Returning home

Returning is as much a part of the exchange experience as leaving. When you plan your departure, allow adequate time and energy for administrative details, travel arrangements, farewell parties, etc.

Academic and adminstrative preparation

There are a number of things you can do before you return to Canada.

Gather your course materials from your planned exchange courses

While on exchange, you will need to collect the following information for each course:

  • Detailed course description in English or French
  • Contact hours for each course (e.g. total number of hours in class, tutorials and labs)
  • Course syllabus/description
  • Reading lists, essay topics, test questions and project assignments

TIP: It is your responsibility to collect the above information before you leave the host institution. It is much more difficult to obtain course material from your overseas professors once you have returned to UVic.

Request your official transcripts from the partner institution

Once you finish your courses abroad, contact the exchange office at the host institution and request your Official Transcript in English or French to be sent to International Student Services. Payment will not be required. Partner institutions are aware of their need for the submission of a transcript to UVic, but not all have an automatic process.  Please note that if you would like an addtional transcript for your own records, you will need to request that from the partner separately.

Register for UVic courses as usual for when you plan to return

If you're leaving in September and will be returning to UVic for the January session, you will be eligible to register for your January courses during the regular registration cycle, before you go overseas.  For example: if you're participating in a one-semester exchange that commences in the fall, you should register for the spring term during the regular web registration period.

Year-long exchanges may require you to complete your UVic registration while you are away on exchange. If you are on exchange during the regular June registration period and you plan to return to UVic for the following fall semester, then you will need to register via web registration while you are away.

If you are on a one-year exchange that starts in the Spring, you must remember to make arrangements for your UVic fall term fees to be paid by the September fee deadline; while you are away.

Share your experience

We're grateful for the regular monthly reports you've provided, which will serve as useful resources for prospective exchange students. When you get home, drop by International Student Services--we look forward to catching up with you and are ready to help you with the transition back to UVic. 

  1. Share your blog, video diary, photo collection or any other documentation of your international experience with us.
  2. Write about your experiences in our international newsletter or on our website.
  3. Participate in events such as the International Opportunities Fair, where you can can meet with other returned students, prospective UVic exchange students, and incoming exchange students.

Opportunities to volunteer as a mentor, in a leadership role, or to assist in classroom presentations are also possible. If you already know that you would like to help out and share your exchange experience, please contact International Student Services to sign up.

Readjusting to life in Canada

When returning home, some students are surprised to find they experience as much, or more, culture shock as when they first began their exchange. You may find that your interests and values have changed, while your friends and family have new and different interests that are unfamiliar to you. And after living in a foreign country, it might be a challenge to go back to your previous life in Victoria.

Culture shock is normal, and in time you'll cultivate a deep appreciation of both your exchange culture and your home environment. You can get a head start on the process by:

  • connecting with international activities on campus, including events and programs organized by the UVic Global Community and the International Student Association
  • talking to other people who have studied abroad about their experiences upon returning to Canada
  • understanding that your friendships and relationships may have changed as a result of your new experiences
  • exploring new opportunities and meeting people with whom you can share your international experiences, such as international clubs and courses where you can apply what you learned from your travel and academic experiences abroad.

Be patient with yourself. Re-entry is a time of transition. Learn ways to take care of yourself, think positively, and maintain a sense of humour.

If you need further information or support to readjust to life in Canada, contact Counselling Services.