1. What does the OJS Exchange offer me?
The OJS exchange offers Jiangsu students the following benefits:
- You do not pay tuition in Ontario; this means that, in effect, you are being offered a scholarship worth between $10,000 and $16,000.
- A provincial-wide exchange gives you the opportunity to identify universities with particular academic strengths in your areas of interest.
- The OJS exchange will provide excellent advising and support, including a comprehensive student handbook, information seminars in Jiangsu and Ontario, and the ongoing support of the Ontario Program Office while you are in Canada.
- Through liaison with the Canadian Embassy in Beijing we ensure that your visa application isidentified as part of the OJS exchange.
2. How can I be sure the program will place me at my first-choice university?
The short answer is: You can’t be sure. We will do our best to accommodate your wishes, and we will not place you at a university at which you cannot carry out your proposed program of study. We do reserve the right to place you at a university that you have not requested, in order to ensure equitable distribution of Jiangsu students throughout Ontario. We will ask you first before placing you at a university you have not listed on your application.
You can increase your chances of being placed at your first-choice university by (1) informing yourself thoroughly about each of the Ontario universities and making sure you and your program will “fit” the profile of a prospective university; (2) making clear, in the study plan you enclose with your application, why a particular university is important to you. Please note: Saying that you wish to take particular courses or to study with a particular professor is usually not persuasive. (In any case there is no guarantee, short of an invitation from the professor that she or he will be teaching in a given year.)
The absolute worst way of getting to a particular university is to list only that university on your application form. Applications that do not indicate three possible universities will not be considered, except where fewer than three universities offer your program of study).
3. Do I have to take TOEFL?
It is not a requirement. You can check the language requirement for each Ontario university in the Information Handbook 2013-2014 for the individual university requirements.
4. Can I earn a degree while in Ontario?
One of the firm principles of the OJS exchange is that students remain degree candidates at their home university, not at their host university. In other words, you cannot earn a degree while on the exchange. If you wish to change from non-degree to degree status, you will have to go through the regular admissions process and pay full tuition fees. You will also cease to be a member of the exchange.
5. How long should I stay in Ontario?
You have a choice of a one or two semester exchanges, however, we strongly recommend the two semester exchange as our experience has been that students need this much time to adjust to academic life in Ontario and to benefit fully from their stay in Ontario.
The fall term starts at the beginning of September and lasts into December (with an examination period in December). The winter term starts right after New Year’s (January) and goes through late April or early May (depending on examination schedules). In some cases, you may also take summer courses at their host university without paying tuition, but this depends on the individual university.
6. Is it hard to find a place to live in Ontario?
It depends on the city. In Toronto, Ottawa, and Kitchener-Waterloo it is sometimes difficult to find an off-campus (or in some cases, an on-campus) room at an acceptable price. In smaller cities the situation is less difficult. Many Ontario universities will offer residence rooms to OJS students. You should check with the International Office of the prospective host universities.
7. How much will studying in Ontario cost?
Your university’s international office can give you good advice. Some of the things to consider are: (1) you do not have to pay tuition in Ontario, but (2) you do need to purchase health insurance in Ontario (in 2009–2010: $63 per month, $252 for one term and $504 two terms). (3) You need to figure in your flight, rent, meals, and books (Canadian students generally must buy more books than do Chinese students), as well as telephone, local transit, and entertainment costs. It will probably cost you at least $1000 (about 6000 RMB)) per month, excluding airfare.
8. Can I work or participate in an internship while in Canada?
You may take a job, but only on the campus of your host university. You may also participate in an internship / practicum, but you will need to arrange both the permission and the position by yourself – this is not part of the OJS exchange.
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