The International Exchange Program at the Faculty of Law allows students to spend one semester studying at some of the top law schools in the world. The exchange program at the Faculty of Law places academics at its core. Law programs at partner institutions are excellent schools with academically rigorous curricula. In addition to gaining valuable experience in international settings, students have the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of legal contexts.
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Important Dates Including Information Session and Application Deadlines
- Exchange Information Session: November 2nd 2016, 12:30-1:30pm in J140
- Application Deadlines:
- Stage one, intention to apply: November 10th, 2016
- Stage two, final online application: January 2nd, 2017
- Acceptance emails with school matches: Early February
- Mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation Session: Late February or early March
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Rules and requirements for law students going on exchange
- Students must complete U of T JD Requirements while in residence at the Faculty of Law. See the JD requirements webpage. The one exception is the International, Comparative and Transnational course requirement which can be satisfied while on exchange.
- Students going on exchange in the second term of their graduating year must have successfully completed all of the JD requirements prior to going on exchange.
- Students can only go on exchange for one term.
- In order to receive a standing of Honours or High Distinction in the year during which students plan to participate in an exchange, students must complete a minimum of 14 graded credits and obtain Honours or High Distinction standing in courses during the term which is spent at U of T.
- Students must attend a pre-departure orientation session.
- Class attendance while on exchange is mandatory. Students must attend the full semester at their exchange institution and are not permitted to miss classes due to work or other obligations.
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Choosing a Host School
The majority of students go on exchange to one of the schools with which U of T Law has a direct exchange relationship. See the list of these schools and their specific requirements.
Alternatively, students can request to study at Universities with which the Center for International Experience has a University wide agreement. Students who want to apply for exchange at an institution that has not been approved by the Faculty of Law may ask to be considered for an exchange at an institution with which the Centre for International Experience at U of T has a university-wide exchange agreement. Decisions to approve requests to attend a law school at a university on this list will be made on a case-by-case basis by the Student Programs Coordinator, and will depend on a range of factors including the relative strength and rigour of the law school’s academic program, language of instruction, terms dates, etc. New exchange opportunities rely on the international school accepting a partnership request.
See the list of schools with which the CIE has agreements.
Please note that it is not possible for students to do an exchange at a school that is not included on this list. Students cannot set up their own exchanges.
The Lottery System
There are sufficient placement opportunities for all applicants to go on exchange. However, most schools have limited spots and some students may not be able to attend their top ranked school. In the interest of fairness and transparency, students are placed at host schools via a lottery system. Along with their application, students rank their top five schools in order of desirability. For example, if Hong Kong University is a student’s top choice they rank it number one and so on.
The Timing of your Exchange
Graduating students need to be aware of the requirements they must fulfill in their final year of study and the timelines for convocation, bar admission courses, and articling placements. It is the student's responsibility to check the sessional dates of the host university to determine how schools with terms ending later than April 30 will impact bar admission courses, articling placements and convocation in June.
Bar Admission Courses and Articling Timelines
Graduating students are required to register for the Bar Admission Course in the fall term prior to graduation. Students articling in Ontario may obtain the application form from the Law Society of Upper Canada’s web site. Students articling in other provinces must check with Career Services for details.
We strongly recommend that students select programs with term dates that do not conflict with bar admission and articling start dates.
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There are two stages to the application process.
Students fill out an intention to apply form indicating which schools they are interested in attending. This allows the administration to contact popular schools to request additional spots. This does not guarantee that popular host schools will be able to accommodate every request. Deadline to submit an intention to apply is November 10th, 2016. https://goo.gl/forms/9tCfZYTi18UWre5Z2
Deadline for final applications: January 2nd, 2017. No late applications will be accepted. Please note that law students do not have to provide transcripts or reference letters.
Students apply online at the Center for International Experience website. http://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/cie/outbound-apply The online application will open on November 2nd, 2016. Students will be expected to provide the following:
- Statement of interest/questionnaire form. Your statement of interest should address the following questions: Why are you interested in going on exchange? What do you expect to learn or gain from the experience? How does going on exchange fit into your academic and professional goals?
- Rank your top five institutions.
- A current resume.
- Interview. Once all applications have been reviewed, the Student Programs Coordinator will meet with everyone for a brief interview.
- Students in combined programs must complete the Combined Program Student Approval Form (Word).
- Law students do not submit transcripts
- Law students do not submit reference letters
Once approved, students will receive an email informing them of their placement in late January/early February 2017. Students are required to email an acceptance back to confirm their interest in going on exchange at the school with which they are matched. The nominations are then sent to the host institution for their approval. While it is uncommon for U of T Law nominations to be rejected, it is possible that at this stage a school may deny a student entry. Should this occur, the student and the Student Programs Coordinator will work together to find another host school.
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Additional important information for law students going on exchange
- All students must ensure they are taking the courses required by both the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law and the host institution. See the list of host universities and their requirements.
- Students may not take a course that they have already taken or plan to take unless the material being covered is significantly different.
- Course approval: once students have selected their courses at the host university and prior to the add/drop date at the host university, students must seek course approval from the Student Programs Coordinator. Some schools may not allow students to sign up for courses until they arrive at the institution.
Financial Issues/Financing your exchange experience
Students are responsible for arranging their own accommodations. More information can be found by consulting the host institution's website.
Credit Transfer and Transcripts
On completion of the exchange term, the Faculty will receive a transcript from the host university. Assuming the student has passed all their courses, the University of Toronto transcript will have a notation indicating that the student participated in an exchange for the term and 14 U of T Law credits will be subtracted from what the student needs to graduate.
Credits from the host university will not appear on the University of Toronto transcript. It will be necessary for students to obtain an official transcript from the host university to accompany the University of Toronto transcript for job applications and further study.
Note: Students will not be eligible to graduate until the University of Toronto Faculty of Law has received an official transcript from the host university.
Students going on exchange are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from the host country.
If for any reason students decide to withdraw from an exchange, they must immediately submit a letter of withdrawal to the Student Programs Coordinator, and if applicable, the joint program registrar. It is very important that students communicate their intention to withdraw from the program as soon as possible. Holding a spot that is not used may prevent another student from being able to participate in an exchange or possibly jeopardize our relationship with our partner institutions.
First Term Exchanges
Students returning from first term exchanges must register in person with the Records Office by 4:00 p.m on the first day of their first class.
Students who are unable to register on the first day of their first class must e-mail the Student Programs Coordinator as soon as possible to communicate the reason for their absence. Supporting documentation will be required.
Internships on exchange
The Faculty of Law encourages students who are going away on exchange to consider undertaking an internship either during their term away. For those away in the second term, students may also choose to pursue an internship in the city of their exchange during the summer break after their studies have finished.
Please contact the Student Programs Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for any of the following:
- Additional general information, and/or specific questions about exchanges that are not answered on the website.
- To speak with someone who has been on exchange at the institution you are considering.
- To review the exchange evaluation binder.
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