Student Exchange

Broaden your horizon, explore NSCAD’s off-campus and exchange options. There are many opportunities to gain international experience through NSCAD, including student exchange, off-campus study, independent off-campus study, and more. Traveling and studying in a different country can add a new dimension to your education and help prepare you for your career.

General Requirements

Before applying, the student must ensure the following requirements are met:

  • a student must be registered at the university and in good academic standing at the time of application for off-campus study;
  • a student must have completed a minimum of sixty (60) credits with a minimum of 6 credits earned at the 3000 level; completed 9 credits of liberal arts and science course work including 6 credits of Art History for BFA students; have maintained a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in order to participate in off-campus study;
  • a student applying for independent off-campus study must have completed the prerequisites in those courses for which they are registered while away from the university.

How to Apply

A few steps must be completed before you can set off on your exchange. In addition to meeting all eligibility requirements for off-campus study, student must provide the following:

  • A completed application form
  • Submit a proposal for exchange study
  • Have two supportive forms of recommendation submitted on their behalf from faculty in their principal area of study with whom they have 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


Tuition and fees are paid to NSCAD and must be paid
before a student will be permitted to register for
exchange study.

The Office of Opportunity and Belonging 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.

Transfer students may apply for off-campus 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.


In order to receive credit for off-campus study, the participating student must return to the university and register for at least one full-time semester, as well as give a public presentation and submit a two-page typed summary. A transcript indicating successful completion of the exchange semester must also be received from the host institution. Note, the credits will not be calculated into the student’s grade point average. Credits gained in off-campus study are considered non-resident credits (transfer credits).

Credits for an Exchange Semester

Students will complete a Learning Agreement prior to beginning 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. In no case will more than 15 credits be awarded for a semester of exchange study.


Students are eligible to participate if they have completed a minimum of 60 credits including 6 credits of course work at the 3000 level and two art/design history courses prior to the off-campus semester. Students with transfer credits, who have successfully completed two full-time semesters at the university with a minimum of 60 credits in total including the above criteria, may participate in an exchange or off-campus study.


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 financial aid advisor in the Office of Opportunity and Belonging. 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 traveling. 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 they sign and negotiate the necessary loan documents before departing or that the student provides a reliable mailing address where documents may be forwarded via registered mail for their signature. The student must leave detailed instructions with the Office of Opportunity and Belonging explaining how the bursary and loan balance or any other funds will be forwarded to them.

Students should note that tuition and fees for the total period of the anticipated exchange / off-campus study must be paid before their NSCAD registration can be officially completed. Unless the student has paid their tuition before leaving, or, in exceptional circumstances, have made alternative arrangements with the Vice-President of Finance, they will not be officially registered at the university.

Financial Tips

The student may want to give a member of their family written authority to deal with the bank on their behalf. The student must inform the bank and the Office of Opportunity and Belonging 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.


There are a few NSCAD University scholarships available to students who are participating in an 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. We encourage students to contact the consulate of the country to which they plan 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.