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U of O bans all university-related travel in accordance with the Government of Canada regulations advising against non-essential travel outside Canada. Photo: Marta Keirkus/the Fulcrum

Students who were set to go on exchange in the fall will be given alternative options

The University of Ottawa has decided to ban all international university-related travel for the rest of 2020, cancelling all exchange student programs for the fall semester.

“Following much consideration of the current situation, the University of Ottawa has made the decision that the ban on university-related travel including will continue into the fall 2020 term international exchanges,” wrote the U of O’s International Office in an email sent to students who were set on studying abroad in the fall. “This means that you will not be able to travel to your exchange country destination this fall.” 

The U of O explained that its decision was in line with the Government of Canada’s regulations advising against non-essential travel outside Canada.

“Though we realize how disappointing this news is, it is our duty to ensure that our mobility programs can be carried out in the safest conditions possible, and this is unfortunately not the case at present,” explained the U of O’s International Office administration in their email. “As you know, the University follows the travel advice offered by the Government of Canada, and that advice is to avoid non-essential travel outside Canada.”   

Students who were set to participate in exchanges in the fall will be offered the following alternative options.

For students who are set to go on exchange for the Fall 2020 term only:  

  • The possibility to change the exchange period to Winter 2021. Before accepting, the U of O’s International Office will need to confirm that it is a possibility with the students’ host university. They will also need the approval of the students’ faculty to assure that they remain eligible.  
  • The student can remain registered as an exchange student for the Fall 2020 term to take online courses with the university for which they were selected. The U of O’s International Office will need to confirm that this is a possibility at the partner university. No mobility scholarship will be given.  
  • The student can completely cancel the exchange for Fall 2020 and will be refunded the $100 application fee.  

For students who were selected to go on exchange for the full academic year:  

  • The student can remain registered as an exchange student for the Fall 2020 term to take online courses with the university for which they were selected, and keep their nomination for Winter 2021. The U of O’s International Office will need to confirm that this is a possibility at the partner university. No mobility scholarships will be given for the Fall semester.  
  • The student can completely cancel their exchange for Fall 2020 and keep the nomination for Winter 2021. 

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