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Frequently Asked Questions


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Will I still graduate on time if I study abroad?
Yes! Credits taken abroad are transferable. Additionally, short term faculty-led programs offer SPU credit for courses taught by SPU faculty, so the credit earned is just like taking classes on campus. With careful planning, there is no reason why studying abroad for any length of time should delay graduation.  

What are SPU Partner Programs?
SPU has selected a number of semester-based programs that are hosted by third party providers or direct-enrollment at foreign universities. Students pay SPU tuition and an applicable additional fee that is determined by the program location and cost. Students are eligible for state and federal aid, private scholarships, and SPU grants and scholarships. 

What are Non-Partner Programs? 
SPU has selected programs offered by third party providers programs in over 70 countries. A partnership between SPU and a third-party provider allows students to maintain enrollment at SPU while abroad and guarantees the transfer of course credit taken abroad.Private scholarships and federal/state financial aid may be applied to program costs. Students pay the tuition and fees of the specific program. SPU processes state and federal financial aid, grants, and loans. SPU grants or scholarships cannot be used for the term abroad.

Can I afford to study abroad?
Prices for studying abroad vary depending on length and type of program. Students can participate in short term Global Seminars and the tuition for the courses taken abroad are part of normal SPU tuition. Extra costs will include the travel portion of the trip.  For summer programs, the cost is often not much more expensive than taking the credits on campus.

Consequently, depending on location, you can study abroad for a quarter for about the same cost as staying on campus by attending third party provider programs or directly enrolling at a foreign university. Many are 'semester' rather than 'quarter' programs, so the number of credits your student will be bringing back are over and above those earned in a typical quarter. Extra costs will include airline tickets and any personal expenses or travel the student undertakes while abroad. 

What financial aid or scholarships are available?
In general, students may apply for financial aid (including loans, grants, and scholarships) towards the cost of study abroad programs, whether or not it is sponsored by SPU. Financial aid eligibility is determined using the TOTAL cost of studying abroad, based on official program budgets provided by the Study Abroad Office or the sponsoring institution (if the program is not an SPU program). If you receive financial aid and are planning to study abroad, you will need to contact a representative in Student Financial Services to find out what will apply toward the program of your choice. 

Do I need to speak a foreign language?
There are many programs available in English-speaking countries such as England and Australia. There are also excellent programs available in non-English speaking countries that have all their classes, except for the language classes, taught in English, such as Spain, Italy, Japan, France and Thailand. Also, students who plan ahead can take basic language courses before they leave for their study abroad experience to have a basic understanding of a language before they study abroad. Studying abroad provides students with a terrific opportunity to learn and communicate in another language. 

Are there programs that would fit my major? 
A study abroad program can be found for any major. If you talk with your faculty advisor or a study abroad advisor, we can find a program to fit your academic goals.

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