Staff & Faculty Toolkit: Supporting Outbound Exchange Students

A student standing on the beach with text that reads "Staff & Faculty Toolkit: Supporting Outbound Exchange Students"

Welcome to the Staff and Faculty Toolkit! This page was developed to provide helpful information about important processes and workflows to our campus partners who support international learning programs.

Within this guide you’ll find details about supports that are offered to students before, during, and after their international learning experience.


Below you can select a category from the list to learn more about a particular area.


International Learning Overview

With more than 170 programs in 40 countries, Western offers opportunities for students to engage in a wide variety of international learning opportunities during the academic year, during reading weeks or in the summer. Please visit Atlas for our full list of programs.

Opportunities include:

Exchange

Study abroad

Summer programs

Faculty-led programs

Short-term study tours

Clinical, field placements, practicum, research placements and internships

Students may check in with you at any point in the year to learn more about these opportunities. You can help them choose an international program by using these guiding questions or refer them to our International Learning team.

NOTE: Students may not be aware of the difference between exchange and study abroad. Listed below are the main distinctions between the two; more detailed information and the process on course approval form and a letter of permission form is provided later in this toolkit.

Scholarships and bursaries

Western offers a number of scholarships and bursaries to support students going abroad. We offer two application rounds each year (February 15, and November 15). Please note that students cannot retroactively apply for these awards after their experience is complete; they can only apply before or during the experience.

Global and Intercultural Engagement Honour

Global Honour wheel that includes all categories required. Acadmenic Coursework, Language Proficiency, Global Experience, and Intercultural training

The Global and Intercultural Engagement Honour recognizes students' global and intercultural experience in both academic and extra-curricular activities on campus and abroad. Once completed, the Global Honour will appear on students’ Official Academic Record and complement their Western degree.

You can highlight the benefits of obtaining the Global Honour:

  • Enhance your degree with recognition on your transcript for global and/or intercultural experience
  • Develop intercultural communication skills, knowledge, and global awareness that employers seek
  • Connect with other global-minded peers and grow your professional network
  • Broaden your perspective on the world and increase your cultural awareness and knowledge

Students can start their Atlas application and register in the Global Honour any time after they start their degree at Western. They must register for the Global Honour at least four months before their expected convocation month. It is strongly recommended that students begin their Global Honour application as soon as possible.

International Learning Ambassadors

International learning ambassadors standing together

International Learning Ambassadors (ILAs) are the student volunteers who staff the 'help desk' in Western International, where students interested in an international learning experience will come to ask questions during drop-in hours.

ILAs also give quick classroom presentations to share information about international learning experiences and staff tables/displays at an annual Go Abroad Fair or other campus events. Essentially, they share their excitement and experience with students who are trying to decide if an international learning opportunity is for them or not.

We encourage you to contact us if you would like to connect with ILAs from your faculty to help promote international learning opportunities to your students.

Outbound student journey

OUTBOUND STUDENT JOURNEY

Additional notes:

  • Applications are open from September to December 1 or January 15 each year. Deadlines vary from program to program; students are encouraged to review the appropriate Atlas program page for more information
  • The International Learning team is available for appointments, drop-ins, and info sessions throughout the fall and winter term. Please feel free to direct students to our office
  • Between September and December, students may often approach you to ask about the feasibility of going on exchange based on their module requirements

Event timelines

  • Weekly Info Sessions hosted by ILAs and Western International staff
  • Go Abroad Fair – held in November every year during International Week (I-week); students can learn about our 170+ partners
  • Outbound Student Social – held in March every year; students who received an offer of admission to an exchange program can connect with other outbound students and Western International staff

Roles and Responsibilities: Faculties, Departments, International Learning and the Registrar's Office

  Faculty Department International Learning Registrar's Office
Advise on module requirements & suitable host institutions. Provide academic reference via Atlas.
Advise on suitable international learning programs. Provide info on host university and course availabilities.
Review course requests & approvals.
Faculty - Provide final signature
Department - Review individual courses.
Recruitment, application, adjudications of exchange applications.
Adjudicate scholarships. Advise on travel plans.
Sign OSAP supplementary form.
Communication with partner universities.
Review transcripts and access transfer credits.
Code students on PeopleSoft as outbound exchanges
Record P/F to student record upon return.

Safety abroad

Western's Safety Abroad Policy and its accompanying procedures are developed to set standards to help ensure safe experiences for Western undergraduate and graduate students who travel internationally as part of a university activity.

Students participating in university-sanctioned international travel are required to follow these safety abroad steps to help prepare for their experience abroad.

  1. Review Government of Canada travel advisories
  2. Complete pre-departure training
  3. Enter information in Western’s Travel Registry
  4. Review insurance coverage for out-of-country travel
  5. Register with International SOS & review its services
  6. Obtain any required vaccinations or health checks
  7. Register with Canadians Abroad

Academic references

Once students submit their application in Atlas, they will be prompted to complete their academic counsellor’s information. A list of academic counsellors per faculty is provided at this stage. Please see the image below for the information students must provide.

Email, First Name, and Last Name subject fields

Once the student completes this step, Atlas will send an email to the academic counsellor. The email provides a link to the academic reference. Once completed, the International Learning team will be able to see if the academic reference is approved or declined and will proceed to continue reviewing the application and place the student at the partner institution.

Website with information about Academic Reference #1 and Academic Impact #2

Course approval forms and Letters of permission (LOPs)

Students participating in an exchange program will complete a Course Approval Form 6-8 weeks prior to the student’s departure. If the student is participating in a study abroad program, they will be required to complete a Letter of Permission through the Office of the Registrar. This form will list the courses students intend to take at their host institution, as chosen by the students themselves and approved for credit by the Undergraduate Chairs of the relevant Department, and/or Faculty Academic Counsellor at Western.

The following information is provided to students:

Exchange: Download the Course Approval Form. This form will list the courses you intend to take at your host institution, as chosen by yourself and approved for credit by the Undergraduate Chairs of the relevant Department, and/or Faculty Academic Counsellor at Western. We recommend including several additional courses to provide a number of pre-approved options while abroad. This form must be completed, with the appropriate signatures, and returned to our office 6-8 weeks prior to the start of your academic term at the host institution. We encourage starting this process soon as it may take some time. If your host institution does not have full course information available at this time, you are responsible for completing the course approval process as soon as it is feasible.

Study Abroad: Download and complete the Letter of Permission. This form will list the courses you intend to take at your host institution, as chosen by yourself and approved for credit by the Undergraduate Chairs of the relevant Department, and/or Faculty Academic Counsellor at Western. We recommend including several additional courses to provide a number of pre-approved options while abroad. This form must be completed, with the appropriate signatures, and returned to the Office of the Registrar 6-8 weeks prior to the start of your academic term at the host institution. We encourage starting this process soon as it may take some time. If your host institution does not have full course information available at this time, you are responsible for completing the course approval process as soon as it is feasible.

Transcripts

Transcripts for Western students who participated in an exchange opportunity are received by the Western International learning team and sent to the appropriate academic counselling office for credit transfer processing. Transcripts for students who participated in a study abroad experience are sent to our office and shared with the Office of the Registrar for recording of the grades.

The following letter will be included when the International Learning team forwards transcripts to faculty academic counsellors.

Please contact us at goabroad@uwo.ca if you would like to obtain a sample copy of a memo when sending transcripts to the Office of the Registrar for processing.

International Learning Team

  • Eunjung Riauka, Director, International Learning
  • Fan Liu (she/her), International Learning Coordinator; UK;
  • Rida Fatima(she/her); International Learning Coordinator; Asia & Oceania
  • Alyssa Szilagyi (she/her), International Learning Coordinator; Africa, Americas, Middle East
  • Floranda Agroam (she/her), International Learning Coordinator;
  • Pin Sun (she/her), Faculty-Led Study Abroad & Safety Abroad Coordinator

Contact information

International Learning program inquiries: goabroad@uwo.ca

Faculty-led program inquiries: facultyled@uwo.ca

Travel Registry and Safety Abroad inquires: travelregistry@uwo.ca