Study Abroad FAQ
What exactly is study abroad?
- Students earn academic credit while they travel or live abroad.
- Some programs are short-term (9 days -4 weeks) and students usually do their coursework on campus before they travel to the country.
- Other programs are for a semester or year and the students live in the country and attend classes while abroad.
Do I have to know a foreign language to study abroad?
- Most programs either offer beginning language while you’re abroad or are in English-speaking countries or don’t require any prior study of a foreign language.
- Only three programs (Milan, Poitiers and Salamanca) require that you already know the language before you go.
Do I have to be an English major to go to London?
No, the Semester in London program is for all students, in almost any major that's offered at DU.
What’s the difference between a Dominican-run program and an affiliate program?
- Both types must be approved by Dominican University.
- For certain programs, we have an affiliation agreement with a study abroad provider (International Education of Students (IES) and American Institute for Foreign Studies (AIFS). These students will participate on study abroad programs with students from all over the United States. The programs have been carefully selected by Dominican faculty and approved for our students.
Most short-term programs are led by DU faculty members who have experience in study abroad programs.
How do I prepare to study abroad?
- Plan early. Do not wait until your senior year and then decide to think about it – it will probably be too latel
- Talk to your parents about studying abroad. Get them on board with your plans.
- Talk to your academic advisor early on and make sure that you will be able to fit a study abroad program into your four-year graduation plan. This is especially important if you want to spend a semester or even a year abroad.
- Start to save your money. Even though the actual cost of a semester program may not be more than a semester here at DU, remember that there will be additional expenses, that you can’t live at home and that you can’t work while abroad. Although less expensive, short-term programs will cost additional money, so plan ahead financially.
- Keep your grades up. There are minimum DU GPAs for all programs, ranging from 2.5 to 3.7. The main reason why students are turned down for our programs is a low GPA.
Learn about the different programs. All programs approved by DU are on this website. You should also come to the Study Abroad Open House (in early October) to meet students who’ve already participated and to meet the directors, pick up information and sign up for email notifications of events.
How do I apply for a study abroad program?
- Attend an information session. The application process will be explained in detail during these sessions.
- Complete the application in good time. Give your recommendation forms to professors well in advance of the deadline.
When will I know if I’ve been accepted?
Once your application is complete, it will be evaluated by the Director of International Studies and the director(s) of the individual programs. You should hear within a few days after the application deadline you’ve been accepted.
Is this the same for affiliate programs, like Salamanca?
You will need to complete the application form of the specific affiliate program. We will send your application (with an approval letter) to the affiliate, but the final decision is made by AIFS or IES. This may take a bit longer than for a DU program.
Do I need a medical form?
This depends upon the program. Consult the application packet to see if this is necessary.
Will I get financial aid?
DU (except for Residence Life Grant), state and federal financial aid is available for semester and year DU approved programs. You may qualify for additional financial aid.
How do I find out if I will get more financial aid?
The International Studies Office will send a list of the students accepted to Financial Aid. You must make an appointment with the Financial Aid office after the application deadline.
What if I find out that I can’t afford to go?
There is always a two week period between the application deadline and the deadline for the non-refundable deposit. If you can’t go, just notify the International Studies Office before the deposit deadline at firstname.lastname@example.org and your name will be removed.
Can I apply for loans? Are there additional scholarships for study abroad?
This is a question that can only be answered by the Financial Aid Office. But make sure that your parents have a current FAFSA on file.
Do I have to pay tuition in addition to the program fees?
No, all program fees include DU tuition, either for 1-3 credits (short-term) or 18 credits (semester).
What do the program fees include?
This varies from program to program. Some include airfare, others don’t; some include meals and some don’t. But all program fees include tuition and housing. This is explained on the individual program pages.
Will I get academic credit for study abroad?
All programs are academic and credit-bearing. The number of credits varies on the length of the program and the academic requirements. But you will receive some credit for each of the programs.
What do I have to do for the credit?
This varies from program to program. The professor or Study Abroad advisor will explain this to you.
Packing, money, passports, etc.
How do I know how to access money and what to pack?
Each program has a detailed orientation in which practical questions will be answered. Most programs also have individual interviews before you go, so you can ask these questions then.
Do I have to have a passport?
Yes, you will need a passport which will not expire within 6 months (1 year for some countries) of your entry.
Do I have to have a visa?
Visas are not required for most programs, but some, like Salzburg and Salamanca, do require visas for entry. You’ll find out about this at the orientation.
Where will I live?
This varies by program. Please consult the webpage of the program you’re interested in.
Can I find my own housing?
No, you must live in Dominican University-approved housing or housing arranged by the affiliate program.