Study Abroad - Study Abroad FAQ
Why should I study abroad? A study abroad experience is a great addition to a college education. Beyond the academic benefits, the experience exposes students to a different way of life and culture, broadening their horizons and allowing them to see the world from a different perspective. Gaining experience by living and studying abroad is a sought-after skill amongst global employers. Oftentimes, people who spend time abroad have increased communication skills; a greater ability to react to new situations, scenarios, and stressors; a broader sense of humor; increased flexibility; and easier adaptability as well as an amazing opportunity to travel and see the world.
When can I study abroad?
For Global Experience study programs, HPU students are eligible to study abroad as early as the end of their freshman year. Some courses may require pre-requisites. Others may be limited to upperclassmen. See Global Experience study programs for program requirements.
For full-semester programs, HPU students may study abroad during their junior year or during the first semester of their senior year (minimum 60 credits at start of term abroad). Note: Students studying abroad during their senior year must study through an HPU-affiliated program , since the last 32 credits must be completed at HPU. Foreign language and education majors may be eligible as early as second semester of their sophomore year. See Full-Semester Programs for program requirements.
For summer programs, HPU students may study abroad as early as the end of their freshman year, depending on specific program requirements. See Summer Programs for program requirements.
Where can I study?
The possibilities are endless! To get a good idea of what HPU offers, the Office of Study Abroad offers overview sessions throughout the year to preview HPU-affiliated programs and discuss unaffiliated programs. Contact the Office of Study Abroad for the overview session schedule and to reserve a seat. Then meet individually with a study abroad adviser to discuss your options and interests. In the meantime, check out the lists of HPU-affiliated Full-Semester and Summer programs.
Consider the following questions when considering where to study:
- Do you want to live in a big city, a smaller town, or a rural area?
- Do you want to immerse yourself in one culture? Or do you want hop from country to country, spending only a few days in each place?
- Is it important for you to be in classes with local students or other international students?
- Do you want classes with group field trips to theatres, concerts, museums, and other important sites in the area? Do you prefer to see these sites on your own?
- Do you want to experience the local culture by living with a local family?
Do I need to speak a foreign language to study abroad?
This depends on the program. Some programs target foreign language majors and require a certain level of language proficiency. Foreign language majors typically have a choice between courses taught in English and those taught in the local language. However, most opportunities--even those in countries with a different language--offer courses taught in English, although the course selection may be limited. Language requirements are discussed during overview sessions and are noted in the lists of HPU-affiliated Full-Semester and Summer programs.
Can I go on a program offered by another university or program?
In most cases, yes. Since HPU students must earn the last 31 credits of their degree from HPU, an unaffiliated study abroad program during the senior year is not an option. Most often, students seek out these unaffiliated programs to study in a country where HPU does not have a study program. The credits must be earned from an institution that is recognized by an accredited college or university in the U.S. Students should research thoroughly the unaffiliated programs they are considering. Full-Semester and Summer program pages list a number of questions for students who are researching unaffiliated programs. HPU strongly discourages enrollment in programs in areas under U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings. Keep in mind that students' financial aid packages may change for an unaffiliated study abroad programs. For more information, contact the Office of Financial Planning.
How much does it cost to study abroad?
For most HPU-affiliated full-semester programs, students pay the HPU all-inclusive cost (includes tuition, fees, room, and board), a non-refundable $500 Study Abroad Fee, airfare, and accommodation security deposits. If room and/or board is not included in the cost of the program, the HPU-equivalent charge(s) will be not be added to the student accounts bill for the term away. If the full-semester cost is more than the HPU all-inclusive cost, the student will pay the difference. Cost information can be found on the details sheet for each program in Full-Semester Programs. Click the institution name for a printable .pdf document.
For unaffiliated programs, students pay the program cost directly to the program provider or institution sponsoring the study program. Keep in mind that students' financial aid packages may change for an unaffiliated study abroad programs. See Financial Aid for Study Abroad policies and resources. For more information, contact the Office of Financial Planning.
Program fees for Global Experience study programs vary with each program due to travel costs, length of stay, cost of living, and venue prices. Check Global Experience study programs for more specific information.
Program fees for summer programs also vary based on tuition, housing, airfare, etc. Students pay the program cost directly to the program provider or institution sponsoring the study program. Keep in mind that financial aid options for summer may be limited. See Financial Aid for Study Abroad for funding resources. For more information, contact the Office of Financial Planning.
Additional expenses for all study abroad programs may include: local transportation, immigration visa, passport, medical insurance, trip cancellation insurance, internet access, textbooks, and personal travel and expenses.
Will my current financial aid package pay for study abroad?
The different types and amounts of financial aid are varied. Depending on the type of aid, all, some, or none of a student's financial aid package may be able to be used for a study abroad opportunity. See Financial Aid for Study Abroad for policies and funding resources. Financial Planning counselors can discuss the different types of financial aid and whether they can be applied to study abroad programs.
Are study abroad scholarships available?
Some recipients of the HPU Presidential Scholarship receive a study abroad stipend in a designated amount to offset the cost of an Global Experience study program. This stipend cannot be used for summer or full-semester programs. Some departments (e.g., Modern Foreign Language) provide study abroad awards to outstanding students majoring in the department.
Currently, High Point University does not offer scholarships to students studying abroad for a summer or full-semester. However, Financial Aid for Study Abroad contains information to help students research off-campus funding opportunities.
What courses can I take overseas? Will I be able to take classes within my major?
This depends on the program. For most summer and full-semester programs, students choose the courses they want to complete. Sometimes a cultural course is required. Other courses are typically liberal arts classes similar to HPU offerings. Some programs have very limited coursework available, especially in non-English-speaking countries. The overview session will cover generally what departments are represented in each program abroad. Regardless of major, students should be able to find a program that offers courses in their major. Students who are receiving Federal Financial Aid can select only those courses that are required for their degree. Financial Planning counselors can provide more detailed information.
With Global Experience study programs, students are limited to the course(s) offered by the program.
How do credits transfer? Will the classes I take abroad count towards my degree?
Credits earned abroad in a summer or full-semester program are received by HPU as transfer credits. That means, students must earn a grade equivalent to a C in the U.S. for the course to be received by HPU; however, the letter grade will not show. Course with grades of C- or lower completed abroad will not be accepted by HPU. Courses may count as general education credits, major credits, or electives. The application process includes a means to have potential courses reviewed in advance, so students will know how their courses will be received before the term abroad begins.
In a study abroad program that is held in the same city for at least 21 days (whether affiliated, unaffiliated, or Global Experience), a course of any topic can be counted as Global Studies General Education credit. No additional credit is given for the act of studying abroad.
Credits earned during a Global Experience study program are High Point University credits and will show on the HPU transcript, with the letter grade showing.
What is the first step in planning for study abroad?
You should begin thinking about study abroad during your freshman year. Talk with your academic advisor to determine how and when study abroad best fits in your schedule. Keep in mind that courses in some majors must be completed at HPU, and some courses are available only during certain semesters. Attend an overview session of programs available. Overview sessions are announced through the emailed Campus Concierge Update. Or contact the Office of Study Abroad for the schedule and to reserve a seat. You may attend more than one overview session, if you need a refresher.
Is there a GPA requirement?
All Global Experience study programs have a minimum 2.0 GPA requirement and one academic year completed at HPU. Academic requirements are not negotiable.
All full-semester opportunities offered by HPU have a minimum 2.8 GPA requirement and junior standing (58 credits). Due to the academic rigor of some programs, however, a higher GPA may be required. Academic requirements are not negotiable. Specific GPA requirements are shared during the overview session and are available on the Full-Semester and Summer program pages.
How and when do I apply?
To apply for a summer or full-semester program, first, contact the Office of Study Abroad to schedule an appointment with a study abroad adviser. During your individualized advising appointment(s), you'll work with your study abroad adviser to narrow your choices and decide on which program will fit your needs and wants best. Applications will be provided after these meetings. Generally, applications for summer and fall semester programs are due a few weeks before spring break, and spring semester applications are due a few weeks before fall break. See the program details for exact deadlines.
To apply for a Global Experience study program, attend the study abroad fair and/or an interest meeting for the program(s) in which you are interested. Applications become available for Global Experience programs after the interest meetings have been completed. Typically, applications are due approximately six months prior to travel.
Is a passport required? How do I apply for a passport?
The U.S. State Department requires passports to be valid for up to 6 months after a traveler's scheduled return to the U.S. Some countries (Russia) require a passport to be valid for up to a year after scheduled return to the U.S. If you do not have a passport or your passport is expired or about to be expired, plan to obtain or renew your passport early. Passports can take up to several weeks/months to be returned. More information can be found on the downloadable Passport Information pamphlet. For the most up-to-date information, visit the U.S. Department of State website.
High Point's main post office is located at 315 E. Green Street, convenient to the HPU campus. Passport Agency hours are 9:00am to 4:00pm Monday through Friday. Applications are accepted by appointment only. Call in advance to schedule your appointment: (800) 275-8777. Passport photos may be taken at the Green Street Post Office's Passport Agency, or at various photo processing venues, including Walgreens, CVS, and FedEx Kinko's.
What happens after I'm accepted?
The Office of Study Abroad will send follow-up materials, and preparations will begin to be made for pre-departure. Students should resolve any passport or visa issues, read the Student Handbook appropriate for their program, and plan what to pack! All students will have their photos taken in Slane 324 for international identification cards.
Students in full-semester programs have a number of steps to complete in addition to the HPU application: passport, immigration visa (if applicable), institution application, housing application, airline arrangements, airport shuttle, etc. Students should NOT make airline arrangements until they are instructed to do so. Students on HPU-partnered programs will work directly with staff at the partner institution to complete these steps.
What if I decide to withdraw from a study program?
Circumstances may require a student to withdraw from a study program after paying for part or all of it. Program providers have different refund policies. Be sure to ask about refund policies before you apply.
HPU-affiliated full-semester programs require a $500 non-refundable study abroad fee at the time of application. The fee is non-refundable unless a qualified student is not accepted by the institution abroad. Withdrawing from a program brings a $200 cancellation fee. An additional $500 fee will be charged if the student withdraws between the date of departure and the second week of classes. The student also loses any application fees that may have been paid. Students who wish to attend classes at HPU must register during regularly scheduled registration periods and pay applicable late registration fees. On-campus housing options may be limited for students who apply late, and fees may apply.
For Global Experience study programs, students pay a $500 non-refundable study abroad fee at the time of application. This fee is non-refundable and used to hold the student's place on the trip. In the event that travel arrangements cannot be modified or canceled, additional fees (e.g., the cost of airline ticket, hotel accommodations, pre-arranged group meals, activity fees, entrance fees) may apply or be non-refundable.
Where will I live? And are meals included?
For full-semester and summer programs, housing is made available to students. In rare instances, students may choose the option that suits their needs (e.g., apartment, residence hall, home stay; single or shared room; catered or self-catered). Specific information about housing options and meal options is included in overview sessions and on the Full-Semester and Summer program pages.
For Global Experience study programs, housing will be included in group arrangements and may be in hotels, hostels, residence halls, home stays, or other formats. Depending on the program, meals may or may not be provided, partially provided, or not provided. Check Global Experience study programs to see what is and is not included with the program fee.
What if I require accommodations for a diagnosed disability?
Local law governs equal access to people with disabilities. Some countries are not as accommodating as others. In some countries, mobility is restricted by sidewalk conditions and public transportation, and accessible housing options are scarce. Please discuss your needs with Academic Services and the Office of Study Abroad before applying. Students will have the opportunity to make their needs known when applying.
What about health, safety, and security?
While High Point University cannot guarantee safety and security on study abroad trips, we will do everything we can to offer and suggest reputable study programs, providers, and destinations as well as help students prepare for various known and unforeseeable situations. In a post-9/11 world, the best defense students can have is to make safe and appropriate decisions, keep themselves out of potentially unsafe scenarios, and if hurt or in harm's way, notify the appropriate local authority and/or U.S. Embassy. Contact information is listed on the Embassy Emergency Card provided by the Office of Study Abroad. Typically, students experience the same type of emergency encounters overseas as they do in the U.S. Keeping a cool head and an open mind, remaining aware of surroundings, and making responsible decisions will lead to a greater sense of health, safety, and security while overseas. See Student Handbooks for more specific information. HPU strongly discourages enrollment in programs in areas under U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings. If a crisis occurs, HPU may recall students and faculty from an area of concern. Students are encouraged to register their trip with the local U.S. Embassy.
May I participate in more than one study abroad program?
Through careful planning, students may be able to participate in more than one full-semester study abroad program (junior year in the same location; or first-semester junior and first-semester senior year in different locations). More often, students will elect to participate in a Global Experience study program and a full-semester experience. Or they can participate in several Global Experience programs, as long as the dates don't conflict with one another.
May I work during my study abroad program?
Immigration policy governs work and volunteerism among student visitors, and policy varies from one country to another. In some countries, students may work for pay without a special visa. In other countries, students cannot even volunteer without an immigration visa that specifically allows it. Consult the embassy website of the country of interest, as these policies are updated without notice.
What if I want to work abroad or do an internship without academic credit?
Immigration policy governs work, paid and unpaid internships, and volunteer experiences. Policies differ among countries. Consult the embassy website of the country of interest, as these policies are updated without notice. Contact Eric Melniczek (Career & Internship Services) for recommended methods of applying and interviewing for temporary and permanent positions abroad.
Are graduate students able to study abroad?
HPU graduate students can study abroad; however, graduate programs do not allocate time for a full semester abroad. Most institutions in the U.S. and abroad are selective about graduate enrollment and transfer credits. Graduate courses abroad are rarely available to non-degree-seeking students. Unless specifically stated in the program description, courses offerings are limited to the undergraduate level. More likely, graduate students are interested in summer programs or Global Experience study programs. For Global Experience programs, students should contact the Office of Study Abroad and the faculty leader.
How do I make a smooth transition back to High Point University?
It is common for students to express dissatisfaction or frustration with their "home" culture after a study abroad program. Most often, they find relationships are strained because they have changed in significant ways and their friends have not. The Office of Study Abroad helps students with their transition back to HPU. Some strategies are discussed in pre-departure meetings. Some strategies are covered in the Student Handbook. Other strategies are available after returning to campus. It is important for students to recognize the personal signs and symptoms of reverse cultural shock and to seek out assistance from the Office of Study Abroad, Counseling Services, and other sources of support.
When I get back, how do I talk about my study abroad experience in my resume or in interviews?
Eric Melniczek (Career & Internship Services) can offer resources to help students identify professional skills in a study abroad experience and discuss scenarios in interviews and on the resume. With such a powerful experience, don't miss out on how to put those newfound skills to use in your career both before and after hire.