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Exchanging education with other countries

by Archives February 27, 2002

Ever thought about traveling before completing university and entering the “real” world?
The International/Student Exchange Programme (I/SEP) allows Concordia students to explore academic opportunities within a different culture and environment. In existence for six years, the program has the opportunity to send students across the globe to educate themselves “outside” the classroom.
The Quebec government stresses the importance of meeting the eligibility requirements before furthering ones interest in the program (Canadian/Permanent Resident, Quebec Resident, full-time student at Concordia, good standing with solid academic record…) There is also a cut-off GPA which varies across the faculties at Concordia, from 2.5 in Arts and Sciences to 3.0 in Engineering and Computer Science.
Those who already speak the language of the host school, or who are multilingual, maintain a considerable advantage over the next applicant.
Personal criteria must also be taken into consideration: if the student has not already traveled, especially unaccompanied, there is a chance that the experience may not be as enjoyable as if they had the advantage of being a globe-trotter.
Yet besides the cash cushion and the wondrous possibilities of independent travel, others have maintained other motivations in applying for the exchange program. I/SEP provides an excellent opportunity to learn a language (or ameliorate your skills) and enhance ones degree and resume, some GPA’s have been noted to rise upon a student’s return from their exchange. The biggest challenge will be finding a location.
Decisions made in choosing the ideal locale are primarily based on course availability in relation to ones program. Options can be limited when integrating the needed core classes for ones degree in another university because the programs and classes may differ and if a full course load is not chosen because of previous misconceptions about a class, then the penalty is harsh.
Much of the information about the students living environment will be provided by the host institution. Housing on and off campus, health and medical information and other relevant information is instructed to the applicant upon acceptance by means of mailed brochures and other written documentation.
Once Concordia and the government give you the green light you are eligible to expand your world views and apply your previous teachings within another society. Jeff Lerman, a major in International Business at Concordia, says, “the four months I spent studying in Europe were enlightening and truly mind opening.” The benefits he incurred at the business school he attended were tremendous because of the contacts he made.
Obtaining information, he stresses, is relatively easy, especially with the John Molson School of Business website that provides a link to commerce students interested in the program and all the paperwork provided by the Centre for International Academic Cooperation (CIAC).
More information will be available on the upcoming website which will provide a downloadable general outline of the program, frequently asked questions and links with a simple click of a mouse.
The International Student Exchange Programme offers an exceptional, affordable and unforgettable experience open to almost anyone with the drive and ambition to expand their knowledge. Once opportunity knocks, one must answer the door and hop on the next flight to possibility.
For more information visit the International Student Affairs Office at GM-201-7 or visit the website at http://johnmolson.concordia.ca/services/exchange

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