Student loans

Going on exchange is an exciting endeavor and it’s worth every moment of additional preparation. As an exchange student, you will have special requirements to complete your loan application and to receive your loan.

Note: Students must speak with a member of Student Services to verify partner university study dates.

If you are a study abroad student (paying tuition directly to the partner school), and are on Student Aid or seeking Band funding, connect with Student Services or Aboriginal Programs & Services to discuss eligibility requirements.

Students from British Columbia

To be eligible for funding, your study period must be at least 12 weeks long and you must be enrolled in at least 60% (40% for students with disabilities) of a full-time course load in each term. Visit course load requirements for the credit load requirement of your program.

  1. If your exchange starts before August 1, use the loan application for the current Academic Year. If your exchange starts August 1 or later, use the application for the upcoming Academic Year.
  2. For exchange, select UBC as your learning institution (not your partner university); for study abroad, indicate the study abroad school as your institution, not UBC. Study abroad students will also be responsible for getting documentation from the school which confirms that they are enrolled in full-time studies.
  3. Select your UBC program of study.
  4. Enter your partner university’s academic start and end dates—they are likely to be different from UBC’s study dates so this will automatically trigger an Appendix three* that will be completed by UBCO electronically.
    • Undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students: contact Student Services before you apply to confirm your study dates. If you do not use the correct dates, UBC will be unable to approve your funding. Your start date is the first day of classes (not the orientation week), and your end date is the last day of the exam period – these dates will be supplied through Student Services staff.
    • Graduate students: you can apply with UBC’s regular term dates (not term dates from the partner university at which you wish to study).
  5. *Appendix three form
    • This Appendix is required because of your irregular study dates, and will be auto-generated and electronically submitted by UBC
    • Online applications: partway through the application process, you will be informed that your school is being contacted for an Appendix three. Within one week, UBC will automatically complete an online Appendix three for you. You can continue your application after you have been notified that the online Appendix three is complete.
  6. Account for breaks in study
    • If there is a break in study more than 10 business days, you must apply for two loans during your exchange year. You will submit one application for your first semester and one application for your second semester.
    • If your semester break falls in late December (similar to UBC’s holiday break), you are allowed a 15-business-day break; submit a single application for both semesters.

Since you will be away when your loan funding arrives, you will need to make arrangements to receive your loan funding.

Before you go on Exchange

Set up Power of Attorney (POA):

  • Since loan certificates can only be cashed in Canada, you must designate someone as permitted to cash your student loan certificates for you. You should choose a family member or friend whom you trust to be your POA.
  • Download and complete the HRSDC Power of Attorney form (PDF).
  • For assistance with completing and submitting this form, contact the National Student Loans Service Centre.
  • If this is your first time borrowing BC student loan funding, you will need to grant your POA greater signing authority than the HRSDC form provides. Contact Student Services to discuss.

While you are on Exchange

Your POA will cash (negotiate) your loan funding.

  • Have your loan certificates sent to your POA.
  • Your POA will need to follow the instructions provided with your loan certificates to negotiate your student loan. We believe the POA can send directly to National Student Loans or Province as needed.
  • To cash your loans, your POA will need:
    • A copy of your SIN card
    • A copy of your driver’s license or passport
    • A void cheque for each loan certificate
  • If your POA lives in Vancouver on-campus, you do not need an Off-Campus Document Request form. Do the following:
  1. Download the Third-Party Pickup form (PDF)
  2. Complete this form and give it to your POA.
  3. Your POA can visit Student Services with this form to have your loan certificate signed or pick up your loan certificate if it is mailed directly to UBC.

If you require further information about how to manage your student loans while on exchange, contact Student Services.

Students from other provinces

To be eligible for funding, your study period must be at least 12 weeks long and you must be enrolled in at least 60% (40% for students with disabilities / 80% for Newfoundland loans) of a full-time course load in each term. Visit course load requirements for the credit load requirement of your program. If your exchange starts before August 1, use the loan application for the current Academic Year. If your exchange starts August 1 or later, use the application for the upcoming Academic Year.

For exchange, select UBC as your learning institution (not your partner university); for study abroad, indicate the study abroad school as your institution, not UBC. Study abroad students will also be responsible for getting documentation from the school which confirms that they are enrolled in full-time studies.
Enter your partner university’s academic start and end dates (this will automatically trigger an Appendix three* that will be completed by UBCO).

  • Undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students: contact Student Services before you apply to confirm your study dates. If you do not use the correct dates, UBC will be unable to approve your funding. Your start date is the first day of classes (not the orientation week), and your end date is the last day of the exam period.
  • Graduate students: you can apply with UBC’s regular term dates (not term dates from the partner university at which you wish to study).

Initiate a Program Information Form (PIF) online through your provincial government lender:

  • These forms are required by some provinces
  • You must request that your PIF be completed with your exchange dates listed

Account for breaks in study

  • If there is a break in study more than 10 business days, you must apply for two loans during your exchange year. You will submit one application for your first semester and one application for your second semester.

Before you go on Exchange

Set up Power of Attorney (POA)

  • Since loan certificates can only be cashed in Canada, you must designate someone as permitted to cash your student loan certificates for you. You should choose as your POA a family member or friend whom you trust.
  • For the federal portion of your loan funding:

While you are on Exchange

  • Have your loan certificates sent to your POA.
  • Your POA will need to follow the instructions provided with your loan certificates to negotiate your student loan. We believe the POA can send directly to National Student Loans or Province as needed.
  • To cash your loans, your POA will need:
    • A copy of your SIN card
    • A copy of your driver’s license or passport
    • A void cheque for each loan certificate
  • If your POA lives in Vancouver on-campus, you do not need an Off-Campus Document Request form. Do the following:
    1. Download the Third-Party Pickup form (PDF)
    2. Complete this form and give it to your POA.
    3. Your POA can visit Student Services with this form to have your loan certificate signed or pick up your loan certificate if it is mailed directly to UBC.

If you require further information about how to manage your student loans while on exchange, contact Student Services.

Information for U.S. students

If you are a student from the United States, check the U.S. Department of Education lookup tool to ensure that any partner institution you wish to attend on exchange is considered ‘eligible’ by the Federal Student Aid Office for the year in which you intend to study there. For institutions outside of the U.S., select “Foreign Country” from the “State” dropdown menu.

If you attend an eligible institution, then you may receive the Title IV federal student loans while on exchange.

If you attend an ineligible institution:

  • You will not be eligible for U.S. federal student loans
  • You may invalidate any U.S. student aid you have previously received for your studies at UBC
  • You may be required to immediately begin repaying your U.S. student loans
  • You may not be eligible for any future U.S. student aid for the remainder of your studies at UBC