Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to study abroad for a semester? Are there longer/shorter options?
Students have the option to apply to long-term study abroad programs for either one or two semesters. We also offer Summer and May-mester term options via our third-party affiliates.
Those interested in going abroad for two to four weeks should check out the OIE’s faculty-led programs, which run primarily during the spring and summer recesses.
What kind of programs are available?
The OIE offers both direct and exchange programs. Exchange programs are created when SCSU forms a partnership with another university, while direct programs are offered through third-party affiliates such as ISEP, CISabroad and others.
There are also opportunities for students interested in service-learning/volunteering abroad and some internships or work-studies can be arranged.
What’s the difference between an exchange and a direct program?
Direct and exchange programs are primarily differentiated by cost. Students who choose to study at a partner university (exchange) will pay the cost of SCSU tuition and fees, and their host university’s housing and meal plan. Those studying direct will pay the program fees and any additional costs to a third-party provider.Exchange programs tend to be the more cost-effective option for SCSU students.
Direct programs, depending on destination and currency exchange rates, can be relatively inexpensive, however, as direct costs often include additional excursions and transportation (flights, airport drop-off and pick-up, etc.). Be certain to read which elements of the program are covered and which are provided at additional cost. More information about the differences between direct and exchange programs can be found here.
Where will I be living while abroad? What are my housing options?
Students who choose university-provided housing are generally given two options: dorm-style residence halls or homestays. Homestays give students the opportunity to live with a host family while studying abroad, and typically enable the student to immerse him- or herself in the local culture.
Students can also choose to live off-campus, in a rental or apartment. Some third-party programs will attempt to match applicants with other students who wish to live off-campus.
How early can I begin my application?
Some students choose to meet with a coordinator and begin working on their applications up to a year in advance. Generally, we urge those interested in studying abroad to attend an information session early in the semester prior to the semester they’re applying for (i.e. Spring 2016, if applying for Fall 2016).
When are applications due?
Deadlines vary from program to program. Direct students will need to abide by any and all deadlines set by the individual program, though Spring applications are generally due around October/November the year before, and Fall applications around February/March.
Exchange students must have met with and be actively applying to a program by October 30th for Spring semester or March 30th for Fall.
Can I apply to more than one program?
Certainly. Keep in mind that you will have to pay any application fees associated with third-party applications. Also remember that there is a high application acceptance rate for exchange and direct options. This is something to discuss with your OIE coordinator.
How do I apply?
Exchange students nominated by the OIE will submit all application materials to the host university via our office. Students applying to a third-party direct program must submit all materials requested by the provider (CISabroad, ISEP, etc.) along with their application. Generally, all materials can be submitted online, through the provider’s online application portal. When in doubt, consult with an OIE coordinator.
Costs and Eligibility
How much does it cost to study abroad?
Costs vary from program to program but, generally, exchange programs are the more affordable option for SCSU students. Exchange program tuition and fee expenses are paid to SCSU, and are equivalent to a semester spent on campus in New Haven. Housing and meal plans are assessed by the host university, and students will pay those to the school where they will be studying.
Direct program costs are set by the third-party provider through which they’re organized, and these program fees vary little from year to year. The OIE encourages students to be aware of currency exchange rates, and suggests using a converter such as OANDA when budgeting.
Short-term program costs are generated by the OIE, and we aim to keep fees as low as possible. Program fees are dependent upon the duration and location of the trip, but generally run from $2,000 to $5,000. These program fees do not include the cost of SCSU tuition for 3 or 6 credits
Is there a minimum GPA required to study abroad?
Yes, though it varies between long-term and short-term programs. Students interested in spending a semester or longer abroad must have a 2.75 GPA to apply.
Short-term programs generally require applicants to maintain a 2.5 GPA.
Do I need to speak a foreign language?
Not necessarily. Students of all proficiency levels are eligible to apply, whether you are a beginning or native speaker. Some exchange programs require that incoming students have some degree of fluency in the host university's language; others offer language and culture workshops.
Many programs, either exchange or direct, provide courses taught in English, though they are not typically major-specific. Most institutions will have at least a limited selection of courses offered in English, although some do not. While many students generally enroll in language and culture program options, the majority need to keep a close eye on their program of study. There is little flexibility in course selection when working with third parties, but tremendous flexibility when working with SCSU's exchange partners. Students should always ask if the courses they are interested in enrolling in while abroad are viable options.
Is my major eligible to study abroad?
While the OIE cannot guarantee that major-specific courses will be available, all majors are eligible to study abroad. Direct programs often offer programs tailored to fit a particular field or major, so students interested in taking core courses abroad are encouraged to browse all options.
What about financial aid? Are there scholarships available?
The OIE does not currently offer specific scholarships for students applying for long-term programs. However, we can assist students in applying to a number of funding opportunities provided by the U.S. government, or education abroad foundations. Critical Language Scholarships (sponsored by the U.S. Department of State) and scholarships provided by some exchange partners in China can pay up to the full cost of a semester abroad.
Direct students can also apply for scholarships offered through the third-party provider through whom they’ll be studying. Details and requirements for this funding can be found on the provider’s website.
SCSU students applying for short-term, faculty-led programs can submit a short essay along with their application. This essay (the prompt is included on the program application), along with all other submitted materials, is considered for small SGA funded scholarships. These scholarships typically award $250 to $500 per selected student.
Where can I make a payment?
Online payments for the OIE's short-term programs, study abroad application fee and OnCall insurance can be submitted via Touchnet, here.
Courses and Credit
Where can I see a list of available courses for my program?
Third-party affiliates offer course listings on a program’s designated page, and are usually accessible once students begin the program application.
Partnered exchange schools provide course listings for students nominated by our office, and can be obtained by speaking with any OIE coordinator.
Will all my courses taken abroad be awarded SCSU credit?
Validating credit transfers is an important step in the application process. Students studying abroad, either through third-party or exchange programs, must complete an “orange form”—the SCSU Study Abroad Course Approval sheet.
Once a student has access to a course listing for their program, they must select 10 courses they would be interested in taking while abroad (5 preferred courses and 5 back-up choices). This tentative schedule must include contact hours per course, and course descriptions in English. Students will bring the orange form and translated course descriptions to the Chair of the department in which the course is being taught. (For example, students taking French 206 at their host university would take their orange form to the Chair of the World Languages and Literatures Department.)
The completed orange form must be signed by both the student and the Chair of the student’s major department before submission to the OIE.
Will language courses be available at my host university?
Most partnered exchange universities offer SCSU students with language support, either through intensive “crash courses” and orientations, or via on-campus language labs and help centers. Many also allow students to enroll in beginning to intermediate language courses during their time abroad, though some students have taken advanced language courses, as well.
Third-party programs offer many of the same resources and courses, as well as pre-departure orientations designed to help students gain some level of proficiency in the host country’s language.
Travel and Safety
Who makes my travel arrangements?
Students who chose to go abroad on exchange are largely responsible for their own travel arrangements. This means that students are able to select their own flights and make plans for their own excursions and travels within the host country. Some partnered universities may make arrangements for airport pick-up and drop-off.
Direct programs—offered through third-party affiliates—generally schedule flights, airport transportations and in-country travel for students. Though more convenient, this scheduling contributes to higher program fees and offers little customization beyond additional, optional excursions.
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