Interested in study abroad, but wondering where to start? Follow these steps!
These policies and procedures are for students with an interest in studying abroad to earn academic credit. View the video playlist below to learn more about using ViaTRM for applying to Oglethorpe study abroad programs.
The decision to study abroad is a crucial one, based upon a number of factors including personal goals, field of study, projected career path, and personal finances. Students should select a college or university abroad only after researching the websites and material available in the Center for Global Education and in the A_LAB Exchange, and the OU Study Abroad website at alab.oglethorpe.edu. Students should also carefully examine the application procedures, program or semester dates, and the costs for the proposed destination, taking into account the time frame for the semester spent abroad and whether it matches with the OU academic calendar. This is also the point at which a decision should be made for length of duration of the study abroad program – i.e. semester, summer term, or full academic year.
Once a preliminary choice for a study abroad destination and duration is made, contact Director of the Center for Global Education Dr. Marisa Atencio to set up an advising appointment.
Using course descriptions from the proposed host institution or program, develop a preliminary list of courses to be taken abroad and bring this list to the meeting with the Director. During this meeting the Director will provide a STUDY ABROAD COURSE APPROVAL FORM on which to list these courses.
Students will also need appointments with the following:
- Academic Advisor – for approval of the overall plan as it pertains to remaining on track for the student’s graduation requirements.
- Program Coordinators listed on the form – for approval of the individual courses for credit by department.
After obtaining all the appropriate signatures, return the Course Approval Form to the Director of the CGE, who will forward approved forms to the Registrar’s Office. This will trigger enrollment in a FOR (Foreign Study) placeholder course FOR EACH SEMESTER ABROAD.
This “course” enrolls the student at OU with a 12-credit placeholder while abroad, circumventing the need for re-enrollment upon return. While credits for approved, successfully completed classes will transfer to Oglethorpe, grades in those classes will not be included in GPA calculations.
Every student attending an Oglethorpe-approved semester or full academic year abroad program during the fall or spring semesters may apply to receive equivalency for one semester of the junior-year Core, either for COR 301 Historical Perspectives on the Social Order I or for COR 302 Historical Perspectives on the Social Order II. Students should discuss their equivalency choice with the Director of the CGE and their academic advisor, and upon return, submit proof of completed study abroad course work to the Director of the Core Program so they can approve the equivalency.
All students must complete all forms required by the CGE prior to departure for their study abroad term in order to be eligible to receive transfer credits from any institution abroad.
Please note: The Director of the Center for Global Education reserves the right to deny students any study abroad program if, in his or her opinion, the student is not academically ready based upon GPA and/or discussion with the faculty advisor, or if there are valid financial or behavioral reasons that would indicate the inability to manage living successfully abroad. Failure to complete the Course Approval and Authorization Forms by their deadlines will jeopardize the ability to receive these credits as well as access to financial aid, if otherwise eligible.
Attendance at one of Oglethorpe’s partner universities will trigger billing of tuition from Oglethorpe at the same rate as if the student were studying in Atlanta. Transportation to and from the international destination, room, and board are usually separate costs and must be calculated as such. The study abroad office at the destination institution will work closely with students to find and select housing. Costs for non-partnership colleges will vary, and some offer comparable tuition rates to OU. In calculating the costs, irrespective of which college is attended, a $300 study abroad fee and a separate insurance fee to cover repatriation of remains and evacuation insurance will be billed to the student’s account, payable to Oglethorpe before embarking upon the study abroad stint. This study abroad fee covers administrative costs to maintain enrollment while abroad. Finally, arrangements should be made to discuss financing options with the Financial Aid office for any non-partnership colleges.
In order to receive academic credit for a program abroad, students must submit an Oglethorpe Study Abroad Application in the Petrel’s Abroad Portal. The Director of Global Education is available to students and will communicate by email regarding any additional steps or processes and deadlines.
In addition to the application to Oglethorpe, students planning to study with an Exchange or International Partner, LeadAbroad, or an Authorized Study Abroad Partner (CIEE, AIFSA, Arcadia, etc…) must submit a separate application to be considered by the other organization involved.
Students must also complete forms, submit evidence and establish the insurance coverage they will enroll for their program abroad, a course approval form (when applicable), Medical Preparations, and Travel & Visa Details.
For Spring Semester Study Abroad
- October 1: STEP ONE
Study Abroad Application
- October 15: STEP TWO – Commit to a program in the Petrel’s Abroad Portal (ViaTRM)
Risk Release Form
Health Insurance Information
- November 1: STEP THREE
Course Approval Form
Medical & Travel Preparations
- December 1: STEP FOUR
Travel & Visa Details
For Summer OR Fall Semester Study Abroad
- March 1/April 1: STEP ONE
Signed Study Abroad Application
- March 15/April 15: STEP TWO
Risk Release Form
Health Insurance Information
- May 15: STEP THREE
Course Approval Form
Medical & Travel Preparations
- June 1/July 1: STEP FOUR
Travel & Visa Details
If a student visa is needed for the study abroad destination, obtaining one is the student’s responsibility, and students work directly with the appropriate consulate (or external agency that will provide the visa) in obtaining one. Global Education is here to support you and asks you to communicate with us the progress in obtaining the visa from the respective consulate.
Participating in studying abroad is an investment in the future and involves a commitment to advanced planning, careful time and money management, creativity, and perseverance. Financing this experience is an integral part of that investment. The personal, academic, and professional rewards will last a lifetime.
Schedule an appointment with a Financial Aid counselor. Bring any additional cost information for tuition, fees, and housing that are required to be paid outside of obligations to Oglethorpe. In this meeting, the student will calculate costs of the study abroad and determine what financial resources are available with the guidance of the counselor. Housing costs—room and board—at almost every study abroad institution are the responsibility of the student. Housing arrangements vary widely, and those arrangements, as well as the financing of them, should be made with the study abroad institution before departure. Information on these resources can be found on the HUB website.
There are various scholarships available that can help make the experience less financially stressful. Sources to support study abroad can be found by exploring the A_LAB Study Abroad Scholarship Directory, student aid websites, researching grants or scholarships given by the selected host college abroad, or by securing student loans in the financial aid office.
Outside scholarships are not connected to any specific OU programs, and can be applied for independently by any student. Most scholarships are only awarded for semester or year-long study and some are highly competitive. Most have very specific, detailed application requirements, so research the options and apply early.
*** Note that deadlines for many of these scholarships close 8-12 months in advance – so plan accordingly. ***
Oglethorpe University requires all students who study abroad to maintain health insurance that covers them in their destination abroad for the entirety of their program period. Each student must determine how s/he will be covered for health insurance while abroad either by calling their insurance company to inquire whether s/he will be covered or by reviewing the existing policy documents.
In addition, Oglethorpe requires that every study abroad participant must have insurance to cover any and all expenses that might occur due to such injury as might require immediate return to the student’s country of residence for care or for untimely death abroad, commonly called evacuation and repatriation insurance. This insurance will be purchased on every student’s behalf by the Center for Global Education in the A_LAB at the level that each individual destination program requires, and will be charged to the student’s University account. Students may petition for exemption from this fee if they already have insurance that will cover them at an adequate level, or if their program abroad provides this insurance as part of their participation fees. In the event that a student desires additional coverage, the Center for Global Education will be able to purchase increased coverage.
It is the student’s responsibility to provide the Director of the Center for Global Education with proof of domestic health insurance as part of the pre-departure documentation requirements.
Students should reserve a ticket far enough in advance after acceptance by the host institution to feel comfortable about travel plans and cost of the ticket. Students must either copy the ticket info or send it via email to the Center for Global Education in the A_LAB for the student’s file. Be sure to alert the host institution contact via e-mail, and inform him or her of the flight information to see if someone from the office is available to provide transportation from the airport.
Important caveat: If a student visa is required for the study abroad country, we recommend that you wait to purchase your airline ticket until after you have received your visa from the Consulate!
Students must contact the Director, Center for Global Education in the A_LAB within 48 hours after arrival in the country of study abroad. In addition, the director can be contacted anytime, night or day, should help be needed on any matter. Once settled in to the host institution, contact the CGE at minimum once a month, through a brief email, to check-in and let the CGE staff know how things are progressing. The CGE Director and/or staff can be contacted directly via OU email.
Prior to departure from the host institution, be sure to contact the Registrar’s Office abroad about any transcript procedures for obtaining your grades. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that transcripts are sent to OU in a timely manner; therefore, prior to departure from the study abroad institution, provide their registrar with the address of the Director of Global Education in the A_LAB, who will process the transcript and forward it to the OU Registrar’s Office for successful recording of credits.
Please have transcript mailed to:
Dr. Marisa Atencio
Center for Global Education
4484 Peachtree Rd., NE
Atlanta, GA 30319
Upon return from the program abroad, complete a Study Abroad Evaluation Form (available from the CGE and on the A_LAB web site), and send it to the Global Education Coordinator. After that form is completed, make an appointment with the Director, with whom you will schedule an exit interview at your earliest convenience. It is best to complete this final task as soon as possible, so the study abroad experience is still fresh in mind. This will complete your study abroad requirements at OU.
The Center for Professional Development, also located in the A_LAB, is available to help begin to leverage the study abroad experience by including the transferrable skills obtained through experiences abroad on a resume. These skills will translate toward a job, and are what employers will look for in applicants’ cover letters, resumes, and interviews.