Student exchanges allow students enrolled at another university (one that Université Laval has signed an agreement with) to come and take courses at our institution for one or two semesters. Université Laval does not issue any diplomas to students it is hosting through exchange programs. Exchange students are required to register full-time while they are at Université Laval.
You can take part in different types of exchanges. The terms of participation may vary.
If you plan to come to study at Université Laval as an exchange student for less than 6 months, you don’t need legal documents like a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ – Québec acceptance certificate) or a study permit. Without legal documents, you will have visitor status in Canada and will be able to stay in the country for 6 months. You will probably need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a temporary resident visa (TRV) to enter Canada.
However, if you get a study permit, you may have the right to work on campus while in Canada. You don’t need a CAQ for this.
If you would like to get a study permit for your time in Canada, it is important to take the necessary steps to get one as soon as you get your letter of admission.
To ensure that your file is up to date, you must send a copy of your passport and proof of your entry into Canada to the Registrar’s Office as soon as you arrive in Canada (see the “Submitting your legal documents” section below).
If you plan to stay for more than 6 months, you must get a Québec acceptance certificate (CAQ) and a study permit. Because of the processing times, we recommend that you start the necessary steps to get your legal documents as soon as you get your letter of admission.
If you are a Canadian citizen, you must send us a document that shows your legal status as a Canadian (for example, Canadian birth certificate, Canadian passport, or Canadian citizenship certificate).
Only students whose internship is covered under the memorandum of understanding agreement for their exchange are allowed to do an internship during their studies at Université Laval. If an internship is part of your study program, it will be mentioned in your letter of admission and you will get a letter of invitation from your faculty. The letter of invitation will allow you to apply for a co-op work permit at the same time that you apply for your study permit.
If you plan do internships with certain clients (children, the elderly, etc.) or in certain settings (elementary and secondary schools, daycares, health care settings, clinical laboratories, hospitals, etc.), you will need an IRCC-recognized medical exam.
For students in health-related fields who are exempt from work permits for short-term work placements, see the section on “Work permit exemption for healthcare students (clinical or practical internship)” on the Training and research interns page.
It is important to read all communications you get from the International Office and your faculty carefully and to keep them. They contain very important information about your exchange.
Because of the processing times, we recommend that you start the necessary steps to get your legal documents as soon as you get your letter of admission.
If your exchange agreement does not include the possibility of doing an internship, it may be difficult to do one while you are studying at Université Laval because you won’t get a letter of invitation from your faculty. To do an internship after your student exchange, you must get a work permit. If you have any questions about this, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When it’s time to register to your courses, your faculty will contact you with instructions.
Submitting your legal documents
- After you arrive in Canada, you must send all documents that provide evidence of your legal status to the Registrar’s Office using the Étudiants en échange – Dépôt des documents / Exchange students – Submitting documents form. If you don’t comply with this obligation during the first two weeks of the semester, the Registrar’s Office will be required to withdraw you from all your courses.
- After you submit your documents, the Registrar’s Office will process them within 5 business days.
- If necessary, your faculty will complete your arrival documents such as an attestation of arrival or a study contract. See the list of faculty contacts to find out who you need to email.
At Université Laval, all international students are automatically covered by the Université Laval group health and hospitalization insurance plan through Desjardins Insurance. This is a legal requirement. A few days after you are enrolled, you will get an email with all the relevant information.
The Québec government has signed reciprocal social security agreements with various countries. If your home country is on the list, you must check with your country’s healthcare organization to see whether you are covered under an agreement. You must then take certain steps before you leave. For example, you may have to get proof that you are enrolled in your home country’s social security system to ensure that you are entitled to coverage under the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ – Québec’s public health insurance plan) during your stay in Québec. If you are a French citizen, be sure to use the right form to apply (SE 401-Q-106).
Your home educational institution must fill out a portion of the attestation form showing that you are enrolled in your home country’s social security system. Make sure that the end date of your exchange covers the entire duration of your stay at Université Laval. The date on your form will determine when your RAMQ coverage ends.
The group health and hospitalization insurance plan through Desjardins Insurance is only for international students. If you are a Canadian citizen, you aren’t eligible for this insurance, even if your normal place of residence is outside Québec. It is your responsibility to arrange for other insurance to cover your medical expenses or to check whether you are eligible for RAMQ coverage.