CIE Frequently Asked Questions

Before you apply

What is CIE?

The CIE program enables students to study abroad for up to two terms at one of our international partner institutions whilst earning credits that can apply towards your UBC degree.

  • CIE is tailored to UBC Applied Science students and support is available at every step of the application process.
  • The Applied Science Faculty has coordinated its efforts to find outstanding international institutions that offer courses that complement your degree.
  • You have the security that the credits you earn by taking pre-approved courses are transferable to UBC and reduces risk of a potential delay in your degree progression.
  • You can take specialized courses and access resources that are only available at the international host institutions.

Read more about the difference between CIE and University-wide exchange programs.

What term can I go on exchange?

Which term you can do your CIE depends on your Applied Science program of study. Review your program specific information in the drop down menus.
The academic calendar at each CIE partner institution differs from UBC’s calendar, and CIE students are expected to follow the partner institution’s semester dates. Be sure to:

  • Check your partner institution’s website for their latest schedule.
  • Plan your travel arrangements to ensure you will be available for the duration of the orientation period, course dates and official examination dates at the chosen partner institution.

Will I be back from exchange in time to do a Co-op placement straight after?

CIE students are expected to follow the partner institution’s term dates. You should plan your exchange to ensure that you will be present for the duration of the official teaching and examination dates at your chosen partner institution.

If you are out on a CIE term in the winter (Term 2) and your CIE term extends into a summer co-op work term, you will need to submit a Co-op Sequence Change form by December 31, prior to beginning your CIE term. If you would like to remove the summer work term from your schedule, you can apply through the Co-op office to potentially substitute your CIE academic term for a work term scheduled in the same term (e.g. you are scheduled for a Winter (January) work term and you have secured a CIE term in Australia to begin in February – you could seek a substitution) to assist in meeting Co-op standing at graduation.

NOTE: You must always speak with an academic advisor in your home program and a Co-op Coordinator if you are considering modifying your academic and work term schedule.

What should I include in my statement of interest?

Your statement of interest should describe what you would like to gain and contribute through an exchange semester, and why you chose to apply. Past CIE participants have written about:

  • why they chose that particular partner institution,
  • what they seek to benefit from this experience,
  • their motivation to study engineering,
  • how this experience ties in to their career goals,
  • previous projects they were a part of,
  • their key attributes, and
  • what makes them stand out.

How much does exchange cost?

Read information relating the to the costs involved with a CIE exchange here.

Additional tip: Contact the student union services at your chosen CIE partner institution to learn more about the cost of living in your host city. Information on the cost of accommodation, food, transportation, etc. if often available at this source.

How many courses do I have to take?

CIE students are required to have full-time status under the standards of the partner institution. This typically means you will have to take 4-6 courses. Please visit the websites of our partner institutions to find out how many credits you need to take to receive full-time status. We recommend taking the minimum course load that fulfills your requirements to get the most out of the cultural exchange. Please note that CIE tuition is for 15 UBC credits, regardless of the number of courses you take during your CIE term.

Where will I stay?

You must make your own accommodation arrangements. Housing is not generally provided by host institutions or coordinated for you, however your host institution will have information to support you in organizing this. Please consult your chosen institution’s website for information about housing options.

Will I need a visa?

You may need a visa to participate in the CIE program, and the visa application process varies from country to country.
You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with the visa application process and processing times for the country where you will study. It can take up to three months to obtain a visa for some countries.
Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after the date on which you intend to return home from your international experience.

I missed the application deadline, can I still apply?

As CIE is a competitive program, you should adhere to the posted deadlines and priority will be given to applicants who apply on time. We may consider late applications under some circumstances, please address your enquiry to your campus CIE advisor. Deadlines are posted in the ‘Important Timelines’ section.

How does COVID-19 affect the CIE program?

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented disruption to higher education globally. The CIE program is responding and adjusting to the situation on an ongoing basis. Current program adjustments are: All university international travel activities are cancelled until December 31st 2021.

Can I apply to multiple partner institutions?

You will be asked to prepare an application list your top 3 preferences of partner institutions. Please note that you only need to submit a proposed study plan that has been approved by your home program for your top preference institution for the CIE program.

It is rare that students are not accepted by their partner institution after being approved and officially nominated by UBC. However, if this happens we will work with you to allocate you to another partner institution.

When will I know if I got in?

You should receive an email that confirms the submission of your application within two business days. Typically you will receive a follow-up 4–6 weeks after the application deadline. The application fee will be posted on your account within 2 weeks of the application deadline. Once submitted, your application will be reviewed by Go Global and the CIE advisors. Once your application is approved, the Go Global office will nominate you to the partner school and you will be invited to complete the partner institution’s portion of the application. Partner institutions make the final decisions on whether you are accepted. You can find more information on the timeline of steps to take after you are nominated from the Go Global website.

Can I decline an offer?

CIE works hard to build relationships with our partner institutions in order to provide you with a selection of the best to choose from. As a lot of effort goes into securing placements for CIE students, students pulling out of the program after acceptance puts a lot of strain on the program managers and greatly hurts that partnership. To ensure the continuance of the CIE program, we do not allow students to withdraw except under extenuating circumstances.

After you are nominated to your host university by UBC

Are there any workshop sessions I must attend to prepare?

You must participate in a Pre-departure Session host by the Go Global where you will meet and connect with other students participating in the program. Details will be emailed through to you about this in due course.

After you return from your term abroad

What do I need to do when I get back?

Please expect a follow-up from our office with further details towards the end of your term abroad. You must also check with your partner institution to ensure that UBC receives a final transcript from the institution where you completed your international academic term for you to receive UBC transfer credit.

What grades will appear on my UBC transcript?

You will be awarded transfer credits on your UBC transcript for courses completed successfully with a passing grade. The actual grades you receive at the partner institution will appear on a separate transcript from your partner institution.

The only thing that will appear on your UBC transcript is the partner university name and the total amount of UBC credit you received (e.g. “University of Sydney, 15 credits”).

The EXCH course code on your transcript will not be replaced with the individual courses. Your grades earned while on exchange will never appear on your UBC transcript and do not affect your UBC GPA. However, they will become part of your permanent academic record and this may affect your applications to graduate programs as well as present or future scholarships.

The credits acquired from your exchange will appear in your SSC under Student > Academic > Transfer Credit.