Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will I receive a full semester's/year's worth of credits?

Yes! When you attend one of the VU-approved programs, you receive credit for all of the classes you take while you're abroad. In addition, these credits are considered VU credits, not transfer credits, so your grades are valid as well.

How can I use the credits that I earn abroad?

Most students use their credits to fulfill their general education requirements. Depending on your area of study and which program you choose, these credits may also count toward your major or minor. It is important to consult with your academic advisor as early as possible, to see which requirements you can fulfill abroad. This way, you can avoid taking classes twice and make sure you still graduate in four years.

How much more does it cost to go abroad than to stay on campus?

For most programs, the tuition and fees are the same as, or similar to, what they would be on campus. In addition, there may be a study abroad fee to cover the cost of group trips and center expenses. In most cases the student will be responsible for purchasing his or her airline ticket through the Office of International Programs. The student is responsible for any extra spending money (this amount will vary greatly, depending on the cost of living in each country, how much extra travel the student plans, the student's spending habits, etc.) For exact program costs, please refer to the Cost Sheet, or the Fact Sheet for the program that interests you.

Will I still receive my financial aid?

Yes. Since all VU programs are considered "in-residence," most academic and need-based financial aid applies toward a semester abroad. Some common exceptions are work-study, and certain departmental scholarships that require on-campus participation, such as music or athletics.

Depending on your need and the availability of funds, low-interest loans of up to $2000 may be available to cover the added cost of the study abroad fee and airfare. Please check with your financial aid officer about how your financial aid will apply to a semester abroad.

Additionally, study-abroad scholarships may also be available for certain programs. Inquire if you have further questions.

What year should I go abroad?

Students may go abroad sophomore, junior, or senior year, though the junior year is the most popular (and a few programs require you to be a junior--see the Fact Sheet for the program you plan to attend). Again, you should consult with your academic advisor to see when would be the best time for you to go.

Do I need a Foreign Language?

No! Our programs in Reutlingen, Germany, Hirakata, Japan and Hangzhou, China do not require any previous language study (you can learn it there), and the programs in Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin in England, and Windhoek, Namibia are entirely English-based. All other programs do have a language requirement.

When and how should I apply to study abroad?

It is recommended that students apply to study abroad two semesters in advance, though students may begin inquiring sooner. Application deadlines for early acceptance for the fall semester are generally in early October and for the spring semester in early February. (Applications will be accepted one semester in advance, if space is still available.)

How competitive is it to study abroad?

Because our university is committed to internationalization, we want to make it as easy as possible for students to study abroad. The Office of International Programs can assist you in deciding which program semester and year is right for you. Students must be at least a sophomore and in good academic standing. If a program is more restrictive, it is because the program deals with a specialized area of interest or requires certain academic preparation. Again, you can refer to the Fact Sheet or check with the Office of International Programs if you have questions about a specific program.