Plan your travel for exchange

Getting started

An exciting and challenging part of the next several weeks or months will be planning your travel and preparing yourself for life abroad.

You are responsible for your own travel planning. This includes booking flights, applying for relevant visas or permits for your host country, and finding housing.


You should make travel arrangements after you have been formally admitted to your host university and received a Letter of Acceptance. You should also wait until your visa or permit (if required) is approved.

Your passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after you plan to return to UBC.

Visas and residence permits

Most students will require some sort of visa, study permit, or residence permit to travel to and stay in their host country for the duration of their program.

In most cases, you cannot apply for your visa until you have your letter of acceptance from your host university.

You may need to travel to another city to apply for or obtain your visa. For example, you may sometimes need to go in-person to a consulate in Ottawa or Toronto.

Visa fees can be significant. Please take these into consideration when budgeting.

If you are a UBC international student with a Canadian study permit, you should make sure your permit remains valid while you are away on exchange. For more information, please contact International Student Advising.

Go Global does not advise in detail on visas because rules ad application processes change often and can vary greatly depending on students’ individual situation (e.g., citizenship or length of stay).


Availability of campus housing or residence varies between universities. Most host universities provide incoming students with information about finding local housing on- or off-campus.

Safety abroad

UBC is committed to preparing students for safe and successful international experiences. In order to achieve this, any student participating in a Go Global Program must complete the following:

  • All UBC Student Safety Abroad requirements
  • Go Global pre-departure requirements specific to each program (includes both online and in-person components)

Failure to successfully complete these and any other requirements may result in withdrawal from the Go Global Program.