How Do I Know If I Qualify For Study Abroad
College is THE time to explore everything and everywhere. So why not take a semester abroad to scratch that wanderlust itch? Pretty much anyone who is already enrolled in an accredited college or university, whatever their major - liberal arts, science, engineers, STEM, even athletes - can find a study abroad program that suits their interests. Here’s what you’ll need to qualify for a semester abroad:
First and foremost, participating in these programs requires planning ahead. The application requirement is usually a 2 step process:
First you need to apply for admission into your intended study abroad program through their website;
Second you need to apply to your College/University for credit and approval to earn transfer credit from your study abroad program.
Each program has their own specific deadlines, but typically:
Fall Semester Programs - Applications open in Jan and close in May
Spring Semester Programs - Applications open in Sept and close in Dec
You’ll also need to make sure you have a valid passport (with an expiration date at least six months beyond your program end date) and sufficient time to apply for and receive a student visa. You’ll need your acceptance letter from the study abroad program in order to be able to apply for the student visa.
Most colleges and universities have Study Abroad semester offerings which you can access through their websites. Often they will have links to a specific study abroad program you’d like to attend, so the application process is streamlined for you. Here’s what you can expect when you go exploring on those websites:
Application process for admission into your desired study abroad program can be submitted online and requires:
Enrollment in an accredited institution of higher learning
GPA threshold of 3.0 or better with official transcripts as proof
2 letters of recommendation
Language requirement - either through course study at your university or mandatory immersive language program, such as Ulpan in Israel for instance
Financial capability - typically you will pay tuition through your university which should cover most costs. But there will be additional housing/living costs beyond semester tuition
Scanned copy of passport
Application for credit and approval from your university to earn transfer credit for participating in a designated study abroad program requires:**
3.0 GPA or higher with good academic standing (i.e. grades improving)
Personal essay addressing your academic performance and strategies for how you’ll maintain your good standing while abroad, including how you will be able to fulfill your course work and credits towards your chosen major to be able to graduate in a timely manner
Meeting with study abroad advisors to discuss course work and anticipated program costs beyond semester tuition payments.
Proof of language proficiency for intended program
Letter of recommendation
**Typically you won’t need to already be accepted into your intended study abroad program in order to start your school’s application process**
As long as you demonstrate a curiosity for learning about new places and cultures and are able to maintain a 3.0 GPA, you can go almost anywhere in the world to learn, while still receiving direct credit on your university transcript. Take advantage of these years in college, when a semester’s tuition will pay your way to see the world!