General

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 (Semester in Italy, 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 Dominican University.

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 like 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 Dominican University faculty members who have experience in study abroad programs.

Preparation

How do I prepare to study abroad?
  • Plan early academically. You can earn Core Area Requirements on each short-term, faculty-led study abroad program, and on most semester long programs. Many times it is easier to fulfill a Core Area Requirement abroad, than to fulfill a major requirement on a study abroad program. For that reason, students should plan ahead for the study abroad program they desire, and save the Core Area Requirements that can be fulfilled for that semester or short term program, so they can get the most "bang for their buck." Do not wait until your senior year to consider study abroad – it will be hard to fit the experience into your academic plan.
  • 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.
  • Talk to your parents about studying abroad. Get them on board with your plans, and allow them to ask questions. Attend information sessions on campus so you are as informed as possible.
  • Make sure you have a valid passport. In order to travel, a passport must be valid for 6 complete months after you would return from your destination.
  • Start to save your money. Even though the actual cost of a semester program may be less than a semester 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 that a semester, short-term programs occur between semesters, so they are an additional expense. 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 information sessions and Open House events (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.

Applying

How do I apply for a study abroad program?

Attend an information session to learn about the program and learn how to apply. Dominican utilizes an online application portal that will be demonstrated during these sessions. Students can also begin applications by clicking "Apply Now" on most program pages, however, they must still attend an information session in order to be accepted.

Complete your applications quickly and early, and after acceptance, complete the post-decision requirements just as quickly. Some programs are limited in how many students can participate, some programs require an additional external application after being accepted through DU, and many times there are visa requirements and timelines to consider. Be sure to ask faculty to complete recommendation surveys long before the application deadline, and if your program requires a completed medical form and passport, take the steps to complete these tasks even before acceptance.

When will I know if I’ve been accepted?

Once your application is complete, it will be evaluated by the Director for Study Abroad and the director(s) of the individual programs. You should hear within a few days after the application deadline you’ve been accepted. Upon acceptance, you should immediately begin completing the post-decision phase of the application to ensure you can participate in the program. Many program directors will accept 15 students, but are only able to travel with the first 10-12 that complete all of the post-decision tasks.

Is this the same for affiliate programs, like Salamanca?

Students complete an application with Dominican University, first, and after they are "Approved to Apply," students are sent the application for the affiliate program. The application for these programs can take a bit longer, and many of our affiliate programs require a visa application as well, so it is important to complete applications within the timelines advised by the Office for Study Abroad.

Do I need a medical form?

This depends upon the program. All short-term programs and some semester programs require a completed medical form, which can be completed with your personal physician or on campus in the Wellness Center. Other programs will require medical information to be shared with an affiliate. 

Finances

Will I get financial aid?

All state and federal financial aid you are approved for is available for semester and year-long Dominican University approved programs. Dominican University institutional aid (except for Residence Life Grant), applies as well, however, if the final cost of your program (after any affiliate scholarships have been awarded) is less than DU tuition, your institutional aid will be prorated. For instance, if the cost of your AIFS program after receiving a Generation Study Abroad Award from AIFS is 85% of Dominican's tuition, you will receive 85% of the institutional aid you were previously eligible for.  After returning from your study abroad program, you will again be eligible for 100% of your institutional aid package.

There are no financial aid cycles during winter break, spring break, or summer, however, Pell eligible students participating in short-term programs in the summer are able to apply Pell Grant funds if they register for 6 credits. Occasionally, additional aid is available for short-term programs, however this may depend on the program, the year, and your major. For this reason, we refer accepted students to Financial Aid to discuss specifics, after they are accepted.

How do I find out if I will get more financial aid?

After the acceptance deadline, the Office for Study Abroad 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 to discuss additional loans or aid.

Are there competitive scholarships I can apply to?

All eligible Dominican University students are encouraged to apply to the ExcEL Scholar Awards to earn up to $2000 towards their study abroad experience. Some schools and departments like the Brennan School of Business and Journalism may also offer a competitive study abroad scholarship.

Pell eligible students planning to participate in a program that is 4 weeks long or longer should apply to the Gilman Scholarship for study abroad. All students can apply to Fund for Education Abroad scholarships, and affiliate scholarships they are eligible for.

Can I apply for loans?

Many students elect to take out loans to cover out of pocket expenses associated with study abroad. Sometimes students are approved for loans, but only take the full amount when they are planning to study abroad. Other times, families elect to file for a Parent PLUS loan in order to secure additional funds. Each student's eligibility is different, and you should consult with financial aid on the eligibility of loans. Make sure that your parents have a current FAFSA on file in order to be considered.

Is there a Study Abroad Fee?

Affiliate programs: Students participating in an Affiliate program are charged a $600 Study Abroad Administration Fee, and are not charged the Student Fee and Technology Fee.

Exchange programs: Students participating in a semester-long Exchange are charged a $600 Program Administration Fee (which includes insurance), and are not charged the Student Fee and Technology Fee. Students participating in a short-term Exchange program are charged a $350 Program Administration Fee (which includes insurance), and are not charged the Student Fee and Technology fee.

DU Programs: Students participating in a semester long Dominican program (London) are charged the same Student Fee and Technology Fee they would be charged taking classes on campus. Students participating in short-term DU faculty-led programs are not charged Technology Fees, and Student Fees are included in the advertised cost of the program.

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 Alison Healy, the Director for Study Abroad, before the deposit deadline and your name will be removed.

Deposits are a commitment to pay the full expense of the program and are non-refundable. However, if you want to withdraw after making a deposit it may be possible to receive some funds back if we have not made purchases for the program, yet. Students should never anticipate this, however, and it is possible that students will be charged more than the initial deposit if purchases have been made by the Office for Study Abroad of Program Director. Therefore, students should only make deposits if they are prepared to participate and pay the entire cost of the program.

Do I have to pay tuition in addition to the program fees?

No, all program fees include Dominican University tuition, either for 1-7 credits (short-term) or 15-18 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.

Credit

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. Short-term faculty led programs all fulfill at least 1 Core Area Requirement, and sometimes major/minor requirements. Other programs may fulfill Core Area Requirements, Major/Minor requirements, or electives. Credit fulfillments will be explained at information sessions.

What do I have to do for the credit?

This varies from program to program. The professor or a 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.

For more information, please contact:

Alison Healy
Interim Director, Study Abroad
studyabroad@dom.edu