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You Need to Know

What is study abroad?

Study abroad is any academic work that students engage in outside the U.S. for college credits. Study abroad can take several forms:

When should I study abroad?

Most students from Emporia State University go abroad during their sophomore and junior year. However, depending on the major and the academic progress, some senior students may participate in study abroad programs. Also, freshman students may participate in an academic experience the summer following the completion of the first academic year.

Study abroad requires planning far in advance. Most deadlines are one or even two semesters before starting the program. Check the program deadlines carefully and plan accordingly. It is never too early to start planning for a study abroad experience!

I'm thinking about studying abroad. What is the next step?

  1. Make an appointment with the OIE study abroad advisor ( to discuss your study abroad plans and decide if and when studying abroad is right for you.
  2. Meet with your academic advisor to see how your plans to study abroad fit with your academic progress.
  3. Start filling out your ESU Study Abroad Application Packet, following carefully the checklist and instructions detailed in the packet.
  4. Champion all the signatures needed for approval of your study abroad plan. These signature include your Dean, Department Chair, Dean of International Education, and Registration. 

Will I receive academic credits when I study abroad?

All study abroad activity is credit-bearing. The mechanic of obtaining credits will differ, depending on the program of choice.

In the case of ESU programs (whereby students enroll in ESU courses and travel with faculty members), students may not need to transfer credits. However, students studying abroad in non-ESU programs will most likely transfer credits. To transfer credits, students need to fill-out a Prior Approval Form, as part of the ESU Study Abroad Application Packet. The Prior Approval Form contains a detailed list of courses approved by the corresponding Department Chairs, identifying ESU courses that serve as equivalency. All non-ESU study abroad programs require that students submit a Post Approval Form upon return. The Post Approval Form lists all the courses taken and approved at the host university and needs to match the transcript received from the academic institution overseas. All approved credits are transferred after a study abroad experience. Where possible, grades may also be transferred.

The student is responsible for requesting at the host university an official transcript to be sent directly to the Office of International Education. 

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Do I need to know a foreign language?

Proficiency in a foreign language is not always required for a study abroad experience, although it helps! Some ESU students decide to study abroad in English speaking countries such as Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, etc. In addition, students will find many foreign universities throughout the Emporia State University study abroad network that offer instruction in English, regardless of the national language. Click here to find study abroad destinations where English is used as instruction language. 

Will I continue to receive financial aid if I study abroad?

Financial aid for students who study abroad works very much like it does for students who study at ESU. Typically, you need to be enrolled full-time during the semester of study abroad to get your financial aid disbursed. In addition, students need to be mindful that financial aid monies are disbursed according to ESU's academic calendar. In other words, if the study abroad program starts before the beginning of the ESU semester, there will be a wait period before financial aid is disbursed. 

Below are the steps to use if the student is planning to study abroad and needs financial assistance.  Each of these steps must be completed before leaving for a study abroad experience:

  1. Apply for a study abroad program
  2. Apply for federal aid by way of the FAFSA (if you have not already done so)
  3. Complete the Study Abroad Information for Financial Aid form (as part of the ESU Study Abroad Application Packet)
  4. Make an appointment with a financial aid counselor and obtain their signature on the form
  5. Make all necessary arrangements for disbursement (i.e. if the monies are disbursed after your departure)
  6. Complete the payment agreement form for each period of enrollment in which you will be studying abroad
  7. Be sure to have a valid checking account to transfer any excess of financial aid monies

Is there any fee involved in studying abroad?

Yes, Emporia State University assesses an administrative fee for most study abroad programs. These fees were revised for the academic year 2012-2013. The fee will be posted in you student account at the beginning of the semester you will be studying abroad. 

Study Abroad fees for 2015-2016

When will I be charged for my study abroad program?

For summer study abroad programs, charges may be assessed up to two semesters prior to the study abroad opportunity, following the payment schedule defined by the program. Any financial aid/scholarship funds remaining after the semester charges have been paid will be applied to study abroad charges.

For semester programs which are paid at ESU you will be charged at the beginning of ESU's semester.

For semester programs which are through a direct enrollment with a partner provider, you will follow their payment schedule.

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Do I need a visa?

A transit visa is sometimes required when the flight connection involves a 3rd country. Visas are required based on your citizenship and/or the country that issued your passportVisas often take more than a month to process, so please be sure to apply for a visa well before you are scheduled to leave the U.S. YOU are responsible for applying, paying for, and getting the visa. Sometimes this includes going to another state for an appointment with the consulate of the country you will be studying in. The fee for the visa is NOT included in the cost of the program.

Please visit some of the following websites to learn about visa requirements:

If you have further questions about visa requirements, please consult with the Office of International Education.

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