Preparing for your exchange may seem confusing...
...but it doesn't have to be! This page lists the common questions, concerns, and problems that past exchange students have shared with us. We hope that this will help streamline your preparations for your exchange and improve your experience at UCalgary.
What area are you having difficulty with?
I can't upload my transcript to my Student Centre. What should I do?
Log in to your Student Centre on a different internet browser (such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.). Make sure that your browser has pop-ups enabled, and try to upload your transcript again. If you still can't upload your transcript, please contact email@example.com for support.
I have attended more than one university. How do I upload multiple transcripts?
You can only upload one file in your Student Centre. Please combine all of your transcripts into a single file (Adobe PDF works best) and upload them together. If you cannot combine your transcripts, please upload your most recent transcript and send the rest to firstname.lastname@example.org to complete your application.
Why do I have to demonstrate my English Language Proficiency?
We review your English proficiency to make sure that you will be able to succeed in your classes. Using English academically is very different from in a more casual setting, which is why UCalgary's English language requirements are higher than you may be used to: adjusting to a new teaching/learning style as well as speaking a different language can be very challenging. You must send your English proficiency document to email@example.com for your exchange application to be considered complete.
What can I submit as proof of English Language Proficiency?
You must submit an official English test that meets UCalgary's minimum required score. Most international students use tests such as IELTS, TOEFL iBT, or TOEFL PBT. Please click the button below to view a full list of accepted tests and minimum scores.
- TOEFL ITP cannot be accepted.
- TOEFL "MyBest Scores" cannot be accepted.
Can I take any course at UCalgary?
Not all courses are available to exchange students. Some courses, such as Medicine, are completely closed, while other courses, such as Kinesiology, have a delay so that exchange students may only register if there is space after all full-degree UCalgary students have registered. Please read our Course Restrictions page carefully to make sure that UCalgary will be a good match for you and able to provide the courses you want to take.
When can I register in courses?
Registration for Fall and Winter courses opens annually in early April. You may begin the course registration process as soon as your exchange application has been fully processed. When this is complete (usually within 2-3 weeks of receiving your complete application), our office will send you an email to confirm that you have been admitted as a student of UCalgary and instruct you to start registering in courses.
How do I register in courses?
You are required to manually register yourself in all courses. However, if a course has restrictions or prerequisites, you will need to first complete a Course Request for approval to register. Please refer to our Course Registration page as well as your admission notice for more details.
How long will it take for my Course Requests to be approved?
Each department at UCalgary has its own process for reviewing prerequisites and confirming eligibility for your requested courses. Depending on how busy the time of year is, this may take up to several weeks; it will take longer if you have made errors/omissions in your Course Request form. If the department does not reply by 1 week after your initial email, it is OK to email again with a polite reminder. If you are waiting more than 2 weeks, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
What is a Block Week course? Can I take a Block Week course?
Block Week courses are intensive full-day courses that are held the week before regular semester courses. Exchange students may take Block Week courses. Please make sure this is also OK with your home university and that the Block Week course will transfer back for you.
Note: Block Week courses count as a regular course credit. If you take a Block Week course, you may not take more than 4 courses during the regular semester to comply with your exchange requirements (max. 5 courses per semester).
How do I get the syllabuses/outlines for my courses?
Each course has a corresponding D2L page which will be opened about one month before the semester starts. Important course documents, including syllabuses/outlines, will be posted here. You will also receive a paper copy of the syllabus/outline on your first day of class.
How do I know what textbooks I need for my courses?
The fastest way to check your textbook list is with the UCalgary Bookstore's "Search by Course" option. Note that this course search is updated several months before each semester starts.
When/Where should I buy textbooks?
The UCalgary Bookstore has all course textbooks; you can buy online or in-person, or rent textbooks and return them after your course ends. The Bookstore has new and used books. You can also get used books on campus at Bound & Copied or online (e.g. Kijiji or student Facebook pages).
Most UCalgary students wait until after the first day of classes to buy their textbooks. This can be a good idea, as your professor may have advice, such as if it is okay to use an older version of a textbook.
Can I arrive before the official move-in day for campus residence?
If you are coming for Fall semester, you may be able to access your room early; please contact Residence Services at email@example.com to discuss.
If you are coming for Winter semester, the earliest you can access your room is January 1st. If you will arrive before January, you can book a room at Hotel Alma (which is located on-campus) or find a different temporary accommodation.
Can I arrive after the official move-in day for campus residence?
It is possible to move in to your room later. However, Residence Services can only provide your key during opening hours in the daytime. Please contact Residence Services at firstname.lastname@example.org before your arrival to let them know that you are coming and make arrangements to pick up your key!
If you will be arriving to Calgary early in the morning or late at night, you should plan to stay at a hotel until the Residence Services office opens.
Can I mail packages to my campus residence?
Yes. Please make sure you use the right mailing address for your residence building. Do not address packages to "University of Calgary", as it will be sent to the university's central mail-receiving facility and may take days or longer to be sorted/re-sent to your residence building.
Each room in residence has a mailbox. If a package is too big to fit in your mailbox, it will be left at the reception desk for your residence building, and the Residence Services staff will email you to pick it up.
Do I have to get Tenant Insurance to live on campus residence?
Yes. All students living on campus are required to have Tenant Insurance. This insurance covers damage to your personal belongings and your room/building. You can buy this insurance from a Residence Insurance Agent online or in-person after you arrive to campus.
It is common for all people renting housing in Calgary to be required to have Tenant Insurance, so even if you are living off-campus, your landlord will likely require you to buy this too. It is also generally a good insurance to have!
Do I have to bring my own bed linens and towels?
Yes, you will need to provide all of your own linens and towels. If you do not wish to transport these from your home country, you can purchase them at a nearby shopping centre or secondhand store after arriving to Calgary. You can also order linens for delivery to your room via Residence Linens.
What other services are available for students living in campus residence?
Wireless & wired internet, academic support, recycling and composting facilities, vaccuums for rent, counselling, and more!
When should I arrive to Calgary?
In general, you should plan to arrive on September 1 (for Fall semester) or January 1 (for Winter semester). These are the move-in dates for campus residence. Usually, International Student Orientation happens a couple days after during Block Week, which you are expected to attend. A couple days after that is when your classes will start.
If you must arrive late and miss Orientation, please visit the International Student Services office - they can help you catch up!
When should I leave Calgary?
Most courses will have an exam during the official exam period. However, the exact date of each exam is not scheduled until about mid-October for Fall semester or mid-February for Winter semester. You should plan to stay in Calgary for the entire exam period, or book your flights home after the exam schedule is released.
You may stay on residence until the last day of semester. If you are a full-year exchange student, you may stay through the holiday period.
Do I need a permit or visa for my exchange? What if I want to get a job while I'm on exchange?
Our partner office, International Student Services, is a fantastic resource. They offer free immigration advising and will be happy to help you understand the requirements for studying and/or working in Canada. Contact them by completing their Contact Form and be sure to also check out their website for more detailed information.
Does it cost anything to apply for an exchange at UCalgary?
As part of our exchange agreement with our partner universities, UCalgary does not charge a fee to apply for exchange. However, there may be a fee charged by your home university when you submit your initial application to be nominated for exchange to UCalgary.
Does it cost anything to receive my transcript at the end of my exchange?
When you order your transcript, you have two options: standard mail or courier. Standard mail uses Canada Post and has no fee. This is the default option and can be used for all international destinations. Courier services may be via FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc. and has a fee - $20 to courier within Canada, $35 to the United States, and $50 for all other international destinations. The benefit of couriering is that you will receive a tracking code for your mail.
Are there any scholarships/awards for exchange students at UCalgary?
The University of Calgary currently does not offer any scholarships/awards specific to incoming exchange students. However, the Canadian Government has several scholarships available for exchange students from certain world regions, e.g. the ELAP and CARICOM scholarship programs. Please talk to your home university exchange advisor - they will have information about your eligibility for any Canadian Government scholarships, as well as any other scholarships offered by your home university.
How can I budget for my semester abroad?
Please read our Exchange Student Cost Page to get an idea of what expenses you can expect during your semester(s) here. UCalgary also runs a program called "Money Smart" which has a variety of budgeting tips and tricks available both online and at workshops that you can attend on campus - click here to learn more!
What happens if I run out of money?
Managing your finances is considered your own responsibility. However, if you are struggling while you are in Calgary, please visit the International Student Services office to speak with an international student advisor. They can help you to find other resources and supports.
Help, I forgot my UCalgary username/password/email address!
The Password Management page (link below) is where you can recover your account information. If you have forgotten your username/password, you can select the "Recover my account" option to recover/re-set this information. If you remember your username/password, you can select the "Manage my account" option to view all of your account information, including your UCalgary email address.