will then compile all of the rankings and based on students' preferences, will allocate students to their top-ranked exchange. Regardless of how many exchange programs a student applies to, students will only be offered ONE placement. Even if students were the top-ranked candidate in all three exchange programs, student will only be offered a placement with their top-ranked exchange program in order to allow as many Mount Allison students the opportunity to participate on a study abroad or exchange program as possible.
For this reason, the order of exchange program on the general application form is important and students should prioritize their first, second, and third choices for exchange destinations.
Successful candidates will be contacted by the international affairs co-ordinator to let them know that they have been selected to participate on a study abroad or exchange program. Successful candidates will be asked to tentatively confirm their acceptance. Out of respect for the process and those who are awaiting the committee's decision, successful candidates are urged to confirm their acceptance as soon as possible.
Students placed on a wait-list and unsuccessful candidates will be notified as soon as the successful candidates tentatively confirm their acceptance.