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Arts & Science Program

Exchange Opportunities

Up to 25 percent of Arts & Science students spend their third year studying abroad.

Students who are interested in international study should consider participating in the MacAbroad Exchange Program, administered by International Student Services. This opportunity allows students in their third year to study at a host institution overseas while still paying their standard McMaster tuition and supplementary fees. Students choose to study abroad for a variety of reasons, including language development, exposure to new cultures and perspectives, and unique course offerings offered only at certain institutions.

All interested Arts & Science students must complete the following five steps in this order:

  • Plan to attend the annual Artsci Study Abroad Information Session (usually hosted in October)
  • View the mandatory online MacAbroad Exchange Information Session hosted by ISS (updated in October of each year).
  • Meet with Dr. Marquis during her office hours to discuss their academic plans.
  • Meet with Shelley or Rebecca (as appropriate) to discuss the logistics of the application process.
  • Complete the study abroad application (check the deadlines section of the McMaster Exchange Program website).

Students in Arts & Science are generally eligible for exchange agreements set up with the Faculties of Humanities, Science, and Social Sciences. The full list of exchange agreements may be viewed here. There is the option to study for either one term (typically Term 2) or a full year.


Selection is based on a number of factors, and include the following essential requirements:

  • Completion of 60 units of work with a Cumulative Average of at least 7.0 by the time students are to go abroad
  • Full-time study while abroad is required
  • Students participate in the exchange program during Level III, and must return to McMaster to complete their final year of study after the exchange has ended
  • Where applicable, students must have proficiency in the host country’s language

Application Process

Students typically go through the application process during Level II (see timeline below) and go abroad during Level III. The application requirements may be found here. Students must choose up to two (maximum of three) institutions to which they would like to apply. Successful applicants are then nominated to one institution by the selection committee and ISS. The nominations are then sent to the host institutions, who will then respond with acceptances and registration information. All registration procedures are handled by ISS.

More Information

Artsci Participation in Conference on International Study Leads to New Course

In July 2015, Arts & Science graduates (Class of 2015) Rachel Brain, Erik Brown, Leila Gaind, Kaila Radan, and Julia Redmond, along with Dr. Jean Wilson, presented “Interdisciplinary Study Abroad as Experiential Learning” at A Conference on The Culture of Study Abroad in Halifax, NS, sponsored by St. Mary’s University and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The team followed up by exploring ways of integrating findings into the development of enhanced international study programming for students currently participating in—or contemplating—academic exchange. Their paper was revised for publication and appears in Comparative and International Education.

In May 2017, a team comprised of Program Director Dr. Jean Wilson, students Eamon Colvin and Mia Kibel, and graduates Alice Cavanagh and Sabrina Sibbald worked together to develop a plan for new experiential learning programming. Their work led to a new course relevant to exchange: ARTSSCI 4MN2 / Movement and Integration, offered for the first time in 2018/19.

McCall MacBain International Fellowships

The McCall MacBain International Fellowships aim to enable globally-minded young Canadians to develop strong intercultural competencies and ties to different regions of the world, and to cultivate creativity, resilience, independence, critical thinking, and the ability to “stretch” outside their comfort zones. Fellows spend a year abroad divided into three terms: language, academic, and work/internship. Questions? Contact McMaster’s office of International Student Services.

Three Arts & Science students have been awarded year-long McCall MacBain International Fellowships for 2020-21 — Parnika Godkhindi, Zia Mawani, and Sneha Wadwhani (locations TBD). Miruna Dragomir was also awarded a one-term McCall MacBain grant for 2020-21.

Three Arts & Science students — Faris Mecklai (Uruguay), Kartik Sharma (Argentina), and Tasneem Warwani (Lebanon) — studied abroad on year-long McCall MacBain International Fellowships in 2019-20. Read about them here and read about their experiences on our Life on Exchange blog. Maanvi Dhillon, Rhea Murti, and Tracey Yu were also awarded one-term McCall MacBain grants in 2019-20.