Inbound Exchange Students

Inbound Exchange Students 

StFX is pleased to welcome students from universities around the world. 

Incoming students apply to StFX after their nomination from their home university is confirmed.  They may study for a single semester or a full year, depending on the agreement between StFX and the exchange university. 

The Education Abroad Advisor advises incoming students before their arrival on campus, guides them through the course registration and housing arrangements, and provides support throughout their stay at StFX. 

Remote video URL


 How to apply

Step 1: Find Out If You Are Eligible 

Applicants must be nominated by one of StFX's exchange university partners. Interested students are encouraged to find out as much as possible about the academic and social experience students have while studying at StFX. Also, they should research the study options and ask for advice through the International Exchange Office of their home university. 

For information about completing an exchange at StFX: Inbound Exchange Information Sheet 2023-2024.

For information about living and studying in Antigonish: International Student Guidebook.

Step 2: Submit An Application 

The application consists of: 

Nomination email sent directly to the Education Abroad Advisor from the home university's International Exchange Office (typically from the International Exchange Coordinator). 
International Exchange Application Form
A PDF copy of your most recent official university transcript. (If transcripts are not in English an Official English Certified Transcript Translation must be obtained and sent along with the original copy). 
Confirmation of Language Skills Form (along with proof of certification if necessary). 
All exchange applications should be emailed directly to the Education Abroad Advisor by the deadline.  

Call-out box: For study in the fall semester or for a full year, the Education Abroad Advisor must receive nominations from the incoming student's international exchange office by May 1st. Required application documents must then be submitted by the student via email by May 15th. 

For study in the winter semester, the Education Abroad Advisor must receive nominations from the incoming student's international exchange office by October 1st. Required application documents must then be submitted by the student via email by October 15th. 

Step 3: Request Accomodations

Students wishing to reserve a room on campus should indicate this at the bottom of their application form. The student will then be contacted about whether there is residence space on campus.  The earlier StFX receives a residence accommodation request, the more likely a student will be assigned their first choice of type of accommodation. 

Step 4: Receive Your Acceptance Letter 

Once an application has been approved by the StFX Admissions Office, the student will receive a letter of acceptance accompanied by a ‘visa’ form. The ‘visa’ form is needed to apply for a Residence Visa or Study Permit (if required). The acceptance letter is emailed to the email address provided by the student on the application form. Students should be sure to print clearly their information in order to prevent any delays in receiving their acceptance letter.

Preparing for your arrival

Review courses 

Exchange students are able to take courses across multiple departments, with the exception of the Department of Nursing and the Department of Education.  

Students can find all course descriptions here, but need to use the course timetable to determine if the courses they are interested in will be offered in their chosen semester (this is indicated under the TERM tab. Term 1 is Fall semester, Term 2 is Winter semester, and FULL indicates that the course is a full year course. One semester exchange students are not able to take full year courses).  

Obtain your study permit 

Exchange students who are planning to study at StFX for 2 terms (8 months) are required to obtain a study permit. Information on obtaining a study permit can be found at:

Arrange your accommodations  

As a StFX exchange student, you have the freedom to choose where you would like to live. 

Living On Campus 

All information about on-campus residence can be found on the StFX University Housing website. You may apply as soon as you have received your official acceptance letter. Please note that students who decide to live on-campus must purchase either a meal plan or declining balance plan (DCB). The DCB functions like a debit card when the student purchases food items on campus. 

For more information on room types, click here

For more information on rates/fees as well as meal plans.

If you have any questions about residence or your application status, please email Nate Taylor - @email

Living Off Campus 

You are not obligated to live on campus during your exchange at StFX. If you prefer to arrange your accommodations independently, please click the button before for a comprehensive list of resources that will help you begin your search.  

Purchase health insurance 

All exchange students are required to purchase medical insurance from the StFX Students’ Union Health Plan. This coverage is 1,305 (CDN) for the year. For more information about the health and dental coverage under this plan, click here.

Arrival in Canada

In preparation for arrival in Canada, exchange students are asked to email the Education Abroad Advisor to register for the International Student Orientation. The orientation aims to provide students who are new to Canada with the information they require to start their time at StFX on the right foot and find success during their studies, and beyond. 

The International Student Arrival and Orientation program includes: 

  • Airport welcome (Halifax Stanfield International Airport) 
  • Transportation to campus 
  • Residence move-in 
  • Campus and local tours 
  • Introduction to International Student Society and fellow international students 
  • Information sessions on living and learning at StFX including: 
    • Health insurance and how to access health care in Nova Scotia 
    • Adapting to the Canadian classroom 
    • Supports and services at StFX 
    • Housing information and life in the town of Antigonish 
    • Immigration and working in Canada information 

Exchange students who are beginning their studies at StFX in September 2023 should plan to arrive on the StFX campus on August 28th or 29th. 

  • August 28 - Arrival Services (Day 1) 
  • August 29 - Arrival Services (Day 2) 
  • August 30 - International Student Orientation 
  • August 31 - StFX Welcome Day (General Student Welcome) 
  • September 3 - Classes Begin 

Exchange students who are beginning their studies at StFX in January 2024 should plan to arrive on the StFX campus on January 3rd or 4th. 

  • January 2 - Arrival Services (Day 1) 
  • January 3 - Arrival Services (Day 2) 
  • January 4 - International Student Orientation 
  • January 5 - Classes Begin 

Academic Matters

Academic year  

The academic year at StFX is from September to April.  The fall semester ends during the third week of December.  The winter semester begins the first week of January and continues into the third week of April. Other than the Christmas break, there is a week long break in late February. 

Course registration 

Registration for courses offered in fall and winter semesters begins in June.  Courses fill up quickly and after that there is no guarantee that more students will be allowed to join a class.  Exchange students must provide their course choices to the Education Abroad Advisor as early as possible to have the best choice of courses.  Every effort is made to accommodate exchange student choices within the constraints of restricted class sizes, course pre-requisites and course content. 

Exchange students are not restricted to enrolling in courses in a specific academic discipline.  But, without required course pre-requisites, they may not be allowed to register in specific courses.  Senior level seminar courses are usually restricted to graduating degree students. Once a term begins, students have a week during which they can change their course registrations. 

A full course load per semester is 15 credits.  A single semester course is given 3 credits and a full year course is worth 6 credits.  Full year students may have a mix of full year and single semester courses to a maximum of 30 credits. 

Not all courses are offered each year or each semester.  Final course offerings for the upcoming year are posted in mid-June. This is referred to as the Course Timetable. Students sending their applications before June, should use the current Course Timetable to indicate their course preferences. 

Completion of Study  

The Office of Internationalization arranges for academic transcripts to be sent to the exchange student's home university, once the final grades are registered in the StFX system. Should students wish to order additional copies of their transcript, they may do so at the StFX Registrar's Office website.