Department of English

University of Toronto

Prospective Visitors

Applying to be a Visitor: Graduate Students
If you are a graduate student who wants to come to the University of Toronto as a visiting student, whether to study for a term or as a registered researcher, you must be enrolled with the School of Graduate Studies.

Please note that we do not permit "informal" arrangements to be made with individual faculty members: they cannot give you permission to audit classes, provide access to university libraries, or act as your research supervisor unless you come to the University through an approved exchange program or visitorship arrangement. More details of these are given below.

Please be aware that, each year, we receive hundreds of inquiries from prospective student visitors. We can consider only the strongest and best-supported applications, as made through the university's approved exchange or visitorship programs.

If you are considering applying to be a visitor, please read the First Steps section below.

If you are planning to come to Toronto to use any of the University of Toronto Libraries, please see the Libraries section below.

Applying to be a Visitor: Faculty Members
If you are a faculty member from a non-Canadian university and wish to apply to be affiliated to the Department of English during your time in Canada, please address your inquiries to the Chair of the Department of English, Professor Paul Stevens, through his assistant Jason Phillips at While the Department of English is pleased to welcome international visitors to the Department of English, please be aware that we receive many such requests, and can accommodate only some of them each year.

First Steps for Prospective Student Visitors

There are a number of exchange programs in place for students who wish to come for one or two terms to take courses. Doctoral students planning to do research at the university, or who wish to work with a faculty supervisor, must apply under the International Visiting Graduate Student Research Mobility Agreement (IVGSRMA). 

To find out more about these, check the website of the New Centre for International Experience of the University of Toronto.  You should also check the website of the School of Graduate Studies under International Visiting Graduate Students: .  Additionally, visit the exchange program office or registrar's office of your own university to learn if your university participates in any exchange programs with Canadian universities.

Please be aware of the very long "lead time" for such application procedures, which may involve qualifying for an exchange program or funding in your own country, applying to the University of Toronto under the IVGSMRA, securing approval from the Department of English, and obtaining a study visa.

If you are interested in being a visitor with the Graduate Program in English, and believe you would qualify under an exchange program or under the International Visiting Graduate Student Research Mobility Agreement, please address your inquiry to the Director of Graduate Studies at 

Using the University of Toronto Libraries
You do not need the permission of a University of Toronto faculty member to use the Robarts Library, nor do you need a formal affiliation. You do not need a student visa for this purpose. Consult the University of Toronto Library website information on becoming an External Reader (if you are a graduate student from a Canadian university) or a Research Reader (if you are a graduate student from a non-Canadian university). The fee to be a Research Reader is $250 CAN for one year or $100 CAN for three months.
You will need to provide photo ID that also shows a current address. This pass allows you to use the Robarts Library.

Your research may also require you to use other libraries on campus, or special collections or rare book/manuscript collections. As when visiting any research library, you should bring evidence of your enrollment in a postsecondary institution (such as a student card), and a letter from your supervisor or departmental chair describing your research and requesting that you be given library privileges. Bring multiple letters if you plan to use multiple libraries.

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