Foreign Studies: Traveling while Studying at ÉTS

Are you fascinated by the idea of studying in a foreign country? Would you like to improve your language skills or broaden your knowledge? Foreign study semesters, available to both graduate and undergraduate students, will let you do all of that, and more!

But studying abroad takes significant advance planning. ÉTS has a special student recruiting and international coordination department, the Bureau du recrutement étudiant et de la coordination internationale (BRÉCI), which stands ready to help you throughout the process. Feel free to consult them! 

Step 1: Confirm Your Eligibility

Step 1: Confirm Your Eligibility

To study abroad as part of your ÉTS program, you must meet certain conditions that vary according to your level of studies.

To be eligible for studies abroad during your undergraduate program, you must:

  • Have accumulated 46 credits in your program of studies at the time of departure (in LOG-TI we strongly recommend having 70 credits) and remain enrolled full-time (12 credits) in this program throughout your stay at the host institution;
  • Have a cumulative average* of at least 2.75/4.3 at the time of filing your application, and maintain this average until your departure.  In some cases, an average greater than 3.5/4.3 is required (IIT Bombay in India);
  • Have completed your first co-op work term;
  • Know the language of instruction of the host university.

*Note: Your cumulative average including the Fall semester will be verified in mid-January before your selection interview (the BRÉCI will automatically receive your transcript).  If your average is insufficient, your application will be rejected;

Your Obligations

In addition to meeting the eligibility criteria, you must also commit to: 

  • Remain registered at ÉTS; 
  • Before departure, obtain approval from your department for the equivalence of your courses or permission to validate the research credits earned outside Québec;
  • Before departure, make sure that the number of credits validated does not exceed the maximum number of credits provided for by the ÉTS Academic Regulations [in French,PDF];
  • Submit a complete application package to the BRÉCI; 
  • Pass the BRÉCI selection interview;
  • Be admitted by the host institution;
  • Pay your tuition fees to ÉTS (and not to the host establishment, except if this establishment has no agreement with ÉTS);
  • Pay the costs of your transportation and lodgings in your host country as well as the cost of a medical insurance policy;
  • Submit an end-of-stay report when you return (the final payment of the mobility grant is dependent on this);
     

Participate in the mandatory information sessions

Do you want to submit an application to study abroad? You must attend two information sessions at least one year before your possible departure: 

  • A general information session organized by the BRÉCI;
  • A departmental information session.  

For example, if you plan to study abroad in fall 2020 or winter 2021, you must attend the information sessions in fall 2019.  If you are on an internship outside of Montreal in the fall semester and you are unable to attend one of the sessions, contact the BRÉCI at international@etsmtl.ca.

Schedule of Information Sessions (in French)

Are You a Foreign Student?

You will also need to make sure your immigration documents (Québec Certificate of Acceptance and study permit or work permit) are valid in Canada throughout the entire duration of your stay abroad.  You remain an ÉTS student, therefore a student in Québec (studying in French), throughout your stay outside of Canada.

To be eligible for studies abroad during your master’s program, you must:

  • Have accumulated at least 9 credits in your program of studies before departure and remain registered full-time (9 credits per session or the equivalent of 3 credits per month) during a stay abroad for studies or research;
  • Have a cumulative average of at least 3.0/4.3;
  • Please note it is impossible to combine course and research credits during your study term abroad. 
     

Your Obligations

In addition to meeting the eligibility criteria, you must also commit to: 

  • Remain registered at ÉTS; 
  • Before departure, obtain approval from your department for the equivalence of your courses or permission to validate the research credits earned outside Québec;
  • Before departure, make sure that the number of credits validated does not exceed the maximum number of credits provided for by the ÉTS Academic Regulations [in French,PDF];
  • Submit a complete application package to the BRÉCI; 
  • Pass the BRÉCI selection interview;
  • Be admitted by the host institution;
  • Pay your tuition fees to ÉTS (and not to the host establishment, except if this establishment has no agreement with ÉTS);
  • Pay the costs of your transportation and lodgings in your host country as well as the cost of a medical insurance policy;
  • Submit an end-of-stay report when you return (the final payment of the mobility grant is dependent on this);
  • Remain an ÉTS student, therefore a student in Québec (studying in French), throughout your stay outside of Canada.
     

Participate in the mandatory information sessions

Do you want to submit an application to study abroad? You must attend two information sessions at least one year before your possible departure: 

  • A general information session organized by the BRÉCI;
  • A departmental information session.  

For example, if you plan to study abroad in fall 2020 or winter 2021, you must attend the information sessions in fall 2019.  If you are on an internship outside of Montreal in the fall semester and you are unable to attend one of the sessions, contact the BRÉCI at international@etsmtl.ca.

Schedule of Information Sessions (in French)

Are You a Foreign Student?

Make sure your immigration documents (Québec Certificate of Acceptance and study permit or work permit) will remain valid in Canada throughout the entire duration of your stay abroad.  You remain an ÉTS student, therefore a student in Québec (studying in French), throughout your stay outside of Canada.
 

Step 2: Choose a Host Institution

Step 2:  Choose a Host Institution

As your time abroad is primarily intended to enrich your academic training, you must choose your establishment on the basis of these two criteria: 

  • The courses offered at the establishment. These courses must be equivalent to those at ÉTS; 
  • Your personal and professional motivations. For example:  You would like to eventually work in Latin America; learn Spanish better; live in a city with a rich medieval past.

Your studies must be carried out at an institution that has concluded an agreement with ÉTS or is a partner in the exchange program of the Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire (BCI, the Bureau of inter-university cooperation).

Choose three institutions, one of which is not restricted by quotas

You will need to choose three establishments from those available, including at least one establishment not subject to quotas. The International Exchange Destinations map (must be viewed using Chrome or Firefox) will show you schools that have partnership agreements with ÉTS.

See also the information on ÉTS partner host institutions. This information is on Google Drive: to access it you must have a Google Account.

French establishments can usually take many ÉTS students. Allocation of these seats is done on the basis of academic averages and the results of the selection interview.

A few things to take into account

Make sure that: 

  • The partnership agreement includes students at your level of studies;  
  • The semester dates indicated on the partner establishment’s website correspond to the Québec semesters. For example, in some countries, the fall semester runs from October to February. Also, the winter semester may be called “spring” and the fall semester, “summer”; 
  • The courses you’re interested in are offered in semesters that correspond to the dates of your stay abroad.


Consult the history of course equivalences in your program (Excel file):


Want to study at an establishment that's not an ÉTS partner?  

You can study at a non-partner institution in English Canada. You must confirm that the establishment accepts visiting students. You will have to pay tuition fees at this institution. In return, you will be exempted from the ÉTS tuition fees while studying at the other institution. All other regulations and conditions of the mobility program remain unchanged.

Are you having difficulty making a choice?

Here are a few tips to help you choose your host institution.
 

  • Consult reports from students who studied at establishments that interest you on the International Exchange Destinations (must be viewed using Chrome or Firefox). Click on the record of the institution you are interested in: if an ÉTS student studied there, the report will be there in PDF format.
     
  • Discuss with your teachers: ÉTS professors do lots of research in collaboration with international universities. Many also did their graduate studies outside Canada. They can advise you on your choice of destination, based on your educational and professional interests. Don’t hesitate to ask their advice!
     
  • Consult the list of institutions subject to quotas: the list is updated periodically; on average, one or two places are available in each of these establishments.

    There may be a high demand among ÉTS students for these seats. This is why we ask you to choose three establishments, including one not subject to quotas. If you make less than three choices and you are not selected for these destinations after the interview, you will not have an opportunity to make another choice.

    French establishments can usually take many ÉTS students. Allocation of these seats is done on the basis of academic averages and the results of the selection interview.

  • Read the testimonials of those who’ve been through it: these students have experience! Student mobility offers an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience that allows you to grow, transform and evolve on the personal, academic and professional levels.
Step 3: Prepare Your Application Package

Step 3: Prepare Your Application Package

As soon as you have chosen three institutions, you can begin to prepare your application package. There are several steps to preparing the application. 

Create your file on-line 

You will need to create a file online, indicating the three host institutions that you have chosen, by the end of November. 

Find your equivalent courses 

At the beginning of December, the BRÉCI will indicate how many course equivalence forms you will need to submit, depending on the chosen institutions. These forms will need to be properly filled out and attached to your application. 

Follow-up meetings organized by country or by continent at the beginning of January, will help you complete your course equivalence forms of concordance of courses. You must fill out a course equivalence form (in French) for each of your destinations, so that your choices can be taken into account by the Selection Committee.

How do you fill out the form?

  • You need to search the partner universities’ websites to find courses equivalent to those offered at ÉTS. 
  • If you don’t do this research, your choice of destination may be refused when your equivalences are analyzed in February, after the selection interviews. 
  • If you have to choose another institution because your equivalences are denied, you will limit your choices because places will have been taken by other students. 
  • To help you with the process, here is an example of a properly completed course equivalence form.


Submit your application

Applications are normally submitted at the end of January. Submission must be done online using the MoveOn software, and a printed copy forwarded to the BRÉCI.

Here's a few tips:

  • Consult the complete list of documents to attach to your paper application to make sure you include all the elements required for processing your file;
  • Fill in the language skills form;
  • Deliver a paper copy of your package to the BRÉCI (local A-3700) on the date indicated (not before!), between 9 a.m. and noon or 1:30 and 5 p.m.;
  • Create just one application. It must include all your course equivalence forms (one per institution chosen);
  • Choose more than one establishment (maximum three). Specify your choice priority for each of them (1 to 3);
  • Do not staple or bind your package. A paper clip or clamp will suffice.
     

Do the selection interview

Your selection interview will last about 20 minutes. It will help the committee members understand your motivations and your choice of destinations.  It also aims to assess your qualifications and your skills. Our goal? To make sure that your studies abroad will be a success and that you will represent ÉTS well.

How do you prepare for this interview?

  • Learn about the country you have chosen; 
  • Prepare a spotless application package before the interview; 
  • Review the teaching language of your host institution: it’s likely the committee members will ask you questions in this language! 

All candidates will be evaluated on a common grid. Your entire school record is taken into account, not only your academic average.  

The BRÉCI will confirm your host destination to you by e-mail (ÉTS address) within two weeks following your interview. We try, to the extent possible, to offer you choices based on the priorities you have assigned. 

Put these dates in your agenda!

  • BRÉCI (international studies) information sessions: October 22, 2018
  • Creating your online application file: November 29, 2018
  • Transmission, by BRÉCI, of information relative to the number of course equivalence forms that you must submit, based on your chosen destination: December 7, 2018
  • Group meetings to help with preparing the course equivalences: January 8 to 11, 2019
  • Submission of completed application package: January 21, 2019
  • Selection interviews: January 28 to February 8, 2019
  • Selection Committee decision: February 15, 2019
  • Equivalent courses accepted by your department and submission of application package to the partners: in early May (for the fall semester) and early September (for the winter semester).
Step 4: Your Application is Accepted

Step 4: Your Application is Accepted

Have you been admitted to the mobility program?  Bravo! Now you must take the next steps to prepare for the big day. 

Your dossier must be analyzed by your department

Your course equivalence forms will be forwarded by the BRÉCI to your departmental coordinator for analysis (for the destination you have been assigned). This process can take a month. 

After analysis, the department may require further information or documents to validate the course equivalences and give final authorization to your study term abroad. 

If you wish to add documents or descriptions to your equivalence form, forward them immediately to your department to accelerate the analysis.

Will you be studying at an institution signatory to the BCI Agreement?

After your selection interview, you will need to fill out a BCI form to validate your host institution. A code is required to access the form. To obtain this code, send an email to international@etsmtl.ca. You will need to submit the signed and dated BCI form to the BRÉCI, so it is added to your admission file, which will be sent to the host establishment. 
 

  • As soon as your equivalence form is approved by your department, it will be forwarded to the BRÉCI, which will forward your complete file to your host institution
     
  • To save time, we invite you to check out these documents now:
  • Are you missing any documents? Send them quickly to the BRÉCI so they are attached to your file. 
     
  • All the documents in your admission file (curriculum vitae and letter of motivation) must be written in the language of instruction of your host institution. As for the letter of recommendation, if required, it should ideally be drafted in the language of instruction of the host establishment or in English.  This letter should be addressed to the host establishment.
     
  • Verify the deadline for sending your file to the host establishment. If this date precedes May 1, inform the BRÉCI.
     
  • Wait for the final letter of admission from your host institution prior to purchasing your plane ticket and your insurance, and making your request for a residence permit, if needed. 
     
  • A pre-departure training session will take place in the spring. You will be invited by the BRÉCI. You must attend this information session.
     
  • You will also receive a mobility grant. A letter telling you the amount of the grant will be sent to you as soon as your course equivalences are approved by your department.  
     
  • Carefully read, fill out and sign the forms contained in this document (consent, emergency contacts, etc.). Deliver these documents to the BRÉCI.
     

Prepare for your departure... and your return!

Before even beginning to study abroad, you must plan your return. You will have only two weeks after courses start at ÉTS to begin your session. 

Step 5: You Arrive at your Host Institution

Step 5:  You Arrive at your Host Institution

So here you are at your host institution! We hope everything has gone well so far. Here are a few hints and tips for while you’re away. 

Reception and integration sessions

Many institutions offer welcome activities for foreign students before courses start. We strongly advise you to participate, since it provides an opportunity to meet other students. The contacts you make during these first days often become the roots of your social network during your stay. 

International Office

As soon as you arrive, locate the office of foreign students and don’t hesitate to go there, tell them you’ve arrived and ask questions. They are there to help you!

Course Equivalences

Have you discovered changes to your course equivalence form? Report it quickly to your ÉTS program director so he can approve it. This can be done by email. 

Contract of Studies (French | English)

Once your final course equivalence form is approved, you are ready to sign the contract of studies.

  • You absolutely must send your contract of studies to your departmental coordinator at ÉTS;
  • This form must be signed by the appropriate person at your host university who certifies you are registered in your courses.
  • The courses you take during your stay must correspond exactly to the courses on your contract of studies. Any course taken without approval may not be recognized upon your return.
  • In addition, when the BRÉCI receives your contract of studies, your second grant payment will be sent. 
     

Adapting to university life

Check with your new professors on the methods of evaluation on your first day of courses. It sometimes happens that the only evaluation takes place at the end of the session, and the exam (sometimes oral!) counts for 100% of the final course grade. You need to prepare for evaluation from the very start.

Health and safety

Do not forget to take note of local emergency numbers (ambulance, fire, campus security, etc.) and leave them in a visible location in your room or dwelling. 

Register in the Directory of Canadians Abroad on the website of the Government of Canada.

Psychological support

You will experience ups and downs during your stay abroad. This is a normal phenomenon when you are adjusting to a new culture. Are you feeling fatigue, mood swings, irritability, physical ailments, lack of concentration, loss of appetite, lack of motivation or homesickness? These are all symptoms of cultural stress. If these symptoms persist or worsen, we advise you to talk with friends or even with a foreign student advisor or a psychologist on your campus. ÉTS psychologists are also available to converse with you in complete confidentiality and free of charge.  To make an appointment, send an email to sae@etsmtl.ca

Keep in touch!

Your comments and stories during your stay are extremely valuable to us and to students who are considering studying abroad. In addition, your stories, photos and videos will one day be excellent souvenirs to relive the experience. Here are a few possibilities: 

  • Post on the ÉTS students on the move Facebook page.
  • Take original photos and submit them to the photo contest for travelling students.
  • Start at once recording your thoughts for your testimonials and the end-of-stay report that you must submit to the BRÉCI at the end of your stay (in exchange for your last grant payment).
Step 6: You Return to Montréal

Step 6: You Return to Montréal

A month before finishing your stay abroad, you should write your testimonial and the end-of-stay report (forms in French). You must deliver them to the BRÉCI at the end of your trip. Please send us an email and attach your report, your testimonial and your photos.

Official transcript

Before returning to ÉTS, you must request an Official transcript from your host institution so ÉTS can validate the courses taken during your stay. It must be sent directly from the host establishment, in paper format by postal mail, or in PDF format by email (from an address at the establishment’s domain) to the BRÉCI. A transcript delivered by a student will not be considered official.

The stress and adjustment of returning home

Students who return from international trips, just like those who have left, can experience ups and downs and sometimes face a lot of questions:

  • I had such a good time there, now I would like to give back to the foreign students here at ÉTS. How can I do that? 
  • I feel like I’ve changed since I returned. Is this normal? 
  • I feel like I was transformed but nothing has changed here. 
  • Sometimes I feel like my friends/family/colleagues don’t understand me. I’m confused. 
  • How can I best make use of everything I learned abroad in my CV and in my search for an internship or job? 
  • All I want to do is leave again. What do I do? 

Come see us when you get back! The BRÉCI is interested in your international experience. Make an appointment with the BRÉCI team and tell us about your experiences face to face. Your testimonials allow us to better inform and prepare the students who will follow in your footsteps.

Mobility return meeting

Each year, the BRÉCI organizes a welcome back meeting for mobility students. It provides an opportunity to meet and discuss with other students who have emotions and questions similar to yours. 

Get involved!

An excellent way to return to studies at ÉTS and maintain that international connection is to get involved. Here are a few ideas:  

  • The ÉTS Sponsorship Program: sponsor an international student who comes to ÉTS. Contact Mélissa Levasseur-Dupuis in Student Services.
  • Meet foreign students by doing activities with the Etsperanto club (in French).
  • Start a new club or take new initiatives for internationalization at ÉTS.
  • Contact the BRÉCI to become an ambassador of the ÉTS mobility program (Open House day, fairs at the CEGEPs, etc.).