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The Undergraduate Calendar



Global Experience Certificate

Certificate Requirements

Certificate Requirements

To encourage University of Waterloo (UW) domestic students to become globally engaged learners, the University offers undergraduate students the opportunity to obtain a Global Experience Certificate (GEC). By not later than their third academic term (2A), students are required to complete an online Global Experience Certificate Plan outlining how they will complete the following three GEC components: 

  1. three for-credit courses (1.5 units) – see first bullet below
  2. an international experience
  3. cross-cultural volunteer experience

All three of the following components will be completed during the undergraduate degree program:

  • successful completion of two first year sequential language courses (other than students' native language) plus one course from the Global Studies Course Requirements list OR students who are able to demonstrate language equivalency1 must successfully complete three courses from the Global Studies Course Requirements list2
  • an international experience – international exchange, study abroad, work term or volunteer position outside Canada and the US with a minimum duration of six weeks
  • a volunteer experience in a cross-cultural context, on or off campus, with a minimum duration of 20 hours, during an academic term in which the applicant is registered at UW as a full- or part-time student

Once the GEC Plan has been completed, it must be submitted to the Associate Vice-President International or designate for approval. Successful completion of the certificate requirements will result in the awarding of a Global Experience Certificate which will appear as a milestone on the student’s record. The Global Experience Certificate will be coordinated by Waterloo International. Students are responsible for notifying Waterloo International of any changes to the plan.

For more information on the Global Experience Certificate, please visit

1 Language equivalency must be met through a three year high school immersion program or transfer credits from another accredited Canadian university.  

With the approval of the Associate Vice-President International or designate, courses other than those on the approved list may be used to complete the course component of the certificate.  

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