International Research

Person looking into a microscopeBuild your international network and experience research methodologies in other countries! Find your own research opportunity, or take part in one of the many opportunities Western offers through international partnerships.

How to Apply?

Before You Apply

1. Choosing an international program

Before you can pack your bags, you’ll have to decide what kind of international experience you want to have, and which program is right for you. This guide will help you to ask the important questions and make sure you pick the program that’s best for you.

2. Research program options

  • Search available programs via Atlas, Western’s International Learning portal
  • You can narrow down your search by selecting various filters, such as destination, term, type, subject area, language of instruction
  • Under “Type” in the right-hand side of the search box, select “Research” then “Apply Search”
  • Review details and eligibility requirements for your program of interest
  • Application fees* and additional fees* vary by program (* Fees are non-refundable)

Watch our video on Searching for Programs in Atlas


3. Attend an information session or meet with an International Learning Ambassador

  • Come to an information session (held regularly throughout the academic year) to learn more about the application process and your program options
  • Visit our office during drop-in hours to speak with our International Learning Coordinators or International Learning Ambassadors (trained student leaders who have participated in a Western international learning experience). 

Apply Online

4. Complete an application in Atlas

To begin an application for a program, visit Atlas to select your desired program

Before starting your application, read the entire program page to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. Once you are ready to start an application, click the "Login to Apply" link at the bottom of the program page. Complete and submit your application

Application fees* and additional fees* vary by program (* Fees are non-refundable)

Please note: do not login unless you are proceeding with an application

Please note that you may apply for only one program per term. Additional destinations or program options can be listed in the Program Selection section of the application under the "Optional Program/Destination" dialogue box. Please do not submit multiple applications.

There are general application questions you should be prepared to respond to when completing your online application in Atlas, such as:

  1. Why do you wish to be considered for the program (academic and personal reasons)?
  2. List any extra-curricular, volunteer and work activities that you have been involved in over the course of your University career.
  3. What have you done to prepare yourself to live in a culture different from your own? How do you think you will cope with the differences?
  4. Discuss a stressful experience in your past and how you dealt with it.

Many partner institutions and organizations require a separate application in addition to the one required by Western International. This secondary application may be available at the time of the application in Atlas or may be provided to you at a later date

Some programs may require supporting documents. Submit any supporting document by the application deadline

Watch our video on Submitting an Application in Atlas


5. Deadlines

  • Application deadlines vary by program, generally between late Fall and early Winter terms. Check specific program details in Atlas

After You Apply

6. Application reviewed and evaluated

  • Western International will review and evaluate your application and update your application status in Atlas
  • Your application status will remain in "Pending" until the program coordinator evaluates your application. You will be notified via email whether your application has been approved or not
  • In some cases, you may receive a conditional approval. The program coordinator will contact you to let you know what additional information is required to move your application to "Approved"

7. Application decision required

  • After receiving your program offer via email, you must accept or decline your offer within the specified time indicated in your offer email. Students who do not respond by the deadline are subject to automatic withdrawal

8. Next steps

  • Before departing for your international experience, you are required to complete the  pre-departure and safety abroad requirements

Arranging Your Own Experience

If you find your own research opportunity abroad and have been approved by your academic department or faculty to participate in the experience, ensure that you complete the University Sanctioned International Experiences form in Atlas to begin the Travel Registry process, which is a requirement of Western’s Safety Abroad Policy.

As well, consider the following important matters:

  • Visas/Permits: Investigate your host country’s authorization to conduct research requirements. Depending on the length of your research and how your host country classifies research stays (for example, it may be classified as study or work depending on the host country's immigration policies), you may need to apply for a study, work permit or visa. Many study, work permits and visas take time, so you should plan to begin this process well in advance of your research start date.
  • Out-of-Country Health Insurance: You are responsible for ensuring that you have adequate out-of-country health insurance during your time abroad. Some organizations may require you to sign up for coverage that they will arrange. If you are arranging your own health insurance, be sure to review and become familiar with exactly what your plan covers, how long it lasts, and where and how it works. Be sure to ask whether the plan covers pre-existing medical conditions.