Exchange Study

The following are general requirements that apply to the Off Campus Study Program for NSCAD students:

• a student must be registered full time at the university and in good academic standing at the time of application for Exchange Study;

• a student must have completed a minimum of sixty (60) credits with a minimum of 6 credits at the 3000 level and have maintained a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in order to participate in Exchange Study;

• a student applying for Exchange study must have completed 9 credits of liberal arts courses, including 6 credits of art history for BFA students;

Transfer students may apply for Exchange Study after the completion of two full-time semesters at the university, in addition to meeting the above-noted requirements. The university’s Residency Requirement will apply and may limit participation in Off Campus Study for some transfer students. Exchange credits are transferred credits, and a student may not use excess credits after surpassing the 75 transfer credit maximum. Consult the Registrar for additional information about the residency requirement.

List of exchange schools

View the list of institutions participating in Independent Exchange Agreements »

Approval for Exchange Study

In addition to meeting all eligibility requirements for off campus study, a student must meet the following requirements:

• submit a letter of intent for each host institution; and

• have two supportive forms of recommendation submitted on her/his behalf from faculty in her/his principal area of study with whom s/he has developed a working rapport within 12 months preceding the beginning of the proposed exchange semester;

• submit a portfolio of recent work relevant to the exchange proposal.

• A student who participates in Off Campus Study is required to return to the university and to register for at least one full time semester during which s/he will give a public presentation and submit a two-page typed summary. Credit will not be awarded for Off Campus Study until these requirements have been met.

Credit will be awarded once a transcript indicating successful completion of the exchange semester has been received from the host institution. The credits will not be calculated into the student’s grade point average.

Tuition and fees are paid to NSCAD and must be paid before a student will be permitted to register at a host institution for Exchange Study.

Credits gained in Off Campus Study are considered non-resident credits (transfer credits).

The Office of Student Experience organizes and coordinates the Off Campus Study Program and assists students with application procedures, financial planning, and visa requirements. The student is responsible for arranging travel and accommodations. The Office keeps a set of calendars for institutions with which the university has exchange agreements and reports written by previous off campus study students.

What Is Expected of You?

Participants are expected to document his/her experience of the exchange study in such a way that the record of his/her experience may benefit other students considering such study. This summary will become part of the resources available in the Office of Student Experience to students interested in pursuing these options of study. Students are required to return to the university and to register for at least one semester. A public presentation and submission of a summary of the student’s experience is also required. Students should keep a journal during his/her period of off campus study, in which he/she records his/her experiences, impressions, sketches, and other important information and also visually document the experience with photographs and slides. These will form the basis of the public presentation and the written summary report.

Credits taken while on exchange or independent off campus study will not be awarded until the Registrar has been notified that the student has completed the public presentation and has submitted the summary. Tuition is paid to NSCAD and credits earned while on exchange study apply toward NSCAD degrees.

Semester Credits for an Exchange Semester

Students will complete a Learning Agreement prior to commencement of classes that will be evaluated for transfer credits to NSCAD degree program requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the host institution regarding suitable course selection that meet the degree requirements at NSCAD University. Consultation with an Academic Advisor prior to departure for exchange is strongly recommended. The total semester credits must conform to the university’s semester system and will be adjusted where necessary. The credits will be awarded as transfer credits and will not be calculated into the student’s Grade Point Average. In no case will more than 15 credits be awarded for a semester of exchange study,

Planning Exchange or Off Campus Study

You should start the research and planning regarding a semester of Exchange or Off Campus Study six to sixteen months in advance of the anticipated period of study. This will involve examining the offerings of various exchange institutions to see which program and institution best fits your intentions for the exchange study, or preparing a proposal of your intended plan of off campus independent study. Planning your financial and travel necessities for the period of study, and researching visa requirements for entering foreign countries is also required. All arrangements must be made, including approval of your program by the appropriate university officials, and payment of fees, before your departure. Many countries will require a receipt for payment of tuition fees before you will be allowed to enter a country or to register at an institution.

Procedures and Considerations

1. Make an appointment with your Academic Advisor to review your program. You should ask any questions you may have concerning eligibility, art history/academic requirements, etc. at this meeting.

2. Submit the application for exchange study by the announced deadline. Include a reasonable idea of the courses you wish to take while on exchange in the proposal.

3. Exchange applicants only must submit a Portfolio of 10-15 digital images, video or other relevant documentation of his/her most recent work.

4. Submit a well-researched and well-written proposal which clearly indicates the intended purpose of the exchange or independent off campus study.

5. Request two full-time faculty members who have worked with you or are familiar with your work to submit recommendations to the Office of Student Experience by the announced deadline using the Faculty Recommendation Form.

Financial Considerations

Before applying for government assistance through the Canada Student Loan Program, the Quebec Student Loan Program or other provincial loan programs for the period of study during which the Exchange study will take place, one should consult with the Director of Financial Aid and Student Counselling. Some provincial loan agencies recognize exceptional expenses for such programs of study and will calculate these into their determinations of the assistance available to a student. Other provincial loan agencies will not provide either loan or bursary assistance to students pursuing programs outside Canada. Without adequate financial resources, students should not attempt Off Campus Study.

One of the most important matters to settle is how and where the student will get money when travelling. In the past, this has sometimes been a problem for students. If the student will be receiving a Canada student loan, it is most important that either he/she signs and negotiates the necessary loan documents before departing or that the student provides a reliable mailing address where documents may be forwarded via registered mail for his/her signature. The student must leave detailed instructions with the Office explaining how his/her bursary and loan balance or any other funds will be forwarded to him/her.

The student may want to give a member of his/her family written authority to deal with his/her bank on his/her behalf. The student must inform his/her bank and the Office of such arrangements.

Students are required to budget an extra $300 to $500 for an emergency fund. This money may be taken with the student or left in a personal bank account in Canada in case the funds are needed quickly. A member of the student’s family, given a detailed letter of instructions, could withdraw that amount in an emergency and wire it to the student at once.

Students should note that tuition and fees for the total period of his/her anticipated Exchange / Off Campus Study must be paid before his/her NSCAD registration can be officially completed. Unless the student has paid his/her tuition before leaving, or, in exceptional circumstances, have made alternative arrangements with the Vice-President of Finance, he/she will not be officially registered at the university.


There are a few NSCAD University scholarships available to students who are participating in an Exchange / Off Campus Study Program. Application for scholarships can be made at the time of application for study off campus.

In addition to NSCAD Scholarships, students may find grants and scholarships available from external sources to NSCAD. One should contact the consulate of the country to which he or she plans to travel. In addition, the Canadian Bureau of International Education, of which NSCAD is a member, has resources regarding grants and scholarships on their website at

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