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Frequently Asked Questions

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Deciding on a Place & Program for Semester Abroad

How do I decide where to study abroad?
Consider what is most important to you. Is it more important to be in a particular geographic location, or are you willing to go anywhere as long as it fits your budget? Can you afford to take some core requirements and electives, or are you on a strict course schedule and need to take specific classes within your major? Do you want to be more flexible and independent while abroad or do you desire more structure and support? Answer these questions first and it will help give you some direction. Schedule an advising meeting with the Study Abroad office to help you narrow down your options.

 

What's next after I've chosen my possible destinations?
Look at our semester programs page to see if Concordia has specific affiliated universities in the places you are considering. If not, research some other programs through API, ISA, IES, or TEAN to see what they offer. Figure out what classes you could possibly take abroad and if those programs offer similar courses.

I'm pretty set on my destination and program, but how do I know if it's possible?
Once you have thoroughly researched and settled on a place/program, make sure to set up a meeting with your academic advisor to talk about study abroad and how it will fit in with your Concordia education. Coming prepared with a list of courses offered and other information about the foreign university will help your advisor work with you on deciding if it fits with your degree aspirations (The study abroad office can help with this if you bring your 4 year plan). Students are required to confirm class options with the Registrar's office to make sure the credits will transfer.

 

Pre-Departure

How do I make sure that the classes I take will meet my degree requirements?
The process is straightforward:
  • Review the program's class/module list (one that includes descriptions).
  • Match up their classes with classes required at CUW. (This can be done at your study abroad advising sessions).
  • Set up a meeting with the dean or chair of each department to approve your classes.
  • Bring the approved list to the Registrar's office for a final approval.

How much luggage should I bring with me?
We recommend bringing one checked bag, one carry-on, and your designated personal item. Any more luggage is extremely hard to navigate through the airports and will usually incur extra luggage fees. See the packing checklist sheet for more details.

How do I prepare for my study abroad experience?
While you can never be fully prepared for the adventure of spending a semester abroad, there are a few things you can do for a smoother transition.
  • Research the country so you know what behavior is culturally acceptable and what key differences exist.
  • Contact other students who have studied abroad in your destination. (The Study Abroad Office, or your program provider, can provide names and contact details.)
  • Identify the parts of studying abroad that may be the most difficult for you and develop plans to work through them. (Do you get homesick at summer camps? Do you see a therapist or doctor regularly and plan to continue that? Can you ride a bike and walk several miles per day?)
  • Attend the mandatory orientation hosted by Concordia's Study Abroad office. (You will be emailed the details after acceptance. Generally, this happens in late November for Spring students and April for Summer and Fall students.)

What if my health insurance doesn't cover me overseas?
Concordia students are required to have insurance to cover them during the duration of their program. For Global Ed. courses, Concordia will register you for coverage through iNext insurance. For most semester abroad programs, your program provider will include insurance in the cost of your program. For more information about insurance, please contact study.abroad@cuw.edu.

How (and who) do I pay for my program?

1.) Global Ed. Program - Students pay the program fee directly to Cocordia by check, cash, or credit card. Students should write their Global Ed program on the check, or use the provided credit card form that lists the Global Ed account. 

2.) Summer or winterim provider program - Students pay the provider directly for the entire program cost, housing, tuition, and fees. If you are billed tuition by Concordia for a summer/winterim program with a provider (API, TEAN, ISA), please email study.abroad@cuw.edu immediately.

3.) Semester provider programs - Students going on a provider program for a semester will pay Concordia. We have agreements with our approved program providers that they bill Concordia, and we apply the fees to your account as follows:
  1. Concordia's tuition rate, (or the program tuition rate if it is higher than CUWAA). This is so the student keeps their financial aid package and can use 529 funds to pay the fees.
  2. Housing is billed at the provider's published rate to the student's Concordia account.
  3. Any scholarships are taken out of the housing cost unless the exceed the housing amount.
It is important to know whether your student's housing cost covers meals and/or laundry. Housing and a meal plan at CUW is $5,585. That means that if your apartment housing abroad is $5,000 (but doesn't include meals) it will end up being more expensive than staying on campus. Homestays are often a great option, because your host mom or dad will provide 2-3 meals each day and free laundry for $2-3,000!

For example:
Hannah is going to Italy for the fall semester. The program provider bills Concordia for the published program fee, which includes tuition, fees, and housing. Hannah's Concordia account shows a $14,590 charge for tuition and a housing fee of $2,500. Her $1,000 Study Abroad Scholarship was taken off the housing cost, originally $3,500. Hannah's overall Concordia bill is $17,090. Hannah's financial aid package each semester covers $8,000, so when that is factored in, Hannah will pay $9,090 to Concordia for her semester abroad. Meals, flights, and personal expenses are not billed and must be be paid by Hannah.

Concordia provides a Cost of Attendance Adjustment form, which students fill out with their study abroad advisor. This form can be taken to financial aid if the student wants to increase their loans, or just to check with financial aid how their regular aid package will apply.
International Study Cost of Attendance Form.doc

 

While Abroad

How can I stay in contact with people back home?
Students can use Skype, which is a free VOIP service. Skype also has the option of allowing you unlimited calling to any U.S. land line from your laptop for a subscription fee of under $5 a month. There are a number of other VOIP services as well, such as WhatsApp. It’s also possible on most cell phone carriers to extend service abroad, although it’s not usually the cheapest option.

How do I keep up-to-date on Concordia happenings while abroad?
You'll still receive regular Concordia emails while abroad. You must make sure to keep track of major dates such as class registration, FAFSA deadlines, housing hand-in dates, etc. Just because you are abroad does NOT mean that these can be extended for you if you forget to fill something out on time!

Can things that happen abroad affect my standing with Concordia?
Even though you are abroad you will still be registered as a Concordia student. Therefore your actions abroad do affect you as a Concordia student. Class failures, violations of conduct code, etc. will go through the same processes as they would if you were still on Concordia's campus.

Finances

Which university's tuition do I pay?
As long as you are enrolled in one of Concordia's approved study abroad programs, you're still considered a Concordia student while abroad, so you will still pay regular tuition to Concordia. Concordia will then pay the foreign university's tuition up to the amount of Concordia’s tuition.
This means that as long as your foreign university tuition doesn't exceed Concordia's, you'll still pay the same tuition you would at Concordia. (There aren't many cases in which tuition abroad will be more expensive.) Students must contact the Financial Aid Office to verify all tuition costs.

What about housing and meals?
Housing is separate, and you will pay the housing cost of the program or university in which you are enrolled for the semester. Some programs include a meal plan in their program cost. Others require students to shop for food on their own and make their own meals. There are also programs where students stay with a host family who will provide most of the student's meals. 

Can I still use my financial aid to study abroad?
Short answer: Yes, though some restrictions may apply based on which kind of aid is part of your aid package, and what you will be doing/studying abroad. Direct any questions about your financial aid to your financial aid advisor.
 
Are there scholarships available?
Yes, there are many! Concordia has scholarships available up to $1,000 per student depending on eligibility and the number of applicants. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship offers an average of $4,000 to one out of every three applicants. See the “Scholarships” page for details. There are dozens of other private scholarships and grants available if you are willing to put in the work of researching and applying.

What other expenses will I need to consider?
Additional costs can fluctuate between programs and countries. The main expenses associated with a semester abroad include airfare, passport, visa, additional traveling during the semester, necessities bought while abroad, spending money, and international health insurance. Also keep in mind that exchange rates fluctuate, which may affect the total cost of your study abroad experience as well.

What do I need to know about health, safety and insurance?
Once you apply, you will gain access to Learning Content through your study abroad portal that will cover vital information about health and safety. You will also attend the Pre-Departure Orientation where additional information will be presented.
 
For more information contact study.abroad@cuw.edu