Incoming Exchanges

Winter 2021 Exchanges have been cancelled

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic and Government of Canada travel restrictions all exchanges (incoming and outgoing) have been cancelled for Winter semester 2021. Applications for Summer and Fall 2021 are still open.
Visit GC Travel Advice and Advisories

Incoming Exchanges

Douglas College is located in the Greater Vancouver area of the province of British Columbia, Canada. We are the largest college in the province and offer a range of undergraduate university and applied programs.  Douglas College is the ideal destination for students wanting an academically rigorous short-term study experience in a beautiful world-class city on Canada’s west coast.


Students at our partner institutions may apply to study here as an exchange student for one or two semesters (4 or 8 months). To be eligible, you must be enrolled at a partner institution for at least the semester before applying for the exchange, have the equivalent of a 2.5 (C) Grade Point Average, and be nominated by your learning institution.

The language of instruction at Douglas College is English and students enrolling in academic courses will be expected to meet the college language proficiency requirement. If you are not proficient in English at the academic level, you can take our English Language Learning and Acquisition (ELLA) courses to improve your language skills.

If you are not an English speaker, or are not taking your studies in English at your home institution, you should submit a copy of your IELTS or TOEFL scores.


Douglas College has three academic semesters.

Semester Dates
Fall September – December
Winter January – April
Summer May - August

Students applying for an exchange must submit their applications to their home institutions who will approve and recommend students for the exchange.

While your institution’s internal application deadline may be earlier, Douglas College must receive your completed student applications and institutional recommendations by:

Semester Deadline
Fall April 30
Winter September 30
Summer January 31



As an exchange student, you will continue to pay tuition and student fees to your home institution. Douglas College does not charge our incoming exchange students any tuition or student fees.  You will also get your monthly U-Passes (public transit pass) free of charge.  However, you are responsible for covering the costs of your basic medical insurance coverage, textbooks, course materials, food, accommodation and personal spending expenses.

Douglas College provides several free benefits to exchange students, including the U-Pass (public transit pass). Other costs include ordinary living expenses such as food, clothing, accommodation and utilities, transportation, health insurance, recreation, entertainment and personal care. 

Before You Apply

Your first step is to contact the International Exchange Coordinator at your home institution to determine if you are eligible to apply for an exchange at Douglas College, and to discuss the application process.

Next, explore our programs and courses to choose the courses that best fit your existing study program and your educational goals.  Check to see if each course you are choosing has pre-requisites. If it does, make sure you meet the pre-requisites; otherwise you won't be able to take that course. Once you've finalized your course selection and ensured you have the pre-requisites, review your choices with your home institution coordinator to see if the credit from the courses you've chosen transfer to your program.  Students typically study between 12 and 15 credits per semester. 

Once you have determined that Douglas College has the courses appropriate for your studies and have secured the financial resources necessary to participate in an exchange, complete your institution’s exchange application process.

After your home institution approves you for the exchange, you can complete and submit the Douglas College exchange application package per the steps below.

Application Process And Form

Students approved by their institution to participate in a Douglas College exchange must submit the following: 

  1. a completed Douglas College Incoming Exchange Student Application Form;
  2. a copy of your current transcript; and
  3. a copy of the signature and photo pages of your valid passport.

Once Douglas College approves your application, we will send your home institution coordinator a Letter of Acceptance which you will use to apply for a visa if necessary.  If obtaining a visa is not necessary for you, you should keep your Letter of Acceptance with your passport when travelling to Canada.  We will also provide your coordinator with an important information document to guide you in your preparation for studying at Douglas College.

After You Are Accepted

Visa and Study Permit

If you plan to study in Canada for 6 months or less, you do not need to obtain a Study Permit.  However, you may need to obtain a Visitor (Temporary Resident) Visa, depending on your nationality.  Please go to to see if you need a visa to visit Canada.

If you plan to study here for 6 months or more, you will need to obtain a Study Permit before arriving here.

If you do not require a visa to visit or study in Canada, you still must meet specific requirements before you are allowed into the country.  Please visit and to familiarize yourself with is required to visit Canada. 

Regarding the designated learning institutions list, Douglas College will appear on the designated learning institutions list after you choose “British Columbia” in the “View list by province or territory drop-down box, and type “Douglas College” in the “Filter items” box.

If you obtain a Study Permit, you will normally be eligible to apply for part-time work on campus.  However, exchange students are not eligible to work off campus.

Study Permit Application

  • Your local Canadian government visa office and/or website will provide specific instructions about which documents you need to submit with your application. The application process can take a long time in some countries so apply early and as soon as you receive your Letter of Acceptance from us.
  • Once your application to the visa office for a study permit is approved, you will receive a Letter of Introduction confirming the approval and, if applicable you might also receive a Temporary Resident Visa.
  • Make sure that all information on your Letter of Introduction and Temporary Resident Visa from Citizenship and Immigration Canada is correct before you leave for Canada.
  • Note: The Letter of Introduction is not your Study Permit. It is only proof that your Study Permit application was approved.  Upon arrival to a Canadian port of entry, a Citizenship and Immigration Canada official will use your Letter of Introduction to create your Study Permit.  Do not leave the port of entry without obtaining a Study Permit!

Medical Insurance

All incoming exchange students must have basic medical insurance coverage. If you are coming to Douglas College for more than six months, then it is mandatory to apply for basic medical insurance through the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP). You must apply within 10 days of your arrival and the waiting period is 3 months.   

If you are attending Douglas College for less than six months (and to cover your 3-month MSP waiting period) you need to purchase basic coverage from an alternate health insurance provider.  We recommend you buy coverage before you travel to Canada.  

Registering For Courses

Our International Academic Advisor will handle the registration process for you. They will register you in your courses and they will send you an email confirming your courses, your schedule and your student number. Most exchange students are registered in 4 courses (12 credits) per semester which is considered full time study at Douglas College. Some students choose to study up to 5 courses (15 credits) per semester.  Exchange students cannot register for courses within our closed programs (most programs within the Child, Family, Community Services Faculty, and Health Sciences (nursing, optical dispensing, psychiatric nursing, etc.) Faculty and specific closed programs such as Hospitality, Theatre, Music programs, etc.).  

Accommodation and Transportation

Douglas College is located in a suburb of the Greater Vancouver area. Exchange students have many choices for accommodations. While Douglas College does not have student residences, we do work with First Choice International Placement who offers homestay accommodation to students.  

Exchange students arriving at Vancouver International Airport can easily access a taxi or take skytrain / transit.  

Exchange students will also be provided with a U-Pass/Compass Pass during their study time at Douglas College. The U-Pass/Compass Pass provides you with unrestricted use of the Greater Vancouver Regional transit system.

Important Dates

You should plan to arrive about one week before classes start. This will enable you to participate in student orientation, to notify Douglas College International of your arrival, and deal with any final details or questions about your exchange. For more information, check out the Important Dates section of the Douglas College website.

More Information....

Find out more about being an international student at Douglas College by reading our International Student handbook, joining Douglas International's Facebook page and Douglas Study Abroad's Facebook page, and following us on Instagram.  The Douglas College International Office will be a key resource for you while you're studying at Douglas and will help you to be successful in your studies.  Learn more about the Douglas International's Services for Success programs and our Cultural Connections Program.  Here you can find out more about including providing you with important information about provides many 

Find out more about being a new student at Douglas College through Campus & Student Life and the Future Students’ Office.