What is BCSA?

British Columbia Study Abroad (BCSA) Consortium helps make short-term study abroad more accessible, affordable and enjoyable for both students and BC institutions.

If you study at an EQA-designated post-secondary institution in BC, you may attend a study abroad program offered by another post-secondary institution and receive transfer credits through BCSA Consortium.

You can also access up-to-date information on all study abroad programs, apply online to the program of your choice and read stories shared by peers who have studied and lived abroad.

Benefits of BCSA for Students

  • Learn about the benefits of studying abroad for BC students
  • Search study abroad programs offered by many BC institutions at once
  • Search by region (e.g., Asia) or program type (e.g., Humanities)
  • Access programs from high-quality, EQA-designated schools
  • Apply for bursaries or scholarships
  • Get quick tips and resources on living abroad
  • Plan for the time of your life

How it Works

You can search and apply for international programs and field schools offered by your home institution or other schools across BC. All programs are for credit. When searching programs on this site, you will be able to see:

  • Program start dates
  • Program locations
  • Course descriptions
  • What fields or disciplines it’s applicable to
  • How you can apply

Note: Only short-term opportunities are included on bcstudyabroad.ca.

Why should BC Institutions Participate in the Consortium?

Participating institutions can promote their study abroad programs to students within the Consortium while fulfilling key goals towards internationalization and supporting best practices in student experience.

  • Marketing reach: Consortium member institutions can promote study abroad programs to thousands of students across the province
  • Viability: Smaller and regional institutions can more readily offer study abroad programs due to province-wide marketing and exposure
  • Scholarships: Students can access scholarships available only to Consortium institutions
  • Diversity: The Consortium promotes diversity amongst student abroad participants

To join the BCSA Consortium please contact info@bcstudyabroad.ca.

Participating BC Institutions

The following institutions are part of the British Columbia Study Abroad (BCSA) Consortium. You can select an institution below to find out what kind of short term study abroad options they offer.

*Institutions marked with an asterisk do not currently offer short term study abroad programs to students outside their institution.

Coast Mountain College
Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Justice Institute of British Columbia
North Island College
Northern Lights College
Royal Roads University
Trinity Western University
Vancouver Community College*

Frequently Asked Questions

Why and Where?

Why should I study abroad?

Study abroad programs offer students alternative study environments, international experiences and exposure to diverse cultures while earning credits towards their degree.

Some top reasons toIf you Make the World Your Classroom you willare:

1.    Learn about a different culture
2.    Develop intercultural skills and international work experience
3.    Meet new people and make new friends
4.    Broaden your understanding of the world
5.    Internationalize your degree and increase your employability
6.    Learn a language
7.    Challenge yourself in a new environment
8.    Have the time of your life!                   

Where can I study abroad?

You can find study abroad programs in destinations all over the world! Search for short-term study abroad opportunities on this website to learn more about the exciting possibilities open to you.

Eligibility and Application Procedures

Do I have to have travel experience in order to study abroad?

No previous travel experience is required for most study abroad programs. However, an open mind and strength of character will certainly help you overcome cultural barriers.

What are some examples of the requirements institutions have for studying abroad?

Each institution has different requirements to study abroad. Please contact a study abroad advisor for specific requirements applicable to that institution's SA programs.

Some examples of potential eligibility requirements are:

  • minimum GPA requirement
  • minimum age requirement
  • have a minimum number of academic credits completed at home institution
  • be a full-time student
  • be involved in extracurricular activities (e.g., community clubs)
  • provide a written statement with the expected contribution of studying abroad to your academic and career goals
  • provide personal and academic references from faculty
  • produce a curriculum vitae/resume
  • be willing to return to your home institution for a specified amount of time or minimum number of credits after studying abroad
  • submit a study abroad program application on time
I have a disability. Can I still study abroad?

If you have a disability, study abroad remains an option worth exploring. Speak with a study abroad advisor at your home institution to determine what accommodations or assistance you will need and explore potential study abroad options.

Although there may be some limitations, there are various support organizations that can help you with your study abroad plans. Mobility International USA (MIUSA) is a non-profit organization with excellent resources dedicated to expanding opportunities for people with disabilities. Check out their website at www.miusa.org.

Another excellent resource is Studying Abroad: A Guide to Accessible University Programs and Facilities for Students with Disabilities.

Do I have to be enrolled in a specific program to study abroad?

You can find study abroad programs across many disciplines. Search the list of short-term study abroad programs by discipline or sub-discipline to find the program of your choice.

At what point in my academic career can I study abroad?

Study abroad criteria differ by institution and discipline. Please meet with a study abroad advisor at your home institution to discuss specific criteria and guidelines.

How long can I study abroad for?

Most available study abroad options can last from two weeks to one full academic year. The short-term study abroad programs listed on this website range from two weeks to two months.

What does the application consist of?

Each institution has a different set of processes, requirements and documents that must accompany your application for studying abroad. Check with the destination institution hosting the short-term program or field school you are interested in for specific application requirements. Remember to also check with your home institution regarding any documentation required to grant you permission to participate in a short-term study abroad program outside your home institution.

What happens after I've been accepted to study abroad?

Before you go, you will need to complete multiple requirements provided by your institution. Many programs have a pre-departure info session, which covers essential topics on transfer credits, visa applications, health, medical insurance and cultural adjustments in a new country.

How do I apply to a short term study abroad program on this website?

An application process will be unique for each student. Click “Apply Now” on the program description page and fill out a brief form, which allows you to send an email to the destination institution hosting the short-term program or field school. It also notifies your current home institution of your interest in applying for this program. Both institutions will contact you with further information about the application process.

Course Registration and Credit Transfer

I do not speak a second language. Are there courses available in English?

Absolutely! We have a range of programs and most institutions offer at least some instruction in English. You will find language requirements on the description page for each program.

If I decide that study abroad is not right for me, is it possible to withdraw from my program after I have been accepted?

It is possible to withdraw from a program once you have been accepted, however it is not encouraged. Each program has its own withdrawal and refund procedure, so you will have to contact the study abroad advisor at both your home and destination institution to find out the specific policy.

Do I get credit for all the courses I take while studying abroad and will my courses transfer back to my home institution?

You will get some credit for the courses you take while studying abroad, as that is part of the agreement between the Consortium schools. How much credit, however, is determined by each institution. Be sure to clarify this in the initial planning stages to make sure that you are getting the number of credits you require!

Living Abroad and Travel Planning

Where do I live when I study abroad?

Each destination and institution are different! You may be staying in a hotel/hostel or with a host family. Search for a study abroad program to find out the specifics of the program(s) you are interested in.

What kind of support is offered by my home institution?

Most home institutions will assist with your application and transfer credit process. They also offer pre-departure sessions and orientations which will help you with cultural preparation through pre-departure sessions and orientations and re-adjustment to life as is upon return.

What is culture shock?

Culture shock is a common feeling that many people experience when they are exposed to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes. It is an emotional and behavioural reaction to living and working overseas and involves an adjustment to everything from the food to the language to learning how to mail a letter.

Adjusting to a new culture can be difficult and frustrating, and at times you may feel depressed or homesick. These are completely normal reactions. You are not alone. The most important thing you can do is talk about your feelings and build a support network for yourself. Your home institution and your destination institution both have programs that can help you with this. You can also look at our website and travel guide page for other sources.

What is reverse culture shock?

Reverse culture shock refers to the anxiety and other feelings an individual may experience upon returning to their home country after living and studying abroad. Although your family and friends have probably heard about your adventures through online conversations, they were not there with you to personally experience it. As a result, their reactions to the “new you” may appear to be distant as they try to understand the full impact of the events that have shaped your views and attitudes into what they are today. Allow yourself some time to relax, reflect and adjust to life back at home without losing the ideas and lessons learned while you were abroad.

How can I manage reverse culture shock?

Try to use your new knowledge to understand your own culture from an international perspective. To help ease your re-entry process, make sure to attend any orientation or welcome home sessions offered by your home institution to find out new helpful ways to integrate your recent study abroad experience with your continued life and studies. Find opportunities to practice your newly acquired language skills by taking advanced language courses, joining a language club, or seeking out a conversation partner. Start a travel blog on your experiences and post pictures and share stories with people.

Attend workshops, meetings, foreign cultural gatherings or international clubs where you can meet other international students and students who have studied abroad. Share your insights into the daily cultural, academic, political and social realities of life abroad with students who are considering studying abroad; they will certainly be interested in what you have to say.

I identify as an LGBT individual. Should I be concerned about discriminations while studying abroad?

Depending on the country in which you are traveling to, the acceptance or discrimination levels of individuals who identify as LGBTQ can vary greatly from your home country. Community policies, laws and socially acceptable behaviour may be different in foreign countries, and local governments may or may not provide the same level of protection or support of individuals' liberties in the LGBTQ group.

Public decency laws, prejudices and attitudes will fluctuate depending on societal norms, however, attitudes may be less prejudicial than you may expect. It is important to research the situation in your host country before departure, one place to start is with the institution that is running the program. They have already researched the country that you will be visiting and may be able to help you with any questions you have. 

Consult the following websites for some helpful resources for LGBTQ travelers.


Are there safety risks involved in studying abroad?

Institutions help reduce the risk and prepare students appropriately for their experience by facilitating pre-departure orientation sessions. Despite preparations for departure, students need to take appropriate precautions to have a safe and successful trip. The best way to prepare yourself for studying abroad is to research your destination thoroughly.

The Canadian Government publishes Travel Reports on all countries which offer information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues. To access governmental Travel Reports and Warnings please visit http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories.


Can I still study abroad if I am in a wheelchair?

Yes, studying abroad while in a wheelchair is a definite possibility! Work with your host institution's study abroad office to determine the details. One good starting point for resources is Mobility International USA.