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Prospective Study Abroad Students

It’s never too early to start planning for your Study Abroad & Exchange experience.  With a variety of options and opportunities for all majors, students can earn credits that help them work toward graduating on time.  Going abroad is affordable, safe, and managed by professional faculty and staff.  Most programs require no special language knowledge with English, though immersive language-study options are available.  There’s nothing to keep you from discovering your passion, yourself, and your world!

Why Study Abroad?

11-12-28_roi_abroadImagine visiting the Uffizi Museum in Florence, Italy to discuss Renaissance art; traveling across the Okavango Delta, Botswana, to engage with issues of sustainability; touring the Audi manufacturing plant in Ingolstadt, Germany, to learn about automotive engineering; or living with a host family in Costa Rica to improve your Spanish language skills.

What will you discover?

Georgia Southern offers first-class opportunities for you to live and learn abroad, and the Office of International Programs & Services will help you earn valuable academic credit toward your degree program as you learn about other people and places, broaden your cultural horizons, and enhance your career opportunities.

With more frequency, employers are looking for potential employees who gained some type of international experience during their time in college.  Study Abroad & Exchange is one of these many avenues, and students are encouraged to use their time wisely in pursuing these endeavors.  Study abroad provides multiple benefits academically, personally, and professionally by allowing students to gain flexibility and adaptability, communicate across cultures, enhance critical thinking, and develop a strong sense of self.

Want to see the numbers?  Check out this infographic about study abroad originally designed by Course Hero Blog (click to enlarge).

 

The Application Process

Both short-term programs and exchange programs have different application processes and requirements. Short-term programs that run over the summer or a break period typically require the submission of an application form and a deposit. The application form is used to determine if a student meets the academic requirements for their chosen program, and the deposit ensures the student is committed to participating. Once both items are received by the Office of International Programs & Services, you will receive a formal letter of acceptance into the program. Short-term programs often require that students are in good academic standing and have completed their Freshman year by the time the program departs. GPA and pre-requisites can vary by program – as can application deadlines – and are set by the Program Director, so it is important to read the program requirements. Short-term programs fill on a first-come, first-served basis.

Exchange programs have a more intense application process. Each exchange program has the list of materials required for submission listed on its webpage. Complete applications must be submitted by the deadlines listed for Fall and Spring term participation. After the deadline, all students who submitted complete applications will be invited to the Office of International Programs & Services for a brief interview which will allow the OIPS staff to ask additional questions of the candidate and make a final determination of their suitability for participation on an exchange program. Accepted students will be notified via email. GPA requirements may vary, but participation in most exchange programs requires a 2.5 minimum GPA and completion of at least 45 credit hours. Junior year is the recommended time for participation.

All participating students must be 18 years old by the program start date.  Students in F-1 status are eligible to participate on all study abroad programs.

Choosing a Program

Georgia Southern offers a wide variety of programs to suit a range of student needs and interests.  Selecting a program can require advance planning and consultation with the student’s academic advisor and a study abroad advisor in the OIPS.  When reviewing the program options students can consider course availability, length of program, program location, and language of instruction.  Any one or a combination of these factors can help a student determine the suitability of a specific program.  Here are some important questions to ask yourself when selecting a program:

  • Do I need to complete coursework for my major, my minor, or do I have electives to complete?
  • Does the program offer enough coursework in the fields or areas I need to complete?
  • Do I need all coursework to be taught in English?
  • Am I proficient enough in a second language to complete coursework not being taught in English?
  • Do I feel prepared to be away from home for a few weeks or a few months?
  • What is my realistic budget or price limit?
  • What are my personal goals for participating on a program?

Financial Aid

Since students earn course credit while studying abroad, tuition and applicable fees are paid in addition to the program cost.  Students who pay in-state tuition rate with continue to do so.  Students that pay out-of-state tuition will pay the in-state rate plus a $250 fee.  Because students remain enrolled at Georgia Southern they can continue to access any financial aid they are eligible for.  This includes HOPE, loans, grants, scholarships, PELL, or other forms of aid.

Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment to speak with their financial aid counselor early in the year to ensure they understand how their financial aid award may apply to their projected study abroad course tuition and any funds that may be available to apply to travel and living expenses while abroad.  Additionally, students may use the cost of their program as part of their estimated cost for the year.

To find your counselor, visit the Office of Financial Aid page.

Scholarships

There are scholarship opportunities through the Office of International Programs & Services, through the University Honors Programand through national and international organizations (see below).  Applications are judged based on GPA, a statement of intent essay, financial need, program costs, program location, program duration, and a letter of recommendation (if required).

Each program (summer or semester) has different costs.  These costs usually depend on where you’re going, how long you’ll be away, and what amenities are included in the program fee.  It is important to note that not all scholarships are released prior to the date that program payments or fees are due.  Students should plan to possibly plan the program fee out of pocket, and then receive the scholarship or stipend award.

Scholarships

Passports

A passport is an official government-issued document that indicates your country of citizenship and is an official form of identification required for traveling abroad.  The visa is the stamp or “pass” that permits you official entry into the country you intend to visa.  Not all students who participate on a study abroad program will need a visa, but all students will require a passport book.  Students should begin the process of obtaining a passport as soon as they decide to apply for and commit to a study abroad program.  Obtaining a passport early will allow students ample time to receive the passport and any necessary visas in a timely fashion prior to the program departure date. Your passport must be valid at least six months after the end date of your program.

Students can learn more about applying for their passport on this resource page.

Transient Students

Georgia Southern both accepts transient students and allows its students to participate on programs offered through third-party providers and other institutions.

Students from other schools who would like to attend a Georgia Southern program should apply for transient admission for the term they would like to participate on a program.  They should then follow all instructions for applying to the program of their choice.  Transient students are encouraged to speak with a study abroad advisor in International Programs & Services prior to applying.  All GPA and pre-requisite requirements for the chosen program must still be met, and all application materials submitted by the program’s posted deadline.

Georgia Southern students who wish to apply to a program offered by a provider other than Georgia Southern will be responsible for completing paperwork required by all parties.  Students should read make sure they understand the requirements, services, costs, credits, and amenities offered by their chosen program.   Consulting with International Programs & Services for feedback about the accreditation, validity, or security of a particular program is highly encouraged.  International Programs & Services reserves the right to withhold permission for participating in programs that operate in countries with travel warnings.

When applying for their program, students will need to complete the Course of Study Approval Form.  This form is required for all students who wish to participate on and earn credit through a program not offered through Georgia Southern.  Students should also work with Financial Aid to complete a Consortium Agreement Form when necessary.  Students should understand that attending a non-Georgia Southern sponsored program may impact the availability of their financial aid and the OIPS can make no guarantee about financial aid may be applied.  Students with these concerns should consult with their financial aid counselor.

Study Abroad Fairs

Twice per year, Georgia Southern holds Study Abroad Fairs where students can browse program options, and meet faculty leading the trips, and speak with students who have participated on the programs in prior years.  Each program booth will provide about program dates, academic information, program cost, and other pertinent information.  It’s a great way for students to learn more about our program offerings, and for program providers to market their programs to students!

The Annual Study Abroad Fair is held every September in the Russell Union Ballroom.  And the mini-Fair is held each January.

Next Event: Annual Study Abroad Fair, October 2, 2017 from 10am – 2pm in the Russell Union Ballroom.

Faculty program directors can sign up for a table at the Fair by completing this form.

Returning study abroad students can volunteer to participate at the Fair by signing up here.

Contact Us!

Have more questions?  Want more guidance and need to speak with someone?

Drop by our Study Abroad Resource Room in Forest Drive 1316 (email: stdyabrd@georgiasouthern.edu).  Open Monday – Friday from 1pm – 5pm.

Or make an appointment with Ms. Emilee Carr, Study Abroad Advisor (email: ecarr@georgiasouthern.edu)
Call our office at 912.478.0332 to schedule a meeting today!

Last updated: 9/15/2017