Studying at Another University | Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics

Studying at Another University

Letter of Permission (LOP)

Students wishing to take courses at another university and have the credit transfer back to Guelph can do so on a Letter of Permission. Students are permitted to take a maximum of 2.5 credits on a Letter of Permission and must have a GPA of 60% or better. You are encouraged to meet with a program counsellor before beginning the Letter of Permission process.

Exchange opportunities

Studying Abroad: Advice for students when selecting courses

Some students are interested in studying for a semester or longer in another country, but they may be mystified about how to do it. There is also the uncomfortable feeling of stepping “outside your comfort zone”. The University of Guelph and the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economic encourages students to travel abroad in order to understand what is happening in the rest of the world, and to return home with a larger comfort zone: a new appreciation for their home and a new awareness of their place in the world. Most people who travel vaguely know that their time will be interesting but the greatest learning is often associated with things or events or conversations which they never thought were possible. These notes offer some guidance on how to plan your studies to achieve these goals. 

If you would like learn more about studying abroad, the best place to start is the Undergraduate Calendar and the Centre for International Programs. Their search function can find programs abroad which are relevant to students in various commerce and business administration programs.  They also link to two sources of travel funding. Many organizations, on and off campus, also offer assistance.

Studying abroad does not delay your expected graduation except in a very unusual situation. In general, planning should begin as soon as possible with the goal of studying abroad during the third year. At that stage in your studies, you will have taken many of the foundation courses and are considering electives or specializations within your major. Few students want to take a semester abroad during their last year on campus because they may want to focus on looking for a job or because their major includes a critical capstone class to which the other classes in the major have been building toward. Therefore, if you plan to study abroad then it is best to select courses to free up time and electives for the third year. Different majors resolve this issue in different ways. To ensure compatibility, students should discuss which courses they plan to take abroad with their Faculty Advisor before leaving. The B.Comm Program Counselling Office (MINS 207) also maintains a database of exchange courses that University of Guelph students have taken in the past. While not a complete list, it can be a useful resource. 

Issues specific to your major


Interested Accounting students should focus on a studying abroad during the Winter term of their third year. It is possible to take a semester aboard during the Winter semester but only if Intermediate Management Accounting (ACCT 3230) has been taken during the previous winter term. Students should be very careful when planning to take the required Canadian accounting or tax courses, as professors in universities in other countries are unlikely to understand the Canadian laws and policies. A student should plan to save electives to be used during the semester abroad. Other important courses in the Accounting major, such as operations and corporate finance, are offered in many other universities. 

Food and Agricultural Business

Generally, it is best for AGBU/FAB students to travel during the second semester of third year. For many of the courses required in this program, an equivalent course can be taken elsewhere. Students should check with their faculty advisor about whether such courses are acceptable prerequisites for later courses. 

Hotel and Food Administration and Tourism Management

For both HAFA and TMGT majors, either the Fall or Winter semester of third year works well. For HAFA Co-op majors, an exchange is best done in the Winter semester after returning from the Co-op year.

HTM students should plan to take as many core courses as possible here and they should expect to do elective courses (Restricted electives, Liberal Education or Free electives) while on an exchange semester. The major is fairly flexible when considering allowable substitutions since almost anything that is related to business or hospitality and tourism related can count as a restricted elective. If they can find a core course abroad then that would be a “bonus”. Please confirm with a faculty advisor before leaving for a semester abroad. 

Human Resource Management

Students interested in studying abroad should be aware that, although the same ideas and theories may be taught in other universities, many of the policies and many of the relevant laws are nationally or provincially based. Therefore, courses taken at universities in other countries may not be recognized by the HRPA when applying for the CHRP designation. On the other hand, with the increasing internationalization of the workforce, seeing how general theories can be applied to people with diverse backgrounds and in different locations offers powerful insights. Students should also be aware that one of the final courses, HROB 4100, is offered only during the Fall term. 

Management Economics and Finance

Because Economics courses are so similar around the world, students who go abroad have less difficulty finding courses that are equivalent to the required or restricted elective courses here. Students who go on letter of permission or exchange tend to go in the winter of second year, anytime during third year or even sometimes in the fall of fourth year. (Students with an emphasis in finance cannot go during the fall of fourth year due to a required course; however, it should be noted that we are changing this offering to the winter during 2011- 2012.) 

Marketing Management

Students who go on letter of permission or exchange tend to do so during the Winter semester of their third year of study. Some courses required for this major are offered at other universities and can be taken as equivalents to those required here. To take as much advantage of the opportunities offered by studying abroad, students in this major are advised to plan to take the required course International Marketing, MCS 4600, while abroad. It may also be useful to study Restrictive Elective courses which fulfill a Literacy (i.e. language) requirement or a History requirement or a Global Perspectives requirement. All mentioned options depend on the courses available at the other university as well as review and approval from the faculty advisor.

Public Management

Students interested in studying abroad should be aware that, although the same ideas and theories may be taught in other universities, many of the policies and many of the relevant laws are nationally or provincially based. On the other hand, with globalization and the increasingly diverse workforce, seeing how general theories can be applied in different locations offers powerful insights. Students should consult with a faculty advisor about which courses are best to study at another university. 

Real Estate and Housing

Real estate has a reputation as being a very local industry. While that reputation is based on a truth, much can be learned by observing that what may seem to be “obviously true” here is neither obvious nor necessarily true elsewhere. Some universities in Australia, Singapore, the U.S. and elsewhere offer real estate programs where students may be able to find substitute courses for some real estate specific courses such as those related to urban planning, politics, law, and real estate development. At most universities, it is much easier to find courses which satisfy the other requirements of the degree. Consulting with the academic advisor ahead of time is crucial.