Frequently Asked Questions
Deciding on a Place & Program for Semester AbroadHow 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.
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.
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-DepartureHow 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.
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.
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.)
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 email@example.com.
While AbroadHow 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.
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!
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.
FinancesWhich 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.