Preparing for a McGill-Sponsored Exchange

foreign-exchange-studentBig changes are coming my way for the 2016-2017 academic year – I’ve been accepted to attend Durham University in England on a McGill exchange! This is going to be a huge life change, but one for which I am extremely excited to begin preparing.


The process to go on exchange is complicated, to say the least. However, for people like myself it is entirely worth the work required. I have known for years that I wanted to go on exchange but wasn’t exactly sure how this would pan out. For a plethora of reasons, I decided this past year that the best school for me was Durham University. Durham University is in the north of England in County

Fun fact - Harry Potter was filmed at Durham University!

Fun fact – Harry Potter was filmed at Durham University!

Durham. Founded in 1832, it is the third oldest university in England. The application to go on exchange allows you to apply to up to four universities. In order to increase my chances of going on exchange, I applied to four universities: Durham University (England), University of Edinburgh (Scotland), University of Glasgow (Scotland), and Trinity College Dublin (Ireland). I began my application in December; it consisted of many parts, including:

  • Application form
  • Essays
  • Scholarship application
  • $150.00 fee
  • Potential courses


This application was due on January 15th. I received notification by email a couple weeks later stating that I had been given faculty approval to go on exchange – this meant that I was going somewhere on exchange at the very least. In early February I was informed by email that I had been nominated to go on exchange to Durham University! Then, I had to accept the nomination and wait for the next step. A few weeks later, I was contacted directly by Durham University to complete yet another application including:

  • Application form
  • Personal statement
  • Official transcript
  • Copy of passport
  • Course choices


From what I understand, this application is mostly a formality. Durham University has informed me that they will send my official acceptance letter after March 31st. So now what? I am preparing to live in my third country in four years – it can be overwhelming but thankfully I have my girlfriend and lots of friends living in England who can help me work out small details such as opening a bank account, buying a new phone & contract, negotiating the differences between North American and European universities, booking flights, applying for a visa, and mentally preparing to live in rez again!


Going on exchange can be incredibly influential towards one’s career and personal development – I highly suggest applying next year. Check out the details here and check back for updates!

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