Next application deadline: January 25, 2019 for Summer 2019, Fall 2019, and/or Spring 2020 exchange terms. 

Select Your Destination(s)

Select your destination(s)

In your exchange application you may list up to 3 institutions. However, you may select only 1 or 2 if you prefer to be considered for fewer institutions. 

For each institution you are listing as your preference(s) please be sure to:

  • check the specific eligibility requirements, which are located on each partner institution's webpage
  • check the Exchange Terms Available document to see if terms are available at the partner institutions you want to select (this document will be available in November for the January 25th application deadline, or in April for the May 25th application deadline)
  • list them in order of preference (you will only be selected for one institution) 

If you are applying for two separate institutions for two exchange terms, please complete and submit two separate applications. We can duplicate your reference(s), please email to request this.


Academic References

1. All applicants are required to have ONE academic referee who is teaching you or has taught you in the past. This must be from an SFU professor/instructor who has taught you at SFU. 


2. Applying for exchange to Grenoble Ecole de Management, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Kansai Gaidai University, Meiji Gakuin University, University College London, or Universite de Lausanne? If any of your exchange institution preferences is in one of these, you must have two academic referees who are teaching you or have taught you in the past. This is because two references are required as part of the host institution application. Your references from your exchange application to ISS are reused for your host institution application. Your two references can be either:

  • Two SFU professors/instructors (highly recommended)

OR if you have transferred to SFU from another institution:

  • One SFU professor/instructor and
  • One professor from another university or college

Have you applied for exchange in the past year? If yes, you may be able to reuse one of your academic references, if they meet the criteria above. Please email for more information.

Are you completing two or more exchange applications for the same application deadline (eg. Applying for a Fall term to Sweden and a Spring term to Japan)? If yes, you may be able to reuse your academic reference(s), if they meet the criteria above. Please email for more information.

How to obtain your reference(s)

1. Choose your reference(s). We recommend selecting a class you have done fairly well in. Also consider how well the professor knows you, for example; Did you speak in class? Was it a large lecture, or small class size? Did you attend their office hours? How long ago was the class? How many classes have you had with them? Were they an advocate of study abroad or international research?

Your referee will be asked:

  • How long they have known you and in what capacity
  • The relevance of the exchange to your career
  • Areas of weakness
  • Adaptability to new cultures
  • An overall rating (potential, motivation, adaptability) of your suitability for exchange

Note: Teaching assistants, high school and work references are not eligible to act as your reference.

2. Contact your referee to request permission to send them an online reference request. This should be requested as soon as possible to meet the application deadline (when the application is open).

When asking your referee to complete the online form, we suggest providing them with the following documents:

  • Current transcript
  • Resume
  • Brief statement about why you want to go on exchange 

(Note: If nominated for exchange the reference will be sent to your host institution, so we recommend that you do NOT specify the destination you are applying for in the event that you are nominated for a different destination)

For reference: How to ask for a reference letter

3. Once the referee agrees to be your academic reference, you can send them the online form through your application.

4. Your referee will receive the online form via email. You will receive an email once they have submitted their reference form, and your online Study Abroad System will indicate their reference is complete.


SFU Advising Transcript

Upload your most recent SFU Advising transcript (using “Both” view), ie. it should show your academic record by term, as well as subject.

January deadline applicants: Upload SFU transcript after Fall grades have been posted.

May deadline applicants: Upload SFU transcript after Spring grades have been posted.

Other Transcripts (Optional - Strongly Recommended)

Do you have transfer credit from other post-secondary institutions (not including IB credits from high school or test credits)?

If yes, we strongly recommend that you upload a copy of an unofficial transcript for each institution from which you have received transfer credit at SFU. The Application Review Committee may review your Other Transcripts to see your full academic history, especially if you have completed few terms or units at SFU.

Note: If you are nominated for exchange, you will be asked for an official transcript for each institution. We suggest that you request these now as they can take some time to be processed.

Advisor Discussion Worksheet (ACADEMIC)

Undergraduates: Meet with your academic advisor for each of your declared or intended programs (major, minor etc) to discuss your academic plans for your exchange term. Bring your Proposed Study Plan(s) to your meetings.

Please note a Study Abroad Officer cannot complete this form for you.

Download the Advisor Discussion Worksheet (Undergraduate) .

Graduates: Meet with your Graduate Supervisor (or Faculty Advisor) and Graduate Program Chair to complete this form. 

Download the Advisor Discussion Worksheet (Graduate) .

Proposed Study Plan

Your Proposed Study Plan will likely take the most time to research and complete, so we recommend starting this early.

In your exchange application you will be able to select up to three institutions. Complete a Proposed Study Plan for each institution you would like to be considered for. If you are applying for a two-term exchange, complete a Proposed Study Plan for each term.

Complete a minimum of six classes for each of your preferred partner institutions by researching available classes on their website.

Select classes:

  • That are available for exchange students (review restricted subjects/classes)
  • That are normally offered in the term you plan to go on exchange
  • Which you anticipate meeting pre-requisite requirements

Download the Proposed Study Plan .
Note, this document must be downloaded and saved prior to starting in order for to save the content you type into the fillable fields.

Language Proficiency Form (if applicable)

If you intend on taking courses that are taught in a language other than English, you must have this form completed. You are not required to complete this form if you intend on taking language courses while on exchange.

This can be completed by a language instructor, or SFU faculty/staff member who speaks the appropriate language as a native/first language.

French Cohort Program (FCP) students are exempt from having to complete the Language Proficiency Form for taking French-taught courses while on exchange.

Download the Language Proficiency Form .

Statement of Interest

Statement of Interest

In your application, you will be asked to responsed to the following questions. Your answers will be typed directly into the Study Abroad System, no additional document is needed.

1: Why have you decided to apply for the exchange program?
Include how this experience would benefit your degree and support your future academic, career and/or personal goals. (Up to 200 words)

2: Why have you selected your first preference institution?
Up to 100 words

3: Why have you selected your second preference institution?
If you do not have a second preference institution, write "n/a". (Up to 100 words)

4: Why have you selected your third preference institution?
If you do not have a third preference institution, write "n/a". (Up to 100 words)

5: How do you prepare for, and adapt to, new and challenging situations?
If you have had experiences that you think are relevant to your participation in the exchange program -- either internationally or locally -- include these as examples. (Up to 200 words)

If there are extenuating circumstances you would like to share with the selection committee, please include them under "Additional Documents".



Upload a passport-style photo of yourself. Selfies are accepted as long as they meet the criteria listed (see image below).

Supported file formats: .jpeg, .gif, .png, or similar photo file (please do not submit a .pdf or .doc file)

Passport Identification Page

Upload the photo identification page of your current passport. For your exchange term, your passport may need to be valid up to 6 months past your expected date of return to Canada.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your passport is valid for the appropriate duration.

Passport about to expire or already expired? Upload a copy of the receipt you received when you applied for your renewal, or upload your expired/expiring passport and a document stating your name, student number, and details on when you will be applying for your renewal.

Don’t have a passport? Upload a copy of the receipt you received when you applied for your passport, or upload a document stating your name, student number, and details on when you will be applying for your passport.

Language Background

If you have a background in the languages of any of the host countries to which you are applying -- even if you plan on taking courses in English -- there is space in the application to comment on this. Include how you learned the language (eg. spoke it growing up, learned formally in a classroom, etc.), and your approximate level of fluency. 

If you do not have a background in the languages of any of the host countries to which you are applying, leave blank.

Please note language background is not expected for most destinations.


Create a budget that covers the costs for a full exchange period (one or two terms) at your first preference institution.

Tips for completing the Exchange Budget Planning Worksheet:

Estimated Costs: Research the estimated costs for your exchange term(s). This information can normally be found through student exchange reports/questionnaires on our website, the partner institution’s website, and internet searches.

Estimated Funds: Determine your anticipated funds for your exchange, in other words, how you may pay for your exchange. Your "Estimated Funds” should be equal to, if not greater than your "Expenses". This will demonstrate that you have sufficient funds for your exchange. You may include any scholarships, loans, bursaries or awards that have not been confirmed or previously awarded (see “Budget Comments” section). For information about financial aid, please speak with a Financial Aid Advisor.

Budget Comments: If there are any amounts listed in your budget that you think may be higher/lower than the average budget, write a brief statement explaining the discrepancy, for example if:

  • Your airfare is covered by a parent because they work at an airline
  • You have received a significant scholarship that covers the majority of your expenses
  • You have included funds (such as awards) that you have not received before
  • Your total funds are less than your total costs 

Download the Exchange Budget Planning Worksheet :
Note, this document must be downloaded and saved prior to starting in order for fields to auto-calculate and save.


Referral Information

On the online application, you will be required to input referral information about how you heard about the exchange program.

Grant Permission-Transcript

On the online application, you will grant permission to SFU to order your official SFU transcript.

Declaration of Applicant

To complete your application, you must certify that all statements and documents in your application are true and complete, and that you understand that any misrepresentation may result in cancellation of your application, academic discipline and/or legal consequences.

Applications Closed

If you have a submitted a Study Abroad Application, please click link below to return to application.

New account registrations and applications will resume in Fall 2018.

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