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Faculty of Communication & Design

Welcome to the Faculty of Communication & Design at Ryerson University!

FCAD attracts students from around the world. With industry-leading programs in media, design, and fine arts, international exchange students that choose Ryerson are joining innovative, talented individuals from a number of disciplines.

Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, the FCAD exchange program is the number one destination for many students from around the globe.

Before you get started, you must first be approved and nominated by your home institution. Here is a list of our university partners. If your university is not on this list, it means that FCAD and your university do not have an exchange agreement and you are not eligible to apply.

Exchange Information Sheet 2019-2020

For exchange coordinators and students interested in learning more about the Ryerson Exchange Program, please visit our Academic Exchange Information Sheet 2019-2020

You'll find helpful information on the application process, deadlines, English language requirements, study plan and courses, visas, health insurance, accommodations, cost of living, transcripts, student services/activities, and Faculty Exchange Coordinator contact numbers.

How to Apply

Exchange Coordinators

(*This section is NOT for students to complete)

Step 1: Nominate your students

In January and July, an email with instructions on how to nominate your student to our online Nomination Form will be emailed directly to you. Nomination period for 2019-2020 Exchange is as follows:

Fall 2019 Inbound Nomination Period: Janurary 21 to March 1

Winter 2020 Inbound Nomation Period: July 22 to August 31


Step 2: Student Application Process

  • Once student nominations are approved, students will be directly contacted by email with instructions on how to submit their application.
  • Students are required to submit an Application Form and attach three supplementary documents: A copy of their transcript, a Course Wish List, and a copy of their passport for identification. 
  • Students in design and media are not required to submit a portfolio.
  • Offers of Admission will be sent via email to your students by mid-May (for Fall admission) and early-November (for Winter admission).



  • All students must be nominated by their home institution’s International Office prior to applying to the FCAD exchange program.
  • What is a nomination? You must first apply to your home institution’s exchange program. Contact your home institution’s International Office for details.

How do I apply to the Ryerson exchange program?

  • Once you have been accepted into the exchange program at home and nominated to the FCAD exchange program, you will be contacted with details on how to apply.

Do I need a portfolio?

  • No. You have already been chosen by your home university to participate in the exchange program and are not required to submit a portfolio to Ryerson.
Dates & Deadlines

Exchange Application Deadlines

  • April 1st for Fall (September - December)
  • September 30th for Winter (January - April)

Late applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


ECTS and Ryerson Credits

Unlike the ECTS, there is no common transatlantic credit system mutually acceptable throughout the whole of North America. There are also discrepancies between Canadian universities which makes measuring the values of student workload difficult.

We recommend that our partners review course outlines to determine course content, evaluation methods, assignments and other details that will help determine equivalencies.

Short course descriptions for each program/school can be found here (Faculty of Communication & Design)

Recommended Course Load at Ryerson

Your semester at Ryerson will be made up of a series of courses (subjects, papers, modules) within a specific discipline.  

Exchange students usually take four courses each semester. Students will take a combination of required/core courses and professional/professionally related courses. Course outlines are provided to each student during the first class of the semester.

Short course descriptions for each program/school can be found here.

Four courses equals between 12-18 hours per week class-time. However, it is expected that for each hour spent in class students will spend a minimum of 6 additional hours on private and group study (reading, researching, preparing for assignments, presentations, tests and exams).

Thus, 1 course = 3 hours lecture + 6 hours (minimum) preparation/study time = 9 hours x 12 weeks = 108 hours x 4 courses = 432 hours per semester.

Learning Agreements

Your home university may require you to submit a formal learning agreement or study plan before coming to Ryerson for your exchange. If your home university requires this, see the helpful tips below on how to choose courses.

Often, the courses you select and the learning agreements you sign change once you arrive and finalize your timetable. This is normal.

Building Your Timetable

Once you accept your Offer of Admission from Ryerson University, you will be contacted by an Academic Coordinator with a list of the courses offered in your program/school specific to your exchange semester at Ryerson.

  • The list of available courses for the Fall semester and how to register will be sent to you mid-July.
  • The list of available courses for the Winter semester and how to register will be sent to you mid-November.

Please note that all exchange students are required to meet with your FCAD Academic Coordinator during the first two weeks of the semester for final approval of all courses.

Student in Image Arts (Photography, Film)

Students taking courses in the School of Image Arts (Film, Photography) please be advised that due to the emphasis on production, all courses will be determined when you arrive. Students are encouraged to test all classes to determine appropriate level and fit with individual academic programs and goals.

There is a mandatory School of Image Arts orientation during the first week of classes with the Academic Coordinator. At this time, students will receive all the resources necessary to select their courses and register.

Courses at Ryerson

Core courses are organized in years and by semester:

  • Year 1: Semesters 1 (Fall)* & 2 (Winter)*

  • Year 2: Semesters 3 (Fall) & 4 (Winter)

  • Year 3: Semesters 5 (Fall) & 6 (Winter)

  • Year 4: Semesters 7 (Fall) & 8 (Winter)

*Exchange students do not have access to courses in semesters 1 and 2.

If you are planning your exchange at Ryerson during the Fall semester, you should be looking at courses in semesters 3,5,7.

If you are on exchange during the Winter semester you should be looking at courses in semesters 4,6,8.

Example: Core Courses (Media Production, Full-Year Program)

If for example, you are planning on exchange for the Fall semester and you want to take BDC 401, this will not be available since it is only offered during the Winter semester. Similarly, if you are planning on exchange for the Winter semester and you want to take BDC 301, it will not be an option since it is only offered during the Fall semester.

Professional/Professionally related courses

This category makes up the bulk of courses offered in all FCAD programs. Unfortunately, not all classes in this category are offered every semester and are subject to change each year. In other words, the list of Professional and Professionally related courses are only a list of possible courses and will vary from what is actually offered. 

When submitting course requests to your Ryerson Academic Coordinator, we recommend that you have at least 5-10 options.


Fall or Winter @Ryerson

Generally, students apply for either the Fall semester (September - December) or the Winter semester (January-April).

Semester dates can be found here.

Full-year Exchange

In order to accommodate students from all our partner universities, the exchange is limited to one semester and is not renewable.

FCAD is made up of nine schools. Within these schools are different programs and disciplines that international students may choose from.*

*Note that our theatre school does not offer an exchange program.

Click on any of the following links to learn more about a school.

If you are unclear as to what Ryerson school you should apply, contact the exchange coordinator at

No. exchange students can only apply to one school and can only take courses offered in that program.

The budget a student plans depends on their lifestyle, however, in any case they should budget an absolute minimum of $1,000/month for basic living necessities while in Toronto.

Examples of expenses include: 

  • Rent $600-1,100/month 
  • New textbooks $50-200/book 
  • Groceries $250-350/month 
  • Average lunch $5-15/meal 
  • Cell phone $30-70/month 
  • Subway $3/one-way ride or $129/month 
  • Health Insurance $204/Term (tbc)

Ryerson University does not provide accommodations for exchange students!

Finding accommodations in Toronto is challenging. Rental costs are high starting from approximately $600 Canadian dollars for a shared apartment.Here are some tips:

  • Generally, there is a lack of short-term rental apartments and student housing within the area around Ryerson
  • DO NOT rely on finding accommodation when you arrive unless you plan on arriving at least two weeks before the start of the semester
  • Check out the Toronto districts guide (see below) for an understanding of where to look beyond the Ryerson campus.

We recommend that you apply to Neill-Wycik and/or Tartu College (see descriptions below) as soon as you have been nominated by your home university - either March/April for the Fall semester or October/November for the Winter semester. The earlier you apply the better.

On-Campus Accommodations

On-campus accommodations ARE NOT available for students on exchange in the fall semester (September-December), as rooms are reserved for Ryerson first-year students.

International exchange students attending Ryerson for the winter semester (January-April) are able to apply for student housing, as some rooms may become available. For more information contact Ryerson Student Services: Housing

Non-Ryerson Student Residences - Off-Campus

Exchange students looking to live off campus are encouraged to start looking early. Rental costs in downtown Toronto are high and there is stiff competition for accommodations in the area around Ryerson.

Life Off-Campus Presentation

Prior to beginning a search, we recommend watching our Life Off-Campus presentation. This presentation covers essential information about living off-campus, including finding roommates, budgeting, apartment viewing and signing leases.

Students coming on exchange for one semester often apply for one of the following:

Neill Wycik Student Residence
Neill Wycik is the primary student housing provider for Ryerson students. It is located next to the university campus. Neill Wycik is a resident-run co-op housing not affiliated with Ryerson University. It is popular with exchange students because of its close proximity to Ryerson campus. There are a number of shared suites with separate bedrooms and shared common areas, including kitchen and bathroom facilities.

We recommend you apply to Neill Wycik as early as possible - you do not need your Offer of Admission from Ryerson to apply.

Tartu College
is an independent cooperative near the University of Toronto that is used by university and college students in the down town area. Applications are available online as of early April.

The Parkside Student Residence
The Parkside offers a range of residence styles, all 100% newly renovated. Most accommodations feature individual (single) bedroom spaces, with two people sharing a common sitting area and washroom.

Short-term Housing in Toronto

Check out the Short-term Housing in Toronto blog that is being updated with resources and information that may be helpful in finding off-campus housing, signing leases, and living with roommates.

Rental Costs in Toronto

The follow are rough approximations of rental costs in the Greater Toronto Area for 2014/2015:

  • $600-$750/month (room)  
  • $750-$900/month (bachelor)  
  • $950-$1200/month (1-bedroom apartment)  
  • $1300-$1500/month (2-bedroom apartment)  
  • $1500+/month (3+-bedroom apartment)   


Lease Agreements

If rent or lease length is negotiable, the landlord will generally note this in the housing ad.

Landlords may require first and last month’s rent before you move in. The last month usually acts as a deposit towards your rent. Technically, the first month’s rent is not due until the first day of your rental agreement. In Ontario, the landlord cannot ask for a damage deposit.

Online scams are a growing risk for student housing all over the world.  Do not send money for down payments or deposits until you have secured your lease.


Most landlords who advertise with Housing Services at Ryerson request fixed-term leases, usually for 8 or 12 months. This is non-negotiable once you have signed the lease.

If a place is advertised as a fixed term, you may contact the landlord and ask if it is negotiable. If you have successfully negotiated your rent or the length of the stay, make sure to get the agreement in writing to avoid future disputes. Confirm these details before signing the lease.


In a month-to-month contract, leases may be ended at any time with 60 days notice.

Cost of Living in Toronto

The budget a student plans depends on lifestyle; however, you should budget an absolute minimum of $1,000/month for basic living necessities while in Toronto.

Examples of expenses include the following:

  • Rent $500-1,000/month
  • New textbook $50-200/book
  • Groceries $250-350/month
  • Average lunch $5-15/meal
  • Cell phone $30-70/month
  • Subway $3/one-way ride or $108/month
Other Resources

Commuter Hostel
Ryerson's Commuter Hostel offers an overnight stay option on-campus for all current Ryerson students. The Commuter Hostel is open for Fall term until December 16th, and reopens for Winter term on January 9th.

Bookings can be made for single nights, up to 3 nights in a row with a maximum of 9 nights in a month. Click here for all the necessary information and to place a Commuter Hostel booking request.   

Long-Term Housing
If you are looking for somewhere to live during the academic year (8-12 months), check out the resources listed below. The Toronto housing market is competitive, so it is important to check listings daily and be prepared to move quickly to do viewings and rental applications to secure a place. 

Please note that these websites are shared as a listing service only, and Ryerson Housing & Residence Life does not investigate, rank, endorse, or recommend any particular properties/listings.

Short-Term Housing
If you are looking for a short-term stay (under 8 months), check out our new partner StayBillety and use the code RAMS to book with a like-minded host. Properties are continually being added so check back often. 

Places4Students also offers short-term stay and sublet opportunities.




City Guides

Living in Toronto Guides

Student Accommodations Handbook
Includes information for finding an apartment or house in Toronto as well as what exchange students can expect to pay for utilities, cable and internet, groceries, nightlife, and transit.

Guide to Toronto Districts
Provides information on all the neighbourhoods in the Greater Toronto Area, including information on walking distance to Ryerson, transit information, amenities, attractions, and associated rental costs.


Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
Starting March 15th 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for entry into Canada via air. 

Details about eTA requirements and application can be found here.

Study Permit: Eligibility and Exemptions
Students studying for more than 6 months (example: if you are on exchange for both Fall & Winter terms) will need a study permit and will automatically be issued an eTA with your study permit.

Check here to find  out if you need a study permit.

Visitor visa - (non-visa exempt countries)
If you are from a non-visa exempt country you can look here to find out if you need an eTA or a visitor visa here.

For the most up-to-date visa information, students should contact the nearest Canadian visa office or visit the following website.

More Questions About eTA or study permits?
Student Advising, International Student Support

Even though you are an international student, the rules are a bit different for exchange students so make sure they know that you will be at Ryerson on exchange!



Off-Campus: Unfortunately, new Canadian Immigration rules do not allow exchange students to work off-campus. Details can be found here.

On-Campus: You must have a valid study permit to work on-campus. Details can be found here. Please note that on-campus jobs are very limited and should not be part of your financial plan for your exchange semester.

Living in Toronto

Ryerson Student Success Resources

Student Learning Support - services include:

  • Academic Accommodation Support
  • English Language Support
  • Study Skills and Transition Support
  • Writing Support
  • Test Centre

Centre for Student Development and Counseling - services include:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Referrals
  • If you are in crisis

Academic Integrity

The Ryerson Health & Wellness Centre - if you are sick and need to see a doctor, physical and mental well-being, sexual violence support.

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