We’re here to answer your questions throughout the process. If your question is not answered below, please reach out to us via email.
Deciding to Study Abroad
Who is eligible to study abroad?
Both undergraduate and graduate students may study abroad.
Why should I consider studying abroad?
There are many benefits to studying abroad, some of which include:
- Learning a language
- Gaining more independence
- Developing your communication skills
- Immersing yourself in a different culture
- Becoming more open-minded
- Making friends from across the globe
- Enriching your academic studies
When may I study abroad?
You may study abroad as early as the summer after your freshman year. Transfer students must have an established St. Edward's GPA before studying abroad. The earlier you explore your opportunities, the more study abroad experiences you can have.
May I study abroad the same semester I graduate?
Yes; however, your study abroad grades may be delayed due to transcripts coming from abroad or transcripts coming from your provider (which typically take 3–6 weeks post-program). If credit is not received by the published deadline for all credits required for graduation, your graduation will be postponed to the following semester.
May I study abroad more than once?
Definitely. But, studying abroad more than once requires planning to make sure you’re earning credit toward your degree.
What should I consider when selecting a study abroad location?
Consider what you want from your abroad experience, such as the:
- Language by which you want to be surrounded
- Climate in which you want to live
- Culture in which you want to be immersed
How do I know which program to select?
Your Study Abroad advisor will help you determine the best program given your academic goals, your language skills, your financial aid package and your preferences.
Do I have to speak a foreign language to go abroad?
No. Many programs are offered in English, even in non-English speaking countries. But, we encourage students to have a little knowledge of the host country language out of respect for the culture of the country.
What global opportunities (other than study abroad) are available?
Students may consider an internship abroad, completing a volunteer program abroad, working abroad after graduation or pursuing graduate studies abroad.
Applying to Study Abroad
May I apply to more than one study abroad program at a time?
You may not apply to multiple programs for the same semester. Apply to your first choice and then designate a second choice in case your first option is not approved.
How will I know if I was accepted to a study abroad program?
You will be notified via email within 10 days of the application deadline for your program.
What does it mean if I’m “waitlisted” for a study abroad program?
Being waitlisted means the program to which you applied is at full capacity. It’s possible that someone will withdraw from the program after the deadline, in which case you may be able to fill the spot.
Academic Requirements to Study Abroad
Is there a GPA requirement to study abroad?
Yes; we require a GPA of at least 2.75. If your GPA is lower than 2.75 or you’re a transfer student without an SEU GPA, speak with Study Abroad to complete a GPA petition.
What is the GPA Petition process?
Applicants with GPAs below 2.75 will be sent the GPA Petition, which must be completed by the given deadline. You’ll provide information and write a short essay detailing how you’ll manage your studies while abroad. The petition must be approved by the Study Abroad director.
May transfer students study abroad?
Yes, but not during your first semester at St. Edward’s. You must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher to study abroad. If you wish to study abroad in your second semester and do not have a GPA at the time of application, Study Abroad will walk you through the petition process.
May international students study abroad?
Yes. Inform International Student Services of your plans. You’re responsible for acquiring any visa or travel documentation needed to participate. Contact International Student Services with questions.
Costs to Study Abroad and How it Impacts Your Financial Aid
May I use financial aid to study abroad?
Study Abroad works with Student Financial Services to help you choose a program that allows you to maximize your financial aid package. Financial aid can be applied to the cost, but there are stipulations. Your institutional merit and need-based aid, as well as federal financial aid, can be applied to faculty-led, exchange and sponsored semester programs. Summer programs vary in the ways financial aid can be applied. Contact your financial aid advisor with questions. Interested veterans should meet with the Military and Veterans Affairs coordinator to determine program eligibility and funding. Federal work-study is not applicable.
May I apply for scholarships to help pay for study abroad?
The St. Edward’s Study Abroad Scholarship provides financial support to students participating in study abroad. You must be enrolled full-time, have at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA and demonstrate financial need (as determined by Student Financial Services). If eligible, you’ll be prompted to complete an application after you’re approved for your program. View a list of external scholarships. You’re also encouraged to work with the Fellowships Office to apply for a study abroad fellowship.
What should I budget for my study abroad experience?
Your budget depends on where you go, the type of program in which you are enrolled and the cost of living for the city in which you are studying. Studying abroad can often be more affordable than living in Austin, or it can be comparable to living on campus. Just make sure to add in the cost of your flight. In the Study Abroad portal, each program lists an associated budget. Some costs are fixed — like tuition, technology fee and insurance — while airfare, housing and personal expenses vary. You can find Budget Sheets on the program pages of the Study Abroad portal with cost estimates, but please know that the actual costs vary per student.
Health and Safety Resources While Studying Abroad
While I’m abroad, who should I contact in an emergency?
- Contact local, on-the-ground support to receive urgent assistance.
- Use the services of your travel assistance program (Toll-Free: 1-855-327-1414; Direct: 1-630-694-9764; firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Notify UPD at [+001] 512-448-8444. If you require a St. Edward’s office to be involved, UPD will connect you to the appropriate contact.
- Contact your family, update them on the situation and ensure they know how to reach you.
- If you’re traveling with faculty or staff, contact the faculty member or on-site staff at your study abroad program for immediate assistance.
What if it’s not an emergency?
If you’re not traveling with faculty or staff and it is not a medical emergency, contact:
NOTE: Study Abroad does not regularly check email or voicemail over weekends or holidays. Time zones might also make it hard to receive a timely response.
Are there travel assistance programs I can use when studying abroad?
Students participating in exchange, faculty-led and the St. Edward’s international internship programs may use the CHUBB Travel Assistance Program. CHUBB provides 24/7 service, including, but not limited to:
- Medical and dental referrals
- Mental health support
- Facilitation of emergency evacuations
- Access to real-time security and safety information
- Coordination of payment for out-of-country medical bills (for coverage up to $150,000)
- Translation services
- Assistance with replacement of lost travel documents
To contact CHUBB, call the in-country numbers listed on the card, or call 1-855-327-1414 (toll-free). Ask the operator to reverse the charges. Have the policy number ready when you call: ADDN17928665
What is Study Abroad’s sources to monitor global security?
We rely on information from:
- Program staff and international partners
- CHUBB Travel Assistance Program
- U.S. State Department
- U.S. Overseas Security Advisory Council
- Travel alerts
- Local embassies and government agencies
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Where can I find information about country-specific laws and regulations?
Stay informed of current health and security considerations in your proposed country of study. Refer to these resources as you determine the most appropriate program abroad, during pre-departure planning and when traveling within or outside of your study abroad location:
How can I remain vigilant while abroad?
Adopt the following strategies to help keep you safe and healthy:
- Register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment program and update your Study Abroad portal profile with relevant contact information.
- Keep a charged cell phone with you at all times.
- Carry contact information for your program staff and the in-country 911-equivalent numbers.
- Be alert to your surroundings and trust your instincts.
- Know what is culturally and legally appropriate.
- Stay informed about current events in your host country.
- When traveling, make sure program staff and family know where you’re going and when you’re expected to return.
- Avoid demonstrations and high-crime areas, and do not walk alone at night.
What are recommendations to help me maintain physical and mental health while abroad?
You’re required to get a medical examination before you go abroad. Talk with your primary care physician about how to maintain your healthcare plan and assess if any special accommodations are needed abroad. Also, disclose a physical and/or mental health condition to your program staff so that they can create a plan to assist you in managing your health. Keep in mind that healthcare in your host country may be different than what you are accustomed to. Bring health documentation such as immunization records, prescriptions, etc. If you have a disability, read about accommodations while studying abroad.
How do I get support if I’ve been harassed or assaulted while abroad?
If you’re sexually assaulted or you’ve been harassed, contact your in-country support (program director/faculty leader/international student office). They are the best first resource since they have the cultural knowledge, and can advise about next steps legally and medically in that country. St. Edward’s University resources remain available while abroad if you would like additional support and/or if you don’t feel comfortable speaking with your in-country support.
How is Study Abroad making program determination guidelines during COVID-19?
Study Abroad will continue to use the CDC and/or State Department level rankings to evaluate programming on an ongoing basis. For all programs, we use the following criteria:
Prior to a Program Departure:
If the warning level from the CDC or U.S. State Department ranking is at 3 or above due to COVID-19 concerns prior to program departure, the program will be suspended or canceled. Should this occur, students will be notified by Study Abroad staff.
During a Program:
If the CDC or U.S. State Department issues a level 3 or above warning due to COVID-19 concerns while a program is underway, the Risk and Emergency Management team will provide further information regarding what, if any, choices a student has at that time. If a level 4 warning is issued from the State Department, we will recall students from the location.
What COVID-19-related communications were sent to students?
The following messages were sent to our Study Abroad community:
- March 11, 2020 update
- March 10, 2020 update
- Feb. 29, 2020 update
- Feb. 28, 2020 update
- Feb. 27, 2020 update
Traveling During Your Program
May I arrive early to my program and stay after it has ended?
Yes, as long as you’re where you need to be for the program start and end dates.
Am I allowed to travel during free weekends or campus holidays?
If you’re on an exchange program, you’re free to travel on weekends and campus holidays. If you’re on a sponsored or faculty-led program, you’re only allowed to travel when weekend activities and excursions are not scheduled.
Withdrawing from a Program
What do I do if I want to withdraw from my study abroad program?
Review the cancellation policy on your application for both your program and for Study Abroad. Then, let Study Abroad know in writing and meet to review the financial implications and alternative options. Be sure you understand the financial penalties for withdrawing. Study Abroad uses the first recorded communication about your intent to withdraw as the date from which penalties are assessed. When you’re certain you no longer want to participate in a program, the sooner you contact Study Abroad, the better.
What are the withdrawal fees if I withdraw after the deadline?
Withdrawal fees depend on how close your withdrawal is to the start of the program.
Returning to the Hilltop
What support will I have as I transition back to my studies on the hilltop?
Read our guide to understand what you might experience upon return. In addition, Study Abroad hosts a re-entry workshop for returning students.
How can I celebrate my study abroad experience?
Claim your graduation regalia and display it at commencement. In addition, you can earn a Global Engagement Certificate; learn more about this option.
Information for Parents and Families
What can I expect as my student navigates through their study abroad experience?
The following steps reflect the general process that your student will go through:
Exploring – Your student may learn about our study abroad programs on our Study Abroad Portal They may also come to a general information session or attend drop-in advising. Advisors will guide them in selecting a program that best meets their academic, personal and professional goals.
Applying – Your student will apply to their selected program (and indicate a second choice) by the posted deadline. Upon review of all applications and within two weeks of the posted deadline, they will receive information regarding their acceptance and instructions for next steps.
Accepted – All admitted students will be given 10–14 days to commit to the program and submit the $100 deposit (non-refundable) to hold their spot in the program.
Committed and Preparing – Study Abroad provides all relevant requirements, deadlines and next steps for committed students. This includes information on pre-departure meetings, obtaining a passport and/or visa, flight purchasing, course registration, health clearance, housing, payments and additional application steps (sponsored and exchange programs).
Abroad – While abroad, your student will be responsible for his or her academic coursework and all remaining required materials. We encourage you to review this helpful guide to understand what your student might be experiencing while abroad and upon return.
Home on the Hilltop – Once your students returns home, Study Abroad offers programming to help them reconnect to campus and integrate their experiences for life beyond the hilltop.