Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University (SFU) was established in 1965 in British Colombia. It enrols nearly 30,000 students across eight faculties and is consistently ranked among the best universities in Canada. Burnaby campus was designed by noted Canadian architects Arthur Erikson and Geoffrey Massey to specifically foster interdisciplinary contact between students and researchers.

Academic highlights

SFU is rated highly worldwide for its economics and business schools and for its research and teaching in social science. It’s also noted for natural sciences, engineering, computing science, education, health studies and humanities. Its alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Pulitzer Prize winner and several Olympic gold medallists.


All of SFU’s three campuses are located in the Greater Vancouver area and are accessible by public transport. The main campus, Burnaby, is located on Burnaby Mountain, about 20km from Vancouver. There is also a campus in downtown Vancouver while the Surrey Campus is located in high tech Central City.

Did you know?

SFU is named for Simon Fraser, a fur trader and explorer in Canada’s north-west. The original name for the university, Fraser University, was changed because the initials FU “evoked a profane phrase”.

Disciplines available


Banking and finance

Biological sciences

Biomedical sciences


Communications and media studies


Earth, atmosphere and environmental sciences


Education - primary schooling

Education - secondary schooling


French languages & culture studies


Human geography

Indigenous studies

Information technology


Literary studies


Mathematical sciences


Physics and astronomy

Politics and international relations

Psychological sciences



Theatre and performance

  • The listed disciplines are not necessarily exhaustive and other fields of study might also be available at the university.
  • Approval to study particular subjects at any institution is always at the discretion of the departmental/discipline and faculty advisers in your managing faculty(ies) and subject to available places at the host campus

See SFU's unit catalogue here.

If you cannot find any unit guides after having done your own research, you can follow the process as outlined here.

Full time equivalents

  Semester Year
  Minimum 18 Monash Points Maximum 24 Monash points Minimum 36 Monash points Maximum 48 Monash points
Standard 9 credits 12 credits 18 credits 24 credits

Exchange program terms

SFU ‘Fall’ semester (Monash Semester 1): early-September to mid-December
SFU ‘Spring’ semester (Monash Semester 2): early-January to mid-April
SFU ‘Summer’ semester (Monash Semester 2): early-May to mid-August

SFU operates on a trimester system, comprised of 3 equal full-time terms per year. Exchange and study abroad students are welcome in any of the three terms.

See SFU's Academic Calendar here.


SFU’s on-campus residence is located at the Burnaby Campus. It is 5-15 minutes walking distance to most buildings on the Burnaby Campus and approximately 45-60 minutes by public transportation to the Surrey and Vancouver campuses.

SFU offers advice on accommodation here. SFU also has off-campus housing is also an option.


As a general rule, Australian citizens do not need a study permit if they plan to take a course or participate in a university exchange program in Canada that lasts six months or less. However there are some exceptions to this rule. More information for Australian citizens and other nationalities is available on the Government of Canada's website.

Monash Abroad can only provide general information - always check with the relevant consular/Embassy and consider advice that is right for you.

For more information on visas, please refer to the Embassy of High Commission of Canada here.

SFU also provide advice on visas, which can be found here.

Health and insurance

Canadian Immigration require that all international students subscribe to University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) which is provided by the host University. Students covered by private health insurance are not exempt from the University plan and must enrol.

SFU provide advice on health insurance here.

When travelling on a Monash Abroad approved program, you are automatically covered under the Monash University Student Travel Insurance policy.

Orientation and extra-curricular 

SFU operates an orientation program every term, comprised of several different sessions. The Exchange and Study Abroad Orientation session is mandatory for all students. More Information can be found here.


Tuition fees for this program are waived by the host institution. While on exchange you remain enrolled at Monash and continue to pay fees to Monash University. Find out more here.

Cost of living

One semester abroad will generally cost you approximately AUD$10,000 – $15,000, however this varies depending on destination and your individual living standards.

Monash funding

Find out about Monash Abroad Travel Scholarships here.

Find out about Monash University Travel and Placement Scholarships here.

Australian government funding

Find out about the Overseas Higher Education Loan Program (OS-HELP) here.

Sally Tregear
Bachelor of Arts (Global), Semester 2 2017

Study Experience

I was able to do 4th level subjects and had 4 hour classes which I enjoyed! I completed studies in Gender and the Middle East which was fascinating.


Driving on the other side of the road, living off campus in a large share house, becoming more independent. Vancouver is quite similar to Melbourne, however it is forecast to snow on the weekend, and there is way more outdoor activities at your doorstep.

Benefits of going on exchange

Exchange has changed my life completely, I am more independent, self-aware, and want to build a life for myself in this country.

Career Benefits

It has made me develop as a person, becoming more independent and trusting in myself.

Money and Budgeting

Buy everything second hand, shop at opportunity shops, pack your own lunch and coffee from home every day, work your butt off, sky scanner for cheaper flights. Money spent over here is worth much more than money spent back home on silly stuff.

Top Tips

  • Cook at home
  • Live off campus (best decision for me personally)
  • Couch-surfing / social networking groups help make friends

Simon Fraser University

  • Program type: Semester exchange
  • Location:
    • Burnaby (main)
    • Surrey
    • Vancouver
  • Program periods: Semester 1, Semester 2
  • Study level: Undergraduate and Postgraduate

Find out more