Host Institution Application and Acceptance
Once accepted by CIP, you must apply to the host institution to be accepted through their application procedures. Instructions for where to find and how to complete your host institution exchange application are included in your nomination package from CIP, emailed to you by the end of March.
Though it is mainly just a formality, you are not formally accepted to go on exchange until you have received written acceptance from the host institution. You have a 99% chance of being accepted, as our partner universities know that we have already screened the students we are nominating for exchange. It would be highly unusual for one of our partner universities to not accept a student we have nominated.
If your host university’s application is online, submit it by their deadline (indicated on either your 'Application to Host University Instructions' sheet that we will e-mail you, or on your host university’s website). Some universities online application link can be found in your Application to Host University Instructions sheet. However, many of our partner universities require that CIP informs them that we are nominating you for exchange, after which they will e-mail you instructions about how to access their online application. Please note that if you are going on exchange in the Winter semester, most host university’s applications will not be available until August or September.
If your host university uses a paper application form, or if they require a printed copy of their online application or other supporting documents, please submit all hard copy documents to your Education Abroad Advisor at CIP. DO NOT send documents by yourself to the host institution – they must be sent by the Centre for International Programs.
As part of their exchange application, the host institution may request supporting documents such as reference letters, passport-sized photos or transcripts from other institutions you’ve attended. If they are not requested in the application, do not include them.
For online host applications that require your University of Guelph transcript of grades, CIP will e-mail you a scanned copy of your transcript. If you haven’t received your scanned transcript by the time you gain access to the online application, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For host applications on paper, you DO NOT need to order an official transcript - CIP will print your transcript and attach it to your host application.
Your host university may ask for academic reference(s), in which case you will need to ask a professor(s) to write a letter for you. An academic reference letter should comment on such things as your academic suitability for the exchange, you’re readiness to travel, ability to represent the University of Guelph, etc. The letter(s) should be printed on University letterhead and signed by your professor.
Your referee(s) may give you the letter(s) in a sealed envelope – if your host application is on paper, you can submit the sealed reference letters to your Education Abroad Advisor with the rest of your host application. If your host application is online and requires you to upload a reference(s), you will not be able to do this if your reference letter(s) are given to you in a sealed envelope (which you are not supposed to open). In this case, you can upload a file that says “my reference letter will be scanned and e-mailed to you by the University of Guelph”. Then bring the reference letter(s) in its sealed envelope to your Education Abroad Advisor and they will scan and e-mail it to your host university.
Letter of Motivation/Statement of Purpose
Some host universities may ask you to write a short ‘Letter of Motivation’ or ‘Statement of Purpose.’ For this, you should write about why you chose that university for exchange, what your academic interests are, why you think you are a good candidate for the exchange and what you hope to get out of the experience.
While it is really only a formality, some students find waiting for their acceptance from the host institution quite nerve-wracking. While you wait, keep in mind that many of our partner universities’ semester dates are later than U of Guelph’s. For example, if you are going to Australia for the winter semester, their semester doesn’t start until February and acceptances often don’t arrive until late October or early November.
Try to be patient as you wait. If you haven’t heard from the host institution by June 30th for Fall departure or November 15th for Winter departure, please notify your Education Abroad Advisor and they will ask your host university for an update.
The majority of host institutions send the acceptance letters to students via e-mail (as a hard copy isn’t required for many visa applications). However, some host institutions send the acceptance letter via mail to the Education Abroad Advisors at CIP, who will then email you to come and pick up your acceptance. In rare cases, your acceptance from the host institution could be mailed directly to your home address, so make sure to put a valid permanent address on your host institution application.
Students who receive accommodations from SAS should notify their Education Abroad Advisor as early as possible so that they can inquire whether your host university will be able to provide similar accommodations and find out what you need to do in order to officially notify your host university about your needs. In many cases, host universities will have an office similar to SAS that provides support and accommodations for students, and this office may have an intake form that you need to submit. It is also often required that your SAS Advisor at U of Guelph provide a letter or e-mail confirming what accommodations you receive here, and scan/e-mail your medical documentation to your host university.
To be able to utilize the SAS tuition waiver, students registered with SAS must contact their Education Abroad Advisor prior to submitting their Exchange Program Course Selection form.
Most UofG students choose to live in residence while on exchange due to the convenience of being on or close to campus and it is often an easier way to meet people and socialize. Most of our partner universities have on-campus residences, while a few offer a residence option through a private company in the city that provides housing for their students.
If you intend to live in residence at your exchange institution, check carefully for residence application procedures and deadlines. Some host institution exchange applications include an application for residence, however, most institutions send out residence application instructions with their acceptance letters. Some institutions charge a residence deposit in advance – make sure that you pay the fee in the format that is requested (most often by credit card or international bank wire transfer) and by the deadline. If you are having difficulty finding housing information for your host institution, contact your Education Abroad Advisor.
If you prefer to look for your own housing off-campus for the duration of your exchange, your host university may or may not be able to direct you to resources for finding a place to live. However, finding housing off-campus is usually a more independent process and can be challenging. It is important to be aware that, like in Guelph, it may be difficult to find a lease for only 4 – 6 months if you are going on exchange for one semester. It is also important to make sure that any housing you consider is in a relatively safe part of town with public transportation available to and from your host university.
Finally, be aware of the growing number of money and identity theft scams aimed at foreign renters - it is not advisable to send money (for a deposit) via Western Union (or other untraceable wiring companies) to someone you don’t know, and don’t give your personal details such as your credit card information, passport copy, etc.