The Summer Abroad programs are designed to enrich students’ academic lives by providing an exciting and educational international experience. Students complete full-year University of Toronto undergraduate degree credit courses from the Faculty of Arts & Science that are relevant to each location. Relatively small classes (about 25 students on average) are taught by University of Toronto professors or faculty from the host university. All classes, with the exception of language courses, are taught in English.
One of the most important and engaging aspects of these programs is that the learning is not limited to the classroom. The locations themselves become your “living textbook.” You will observe and experience many of the things you study, including the language, history, culture, art, religion, business, and politics of the host country.
Since 1972, thousands of students from across Canada and the United States have earned a University of Toronto credit outside of Canada through one of our programs. The response has been consistently enthusiastic—many previous participants rate their Summer Abroad experience as the best summer of their lives!
In keeping with the University of Toronto’s policies on equity, diversity, and excellence, the Summer Abroad programs strive to be fully inclusive. Studying abroad presents unique challenges in regard to equity issues. However, we seek to ensure to the greatest extent possible that all students enjoy the opportunity to participate in these programs. Our support for equity is grounded in an institution-wide commitment to achieving a working, teaching, and learning environment that is free of discrimination and harassment as defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Housing & Flights
The University of Toronto arranges for students to live in the host site’s student accommodation or with local families for the duration of the program, and, for some programs, to fly to the destination as a group. Arrangements are made for participants in the group flight to be transported from the airport to the host site’s student housing; other students must make their own way to the host site.
Except where noted, students may choose to make their own travel and housing arrangements. For example, students who wish to travel on dates that differ from the group flight dates must arrange their own flight.
On the other hand, private accommodation abroad is often limited and varies in quality; as a result we generally recommend that students use the housing provided through the Summer Abroad program unless they stay with family or friends, or are very familiar with the program site.
The University of Toronto does not assume responsibility for any accommodation and/or flights arranged independently.
Note: Your sense of adventure and ability to be flexible are critical elements of this wonderful opportunity. Be prepared to live in an environment as experienced by local students. This includes services and facilities not always being equivalent to what you may be used to in North America. As with any international travel, you should be prepared to adapt to local customs and standards that may be disconcerting initially, but that ultimately will broaden your understanding and appreciation of the host country and its culture.
Health and Safety
Travelling overseas involves inherent risks. While most students go abroad without incident, it is important to consider these risks. Even if heading to a location that is culturally similar to one’s home, all students can benefit from developing a health and safety risk management plan. See the Summer Abroad website for site-specific health and safety risks.
To assist you in this regard, we provide both an online and in-person pre-departure orientation for Summer Abroad participants; further details will be included with each student’s program admission package. In addition, information regarding site-specific risks for each program can be found on the Summer Abroad website. We also strongly suggest that students who have any health concerns related to travelling overseas discuss these with the Professional & International Programs office prior to submitting their application form.
UofT also has a Travel Medicine Clinic, located in the Koffler Student Services Centre. Participants in the Summer Abroad program will not be charged for visiting the clinic if they present their letter of admission to the program. Note that some program sites, such as Ecuador, require students to obtain specific vaccines. Vaccinations are usually offered by the UofT clinic at a discounted rate. Appointments must be booked in advance at 416-978-8030.
The University of Toronto’s Safety Abroad Office has created a health and safety manual for travelling overseas, available at www.cie.utoronto.ca/safety. This office offers specialized workshops, including one for women and another for LGBTQ students. These workshops are often held in the early spring; please check the Safety Abroad website for details. Additional country-specific safety information is provided by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada at www.voyage.gc.ca.
NOTE: All students are required to have medical travel insurance coverage for the duration of the program. Students must make their own insurance arrangements; the Professional & International Programs office does not recommend or purchase specific insurance plans for students. Further information on issues concerning medical travel insurance will be included in the admission packages.
Site-Specific Program Risks
Conditions of Participation
As a condition of enrolment all students will be required to provide written acknowledgement and consent of risks and terms of participation (which include agreeing to abide by the University of Toronto’s and the host institution’s rules, regulations, and code of conduct, and acknowledging their personal liability).
Students will also be required to complete a pre-departure orientation; obtain and provide proof of adequate health insurance; obtain all appropriate travel documents (visa, passport, etc.); and read all materials provided by the Professional & International Programs office (including email, admission package, and Student Handbook). The University of Toronto does not arrange medical travel insurance or flight cancellation insurance; this is the responsibility of each program participant.
Some courses may require students to complete an assignment or attend lectures before the start of the program.
Students who wish to enrol in an on-campus summer course are responsible for ensuring that this course does not overlap with their Summer Abroad course. The Faculty of Arts & Science will not make special arrangements for on-campus final exams that conflict with a student’s Summer Abroad course.
Students are expected to accept responsibility for the preparations for their study abroad experience so as to foster self-reliance after arrival. In this regard, all communications regarding the program (e.g., course enrolment, accommodation arrangements, etc.) are made directly with each student. We cannot discuss details with non-participants, including parents or guardians (except in the case of students under 18), unless the student agrees to such disclosure and is present at those discussions.
NOTE: Class attendance including attendance on all field trips in all Summer Abroad programs, is mandatory.
Students with disabilities who require accommodations (e.g. extra time to complete assignments, adaptive technology, barrier free environment, sign language interpreters) should meet with their Accessibility Advisor before applying to the Summer Abroad program. Students will also need to obtain a letter from Accessibility Services confirming their accommodation needs.
Please note that the range of accommodations may differ from country to country. We cannot guarantee that sites will be able to offer all the accommodations that are available at UofT. Accordingly, accommodation needs may affect the ability to participate in programs at certain locations.
Students are encouraged to contact the Professional & International Programs office to discuss which sites might best suit their needs prior to applying, so that we may provide the best possible student experience. Please note that accommodations cannot be guaranteed for those who make late requests.