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Travel information

Travel Registry

Students participating in a University-related travel activity (i.e. course work, internships, exchange programs, field work or research, for credit or not) are required to register their travel (in Canada or outside Canada) on Minerva. To learn more about the International Travel Registry click here.

Additionally, all interns are required to register with the foreign office of their country of citizenship before leaving Canada. Canadian students can register online here.

Travel bans

McGill encourages students to include an international educational experience as part of their studies. However, the University will not approve student travel to all countries or regions of countries, as the safety of students is of primary importance.

In planning a University-related international travel activity, staff members and students are to consider the nature of the activity, the associated risks, and the location, specifically consulting travel warnings and reports issued by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). A travel warning is official advice concerning travel to a country or specific regions of a country, based on an overall assessment of the security risk and expressed in terms of the following four levels:

  1. Exercise normal security precautions

  2. Exercise high degree of caution

  3. Avoid non-essential travel

  4. Avoid all travel

University-related activity will not be approved in locations for which GAC has issued an "avoid non-essential travel" or "avoid all travel" advisory. University-related courses, conferences, and other activities undertaken in these locations will not receive McGill credit or recognition.

Please note:

  • If a Travel Advisory is in place recommending to avoid all travel OR avoid non-essential travel at the time of application the internships in that country will be rejected;
  • If a Travel Advisory is in place restricting travel at the time of deployment, internships in that country will be cancelled.

Preparing for safe travel

Students participating in a University-related travel activity (i.e., course work, internships, exchange programs, field work or research, for credit or not) should understand the requirements outlined in the McGill guidelines for Preparing for Safe Travel.

Social Media use while interning abroad is a delicate matter and this link provides useful guidelines.

Before and after

Pre-departure orientation sessions

All students interning outside of Canada are required to participate in a pre-departure orientation. Students are required to attend the University-wide session being hosted by the Office of International Education. This session will be offered twice a year.

For more information and to register, visit the international education page here. 

Cross-cultural workshop

Please note attendance is mandatory for Arts interns, award recipients, and interns receiving academic credit who are interning outside of Canada, Western Europe, and the USA.

The workshop will cover themes such as: strategies to improve cross-cultural communication; professional and social behavior; country context and its impact on professional and personal objectives; stages of adaptation and for managing the stress of culture shock; and health and safety.

This workshop is offered free-of-charge to Faculty of Arts students. 

This session is nornally held on a weekday evening in early April. Food will be provided. 

Post-internship debriefing

All interns (outside of Canada, the USA and Europe) are required to participate in a debriefing session hosted by the Faculty of Arts Internship Office following the completion of their internship.

This session is a follow-up to the Cross-cultural workshop. The evening session will focus on the return to McGill after an international experience. Topics covered will include reverse culture shock, challenges of retintegration, and ways of taking account of your experience by discussing what skills you may have gained, and how your perspectives may have changed. This is also an excellent opportunity to share experiences with fellow interns. 

This session normally takes place in the first two weeks of September.

Visas and work permits

All students

Interns are responsible for informing themselves about appropriate entry and work requirements for their host country. Students must acquire proper travel visas and work permits where applicable. Country-specific requirements can be found here.

It is important that students begin this process early, as for many countries, it can take some time.

Non US citizens interning in the US

Non US citizens completing any internship (paid or unpaid) in the USA require a J-1 visa. Students should apply for a J-1 through Cultural Vistas or the SWAP Internship USA Program (Canadians and international students are eligible). Students should be prepared to pay $1,700 - $2,500 for a J-1, and should allow a six-week delay for processing. Neither ION now the host organization are responsible for helping the student procure the visa, pay for a portion of the costs, or speed up the processing.

International students with internships in Canada

International students require a Co-op/internship work permit if they are completing a mandatory internship (paid or unpaid) in Canada. For more information on mandatory internships, students should see McGill’s International Student Office, click here. For more information on non-mandatory internships, students should see McGill's International Student Office, click here.