Student Exchange Policy

1 - General Policies

  1. The University of Windsor will seek to develop and maintain a broad variety of student exchange programs with various partner institutions around the world. Initiation and renewal of exchange agreements are the responsibility of the Academic Coordinator - Student Exchange, reporting to the President through the Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs.
  2. Exchanges will be limited to partners where sufficient course instruction is available in English to support a one or two-semester exchange, or where the language of instruction is taught at the University of Windsor. Students will be encouraged to consider exchanges that require or promote second-language competence; in these instances a full-year exchange is preferable to one semester only.
  3. Once a particular exchange partnership regularly attracts four or more Windsor students simultaneously, it is preferable to establish a new exchange partnership in the same country or region than to increase the size of the first exchange. This does not apply to the Third Year in Nice Program.
  4. Broad-based exchanges open to students in all disciplines, and to both undergraduate and graduate students, are desirable. Exchanges restricted to specific disciplines may also be entered into when good academic reasons support them.
  5. In arriving at agreements with partner institutions, the University of Windsor judges their programs to be appropriate for Windsor students, and their courses to be of good quality. Transfer of credit for such courses is therefore appropriate.
  6. For as many purposes as practicable, our partner institutions are to be treated as branch campuses of the University of Windsor in terms of impact on the academic progress of Windsor exchange students.

2 - Policies applicable to University of Windsor students

  1. General criteria of eligibility for student exchange are as follows. Relaxation of one or more conditions may be considered in special circumstances.
    1. A cumulative average of B- or better.
    2. Good academic standing
    3. Completion of two years of University-level education before commencing exchange
    4. Enrolment in a University of Windsor degree program during the exchange period.
    5. Return to the University of Windsor to complete studies before graduation
    6. Second language competence where applicable
    7. Consent of Faculty of Graduate Studies for graduate students
  2. Students will normally be limited to two semesters or one academic year of participation in exchanges.
  3. As far as possible application and selection procedures for various exchanges should be uniform and consistent. Variations from normal can be justified on the basis of special need.
  4. All students wishing to study abroad in the context of an approved exchange should apply through Windsor International using a common application procedure. In those cases where a particular exchange has its own forms, these will be provided to students who indicate such an exchange among their choices.
  5. A common first selection date will be established for exchanges commencing in the fall, and another for exchanges commencing in the winter. Initial placements will be made on the basis of completed applications as of these dates. Applications completed after the first selection date will be processed on a basis of space remaining in exchanges and time remaining to complete the relevant formalities with exchange partners.
  6. After the first selection date, and subsequently as needed, applications will be screened by the Student Exchange Office. Applications which clearly fail to meet minimum eligibility requirements will be rejected, and the students so notified. Remaining applicants will be interviewed by a committee consisting of the Academic Coordinator, Student Exchange, one or more other faculty and/or staff members involved in exchange work, and an exchange student alumnus/alumna as available. Smaller committees may be needed depending on exchange volume and availability of potential committee members. Care will be taken in the composition of committees to respect the needs of particular exchange programs.
  7. In addition to addressing any concerns about the basic criteria for eligibility, the interview will address the applicant’s plan and motivation, and seek to assess the potential for the applicant to make an appropriate adjustment, both academically and socially, to the exchange situation. Financial viability will also be addressed.
  8. After completing interviews, the Student Exchange Office will communicate its recommendation to the applicant. A formal offer of placement on exchange will be made over the signature of the Vice-Provost. Where offers of a position on an exchange are made, possibly with appropriate conditions, the applicant will be asked to respond within a reasonable time either accepting or declining the offer. Those accepting will be required to complete a legal waiver as prescribed by the University.
  9. The Student Exchange Office will notify exchange partners of our nominees for exchange.
  10. The Student Exchange Office will assist students in completing the relevant formalities for specific exchanges as determined by our partners.
  11. The Student Exchange Office will arrange for outbound orientation for all students, and participation in such orientation will be mandatory. Failure to participate in the orientation without reasonable grounds will result in the cancellation of the exchange placement.
  12. Before students depart on exchange, they are required, to obtain any available information about courses offered at the host institution, and to consult with an appropriate program advisor at Windsor on a suitable choice of courses at the host institution, having regard for their program requirements at Windsor. Outbound students and their advisors shall record approved course equivalencies on a form to be retained by the Exchange Program office.
  13. During the exchange period, students are expected to carry a course load at the partner institution which is comparable to that of a full-time student in their program at the University of Windsor. Students are required to report their course selections on the specified form to Windsor International, and to advise of any subsequent changes to this.
  14. During exchange periods, Windsor students pay full-time tuition fees to the University of Windsor as appropriate for their current academic program. If student is approved for course overload, the student must pay overload fees.
  15. At the beginning of each Windsor semester, while a student is on exchange, they shall be registered at the University of Windsor under the heading "International Exchange Program", with a course weight of five-semester courses (15 credit hours). This will be reduced to the extent that the student's course load at the host institution is less than a full course load at that institution. It is the student's responsibility to inform the Registrar's Office immediately, through the Exchange Program office, as and when such reductions occur. Upon return from exchange and the receipt of appropriate documentation from the host institution, the student's registration for the exchange period shall be transformed in accordance with points 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 below.
  16. While on exchange, Windsor students are subject to all pertinent academic regulations and policies of the host institution. This includes any availability of supplemental assessment processes which may be administered after their return to Windsor.
  17. All credit courses taken by Windsor students at an institution which is party with the University of Windsor in an agreement involving academic exchanges or other forms of academic partnership, during the exchange period, for which a passing grade or other positive evaluation of performance is received, shall normally be accepted for academic credit at the University of Windsor. Denial of such credit shall occur only under unusual circumstances, and after consultation among the Registrar's Office, the Vice-Provost, the appropriate academic unit, and the designated contact person at the partner institution. Such denial may be appealed by the student in the same manner as a grade appeal.
  18. Courses, in language (other than English) and/or culture, taught by the host institution but not available to their domestic students for credit, will be accepted for credit by the University of Windsor for students on exchange, on the following conditions:
  • The course is taken during the exchange period, and
  • A regular grade (not pass/fail or completion) is received by the student and documented by the host institution.

Such courses will be evaluated for transfer equivalency on the same basis as credit courses, but shall be ungraded on the University of Windsor transcript, and not used in the calculation of averages.

  1. Evaluation for content equivalency of courses taken while on exchange shall be conducted in the same manner as in other transfer of credit situations.
  2. Courses taken on exchange and deemed equivalent to University of Windsor courses are accepted on the same basis as University of Windsor courses for completion of degrees, for meeting major, minor and elective requirements, and for prerequisite and residency purposes.
  3. The credit weight of courses taken on exchange shall be determined on the basis of available information concerning the weight the courses carry towards a full course load during a normal academic year at the partner institution. In particular, six units of credit in the European Credit Transfer System shall equate to one semester course (three credit hours) at the University of Windsor, and proportionally for other credit amounts.
  4. Except for students in the Faculty of Law and students in the Master of Business Administration program, University of Windsor grades shall be determined and recorded in the student's transcript by the Registrar's Office for credit courses taken on exchange on the basis of grades assigned at the host institution, according to the best practices and information available to the Student Exchange Office and the Registrar's Office. This includes failing grades. Transfer policy for grades from the European Union is attached in an appendix.
  5. If, after enquiry to the host institution, the Registrar's Office has insufficient information to determine an equivalent University of Windsor grade, a grade shall be recorded on a Pass/ Non-Pass basis, according to a satisfactory or unsatisfactory evaluation by the host institution. In the event of an appeal of any grade resulting from an exchange, the Registrar's Office, the Vice-Provost, and the appropriate academic unit shall consult to devise an equitable procedure to judge the appeal. Students in the Faculty of Law and students in the Master of Business Administration program shall be given Pass/No Pass grades with respect to courses taken on student exchange.
  6. In the official transcript, Windsor credits for courses taken at a partner institution while on exchange shall be so designated.

3 - Policies and Procedures for Incoming Students

  1. Students from partner institutions require the positive recommendation of that institution. In the case of students whose prior education has not been in English, this must include confirmation from the home institution that the student has English-language competence appropriate to their planned program of studies. A standard form, attached, has been developed for reporting this to Windsor International. Students with an intermediate competence level may be accepted, conditional upon participation at their cost in an English-as-a-Second-Language program prior to enrolling in courses at the University of Windsor.
  2. Applications are made through partner institutions. Contacts from students for information are legitimate, and partners will be advised of them as seems desirable, but direct applications will be referred back to our partners.
  3. Incoming students will be required to contract adequate medical insurance (Green Shield OHIP replacement plan), unless they can document equivalent coverage from another source. Additional coverage will be made available (prescriptions, out of province coverage).
  4. Acceptances will be made upon receipt of documentation within acceptable time limits. Generally speaking, we do not try to second-guess our partners’ selections, unless something clearly appears problematic.
  5. If language skills appear somewhat less than adequate, acceptance can be conditional upon attendance at an ESL program, such as our ELIP program, at student’s expense prior to the exchange.
  6. Students on exchange have rights and obligations identical to those of local students. Incoming students will be assisted through orientation, housing/residence location, etc.
  7. Students from partner institutions may register for any course on the same basis as Windsor students in an analogous program. It is their responsibility to confirm with their home institution how courses taken at Windsor will be applied towards their degree program.
  8. Transcripts of grades are sent to the partner institution at the end of the exchange period, without charge.

Initially approved by the Academic Policy Committee of Senate, January 29, 2002 Revisions approved by Senate, 19 February 2003, 4 June 2003, 17 February 2004, 15 February 2005, 16 March 2006, 9 December 2009.

*Download a PDF copy of the Student Exchange Policy.