General

Do I have to know a foreign language to study abroad?
  • Most programs either offer beginning language while you’re abroad, are in English-speaking countries, or don’t require any prior study of a foreign language.
  • Only three programs (semester in Florence, Chile, and Salamanca) require that you already have an intermediate knowledge of a language before you go.
What’s the difference between a Dominican-run program, an affiliate program, and exchange program?
  • Dominican-run programs are short-term courses offered to Dominican students and students-at-large. These trips are led by Dominican University faculty who have expertise in a particular country and in leading students abroad. 
  • For certain programs, we have an affiliation agreement with a study abroad provider like American Institute for Foreign Studies (AIFS). Students participating in affiliate programs will travel and study with students from all over the United States. These programs have been carefully selected by Dominican faculty and approved for our students.
  • Exchange programs are offered at universities with which Dominican University has a written exchange agreement.

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 abroad.
  • Talk to your parents about studying abroad. Get them on board with your plans, and allow them to ask questions. Attend information sessions 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 on campus at DU, remember that there will be additional expenses as a result of living away from home and not being able to work.  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 experiences available. All programs approved by DU are on this website. You should also attend information sessions and open house events, and talk to the faculty advisors for each program, in order to learn more about it.

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. 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 if you have been accepted within a few days after the application deadline.. 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 communicated by the Office for Study Abroad. You will need to collaborate with your academic advisor at DU to select the courses you will take during your semester abroad.

Do I need to complete a medical form?

Yes. The Travel Medical Form is required for all international experiences at Dominican. This is so we can ensure you have considered all of your wellness needs before committing to travel. Medical forms are due after initial acceptance, by the deposit deadline. Sometimes there is only 2 weeks between your acceptance and the deposit/medical form deadline, so we advise students to complete the medical form as soon as possible. Students complete Part A independently, then work with their own physician or a professional in the Wellness Center to complete Parts B and C. Remember to schedule your appointment with your practioner as soon as you can.

Finances

What does it cost?

Semester-long programs are surprisingly affordable. Students are charged the same Dominican University Tuition, Student Fee, and Tech Fee all students are charged, plus a $500-$800 Study Abroad or Exchange fee. Housing is not charged, but all of our semester study abroad program fees include housing, the coursework, and insurance. Most also include some meals, excursions, and cultural activities. Students do need to purchase their own flights for semester long programs, and may desire to bring extra funds so that they have money to travel and experience the culture.

Short-term faculty led programs typically cost between $2500-$5000. Factors that contribute to the variation in cost are the length of time students are abroad, the cost of living in each city, whether meals are included, costs of flights, etc. The advertised program fees for short-term faculty-led programs include the flight, coursework, housing, insurance, excursions, and sometimes your meals. 

What are the additional fees for the type of program I am interested in? 

Affiliate Semester Programs: Students participating in an affiliated semester program are charged a $800 Study Abroad Fee, in addition to regular tuition and fees.

Exchange Programs: Students participating in a semester-long exchange are charged a $500 Exchange Fee, which covers the cost of your insurance while abroad. Students participating in a short-term exchange program are charged a $350 Program Administration Fee, which covers the cost of your insurance while abroad. 

DU Programs*: Students participating in short-term DU faculty-led programs are not charged Technology Fees, Student Fees, or Tuition for the credits earned. The advertised cost of the program is the only charge you will receive, and it includes the coursework, housing, flight, insurance, excursions, and sometimes your meals. *Please note that graduate programs may not include the flight, and may require a separate charge for the credits earned. Attend an information session to learn more about the exact costs of each graduate-level international program.

Will I get financial aid?

100% of the state and federal financial aid you are approved for can be used on semester-long programs offered through Dominican University. The Residence Life Grant does not apply to semesters abroad. 100% of your other Dominican University grants and scholarships can be used on each of our semester abroad programs except for the Blackfriars College at Oxford University program. Students attending Blackfriars College can utilize 50% of their Dominican University grants and scholarships, during the terms they are abroad. 

There are no financial aid cycles during winter break, spring break, or summer, however, Pell eligible students participating in short-term DU 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 depends 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?

Yes! 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 for program that is 4 weeks or longer.

Students participating in a DU approved AIFS program should apply to all of the AIFS scholarships they qualify for:

Can I apply for loans?

Many students elect to take out loans to cover out-of-pocket expenses associated with study abroad, and sometimes students are offered higher loan packages for their semester abroad. Families can also elect to file for a Parent PLUS loan in order to secure additional funds for their child. Each student's eligibility is different, and you should consult with financial aid on the eligibility of loans. Make sure that you have a current FAFSA on file in order to be considered.

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, 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 Global Learning or Program Director. Therefore, students should only make deposits if they are prepared to participate and pay the entire cost of the program.

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 typically 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 fulfillment 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 return to the US.

Do I have to have a visa?

Visas are not required for most programs, but some, like semesters in Paris, Florence, or Salamanca, do require visas for entry. You’ll find out about this at the orientation.

Where will I lstay while abroad?

This varies by program. Please consult the program director or the webpage for 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.

Can I study abroad again and again?

Students can participate in as many short-term faculty led study abroad experiences as they desire. Students should work closely with their advisors and consider the financial aspects of participating in multiple short-term trips. 

Although they can travel multiple times on short-term programs, students are more limited with long-term travel. Students can only spend one semester abroad, unless they are participating in the Blackfriars College program at Oxford, which is one year long. It is important to plan early and determine which study abroad experiences you want to plan for during your time at Dominican University.

For more information, please contact:

Alison Healy
Director, Study Abroad
studyabroad@dom.edu