International Exchange Programs

Exchange programs between the University of Northern British Columbia and other institutions are defined by the terms of formal exchange agreements.

Students participating in exchange programs generally pay their tuition fees to UNBC, but select their courses at the university they will be visiting (this policy may vary with each exchange agreement). Grades are recorded at the receiving institution and forwarded to UNBC at the end of the semester or academic year. In the case of a formal exchange, grades will be reported by UNBC using a pass/fail grading system and will not be counted towards a student's cumulative grade point average.

Students are permitted to spend a maximum of one academic year on a formal exchange. To participate in an international exchange, students must be nominated by UNBC and then wait for written approval from the receiving university. Students are required to register and pay their fees to UNBC before leaving on exchange. For more information on exchange opportunities and application procedures, please contact the International Education Department.

Study abroad where a formal agreement does not exist must be conducted by means of a letter of permission. In such cases tuition fees are paid to the receiving institution.

Selection Criteria for International Exchange Participants

The International Exchange and Student Programs Office has developed the following criteria to select UNBC students to participate in formal international exchanges. Criteria are outlined in descending order of importance.

Grade Point Average
  • a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.67 is required.
  • in exceptional circumstances, a minimum of 2.67 over the last 30 credit hours may be considered.
  • in some cases a higher CGPA is required by the receiving institution.
Statement of Interest
  • students are asked to submit a one- to two-page essay outlining the potential impact of participation in the exchange on their academic program and the expected contribution to their career plans.
  • the quality of writing used in the statement of interest will also be considered.
Academic Study Plan
  • the study plan should demonstrate that exchange participation will contribute to a student's degree program and/or elective requirements.
  • students will complete a study plan for both their first and second choice of destinations, but they will only be required to obtain advisor/faculty signatures for their first choice at the initial state of the application process.
Letters of Academic Reference (3)
  • applicants are asked to present two academic references and one personal reference.
  • academic referees are asked to comment on the student's ability to succeed academically in an exchange.
  • letters of reference should be from UNBC faculty members or the applicant must provide an explanation as to why another academic reference is valid.
Curriculum Vitae/Résumé
  • the committee will look for community and or campus participation.
  • a résumé may also include information on cross-cultural interest and experience.
  • relevant experience in the workforce or as a volunteer will also be taken into consideration.
Academic Year
  • senior students will have had more time to develop academic maturity, and less opportunity to participate in exchanges in preceding years, and thus may be given priority over more junior students.
  • students are permitted to submit application materials for exchange upon completion of at least one semester of study at UNBC. However, students must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of academic study at UNBC before departing on an international exchange.
Special Criteria
  • students should meet specific criteria for particular exchanges.
  • applicants must meet language requirements for some exchanges.
Other UNBC Exchanges
  • students may participate in a maximum of one academic year of exchange.
  • all other things being equal, the committee will give priority to students who have not previously participated in a UNBC exchange program.
Additional Considerations
  • only complete applications will be considered.
  • an interview may be required for final selection.
  • recent UNBC alumni may be considered as exchange participants if there are no qualified applicants among current UNBC students.
Budget Planner
  • to assist students in planning their exchange, this form must be completed.