Travel Tips

Essential Information for Canadians Abroad (Government of Canada)

Resources (ISSO, Carleton University)

Before you go (ISSO, Carleton University)


My World Abroad

Currency Converter

Babel Fish Translator


Pre-Departure: Getting Ready to Go!

Pre-Departure Orientation is compulsory for all Carleton students going on exchange.

Date TBA – early April.


  • Make sure you have a valid passport. If your current passport expires within six months of your predicted return home, you must renew it now (when Carleton approves you for the Exchange).
  • Passport Office:  885 Meadowlands Drive East, Suite 115.
  • You should consider taking a few extra passport-size photos abroad with you as photo identification for other documents.

Student Visa

  • A student visa is required by most countries in order for you to enter that country to study. The visa is stamped into your passport.
  • You must usually go in person to the nearest Embassy to pick up a student visa application form (click on ‘Diplomatic Missions’, select the country you’re going to and then select ‘Ottawa’).
  • To apply for a student visa you will need, at minimum, a valid passport and a Letter of Acceptance from the host institution. The Embassy may require other documents as well. It is your responsibility to meet all the requirements for the student visa, including submitting notarized documents. (Visit the Student Legal Clinic, 6th floor UniCentre, for advice on notarizing documents. 613-562-5600)
  • There may be a fee involved for the student visa. This varies from Embassy to Embassy and is subject to change.
  • Students with European Union passports may possibly be exempt from student visas if studying within the European Union. Please inquire at the Embassy or High Commission.

Course Selection & Registration

  • For the year/term abroad, you will be registered at Carleton University as a full-time Carleton student studying on an Exchange Agreement at a partner institution. You will pay regular tuition fees (e.g., Third year) to Carleton University.
  • All you have to do is pay your Carleton tuition for academic year 2018-19 (by the August deadline). You DO NOT register yourself at Carleton. The Registrar’s Office will register you in CEX (Current on Exchange) credits. (BIB students: The Registrar’s office will register you into BUSI 3700 and full-time CEX.) 

Important: Pay your Carleton tuition before the due dates for Fall and Winter . (South America: Winter and Fall). Arrange for someone to be your Power of Attorney to handle your finances on your behalf, if appropriate.

Health Insurance


Additional Coverage:

  • All Carleton students going abroad are required to have comprehensive travel insurance (ask for advice from your family insurance agent or your local travel agent).
  • There are numerous companies who sell Travel Insurance. Students are advised to compare both the coverage provided by insurers and the price. Carleton University does not endorse any particular insurance plan and accepts no liability for the coverage or lack of coverage provided.
  • Please read the information provided by CUSA so that you understand the insurance coverage for full-time Carleton students who are out-of-province (brochures are available at the CUSA office, 401 University Centre)
  • Some partner institutions require you to purchase health insurance in the partner country as well.

Other health issues:

  • Have medical, dental, and eye examinations before you leave, and again on your return.
  • Talk to your family doctor or Health Services on campus (613) 520-6674 concerning any travel vaccines.
  • Talk to your doctor about your own personal health needs for the year abroad.
  • Stock up on familiar medications (e.g., cold remedies, vitamins, etc.) that you might not be able to buy abroad.

Letter of Acceptance from Partner Institution

In late Spring you will receive a Letter of Acceptance from the partner institution. You will also receive some or all of the following information, either by mail or by web-page.

  •  Dates of the academic year
  • Arrival information: suggested date, port of entry, airport pickup (if offered)
  • Housing information; housing application form
  • Local or National Health insurance requirements (if any)
  • Courses (including summer language courses, if offered)
  • Name and email address of your contact person at the partner institution

Please note: Different partner institutions offer different levels of service and support to foreign students: Some offer more, while others offer less. Be sure to gear your expectations accordingly. Regardless of the situation, you must be prepared to be independent and resourceful.

Travel Tips

  • Subscribe to Daily Travel Updates from the Government of Canada.
  • Take a travel guidebook with you. This will be an invaluable resource as you adjust to the customs of the country, and as you travel around your local area on weekends and holidays. I recommend the Lonely Planet guidebooks, available at most bookstores.
  • Apply for an International Student Card
  • Leave photocopies of important documents with a trusted person in Canada: passport, student visa, health insurance, airline tickets, birth certificate, credit cards, address book, prescriptions (eyeglasses, contact lenses, medications), and so on.
  • Make plans for accessing funds from your bank account for your living expenses while abroad. Most Carleton students abroad use bank debit cards and credit cards to withdraw money from their Canadian accounts; some also use travelers cheques.
  • Upon arrival in the host country, be sure to have the following with you:
    • foreign currency (cash) for your living expenses for the first few days
    • the address of the residence or hostel where you will be staying when you first arrive (make sure you’ve made arrangements in advance!)
    • the address of the university; phone number & email of your contact person
  • Bring along a few photos of friends, family, home, Canadian scenery.
  • Bring some souvenirs as gifts (Canada pins, etc.).
  • Pack some business/professional clothing for class presentations or formal functions.
  • Pack wisely (you’ll have to carry your own luggage), but don’t forget the essentials: a sense of humour and a spirit of adventure!

Settling In

Once you’ve settled in to your new location abroad, please register with the nearest Canadian mission (embassy or consulate)

Submit the Emergency Contact form so we’ll know who to contact in case of an emergency while you’re abroad.

Submit the Contact Abroad form so we’ve got your local address and phone number.