Guide to Off-Campus Studies and Employment in Francophone Regions

This document is provided as an aid to students in arranging their off-campus French courses or employment in francophone areas. Students are asked to read the document carefully and to keep it for future reference. Students requiring assistance in selecting off-campus courses in French should see the French Off-Campus Studies Coordinator in the Department of Modern Languages. For help in other areas (e.g., history, philosophy, sociology courses taught in French off campus), students should consult an advisor in the appropriate department.

  1. Programs
  2. Selecting a Program
  3. Application Procedures
  4. Bursaries and Scholarships
  5. Course Selection and Transfer Credit
  6. Travel Arrangements


The French Off-Campus Studies Coordinator has information on file for students interested in:

  • French Visiting Student Program (FVSP)
  • French courses within Canada, including the Summer Language Bursary Program
  • French courses abroad
  • Employment programs, such as "au pair", official language monitors, parliamentary guides, Quebec-Alberta employment exchange. 
  • French Visiting Student Program Application Form (PDF)


Students are advised to base their choice of program and university on the information in the above-mentioned documents and in the university calendars available at the Career Resources Centre. Students may also consult with fellow students who have worked abroad or who have already taken off-campus courses.

Information about the cities where universities are located (e.g. population, geographical location, cultural activities, surrounding area, etec.) may be obtained from U of L students who have taken courses there. Students will also find much valuable information at the public library, at many travel agencies and on the Internet.



There is a great deal of useful information on other scholarships and bursaries in the U of L Calendar and on the Department's list of scholarships, awards and bursaries. For additional information and application forms, contact the University of Lethbridge Financial Aid and Awards office. You can also consult the Scholarship Canada.


Students wishing advice on course selection and transfer credit should see the French Off-Campus Studies Coordinator. While prepared to advise students, the Coordinator is not authorized to grant transfer credit for courses which students intend to take off-campus. Upon completion of their courses at the host university, students desiring transfer credit will apply to the Office of Admissions as described in paragraph f. below. Deadline dates for consulting with the Coordinator on course selection and transfer credit are as follows:

  • Students of French wishing information on course selection and transfer credit prior to registering for courses at the U of L should contact the French Off-Campus Studies Coordinator at least one week before U of L registration deadlines.
  • by October 1, for off-campus courses to be undertaken in the Spring term
  • by April 1, for off-campus courses to be undertaken in the Fall semester
  • Students of French who will be completing an Education practicum and who are also in need of counseling for off campus studies in French should see the Off-Campus Studies Coordinator at least two weeks before their departure from campus. When making the appointment with the Coordinator, be sure to indicate the start date of the practicum.
  • Before leaving the U of L campus for the host university, students participating in the French Visiting Student Program must submit to the French Off-Campus Studies Coordinator a completed FVSP application form. See the Department of Modern Languages French Off-Campus Studies Coordinator for details.
  • U of L students who wish to participate in French programs other that the FVSP and who also plan to apply for transfer credit must obtain from the Arts and Science Advising Office a Visiting Student Status Authorization form (VSSA). Students must submit the completed VSSA form to the Arts and Science Advising Office prior to leaving the U of L campus for the host university.

In planning their off-campus courses, students should keep the following in mind:

a) It should first be understood that benefit is derived from off-campus courses in French whether or not transfer credit is received.

b) Before leaving the U of L campus, all students wishing transfer credit for their off-campus programs in French must obtain Visiting Student Status from the U of L. See the French Off-Campus Studies Coordinator for details.

c) In order to be eligible for transfer credit at U of L, off-campus courses must be at or above the level of French for which the student has obtained official credit in any given stream (e.g., a student who has successfully completed a 3000-level French language course will not be awarded transfer credit for a French language course at the 2000-level). Additionally, a student must be awarded a "pass" grade by the host university in order to receive credit for a particular course. Finally, courses which duplicate work for which the student has obtained official credit will not be eligible for transfer credit.

d) The Department maintains a List of Transfer Credits; it records many off-campus courses for which students in previous years have been awarded transfer credit at U of L. This material is available from the secretary in the Department of Modern Languages. Attention: Transfer credits entered under the "Old Program" (pre-July 1981) provide an unreliable guide for anyone now attempting to select courses for transfer credit. Summer Language Bursary participants should look only at transfer credits awarded for summer courses. The Department of Modern Languages cannot be held responsible for typographical or other errors in the List of Transfer Credits. Nor will the Department be bound by any award of transfer credit made in a previous year. The List of Transfer Credits should not be removed from the Department; students may consult the list. Please return it to the secretary when you are finished.

e) Students planning to participate in the Summer Language Bursary program may wish to contact the participating universities in writing to try to obtain detailed descriptions of courses to be offered in the summer. Students unable to write their letter in French should write it in English. Students who decide to write in French should use as their reference guide the large Collins-Robert English-French dictionary. Smaller editions of this dictionary are inadequate as reference tools.

f) Students may be required to take a language placement test by the institution at which they have selected to undertake their off-campus studies. Students are strongly advised to enroll only in courses for which they are properly qualified, as indicated by the results of the placement test. Some students may thus find themselves having to take courses which are below the level of French for which they have already obtained official credit. Such courses would not be eligible for transfer credit at the U of L.

g) Students wishing transfer credit must make available to the U of L Admissions Office all relevant documents pertaining to the course taken off campus (e.g., transcripts of grades, course description from the calendar, course outline, class notes, textbooks, workbooks, class handouts, and, if available, tests, exams, graded assignments, etc.).

N.B. Before submitting their course materials to Admissions, students should obtain from the French Off-Campus Studies Coordinator a copy of the document Guidelines for Presentation of Course Material to be Evaluated for Transfer Credit (PDF).

h) Past experience has shown that some students, while having successfully completed a five-week French language course, have extreme difficulty in passing the next higher course at the U of L. Unless students have a very strong grasp of the subject matter covered in the five-week course, they might be well advised to repeat the material by taking an equivalent course upon their return to the U of L. N.B. U of L students may be awarded credit for only one of these courses.


Applicants should make travel arrangements as early as possible since airlines may be fully booked during peak holiday times, i.e. late summer or early January.