Many of the people who have taken exchanges have done so without extending their four year program. In order to achieve this, you will wish to receive credit for all or most of the studies abroad. To do so, you will have to obtain the approval of your Undergraduate Chair and the Operations Committee, Academic Progress Chair. As you will be essentially replacing work at Queen's with work abroad, it will take some time to work out a suitable program. Many students enlist the help of their Academic Advisors when making these decisions. In some cases, it may not be possible to find a suitable group of subjects. Accreditation restrictions must be observed. European universities have different term lengths, different course structures, different orders in which courses are taken.
Some people may wish to have the freedom to choose subjects that do not fulfil degree requirements, or may wish to pursue language studies, or have a lighter load, etc. These students intentionally take an additional term or two in their education. Students who go to Herstmonceux or who manage to win the St. Andrews Exchange Scholarship are inevitably in this category because neither St. Andrews University nor the Queen's International Study Centre at Herstmonceux offer engineering subjects; but even students going to engineering universities have found this to be a good approach.
In several of the exchanges, the language of instruction is other than English. You must be sufficiently competent in the language to understand lectures, read textbooks, write examinations and so forth. The Ontario agreement that covers Karlsruhe and Stuttgart does include some language training. The German Department does offer a specialized program of preparation, as noted above. The Swedish Government offers subsidized courses in the Swedish language in Sweden. Queen's offers instruction in French, German, Italian and Spanish.
Some of you will hold scholarships. During your exchange year, these may be active (if you are fulfilling degree requirements) or deferred (if you are taking an extra term for Herstmonceux or arts studies). Consult the Student Awards Office about your options.