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.
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!
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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).