Western International

Western Staff International Exchange Program (WSIEP) Frequently Asked Questions

How is the Western Staff International Exchange Program (WSIEP) different from Leave For Change (L4C)?

WSIEP is designed to offer full-time Western staff the opportunity to participate in a job-shadow experience at one of Western’s partner institutions outside of Canada. Leave for Change is a volunteerism program that allows Western employees to gain experience, exposure to social/development issues and take a key role in helping to make a difference internationally by providing consultation and advice. 

How will my exchange be funded?

WSIEP participants are eligible to have their participation in the program funded by Western. All fundable proposals are subject to the availability of funds and it is expected that only a limited number of proposals can be funded each year. Each approved WSIEP participant will be supported to a maximum of $5,000 to help with costs for economy air travel, required ground transportation, accommodation, meal per diems, and immigration/visa costs.

Do I have to use vacation time or take a leave?

The decision to take vacation time or a leave of absence should be made by the participant in agreement with their respective manager or supervisor, pending approval from Western Human Resources.

Do I need my manager or supervisor’s approval to participate in WSIEP?

Only applicants who have express written consent from their manager or supervisor may participate in WSIEP.

Do I have to be a full-time Western staff member?

Yes, only full-time Western staff are eligible to participate in WSIEP.

Can I bring anyone with me?

Western will only support your involvement in this program and will not be responsible for any one accompanying you. Participation in this program and contact with the host institution is for the selected full-time Western staff member only.  

Can I schedule a stop in my flight itinerary or extend my stay outside of the program?

Your flight itinerary should be reviewed and approved by WSIEP. If changes result in additional costs, Western will not provide funding to cover those costs or extensions. As with any vacation or leave, additional time would need to be approved by your supervisor. Emergency contact and arrangements outside the program parameters are your responsibility.

When do I submit my budget?

After advancing from the interview stage and after you and WSIEP jointly confirm a host institution, you will be asked for the budget submission. 

How is the host institution arranged?

After advancing from the interview stage you will work with WSIEP to arrange a host institution. If you have a contact at one of our partner institutions who you would like to job shadow then please discuss it with the WSIEP committee and we will support you in the outreach to your contact. If you do not have a contact then WSIEP will arrange for outreach to prospective hosts through Western’s network.