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Placement Guidelines and Forms

Since September 2004, Toronto Metropolitan University has offered Canada’s first graduate program devoted to the advanced study of immigration policy, services and experience. Catering to both research- and professionally-oriented students, the program uses an innovative approach to immigration from multi- disciplinary perspectives. Four core courses offer students knowledge about the key historical, theoretical, methodological, policy and program literature in the field. Students are also expected to complete a major research or demonstration project paper, as well as a placement in the field.

Placement Guidelines

This course prepares students to complete a 150-hour field placement at an organization engaged in immigration- or settlement-related policy, programs or services. Through placements, students apply and test their classroom learning in applied settings such as immigrant-serving agencies, newcomer community organizations, schools, and government departments.

During the Winter term, students attend presentations by practitioners on policy development, service delivery, and advocacy. Typically, students complete their placement during the Spring/Summer term, although flexibility is allowed to match individual needs and goals.

Field placements are designed to help students build bridges between academic classroom knowledge and theoretical discussions and actual work situations. They give the students an opportunity to learn through experience. They:

  • improve their skills and increase their own knowledge of the field
  • understand how organizations’ mandates shape their "culture", policies, practices, and interpersonal behaviour
  • learn about the challenges facing immigrant-serving groups in the context of today’s ever-changing environment
  • Increase their understanding of issues of diversity, power, privilege, oppression

The field placement also offers students opportunities to:

  • explore issues of personal identity
  • learn about value systems
  • identify self-directed learning opportunities
  • manage time and priorities
  • develop professional contacts

The process requires students to:

  • Attend at least four of the six seminars/presentations organized in the Winter term
  • Complete an online Environmental Health and Safety Awareness eLearning module and submit a certificate of completion
  • Identify placement opportunity/ies
    •   The student identifies placement opportunity OR
    •   The student selects from opportunities circulated by the Field Placement Co-ordinator
  • Initiate contact and process (Letter of Introduction to the potential placement participating organization)
  • Complete requisite documentation (Confidentiality Agreement, Work Plan, insurance coverage forms)
  • Complete the placement by the end of the Spring/Summer term (mid-August)
  • Submit a report on the placement experience
  • Share the placement experience at a symposium

The following documents should be submitted to the Field Placement Co-ordinator before the placement begins. They may be submitted to her via email at

1. Confidentiality Agreement (required)

Students are required to sign a Confidentiality Agreement to protect the confidentiality of all information obtained in the course of their placement, within limitations of the law. Three (3) signed copies will need to be submitted: one copy to the placement agency, one copy for the student’s own record, and one copy for the Co-ordinator’s records.
Students may also be required to sign similar agency documents.

2. Work Plan (required)

To maximize the learning experience for students and to ensure that the placement agencies’ requirements for services are met, students and Placement Supervisors should negotiate and fill out a Work Plan. The work detailed in the Plan should conform to course requirements at the graduate level.

The Work Plan should include:

  • The name of organization
  • The name and designation of supervisor and contact information
  • Placement dates or approximate time period, and whether it is a full-time, a part-time or flexi-time placement
  • The tasks/responsibilities that the student will be involved in as part of the placement

Some agencies do not operate on a 9 - 5 schedule, therefore, the hours students are expected to work may vary. The schedule should be determined between the student and the Placement Supervisor while discussing the Work Plan.

3. Insurance Coverage Letters of Understanding for Unpaid Placements (required)

The Government of Ontario, through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU), pays the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) for the cost of benefits provided to Student Trainees enrolled in an approved program at Toronto Metropolitan University and participating in unpaid work placements with employers who are either compulsorily covered or have voluntarily applied to have WSIB coverage. MCU also covers the cost of private insurance with Chubb Insurance (formerly ACE-INA Insurance) for Student Trainees enrolled in an approved program at Toronto Metropolitan University and participating in unpaid work placements with employers that are not required to have compulsory coverage under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act or unpaid placements out of province.

Students on unpaid placements have to submit signed copies of the Letter/Declaration of Understanding regarding insurance coverage. There is one letter specifically for Placement Employers (host agencies) and one for the student.

The Ministry coverage is in effect from the start date of the work placement to its end date. The student is covered only when s/he reaches the Placement Employer's premises where s/he is assigned to work. However, coverage does extend to students who, in the course of their placement, go to and from work in transportation provided by the Placement Employer. When the conditions of employment require the student to travel away from the Placement Employer’s premises, the student is eligible for ministry coverage. However, the student is not eligible for the ministry coverage when on a personal errand or business. How s/he travels does not factor into the determination of the coverage. WSIB does not cover any injuries outside of the work placement.

4. Worksite Placement Form (if relevant)

Some part-time students may wish to do their field placement at their place of employment. To ensure the field placement is clearly differentiated from her/his work and meets the placement criteria, the student will need to fill out a Worksite Placement Form. 

The following criteria must be met to ensure a new field experience for the worksite student.

  • The worksite agency must approve and allow the student a new learning experience with sufficient resources that include a different populations and/or project.
  • The Placement Supervisor must be different from their regular supervisor.
  • The placement hours/days must be defined and separated from the regular working days.
  • If possible, the placement locations should be separated from the work location i.e. different department, program or service to new population in order to help define clear boundaries.

Students should ensure that they have a copy of all completed forms for their records before submitting the forms to the Co-ordinator.

The Field Placement and Seminar Course is a Pass/Fail course. In order to successfully complete the Field Placement course and receive a “Pass” grade, students must:

  • attend at least four of the six seminars organized in the Winter term
  • complete an online Environmental Health and Safety Training and submit the certificate of completion
  • complete the required 150 hours
  • submit a placement report
  • present at a post-placement symposium to share learning with students and faculty

The Pass/Fail grade given for Field Placement is not calculated in the student’s Grade Point Average (GPA) as it is not a letter grade. If a student fails to fulfill the Field Placement requirements on-time, he/she may be given an F grade (failure) or an INC grade (Incomplete) at the discretion of the Field Placement Co-ordinator.

Field Placement Supervisors at the host agencies are not required to formally grade or evaluate students for their work during placements.

Students will be required to observe agency policies and holiday schedules during their placements regardless of Toronto Metropolitan University’s holiday schedule. 

Field placements provide a student with the opportunity to experience the working environment and enhance skills that are relevant to their course of study. In majority of the cases, the field placement experience is unpaid as the student is not engaged under any employment or worker contract.

In some cases, students may undertake placement tasks for which they will be paid an honorarium or a salary. Employed students who wish to do work-site placements also fall into this category. If the student is on a paid placement s/he should be covered by the placement provider's Employer's Insurance. Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that s/he is covered for insurance prior to starting the placement as Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario (WSIB) insurance is only for students doing unpaid placements.

Students may not solicit or accept gifts, cash or favours from service users they work with at their placement. Students must seek advice from their Placement Supervisor when they are unsure of what is acceptable and adhere to the workplace policies regarding gifts.

Students are required to complete 150 hours of field placement. Typically, for full-time students this will involve approximately four weeks of full-time placement during the Spring/Summer term. Students are expected to adhere to agency working hours unless otherwise negotiated with the placement agency and the Field Placement Co-ordinator.
Students cannot end the placement early without the permission of the Field Placement Co-ordinator regardless of the number of hours accrued or whether approved by the Placement Supervisor.

Placement time cannot be extended beyond the Spring/Summer term without permission from the Field Placement Co-ordinator. The student will need to complete additional documentation regarding the extension.

Part-time Placements

Scheduling of placements for part-time students will be flexible to ensure equivalent placement time. Flexible arrangements need to be negotiated with the Field Placement Coordinator.


Students may undertake placements that are deliverables based and may be completed off-site at their own schedule. The information should be detailed in the Work Placement Form.

Worksite Placement

Students who are employed full-time may do their placements at their place of work if the agency/organization and the placement opportunity meet the eligibility criteria. A worksite placement must be different from the student’s regular job description. Students wishing to do a worksite placement are required to complete a Worksite Placement Form. Approval of a work-site placement is at the discretion of the Field Placement Co-ordinator.

Special Considerations

Students with special circumstances that may require individual arrangements, such as maternity or medical leave, must inform the Field Placement Coordinator in advance or as soon as the unforeseen circumstance becomes known.

Multiple Placements

Students are not allowed to split the 150 hours between two or more placement agencies. Students who wish to do two or more placements to get wider experience may do so of their own initiative as long as one primary placement of 150 hours is completed as required. All placements need to be completed by the end of the Spring/Summer term to be eligible for insurance coverage.

The Government of Ontario, through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU), pays the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) for the cost of benefits provided to Student Trainees enrolled in an approved program at Toronto Metropolitan University and participating in unpaid work placements with employers who are either compulsorily covered or have voluntarily applied to have WSIB coverage. MCU also covers the cost of private insurance with Chubb Insurance (formerly ACE-INA Insurance) for Student Trainees enrolled in an approved program at Toronto Metropolitan University and participating in unpaid work placements with employers that are not required to have compulsory coverage under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act or unpaid placements out of province.

This means that in the event of a placement-related injury or illness, students are eligible for benefits from WSIB or equivalent benefits through the private insurance carrier. Some of these benefits might include: health care costs, rehabilitation costs, and in some cases, compensation for lost earnings or future lost earnings. Minor injuries that require only first aid treatment are not reportable to WSIB. Placement hosts should follow their usual internal documentation procedures for any such injuries involving placement students.

Please note that if students are injured or contracted a disease while on an unpaid work placement while enrolled in an approved program, the university will disclose personal information relating to the unpaid work placement and any WSIB claim or Chubb Insurance claim to the Government of Ontario.

The completed Form 7 Employer’s Report of injury/disease along with Letter of Authorization to Represent the Placement Employer and the Postsecondary Student Unpaid Work Placement Workplace Insurance Claim Form must be completed by the Placement Employer and submitted to the Training Agency within three days of learning of the work-related injury/disease.

If the placement agency has a car/van that students are required to use as part of their placement tasks, the student is responsible for verifying that the agency liability insurance policy covers the student.

Insurance Coverage for Placement outside Ontario

The Ministry of Colleges and Universities provides limited private insurance coverage (through Chubb) for students (Student Trainee) in Ontario publicly supported postsecondary programs whose unpaid work placements are arranged by their postsecondary institution (Training Agency) to take place outside of Ontario (international and other Canadian jurisdictions). The Ministry coverage is in effect from the start date of the work placement to its end date.

However, the student is advised to obtain complementary insurance since Chubb does not provide full compensation. Any other insurance the unpaid Student Trainee may have (government, spouse, parent, etc.) first pays for all eligible expenses, and then Chubb Accident Insurance Plan will pay the excess eligible expenses.

For more information, visit the WSIB website  (external link) 
For details about reporting accidents or injuries, please refer to Health and Safety Reporting Procedure.

Insurance Coverage for Paid Placements

Students completing a paid placement are covered under the insurance plan offered by their “employers”.

In the event of a placement-related injury or illness at a paid placement, please refer to the employer’s accident/emergency procedures. In addition, please report any accidents/incidents to the Field Placement Co-ordinator.

International placements must meet the same course requirements as local or national placements. Students need to take into consideration that the process to internally approve an international placement may take up to four months. Students are responsible for initiating and funding international placements.

Students may use the placement experience to get a deeper understanding of issues related to their Major Research Paper. Some conditions for this are:

  • Their Placement Supervisor or another person at the agency with appropriate authority must give permission in writing to do so.
  • The process must meet and maintain ethics review requirements.
  • The information used is not contrary to the Confidentiality Agreement.

Please note that the Immigration and Settlement Studies program's experiential learning risk assessment level does not allow for placements where a Vulnerable Sector Screening is required.

Some agencies/organizations may require a police reference checks, or in some cases such as the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) may require a criminal background checks, for students seeking a field placement. An individual’s consent is required prior to doing the record check.

According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission (external link)  website the difference between a Police Record Check and a Criminal Record Check is:

“Criminal records checks relate only to criminal activity under the Criminal Code. Police record checks are broader and can involve non-criminal contact with police.

Criminal record checks are allowed under the Ontario Human Rights Code for unpardoned offences. Criminal record checks for some pardoned offences, such as pardoned sex offences, might be appropriate, but only for positions that deal with vulnerable persons. Criminal record checks are done through the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC).

Police record checks (also known as police reference checks, police record searches, background checks or searches, vulnerable sector checks or screening) can include records of voluntary and involuntary apprehensions and transfers to a mental health facility, incident reports, charges, or having been a victim, suspect or witness to an occurrence.”


An individual’s consent is required prior to doing the check.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Awareness eLearning Module

The law requires mandatory environmental health and safety awareness training for both paid and unpaid workers. This includes students in field placements, research placements, practicums, exchanges, zones and thesis-related activity both on and off campus. This training will prepare students to be safe and informed in the workplace. This training was created in compliance with Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) Regulation 297/13.

Toronto Metropolitan University students placed with external employers (host agencies) are required to complete basic online training to stay safe and informed in the workplace. The EHS Awareness eLearning module will prepare interns to be safe and informed in the workplace, providing students with the tools they need to understand their rights and responsibilities as an employee in Ontario. Please note that this course is not a replacement for the placement employer’s mandatory, site-specific training.

After completing the online course, students should submit a copy of the Certificate of Completion to the Field Placement Co-ordinator via email.

Reporting Injuries

Incidents or injuries of serious nature are extremely rare in the field. In the rare event that there is an incident involving personal threat or harassment, discrimination, the risk of physical or emotional harm, or items stolen from the student while at his/her field placement, the student should contact the Field Placement Co-ordinator in a timely manner. Depending on the nature of the issue, they may also report the matter to the Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services.

Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services
POD 254A
Phone: (416) 979-5349
Office hours: Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

On-site Safety
Agencies are required by law to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees, service users, volunteers, and placement students whilst they are at their agency. They must provide a safe and healthy environment for placements. This includes toilets, drinking water, and appropriate lighting and temperature.

Although there are no legal prohibitions on expecting students to work alone or lift heavy material, if students have an issue with health and safety provisions at the placement site, they should discuss the matter with their Placement Supervisor and inform the Field Placement Co-ordinator.

For details about reporting accidents or injuries, please refer to Health and Safety Reporting Procedure.

Off-site Visits
At times, students may be required to go for off-site meetings or community outreach programs. Placement agencies are responsible for assuring students’ safety. However, as is the case at all times, students should apply common sense precautionary measures, be alert, and trust their instincts when they are in unfamiliar situations.

Students are not permitted to transport service users in their personal vehicles.


Some placements, specifically those where students work with vulnerable populations, may cause work-related stress or may trigger emotional responses. Self-care practices like meditation, yoga, running, or tai chi are useful, or students may approach trained professionals for free and confidential counselling.

Centre for Student Development and Counselling
JOR-07C, Lower Ground Floor, Jorgenson Hall
Phone: 416-979-5195 Email:

Placement agencies are required to meet a majority of the following criteria. An introductory letter outlining the placement agency’s role and responsibilities is available for students to use when initiating contact.

Desire and willingness to host a practicum student
Students will be expected to observe and understand the structure, governance and decision-making process at your organization. This entails acceptance and openness to their learning process from all levels of the organization.

Ability to consider student as part of the staff team
Students will treat their practicum experience the same as any other employment opportunity, and thus would ideally be involved in any staff meetings, planning and debrief sessions related to their work during the placement period. Additionally, the student should be introduced to other staff members and assigned duties and responsibilities like any other staff member.

Commitment to consider students as qualified staff people seeking a professional development experience
Students should be assigned challenging and meaningful experiences that take advantage of their knowledge expertise.

Openness to student study of the organization
As students will be preparing a report on their placement experience, they will ideally be given access to any publicly available documents and materials at the organization, including founding and historical information.

Ability to provide a supervisor for the student
Ideally, the supervisor should be available for the following tasks:

  • Jointly with the student, the supervisor will initially develop a realistic work plan for the 150 hours of practicum.
  • Provide or arrange orientation/ training necessary for the student
  • Offer overview of norms of office culture with the student, including scheduling, dress code, office administration
  • Offer ongoing support and mentorship

A work space for the student to complete their assigned duties
Part of the intention behind the placement is to offer a hands-on, immersion experience within an organization. For this reason, students should complete as much of their assigned duties on site as possible.

1. Pre-placement Responsibilities

  • Identify and initiate contact with potential placement agencies (boards, foundations, institutions, organizations) that are involved in any aspect of immigration or settlement
  • Complete the documentation required
    • Work Plan
    • Confidentiality Agreement
    • WSIB Letters of Understanding
  • Disclose to the Field Placement Coordinator any conflict of interest that may exist within the placement process
  • Complete an online Environmental Health and Safety course and submit certificate of completion


2. Ongoing Placement Responsibilities 

  • Make own travel arrangements and cover any additional costs. 
  • Provide the Placement Supervisor with a current address and telephone number. 
  • Accept and operate within the policies and procedures of the placement setting including, but not limited to: 
    • Appropriate language 
    • Breaks 
    • Cell phones, iPods or other electronic devices 
    • Dress code 
    • Food and drinks (including gum or candy) 
    • Tobacco products, drugs or alcohol 
  • Attend orientation and/or training sessions 
  • Meet all field practice responsibilities as negotiated with the Placement Supervisor in the Work Plan. 
  • Meet the course requirements regarding minimum number of hours in field placement. Any time missed, regardless of cause, must be made up at the placement setting. 
  • Notify the Placement Supervisor with as much advance notice as possible if unable to attend the placement. If absent for more than two consecutive field placement days, the student is required to give a letter explaining the cause and supply a medical certificate if required. 
  • Attend meetings, conferences or seminars on behalf of the agency as requested by the Placement Supervisor 
  • Complete and submit all reports and other assigned tasks on time as required by the Placement Supervisor. 

Agency politics are a complex and sensitive matter and students are strongly discouraged from getting involved in the internal politics of the agency involving friction between staff and management, between two or more staff members, or between the agency and service users, funders, or community. 

Students are encouraged, however, to discuss with their Placement Supervisor any incidents of racism, homophobia or other forms of oppression and violations of the Ontario Human Rights Code that they may witness. If they are uncomfortable with discussing the issue with their Placement Supervisor they should discuss the matter with the Field Placement Co-ordinator. 


3. Post-Placement Presentation 

Four post- placement symposia will be held in the Spring/Summer term at which students will share their placement experiences with their classmate, faculty and invited external practitioners. They are traditionally held in the last weeks of June, July and August, and the first week of September. 

The order of presentations is determined on a “first sign-up, first present” basis on the day of the presentations. 

The presentation should not exceed 10 minutes. It may be a formal presentation using PowerPoint pr other electronic media, or it may be an informal “conversation style” presentation. 

The following topics should be addressed: 

  • A brief description of the host agency 
  • Tasks and responsibilities 
  • Personal highlights of the placement/ personal challenges 
  • Personal/professional learning and growth 


4. Placement Report 

After completing 150-hours, an electronic copy of the placement report should be submitted via email by the announced deadline. The subject heading should read “Placement Report – Complete Name of Host Agency” 

There are no fixed word count requirements. The report guideline is given below: 

Title page 

  • Name of the placement organization 
  • Student’s full name and ID number 

Body of the report 

  • Placement Supervisor’s contact information 
  • Organizational structure 
    • A description of the organization 
    • A brief history of the organization 
    • Organization’s vision statement 
    • Description of the client population 
    • Organizational workforce with flowchart 
  • Task description 
    • Describe your tasks and responsibilities 
    • Supervision and mentoring 
  • Highlights, challenges and learning 
  • Recommendations 

References (if required) 

Annexure (if required) 

IS8100: International Placements

An international placement offers an unparalleled opportunity to gain career-related experience and cultural understanding that cannot be provided through academic learning alone. There are many things you must have in place before embarking on an international placement, including travel documents and important papers, health concerns, academic issues, financial matters, travel safety, and cultural preparation.

The student is responsible for initiating and organizing an international placement.

The student is required to submit IS8100 International Placement Form A – Placement Information to get approval from the Field Placement Co-ordinator before finalizing the placement. The criteria for approval are that it should show an obvious link to the mandate of the ISS program and offer opportunities for student’s professional development.

Once the proposal is approved by the Field Placement Co-ordinator, the student is required to process all the necessary documents required by the IS8100 Course. In addition, the student will have to complete the three-step risk management process outlined below as required by Toronto Metropolitan University.


By choosing to participate in a placement abroad program, students must recognize that there are associated increased levels of risk for health, safety and security.

Students who do not comply with TMU’s risk management process cannot be approved for placements. The three mandatory steps are as follows:

1. Travel Risk Assessment (TRA)

This is an online form that has the student identify the potential risks inherent in their activity and destination. This form is to be approved by the Director of the ISS program. In the case of high-risk or extreme-risk activities, the activity must be approved by the Dean or
Provost. The online form is available under the heading Risk Assessment: International Travel

2. Liability Waiver

Student confirms via online  (PDF file) liability waiver that TMU has made him or her aware of the potential risks, and that they take responsibility for them personally and will not sue the university. This document should be kept on file with the IS8100: Field Placement Co-ordinator. 

3. Registration

Global Learning provides students with key emergency  (PDF file) contact information in case of problems or emergencies.

The student should be aware that Toronto Metropolitan University may require students to leave the country if the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) Travel Report for that country indicates that Canadians should not travel to and/or should leave the country. Toronto Metropolitan University may cancel a placement prior to its commencement or at any time during the placement if a Travel Report is issued by DFAIT that the situation in a country has changed so that there are certain risks to the safety and security of students.

Please refer to Global Learning - Safety Abroad on the Toronto Metropolitan University website for more information.



The student is responsible for all financial and logistical obligations related to doing an international placement.


The cost of housing is the student’s responsibility. The student should build in time before the placement commences to find housing. The student is also responsible for applying for residence accommodation if the placement is with an academic institution.


The student should get four general types of insurance coverage prior to departure: medical insurance, travel insurance, trip cancellation insurance, and personal effects insurance.

The student needs to be covered from the day s/he leaves Canada to the day s/he returns to Canada.

Provincial health plans cover only a set fee rate for emergency health services outside Canada, therefore, it is strongly recommended that the insurance plan include medical and dental coverage, repatriation of remains, and emergency airlift/evacuation in case the student is seriously ill or injured. It is best to choose a provider that has a 24-hour emergency contact number in English with translation services available for medical staff in the host country who do not speak English.


The student is responsible for all costs related to travelling to and from an international placement as well as any local travel. The ISS program is not able to provide financial compensation or assistance with making travel arrangements or securing visas on behalf of the student.

The student may contact Travel Cuts for information. It is a full-service travel agency owned and operated by the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), and has a branch on the Toronto Metropolitan University campus in the basement of the Student Campus Centre at 55 Gould St.

In addition, the student should have adequate insurance – travel, baggage, theft, airline ticket cancellation, etc.

Travel Documents

The student is responsible for all documents necessary for travel and should check whether an Entry Visa, Residence Permit, and/or a Student Visa are required. The student will need a valid passport to obtain a visa (if required). It may take from two weeks to three months to process a visa application so the student may need to build in time to make sure all documents are completed on time.

The student can contact the Embassy/Consulate for the country to which s/he is travelling to obtain visa.

The student should also be aware that regulations differ from one country to the next and s/he may not be allowed to work in the host country while on a student or visitor visa.

A student choosing to participate in an international placement must accept as a condition of participation that should a decision be made to cancel or end a placement due to concerns over the safety and security of the student, the student may require additional financial resources. Students should consider carefully the purchase of travel and program interruption insurance and purchase airline tickets that can have the return date modified with limited or no penalty. Toronto Metropolitan University will not take responsibility for refunds on any moneys paid to third parties as part of the placement. 

TMU would like all outbound students participate in a pre-departure session covering travel preparation, travel safety and security and cultural acclimatization.

Global Learning conducts these several times per year or can do a custom session should several students from a single program, or with a common destination, be travelling at the same time. This gives us the opportunity to ensure that students are not just 'going through the motions' of the assessment, and have some real-life travel safety and security tips prior to departure.

Information on upcoming sessions can be found at RI’s website.

RI provides outbound students with a customized information package at the mandatory pre-departure session. 



Stage 1: Fall Term

  • Discuss your plans with the Field Placement Co-ordinator
  • Begin researching potential placement agencies
  • Provide the Field Placement Co-ordinator with a description of the proposed placement by filling out the International Placement Information Form (Appendix A, page 9)
  • Complete travel risk assessment form available from the Centre for Environmental Health, Safety & Security Management (CEHSM) under the heading Risk Assessment.
  • Investigate and begin immunization requirements as necessary (dependent upon destination).
  • Register with Global Learningl for safety and security reasons.

Stage 2: Winter Term

  • Make sure your passport is up to date.
  • Fill out required visas and work permits.
  • Do research about the culture of your host country/community.
  • Research and book your travel arrangements.
  • Begin researching finances and fundraising if needed.
  • Ask the organization where you are going if they want you to bring anything.
  • Contact Global Learning to arrange to attend a pre-departure orientation and training, and provide your placement coordinator with details.
  • Provide the Field Placement Co-ordinator with a proof of medical insurance coverage
  • Complete all ISS placement related documentation: Confidentiality Agreement, WSIB form (if required), Placement Work Plan.
  • Sign a waiver provided by Global Learning before leaving and submit to the Field Placement Co-ordinator.
  • Complete all immunization requirements, depending on your destination - visit Government of Canada Travel and Tourism (external link)  website for details.

Stage 3: Spring/Summer Term 

  • Register with the 'Registration of Canadians Abroad' service (ROCA) - visit Government of Canada Travel and Tourism (external link)  website for details. 
  • Arrange and attend a pre-departure orientation organized by Global Learning
  • Arrange to attend orientation (confidentiality agreement, documentation training, identification, etc.) upon arrival at your destination and provide your placement coordinator with details 
  • Complete the placement. 
  • Submit placement report as required for a Pass grade. 
  • Present about the placement experience at one of four symposia organized for the purpose. 

These tips are not course requirements, but may be useful to the student in planning a safe and enjoyable experience abroad. 


The student should consult his/her family doctor regarding immunizations required for travelling abroad. It is recommended that the student planning an international placement be up-to-date with all routine vaccinations (i.e. measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, meningitis, influenza and polio). Diseases such as measles and mumps remain common in many parts of the world, including some developed countries. 

Additional travel health information is available online at: (external link) 

Medical Conditions and Prescription Drugs 

The student should get all prescriptions filled before leaving Canada, and carry duplicate prescriptions including those for contact lenses or glasses. It is recommended to use generic names for medications as this will make it easier for pharmacists in foreign countries to fill the prescription. It is also recommended to have a letter from a family doctor indicating that this medicine is for personal use and not for resale. This also applies for any supply of syringes that the student may take along for medical purposes. 

Be aware that some medications may be illegal in other countries. For example, Tylenol Cold & Flu is illegal in Japan because it contains ephedrine. 

The student may also wish to consider and discuss appropriate methods of birth control and protection with his/her family doctor before leaving Canada as some drugs and prophylactics as they may not be readily available in some countries. 


The student should research the host country’s banking system to ensure that the Canadian Debit Card PIN # work abroad, and be aware of how to cancel/replace debit/credit cards if lost or stolen as 1-800 numbers do not work outside of Canada and the US. 

The student may wish to take some local currency to get through the first week. To understand the value of the host country’s currency, visit: XE - Universal Currency Converter

Romantic and Sexual Interactions 

Different cultures have different perceptions and expectations about romantic and sexual interactions and behaviors. Some social behaviors which may be commonly acceptable in Canada (such as maintaining eye contact, smiling, patting the back) may be considered inappropriate in other countries. It is best to know local norms regarding dating to prevent inadvertent disrespect. In some countries, where sexual orientation can be a basis for persecution under the law, personal safety considerations may require gay and lesbian students to be more discreet while abroad than they are in Canada. 

Sexual Harassment 

In Canada, sexual harassment ranges from asking inappropriate personal questions and making sexual remarks to unnecessary touching to coerced sexual relations and physical assault (including, but not limited to, rape). However, in some countries these actions may not be perceived as serious infractions. In the event the student feels uncomfortable in a situation, or becomes the recipient of unwanted advances s/he should inform the placement supervisor at the placement agency. Toronto Metropolitan University has limited reach in this matter in a foreign country, but it is recommended that the student contact the Field Placement Co-ordinator and/or the Director of the ISS program for consultation and support. 

Legal Issues 

The student should become familiar with the laws of the host country before going abroad. Incidents that may be viewed as minor offences in Canada may result in severe sentences in another country and ignorance of the law will not be considered an excuse. Once the student leaves Canada, Canadian laws and rights no longer apply. 

Some countries may have more harsh laws regarding alcohol or drug use than Canada and there may be severe penalties even for simple possession of drugs or alcohol, or consumption of alcohol in public places, including heavy fines and prison sentences. 

Students should be cautious about taking photographs of military facilities, naval harbors vessels or industrial installations such as oil refineries as this may cause the student to come under suspicion of espionage. 

The Canadian Consular Officials abroad can only assist in limited ways: ensuring the student is treated fairly according to the rules and laws of the country, offer legal representation, contact family members if requested.

Global Learning

Although Global Learning is not able to organize a short-term international experience they are more than happy to discuss plans and provide guidance. 

Centre for Intercultural Learning 

International Education Canada (external link) 

CIA World Factbook 

The CIA World Factbook (external link)  provides detailed information on geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, etc. 

Country Insights 

Country Insights (external link)  provides country-specific information 

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada 

The Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (external link)  website has a list of Canadian embassies/consulates/missions abroad. Outside business hours, students can call the consular officials in Ottawa (1-800-387-3124). Toll-free numbers do not work outside North America so students should call collect (1-613-996-8885) or fax (1-613- 943-1054). In a country without a Canadian mission, it is best to contact the nearest Australian or British mission.

Travel Health - Public Health Agency of Canada 

Public Health Agency of Canada (external link)  is your resource for all your travel health requirements. 

IAMAT - International Association For Medical Assistance To Travellers

IAMAT (external link)  is a non-profit foundation of doctors around the world who are trained in the specific health needs of travelers. They have a list of English-language medical services worldwide.