CIE Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to the most common questions students have about the Coordinated International Experience program.

Before you apply
What is CIE?
The Coordinated International Experience (CIE) is a streamlined international student exchange program for UBC Applied Science students. The program offers academic credit equivalency for pre-approved courses taken at our CIE international partner institutions.
Benefits of participating in the CIE program
  • CIE is tailored to UBC Applied Science students and support is available at every step of the application process.
  • The Applied Science Faculty has coordinated its efforts to find outstanding international institutions that offer courses that complement your degree.
  • You have the security that the credits you earn by taking pre-approved courses are transferable to UBC and reduces the effort to locate transferable courses.
  • You can take specialized courses and access resources that are only available at the international host institutions.
Are CIE and Go Global different?

Prior to fall 2019, CIE and Go Global were two separate programs with the same goal: helping you spend a semester abroad. As of fall 2019, Go Global handles all exchange applications for Applied Science students. You can choose to go on a CIE exchange or a non-CIE exchange. In general, CIE options are less flexible in terms of timing and schools available, but provide you with more pre-mapped courses that make it easier to complete your degree without delay. The main differences are outlined below:

CIE Topic Go Global
Generally one semester, as most courses are mapped for 3rd year, semester 2 (or 4th year, semester 1 for Engineering Physics and B.En.D students). When One semester, full year, or split year in any term.
Pre-approved list of courses guaranteed for credit transfers (updated regularly), with support in receiving transfer credit approvals prior to your departure. Academic credit transfer approval Course credit approvals are done during and after your exchange.
A select group of academic international institutions whose course offerings complement UBC Applied Science degree programs School selection Over 200 universities and institutions worldwide
Apply to your top 3 choices. Application fee of $415.00 for 2020-2021 Academic year Application Apply to your top 3 choices. Application fee of $415.00 for 2020-2021 Academic year
A $1,000 APSC International Experience Award from the Faculty of Applied Science, and a $1,000 Go Global Award for meeting basic requirements. Funding A $1,000 APSC International Experience Award from the Faculty of Applied Science, and a $1,000 Go Global Award for meeting basic requirements.
What semester can I go on CIE?
Which term you can do your CIE depends on your Applied Science program of study. See Eligible year levels and academic term dates to confirm dates.
The academic calendar at each CIE partner institution differs from UBC’s calendar, and CIE students are expected to follow the partner institution’s semester dates. Be sure to:

  • Check your partner institution’s website for their latest schedule.
  • Plan your travel arrangements to ensure you will be available for the duration of the orientation period, course dates and official examination dates at the chosen partner institution.
Can I count CIE as a co-op term?
Yes. You can count a CIE exchange semester as one of your Engineering Co-op work placements.
Since the partner institution semester dates don’t always align with UBC’s, will I be back in time for my UBC winter study term or summer co-op work term?

CIE students are expected to follow the partner institution’s semester dates. You should plan your study abroad period to ensure that you will be present for the duration of the course dates and official examination dates at the chosen partner institution. If you are out on a CIE term in the winter (Term 1) and the exam period extends into Term 2 at UBC, you must arrange an alternate method to sit the exams. You are expected to return in time for Term 2 commencement. CIE will arrange exam rooms and invigilators upon authorization from your exchange university. Currently, this service is available to exchange students at EPFL or ETH Zurich. Request shall be submitted to CIE office as soon as exam dates and times are released. If you are out on a CIE term in the winter (Term 2) and your CIE term extends into a summer co-op work term, you will need to submit a Co-op Sequence Change form by December 31, prior to beginning your CIE term. If you would like to remove the summer work term from your schedule, you can apply through the Co-op office to potentially substitute your CIE academic term for a work term scheduled in the same term (e.g. you are scheduled for a Winter (January) work term and you have secured a CIE term in Australia to begin in February – you could seek a substitution) to assist in meeting Co-op standing at graduation.

NOTE: You must always speak with an academic advisor in your home department and a Co-op Coordinator if you are considering to modify your academic and work term schedule.

What are the admission requirements?

Read the How to apply page for details. You must be an undergraduate student in the Faculty of Applied Science entering the correct eligible year level and term for your program of study or program and have achieved at least a 70% average (or 80% average for Bachelor of Environmental Design students) in your most recent academic session of full-time studies. If you require academic accommodation, please contact the CIE administrator before submitting your application to check if similar accommodation is available at our partner institutions.

What should I include in my statement of motivation?

Your statement of motivation is your personal pitch of what you would like to gain and contribute through CIE and why you chose to apply. Past CIE participants have written about:

  • why they chose that school,
  • what the benefits are for going to that school,
  • what makes that school stands out for them,
  • what motivates them to do engineering,
  • their career goals,
  • their ambitions,
  • previous projects they were a part of,
  • their key attributes, and
  • what makes them stand out.
What if my GPA is less than 70% (or 80% for Environmental Design students)?

The cutoff GPA for the program changes year-to-year based on demand. Generally the cutoff does not fall under 70%, however we still encourage you to apply if you have a strong desire to study at one of CIE’s partner institutions. Each application is evaluated as a whole and decisions are made on a case by case basis.

If your average is under 70%, we encourage you to contact us (cie.apsc@ubc.ca, 604.827.2002) first to ensure that we can accept your application.

Please note that although the CIE eligibility requirement is generally around 70%, some partner universities do require a higher accumulative average for admission. These requirements will be taken into consideration when we review your first and second choice of the partner university.

How much does it cost to participate in CIE?
Go Global application fee: The Go Global Fee (of $415.00) is an administrative fee required for all applicants to Go Global programs. The fee is non-refundable. However, it may be adjusted under the some circumstances. Information on refunds can be found here.
Tuition: You will be charged the UBC tuition rate for 15 credits per term when you participate in a CIE term abroad. You do not have to pay international fees to attend a CIE partner institution.
The total cost to participate varies depending on the cost of living at the location of the partner institution you choose. You must arrange to pay for all other expenses associated with your term abroad, including housing, transportation, and other living expenses.
Travel and accommodation: Travel and accommodation must be arranged on your own. Some schools will reserve spots at their residences for international and exchange students. Please consult your chosen institution’s website for information regarding housing options.
Living expenses: Contact the student union services at your chosen CIE institution to learn more about the cost of living in your host city. Information on the cost of accommodation, food, transportation, etc. may be available at this source.
Sources of funding: All students accepted into CIE will receive the APSC International Experience Award of $1,000 to assist in offsetting student costs. UBC’s Go Global program provides more information about potential sources of funding and living abroad. At a minimum, most students are also eligible for the $1,000 Go Global Award, bringing your total funding for your CIE exchange to $2,000.
Planning finances: Your Enrolment Services Advisor (ESA) can offer help in planning your finances abroad. You can find your ESA’s contact details on the Student Service Centre website or go to the Advising Centre in Brock Hall. For more information, please visit the How to Apply page.
How many courses do I have to take?

CIE students are required to have full-time status under the standards of the partner institution. This typically means you will have to take 4-6 courses. Please visit the websites of our partner institutions to find out how many credits you need to take to receive full-time status. We recommend taking the minimum course load that fulfills your requirements to get the most out of the cultural exchange. Please note that CIE tuition is for 15 UBC credits, regardless of the number of courses you take during your CIE term.

Contact the CIE Program Assistant should you require any assistance.

Where will I stay?
You must make your own accommodation arrangements. Housing is not provided by institutions or coordinated for you. Please consult your chosen institution’s website for information about housing options.
What do I need to budget for living expenses?
It is difficult to estimate exactly how much you will need for your term abroad, as your expenses will depend on a number of factors, including the cost of living in your host city and your lifestyle.
Before you apply to the CIE, you should estimate your travel expenses to your host country and your living costs while you are there. The following tips can help you estimate the funds you will require to study abroad:

  • Contact your Enrolment Services Advisor (ESA) and ask for their help in planning and budgeting your CIE term abroad. Various sources of funding may be available, including awards, scholarships, loans, a UBC bursary, and lines of credit. You can find your ESA’s contact details on the Student Service Centre website or go to the Advising Centre in Brock Hall.
  • Contact the student union services at your chosen CIE institution to learn more about the cost of living in your host city. Information on the cost of accommodation, food, transportation, etc. may be available .

Budget carefully for your study term abroad. Be realistic about your expenses and map out a monthly budget to help manage your funds.

Will I need a visa?
You may need a visa to participate in the CIE program, and the visa application process varies from country to country.
You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with the visa application process and processing times for the country where you will study. It can take up to three months to obtain a visa for some countries.
You should also ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after the date on which you intend to return home from your international experience.
I missed the deadline. Can I still apply?

As CIE is a competitive program, you should adhere to the posted deadlines and priority will be given to applicants who apply on time. We may consider late applications only under extenuating circumstances.The exact deadlines are posted on the How to Apply page.

Can I apply to multiple partner institutions?
You will be asked to prepare an application for one partner institution. However, if you are not accepted by the partner institution after being approved and nominated by the CIE program, you will be permitted at that time to submit a request for another institution.
When will I know if I got in?

You should receive an email that confirms the submission of your application within two business days. Typically you will receive a follow-up 4–6 weeks after the application deadline. The Go Global fee will be posted on your account within 2 weeks of the application deadline. Once submitted, your application will be reviewed by Go Global. Once your application is approved, Go Global will nominate you to the partner school and you will be invited to complete the partner institution’s portion of the application. Partner institutions make the final decisions on whether you are accepted.

Can I decline an offer?
CIE works hard to build relationships with our partner institutions in order to provide you with a selection of the best to choose from. As a lot of effort goes into securing placements for CIE students, students pulling out of the program after acceptance puts a lot of strain on the program managers and greatly hurts that partnership. To ensure the continuance of the CIE program, we do not allow students to withdraw except under extenuating circumstances.
Where can I get more information about CIE?
If you can’t find the information you’re seeking on the website, we welcome you to contact our office or attend one of our information sessions which are offered each year to students eligible to apply.
Drop-in advising hours (UBC Vancouver)
Monday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Tuesday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Thursday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
You might not need to see an advisor: general questions about Go Global Exchange can be answered at the Go Global Main Office in the UBC Life Building (Vancouver) or by emailing go.global@ubc.ca.
Group advising for Outbound Exchange
Outbound Exchange students are strongly encouraged to attend a Group Advising session before meeting with an advisor. Group Advising for Outbound Exchange students takes place weekly (excludes statutory holidays and office closures):
Wednesday: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Room 1501 (Multipurpose Room) in the Life Building


After you are nominated by CIE
Are there any workshop sessions to prepare me before I go?
You must participate in a pre-departure session, where you will meet and connect with other students participating in the program.
What’s the Applied Science International Experience Award?
The Faculty of Applied Science provides a $1,000 Award for every student embarking on an exchange to help offset student costs. This money will be deposited into your tuition account during your semester abroad once the CIE partner institution has confirmed your attendance.
If you have an outstanding tuition balance, it will be reduced by the value of the Award.
You do not need to apply for the Award. This award is automatically provided to all CIE students during their term abroad.
Most students are also eligible for at least a $1,000 Go Global award. See the Go Global awards page for more information: students.ubc.ca/enrolment/finances/awards-scholarships-bursaries/awards-participating-go-global
What classes will I get transfer credits for?
You will get transfer credits for all courses that you successfully complete at your partner institution. Two thirds of courses you register for at the partner university must be engineering or applied science courses pre-approved by the CIE office and the Faculty of Applied Science.
How many UBC credits do I get for a course from my exchange institution?

The transfer credits you can get from your time abroad also depends on whether you are taking courses on the pre-approved course list or not. Please see below for the respective credit transfer calculation instructions. For all credit transfer calculations, we total the number of partner institution credits from all of your courses for one semester and apply the conversion formula.

Pre-approved courses:

The main benefit of CIE is that we provide you with a list of pre-approved courses to allow you to complete some of your degree requirements while on exchange so it is not necessary to extend the length of your degree. If partner courses are mapped to a specific UBC course, you will receive the number of credits the UBC course is worth.
For example, the DTU course 62204- Manufacturing Technologies is equivalent to taking MECH 392 and is worth 2 UBC credits accordingly.

If partner courses are mapped as a general UBC technical elective, the number of UBC credits you receive depends on the number of credits given by the partner institution and you have to apply the credit conversion formula.

Credit conversion formula:

You can find transfer credit formula for our partners in the CIE Course Mapping Database.

Courses that are not pre-approved:

If you find any courses that you are interested in that aren’t in your department’s CIE list but think are transferable to your degree, submit a Course Evaluation Request form to the CIE Program Assistant (cie.apsc@ubc.ca) to check transferability. Please do so before you fill out your application and allow some time for results.

Humanities and Social Science electives are only allowed through CIE if:
1) The course is listed in the UBC Transfer Credit Portal as approved for transfer credit, or
2) You are not requesting transfer credit back at UBC (i.e. taking out of interest only).

Technical (engineering or environmental design) courses must make up the majority of your course plan.

If you consult the Go Global transfer credit portal online to see if other courses have been previously mapped, please do double-check with us for approval. All courses that students request on their application must be approved by the CIE office and the Faculty of Applied Science to ensure that the credits transfer back to UBC.

Please note that partner institutions may only update their course brochures during the summer, and up-to-date information about the winter term may not be available until September.


After your CIE term abroad
What do I need to do when I get back?
As part of your $1,000 Applied Science International Experience Award, we expect you to provide feedback about your CIE experience. Please expect a follow-up from our office with further details towards the end of your term abroad.
You must also check with your partner institution to ensure that UBC receives a final transcript from the institution where you completed your international academic term for you to receive UBC transfer credit.
What grades will appear on my UBC Transcript?

You will be awarded transfer credits on your UBC transcript for courses completed successfully with a passing grade. The actual grades you receive at the partner institution will appear on a separate transcript from your partner institution.

The only thing that will appear on your UBC transcript is the partner university name and the total amount of UBC credit you received (e.g. “University of Sydney, 15 credits”).

How individual courses were transferred will only appear on the SSC (e.g. “HIST 300” or “HIST 3rd year”). The EXCH course code on your transcript will not be replaced with the individual courses. Your grades earned while on exchange will never appear on your UBC transcript and do not affect your UBC GPA. However, they will become part of your permanent academic record and this may affect your applications to graduate programs as well as present or future scholarships.

The credits acquired from your exchange will appear in your SSC under Student > Academic > Transfer Credit.