Whenever you plan on leaving your country of residence, you should probably do a little planning. This is doubly the case when you will be leaving for an extended period of time! Study exchanges, such as the exchange I have only just begun in Grenoble, France, can range from one semester to a full year, but there are other international opportunities such as coop programs, that can offer even longer stays abroad. Don’t let this worry you– if you have an interest in travelling, but only for short periods of time, be sure to check out some of Brock’s short term programs, such as Namibia: https://brocku.ca/international-services/short-term-programs/BA
I will be staying in France for approximately five months– from September until the end of the exam period there, around the middle of January. I have had to apply for a student long-stay Visa (for exchange students staying longer than 90 days) which allows me entrance into France for the duration of my stay. I have also had to be sure my passport was valid until well after my desired return home.
But before all of this documentation, you will need to decide where you are interested in travelling to (and living!). This is an important decision and also a very personal one. While your friends and family can offer you great travel advice and guidance about what to see, you will be the only one present for the duration of your stay. Remember to take your time with your decision, and have a look through all your options! Here is a link to some of Brock’s partner institutions; a non-exhaustive list of destinations and universities to wet your appetite for travel: https://brocku.ca/international-services/exchanges-study-abroad/outbound-exchanges/Partner-Institutions
Depending on your line of study, you will be able to explore different and sometimes unique programs abroad. These international institutions may have the perfect program to fit your desired goals! I am in my fourth year studying French and Philosophy, and have been in French Immersion since Kindergarten, and with my experiences, interests and personality in mind I saw an exchange in France as an outlet I would be interested in pursuing. I should mention that this was the path I felt I felt comfortable pursuing. With everyone’s varying and unique experiences, a different route will present itself, and may be ideal!
But once again, with all this in mind, I strongly suggest you look into the opportunities available for an exchange, perhaps by speaking to your academic advisor or the department of International Student Services. You have so many options here at Brock; start exploring early!