Other International Opportunities

ISS offers Exchange and Field School programs, but there are other international opportunities available to SFU students as well. 

SFU programs

External Programs

If you wish to spend a term on an external program and transfer the credit back to SFU, you can do so by requesting a Letter of Permission (LOP) from SFU. This information pertains to undergraduate students only.

The types of external programs that students normally pursue are:

  • Field Schools offered by other institutions
    The BC Study Abroad website maintains a listing of field schools offered by BC institutions.

  • Study Abroad programs offered by organizations or companies
    The Queen's University International Centre hosts a listing of various study abroad program providers.

  • Independent Study Term at another institution
    On an independent study term, you would apply directly to another institution (locally, nationally or internationally) and apply to use the credit towards your SFU degree. It is different from an exchange program and is not administered through ISS.

What should I consider when pursuing an external program?

During your external program you will be registered directly in your external program, or as an independent visiting student at your host university. You will not be registered in courses at SFU, which may impact your financial aid eligibility among other things. International students interested in pursuing an independent study term should speak with an International Student Advisor about potential immigration implications.

You will pay tuition and fees (possibly international student tuition fees) directly to the external program or university and may not be eligible for financial aid from SFU.

Undergraduate Students: If successfully completed and approved, you can apply for transfer units for any courses you take on an external program (these are different than exchange units). Please discuss this with your departmental advisor as most departments will accept a maximum of 60 transfer units towards your degree, of which only 15 can be upper division.

How do I apply for an external program?

You will need to apply directly to the program. In the case of an independent study term, you would apply to your host university for admission as a visiting student, abiding by their application deadlines and requirements.

Undergraduate Students: Request a Letter of Permission (LOP) from the Registrar at SFU to obtain permission to enroll in courses at another institution and to request transfer credit for that work.

Where can I get more information?

Refer to the Policies and Procedures and Reactivation and Readmission sections of the SFU Calendar for detailed information regarding Letters of Permission and transfer credit.

Any further questions should be directed to the Registrar and Information Services desks at the Burnaby, Surrey, or Vancouver campuses. You should also speak with your academic program advisor about your plans in advance of applying.

International Services for Students does not validate or endorse any external programs. Participants should research their programs thoroughly. There are inherent risks to international travel and travellers should consider safety, current affairs, and personal health before committing to any international travel.