Frequently Asked Education Abroad Questions
- When can I begin my education abroad experience?
- Where can I study?
- Is my GPA high enough?
- Which program should I choose?
- Will I be able to take courses for my major?
- Will I get credit for the courses I take abroad?
- Should I go for a summer, semester or a year?
- Will studying abroad delay my graduation?
- Do I need to be fluent in a foreign language?
- Where will I live?
- How will studying abroad help me find employment?
- What are other aspects of an education abroad experience that I should be thinking about/researching?
- How do I get started?
- When should I apply?
- After applying, how long will it take to find out if I have been accepted?
- I’ve been accepted to my study abroad program, now what?
Education abroad programs require that you have at least sophomore standing, which is defined as any student that has earned at least 30 credit hours. Your junior year is recommended, because by that time you will have most likely declared your major and will have completed the majority of the core requirements. Studying abroad is good for those who are sure of what they want to study. It is also good for those who are undecided because it could help you decide which career path you want to take. All things considered, the best time for you to go abroad will be different than the best time for another student. It is based on your own personal, educational, and professional goals.
Between all of the providers that are endorsed by the University of Toledo there are programs offered in over 40 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and Oceania. There are many variables to consider when choosing a location: field of study, time of year, course offerings, year in school, language, personal preference, etc.
An overall GPA of 2.5 is the required minimum GPA for the majority of education abroad programs. Other programs may require a higher GPA. If you do not satisfy the GPA requirement, you may still be considered by some programs if you submit a letter or recommendation from an academic advisor, or other faculty member, along with your application to the program.
Study abroad programs at UT take a number of different forms and your personal, educational, and professional goals will all play a role when you decide which program is best for you. The four (4) basic types are as follows:
1) Short-Term, Faculty-Led Programs: UT sponsors various short-term, faculty-led programs that take place during the spring break, winter, or summer. Some of these are an extension of coursework carried out in the classroom. Past faculty-led programs included the following: ESTO Spanish Program to Toledo (Spain), the Japan Study Tour, the Tropical Ecology Field-Study Program to Atenas (Costa Rica), the Art History Program to Italy and France, the European Business Experience (to various locations in Central Europe), the Asian Business Program to Malaysia and Singapore or to Japan and Korea, and the London Theatre Program in England.
2) Direct-Exchange Programs: UT has three (4) active direct-exchange programs; two are in England and the third is in Germany. One advantage of the direct-exchange programs is that UT students pay tuition and fees to their home institution. The exchanges also provide an opportunity for students from the host institutions to study at UT.
- TheSalford-Exchange Program in England: Primarily attracts pre-med students, and can
accommodate students in other fields of study.
Contact: Dr. Brian Ashburner, WO 2246
- The University of Hertfordshire in England: Primarily attracts students majoring in the Environmental Sciences. This program can also accommodate students in other fields of study. Contact: Dr. Von Sigler, BO 2000B
- The Tübingen Program in Germany: Students need an advanced level of German because students directly enroll in classes with the host-country students. Contact: Dr. Friederike Emonds, FH 2400M
- Aichi University in Japan: Primarily attractive to students majoring in the Japanese language or Asian studies, but is open to students in other fields of study. Contact: Dr. Joseph Hara, FH 2400D
3) Third-Party Affiliate Programs: Our third-party affiliate programs are programs that are approved by UT but are directed and organized by an outside organization. These programs are offered nation-wide to students at many universities, including UT. The majority of the organizations offer other opportunities such as internships, volunteer positions, and/or academic research projects. The majority also offer both undergraduate and graduate coursework during the spring, summer, and fall semesters.
- University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) offers programs at 42 different sites in 26 countries. They offer specialty programs and partnership programs. Specialty programs offer courses both in English and the local languages and partnership programs give you the opportunity to directly enroll in the host university. You will earn UT credit when you study with a USAC program. More information: www.usac.unr.edu
- International Studies Abroad (ISA) offers programs at 49 different sites in 24 countries. Many of these countries differ from those associated with USAC. You will earn UT credit when you study with an ISA program. More information: www.studiesabroad.com
- GlobaLinks Learning Abroad offers programs at over 70 different universities in 21 countries. There is no language requirement to participate in the majority of Globalinks’ programs. You will earn credit from the host university and it will be considered transfer credit. There is also an option of adopting the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities as your School of Record, which means the credit from your host university will transfer to the University of Minnesota, then to the University of Toledo. This is in the case that your host university credits will not transfer back to UT. More Information: www.globalinksabroad.org
- Semester at Sea (SAS) offers voyages world-wide with 48 destination sites overall. You will study on the MV explorer, a ship that houses the university and living accommodations, as it circumnavigates the globe. SAS offers undergraduate coursework only. You will receive transfer credit from the University of Virginia when you study with SAS. More information: www.semesteratsea.org
4) OIC Pooled-Access Programs: UT is a member institution of the Ohio International Consortium (OIC) whose members are from the 13 public institutions in the United States. All the member institutions have agreed to grant access to students from other institutions in those programs that usually have additional spaces available. Access to these programs is quite similar to participating in UT's own programs.
NOTE: Also available to UT students are programs sponsored by institutions not connected with UT. These programs tend to be more expensive than those customarily made available to UT students. Some of these programs also provide opportunities to study at a site that would otherwise not be available.
Nearly all fields are represented by various education abroad programs, although not at every location. Many students complete their major requirements at UT and only take electives abroad so they can choose their program based on location. If you are planning on taking courses for your major while you are abroad, keep in mind that you may have to choose a program based on the course offerings as opposed to its geographic location. Majors in the natural sciences and engineering are more limited in their choice of programs; however, study abroad can usually be arranged for every qualified student with careful advance planning. You will need to meet with your academic advisor to discuss your options.
Yes. Advanced planning and consulting with your academic advisor will ensure that you receive credit for all courses you take abroad. Third-Party Affiliates such as USAC and ISA will ensure that you receive credit for all courses because you will receive UT credit. You will need to meet with your academic advisor to complete a Course Approval Form, which will help you compare courses at the host university with courses at UT and make sure that you will receive academic credit.
Should I go for a summer, semester, or a year?
The answer to this question depends on your financial situation, academic goals, the ability to integrate your study-abroad program with your academic program at UT, and many other factors. However, the majority of students find that a full year (or a combination of summer and fall, or spring and summer) is more beneficial academically, socially, and personally than a shorter period. Consider carefully the advantages of a full year, particularly if your goals include more than a minimum of cultural immersion. This is another aspect to discuss with your academic adviser.
No, if you plan carefully and well in advance, studying abroad should not delay your graduation. Consult your academic advisor to make sure the courses you plan to take can be applied to your degree.
The majority of the programs do not require a demonstrated proficiency in the language of the host country. However, you should be prepared and willing to learn the language while you are there through intensive language courses and daily contact with the people. If possible, it is recommended to begin the study of the language prior to going abroad and become familiar with the customs and culture of the host country. Situations that would require you to be proficient in the language would be if you plan to directly enroll in courses at a foreign university. You must know the language of the host country well enough to follow lectures, do reading and research, and take examinations. We stress the importance of making an effort to learn the native language of the host country, at least while you are there. Academic, social, and personal integration into the host country are dependent on the ability to communicate and it will enhance your education abroad experience.
Living accommodations vary depending on the program and location of the program. You can choose between living with a host family, in a residence hall, or in an apartment. Students studying language and/or students interested in a complete cultural immersion often find that a home stay is the most beneficial type of housing. It will help you develop language and communication skills as well as a better understanding of the culture.
With the concept of internationalization at the forefront of the social, political, and economical spectrums, experience abroad is an indispensable asset to many employers, especially if you learn the local language of the host country. Job applicants with international experience are generally favored over those without because it indicates intercultural communication skills, the ability to adapt to new circumstances and environments and, often competency in a foreign language. So, yes, it really does make a difference and can create opportunities otherwise unavailable to you had you not gone abroad.
- Why do you want to participate in an education abroad program?
- Do you want a cultural experience? Do you want to learn a new language? Do you want to just “get away?”
- How carefully have you thought out and sought approval for your plans?
- Which aspect of being abroad is most important to you: types of courses, location, cost, culture, etc?
- Do you have specific major/degree requirements or core requirements that must be fulfilled while you are abroad?
- What kind of courses would you like to take?
- Do you want to take classes in English or in the local language, or a combination of each?
- Do you hope to do an internship or participate in a field-study while you are abroad?
- Which semester would be best in order to enroll in a study-abroad program? Would it be possible to study for an entire year? Do you only have the opportunity to study in the summer because your major has a rigid structure or because your major requires certification of all courses completed?
- How much and which type of academic credit do you hope to earn?
- Have you discussed your plans with your adviser(s)?
- Would you prefer living and studying with other Americans, with students of the host country, or with a combination of both?
- Do you want to live in a big city or a smaller city?
- Do you enjoy working and investigating things on your own or do you prefer having someone helping you with details and complications?
- How well do you adjust to new situations? How flexible and adaptable are you?
- Have you considered your financial situation and whether you could support yourself for a certain period of time overseas?
NOTE: Your answers to the above questions will help the International Education Specialist, Michelle Ploeger, guide you in finding the best program for you.
The cost of your program depends on the country, your personal spending habits, and the amount of leisure travel you do while abroad. There are many programs which charge the same amount as UT, or even a little less for their tuition and fees. Others will charge a little more than UT. Think of education abroad as an investment in your future and the CISP office strives to make it as affordable as possible. The price you will pay now will be worth it in the end.
NOTE: Most countries prohibit international students to work while they are living in that country, even on a part-time basis. You should plan ahead because you will not be able to work to help cover your expenses.
Full UT financial aid monies may be used for USAC and ISA programs. You may also use any federal financial aid, such as student loans or grants, for programs with Globalinks and Semester at Sea, but you will be required to fill out a Consortium Agreement which can be found in Rocket Solution Central, in Rocket Hall. Contact: Lisa Hasselschwert; Rocket Solution Central – RH 1200; 419.530.5818
There are many scholarships available to students who are studying abroad. USAC, ISA, Globalinks, and Semester at Sea all have scholarships listed on their website. There are external scholarships such as Boren Awards, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, Global Studies Foundation Grant, etc. Also, there are scholarship search engines (e.g. http://www.studyabroad.com) that are specifically for study abroad scholarships. Other scholarships or types of funding are occasionally available depending on the country or part of the world in which you plan to study, for example the German Academic Exchange Service Scholarship, Chinese Government Scholarship Program, and scholarships from the Turkish Coalition.. CISP also offers a Travel Grant to eligible students. Finding scholarships and funding takes advanced planning and research but can be done, and can help relieve the majority of the cost if taken seriously.
Your first step is to attend a CISP Info Session. The times vary and change each semester. Up-to-date times and days can be found at http://www.utoledo.edu/cisp/infosession/index.html. At an info session you will be able to ask questions and learn the details of all of the programs we offer. After that you will schedule an appointment with International Specialist Michelle Ploeger and get started on the application process. You will apply online through the third party provider for your program of choice and you will also submit an application to the CISP office. There will be a fee for the online program application as well as the CISP application.
Applications for study abroad programs are accepted on a rolling basis, so the earlier you apply, the better! It is recommended to begin planning one year in advance and to apply near the beginning of the semester before you want to go abroad. Typically application deadlines are as follows: October/November for spring semester, March/April for summer and May/June for fall semester. Be aware the application deadlines vary depending on the program.
Because programs accept students on a rolling basis, the earlier you apply, the earlier you will find out about your application status. Usually you will be notified of acceptance within two weeks to one month after applying. Different organizations have different procedures and, as a result, some students may hear of their acceptance earlier than others.
Congratulations on your acceptance! You will be contacted by the advisors of that program with information about what steps you will need to take next. You will be given contact information for the people working within the organization that is in charge of your program and you will be able to contact them at any time with questions. The CISP office is also always willing to answer any questions you may have.