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Frequently Asked Questions about Studying Abroad

Frequently Asked Questions about Studying Abroad

Below are the most common questions we’ve heard over the years about studying abroad during the academic year and are likely some of the questions going through you mind.

There are so many study abroad offerings available to me. How do I choose the right program? 

 Ask yourself the right questions to enable you to define the type of program that best meets your needs and goals.

Get some advice from your academic department.

Attend study abroad events to learn about specific programs.

Meet with a study abroad adviser who can help clarify your options.

Get advice from CHC students who have studied abroad before.

When is the best time to study abroad? 

All students in the undergraduate programs may participate in a Study Abroad program in the spring of the sophomore year, during one or both semesters of the junior year, or in the fall of the senior year. It may also be possible to study abroad in the fall of sophomore year. Students who are interested in doing so should discuss their plans with their faculty advisor and the Global Education Office. Your department and the Study Abroad Program can work with you to determine the most appropriate timing. For students who are not eligible to study abroad during the academic year or who have serious conflicts during term time, summer study is always a possibility but your options may be more limited.

What advantages are there to studying abroad as early as possible, i.e. in the sophomore year? 

The earliest most students can study abroad is spring of sophomore year, although students can petition to go in the fall as well. Students interested in this option should discuss their plans with a faculty adviser and submit a petition with a letter of support from a faculty member.

Will participation in a study abroad program affect my financial aid package? 

Students planning to study abroad should meet with a financial aid counselor during the study abroad application period to determine if participation in a study abroad program will affect their financial aid package.

What is the GPA requirement for studying abroad? 

All students must have at least a 3.0 average for the fall and spring semesters of the academic year preceding the semester abroad. Some programs may have higher GPA requirements. If you are concerned about your eligibility to study abroad, please talk with a study abroad adviser in the Global Education Office.

I won’t have a 3.0 average for the academic year before I’d like to go abroad. Is there anything I can do? 

It may be a good idea to stay at Chestnut Hill College, utilize the academic resources here, work hard to bring up your GPA then apply to study abroad for a later term. If you are concerned about your eligibility to study abroad, please talk with a study abroad adviser in the Global Education Office.

Must I be fully fluent in the language of the host country? 

The minimum prerequisite for study in a country where a language other than English is used is completion of a CHC language course at an upper class level. CHC’s expectation in such cases is full immersion in the language of the country, both in terms of the language of instruction and in daily life, so the stronger your language skills, the better. In certain cases, there may be a compelling academic reason to take some or all of your coursework in English while studying in a non-English-speaking country. This is certainly the case in countries where the local language is not taught at Chestnut Hill College. Certain languages require a longer time to achieve fluency. In such cases it is possible to take discipline-based courses in English while continuing to work intensively on the language.

Could a prior Academic Warning or period of disciplinary probation make me ineligible to study abroad? 

A prior disciplinary record does not preclude approval to study abroad, but the Global Education Office will review students’ disciplinary records with the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students to determine if the record warrants withholding approval.

When should I start the study abroad application process? 

You should have a good sense of which program(s) you want to apply for about six months before the applications are due. Generally speaking:

Study abroad during fall or full year: program application forms due March 1

Study abroad during spring: program application forms due October 1

Some programs (e.g. Regent’s) have much earlier deadlines, some a full year in advance.

What do study abroad applications usually require? 

Requirements vary by program, but programs/universities usually ask for the following: personal and academic information, essay, letter(s) of recommendation, language evaluation, resume, official transcript, passport photos, and study abroad approval forms (to be completed by the Global Education Office).

Where do I submit my study abroad application? 

The Global Education Office collects applications for some programs, then sends them to the universities abroad.

What type of credit can I receive from study abroad courses? 

You can earn credit to fulfill major, minor, or core requirements. Each department has its own rules regarding the number of departmental courses that can be taken while on study abroad. Usually departments allow two- four courses per semester and three or eight  per year to count toward departmental requirements.

How do study abroad grades transfer to my Chestnut Hill College record? Are they factored into my GPA? 

If your courses are preapproved and you earn a C or above in your courses abroad, the name of your program and the credit will appear on your CHC record. There are some exceptions though, where certain programs offer actual CHC courses.

Can I take courses pass/fail abroad? 

Credit is not given for courses taken on a pass/fail basis. You may enroll in a course pass/fail if it is taken on top of a normal course load.

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