Why should I study abroad?
Studying abroad is an experience of a life time! It enables students to gain experience and insights into another culture, and see the world from a different perspective. Not to mention, many students have an opportunity to learn another language. Study abroad is a unique opportunity and as a student this may be the best chance in your life to go abroad. Additionally, employers highly value cross cultural experience and foreign language proficiency in prospective employees. An international experience is sure to enhance any resume. Spending time abroad does require a considerable commitment – academically, mentally, and financially. But the return on the investment is well worth it!
Who can study abroad?
Any full time TU undergraduate or graduate student currently in good academic standing with a clear disciplinary and academic honesty record, who has studied at TU for at least two (2) semesters, can participate. Students must have successfully completed the previous semester (prior to going abroad) at TU as a full time student. TU requires a 2.50 minimum GPA for undergraduate students and a 3.0 minimum GPA for graduate students at the time of application. Students from majors and minors in all disciplines are encouraged to apply. Note: International students must consult with International Student Services prior to pursuing a program abroad. In most cases, visa and immigration issues must be considered as well funding, scholarships and sponsorships. TU employees are not eligible to participate.
Where can I go?
TU has several locations for semester and summer study abroad that provide rich academic experiences in all areas of study. For a complete listing of programs, click here.
How long can I study abroad?
Students can study abroad for a maximum of one full academic year or two semesters, consecutively or not, plus one summer term OR a total of 3 summer terms. Some students choose to study a semester in one country and the next semester in another country.
Do I need to speak a foreign language?
No, not necessarily. However, the CGE highly encourages students to take advantage of the unique opportunity to learn a new language or build upon their current foreign language skills by being fully immersed in a language and culture abroad. Many approved programs do offer courses taught in English across disciplines. There are numerous program options allowing students to take courses in English while at the same time taking courses taught in the host language as well.
Finally, there is always the option of studying abroad in an English speaking country such as Australia, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, and Singapore. However, do keep in mind that some programs will require varying levels of foreign language skills before acceptance and TU has specific language requirements for language majors and minors so it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with these policies as you are exploring options.
How much will studying abroad cost?
TU is committed to making study abroad affordable to its students. On a TU approved Blue program you pay only TU tuition and your housing abroad. On TU approved Gold programs, you still pay TU tuition and housing plus an additional study abroad fee. Appeal programs may also be subject to an additional study abroad fee.
On some programs, meals may also be included. Click here for the list of TU approved programs. Keep in mind that the cost of attending a program abroad will vary from student to student depending upon personal spending habits, current exchange rate in the host country as well as program type, length, and distance to program site.
On all programs students are responsible for the cost of enrollment confirmation and housing deposits, airfare to/from the host destination, local transportation, entertainment, housing, passport expenses, visas (if required), travel related to obtaining a visa (if necessary), optional excursions, optional cultural travel, personal expenses and other program related costs.
There is a non-refundable one time Study Abroad Fee payable to The University of Tulsa required at the time of application for all students. Additional program-specific application fees may be required depending on the program selected. Federal Financial Aid and TU Institutional Scholarships can be used on any approved TU study abroad program.
Can I use my financial aid and TU scholarships to study abroad?
Yes, all Federal Financial Aid as well as academic and institutional scholarships are portable on approved TU study abroad programs. It is necessary to keep the Financial Aid Office up-to-date on your decision to go abroad so appropriate paperwork can be completed in a timely manner. If necessary, qualified students and their parents can take out additional loans to help offset the costs of studying abroad. The TU Center for Global Engagement offers scholarships most semesters.
Additionally, a number of our program providers offer their own scholarships for which students can apply directly. There are scholarships available exclusively for study abroad programs offered by various educational and governmental sources as well. Certain qualifications and considerations are required, though, students can apply directly for: Gilman, NSEP, Bridging Japan, BUTEX, Rotary International, DAAD to name just a few. Both need-based and merit-based study abroad scholarships can range between $500/semester up to $10,000/year depending on the program. We advise that students check individual application deadlines as they often come much earlier than program application deadlines.
If I am receiving Financial Aid or a CGE scholarship, when will the money be released to me?
Scholarships such as CGE scholarships and program provider awards will be first applied to your TU account. After the TU bill has been paid in-full and there are no other holds on your account, the Business Office can release the balance of your financial aid award or deposit credit to your private bank account so that you may pay for other program related expenses abroad. If you want the money to be deposited directly into your banking account, you will need to sign up for direct deposit through WebAdvisor. The money is released on the first day of TU classes or the first day of the program whichever comes later. Some federal aid may be released in 2 installments. Questions about financial aid or refunds should be directed to the Bursar’s or Financial Aid Office.
Can I go abroad in the summer? What is the cost?
The summer months provide an ideal time for students to go abroad who otherwise may not be able to go during the year due to work or academic schedules. During summer, most TU affiliate programs offer similar options for study abroad but on a short term basis. Students pay TU tuition for the number of credits they wish to take (normally 3 – 6) or the program fee, whichever is higher. As with semester programs, students are responsible for paying for application fees, their own airfare to/from the host program as well as confirmation and housing deposits, local transportation, option excursions, entertainment, passport expenses, visas (if required), travel related to obtaining a visa (if necessary), personal & additional travel expenses.
How many classes do I have to take?
Students must enroll in at least a minimum of 12 TU equivalent credit hours per semester and have their College’s approval for coursework taken abroad. Students are required to be enrolled full time as determined by the host university or program provider during the period of study abroad. The number of actual courses taken will vary according to the program. Graduate students require an enrollment minimum of 9 credit hours per semester, or equivalent, or an approved mix of coursework and research to be determined and approved by the Graduate College. Summer programs will vary depending upon their length.
What about credit for courses taken abroad?
Pending students’ College approval for coursework taken abroad, TU allows for the transfer of credit from its approved study abroad programs. In consultation with their College advisors, students can take a combination of courses towards Major, Minor, Block or Elective credit. Students must be enrolled full time according to the host school or program which is generally 12 credit hours for undergraduates and 9 credit hours for graduate students per semester.
How will my grades transfer to TU?
Coursework taken abroad can transfer back to the students’ permanent TU record as well as fulfill Major, Minor, Block and Elective credits to satisfy graduation requirements, pending students’ College approval. Students may have two options for transferring grades back to TU, in consultation with their academic advisors: (1) students take courses for the actual grade from the host school which will affect the overall TU GPA; or (2) students take courses for the actual grade from the host school, however, grades attained abroad will transfer back as credit hours only and will be recorded on the TU transcript as a “P” (Pass) or a “N” (No Credit). Students must attain at least a “C” or better, or the equivalent, to receive a “P”. The “P” and “N” option will not affect the overall TU GPA. In both cases, the CGE/TU will receive an official grade report or transcript from the host program or institution and all coursework taken abroad will appear on the permanent TU record.
The CGE requires official transcripts be sent by your program provider or foreign host institution before grades can be recorded. Because of the inherent differences between academic systems and program dates, transcripts may not be immediately available upon program completion. In most cases, transcripts are not sent to TU until well after the program’s end dates. Until your official transcript arrives, you will have incomplete (I) grades. When the transcript arrives, the Incompletes will be replaces by your official grade. The late transcript may have financial aid repercussions. Some scholarships and aid can only be released after your grades arrive demonstrating that you are making satisfactory progress towards graduation. Please keep this in mind and discuss any concerns with your CGE and Financial Aid advisors.
Will I still be enrolled at TU while studying abroad?
In order to maintain active student status while abroad, students must meet with their College advisor and register for courses as they normally would during any other semester at TU before going abroad. Students are then registered for special courses designated “Study Abroad” in the TU system. Upon successful completion of coursework abroad, the Host University or program will issue a transcript to our office. Pending students’ College approval, the credit hours along with the name of the courses taken abroad are then posted on the TU transcript and become a permanent part of the TU record. Students who go abroad on approved programs maintain all rights and privileges of a TU student which includes access to Financial Aid, Scholarships, TU email accounts, etc.
Will studying abroad affect my graduation date?
In most cases, it does not. Because TU allows coursework taken abroad to transfer back to TU for credit, this allows students not to miss any ‘time’ from TU and in most cases to still graduate with their class. However, if students change majors or degree plans before or after a program abroad, graduation may be affected. Again, students are required to seek approval from their College to ensure courses taken abroad will transfer towards degree requirements. It is suggested that students meet with their College and Major advisors early on to discuss their plans to go abroad so necessary accommodations and advising can be made.
How do I choose a program?
TU has several locations for semester and summer study abroad that provide rich academic experiences in all areas of study. For a complete listing of programs, click here.These are high quality programs that will meet TU’s students’ academic needs in diverse locations across the globe. Look at the CGE website, talk to former study abroad participants and your academic department for advice and come to the CGE study abroad fair every fall. When choosing programs, here are some questions to consider:
- What do I want to study?
- What type and length of program do I want?
- Do I want to take courses with other Americans or enroll directly in a foreign university?
- Do I want to live with a host family or in a university residence?
- How many credits taken abroad will count toward my degree?
- What types of courses are offered abroad?
- Do I want to focus on learning a foreign language?
- Does the program require previous language study and how much?
- How much integration into the foreign culture do I want?
- How will my decision to go abroad affect my family?
By defining your goals early on, you will have a better chance of finding a program that best fits your academic and personal needs. The Center for Global Engagement staff can help you along the way!
Do I need health insurance when I go abroad?
Yes, and it is already included in all study abroad programs. Most of TU affiliate programs include required health insurance as part of their overall program fee. In cases where a program does not provide insurance for its participants (i.e. some exchange programs) students will be covered free of charge by a TU insurance plan with AIG during their approved study abroad program.
What is the application process and when is the deadline?
Students must complete the TU online study abroad application, submit some additional documents and meet general eligibility requirements. To access the online application, find your desired program and click on “Apply now”. Students can meet with a CGE Study Abroad advisor for help in researching program options and getting general information. In addition, students can expect to complete a second (possibly a third) program or host university application for their specific study abroad program. Individual study abroad programs have different eligibility requirements. There are generally two deadlines each year to keep in mind: for ALL spring semester programs, the TU application deadline is mid-October; and for ALL summer, fall and full year programs, the TU application deadline is mid-March. Program specific application deadlines will vary so it is always a good idea to pay close attention to program deadlines as they do not necessarily coincide with TU’s campus deadline. Check here for this year’s deadline.
Do I need a passport and a visa?
All students will need a current passport (which must be valid for at least 6 months past the date of return) in order to travel outside of the U.S. It is strongly recommended that students begin the passport application process, if it is the first time to apply for one, as soon as they begin looking into programs. It can take between 8 – 12 weeks processing time for a new or renewed passport to be issued. Passport applications, instructions and downloadable forms can also be found: https://www.travel.state.gov. Visas and/or study permits will be required for some countries and it is the student’s responsibility to obtain and pay for one, if required.
Important Note: Some destinations will require travel to the host country’s U.S. consulate (Houston, Chicago, or otherwise, depending on student’s residency) for a personal interview when applying for a visa and students must make plans accordingly. After acceptance, the host program or university typically provides some details on visa applications; our office can assist where necessary.
How do I get started?
The first step is to explore this website and look at the approved programs. You can stop by the office and speak with one of our Peer Advisors, during regular office hours, who can assist you in researching your program options via our searchable database and guide you through the process. In most cases, you will likely be researching program information via websites linked to our database so please be sure to read through the information carefully.
When you are ready to apply, find your desired program, click “Apply Now” and complete the CGE application. At any point you can meet with a CGE Study Abroad Advisor. Advising appointments can easily be set up here.
Where do I go for more information?
Feel free to contact our office anytime via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at: (918) 631-3229. Each Fall, the CGE hosts a Study Abroad Fair where you can meet representatives from our affiliate partners, gather materials, and learn more about program offerings.
For news, events, opportunities, and updates related to programs abroad and CGE activities check out any or all of the following: