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FAQs

 

What is the UWSP Office of International Education?

Am I eligible to go?

Are there special requirements?

Do I need to know a different language?

What programs are available at UWSP?

How do I choose a study abroad program?

Will courses taken abroad apply to graduation?

Is a study abroad program affordable?

Does my financial aid apply to the cost of the program?

What happens after I apply?

How do I become admitted to UWSP?

When are payments due?

What does the announced program cost include?

How many credits can I earn?

What will classes be like?

How much free time will I have on the program?

Who is in charge?

What will we find in the countries we visit?

Do I need a passport or visa?

Will I need vaccinations and immunizations?

Can I drive in a different country?

What happens if I need to withdraw?

Am I ready for travel abroad?

 

What is the UWSP Office of International Education?

The Office of International Education (OIE) is a unit of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point dedicated to providing low-cost, academically based travel-study for students. Participants often consider our programs to be the highlight of their university career. Perhaps no other opportunity can teach you as much about your world, your country, and yourself.
 
The hallmark of our programs has been extensive travel partnered with academics. All of our study tours have ambitious itineraries. Most tours give you an overview, rather than an intensive experience. We are necessarily frugal including housing in pensions and hostels, train travel, and backpacks as the preferred luggage.
 

Am I eligible to go?

You are eligible for most programs if you have at least a 2.50 Grade Point Average (GPA) or are in good standing at another college or university. Check with the OIE about special application requirements and study abroad opportunities. Our language specific based programs in France; Germany; Spain and Mexico require a minimum 2.5 GPA and our direct enrollment programs in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand require a 3.0 GPA. A GPA of 2.75 is needed for the London Internship program. 
 

Are there special requirements?

Our programs generally give preference to students who have prepared themselves by taking coursework related to the host country. 
 

Do I need to know a different language?

Four of our programs require some language ability. Students applying to go to Mexico: Oaxaca, Spain: Valladolid, Germany: Marburg, or France: Caen must have completed the equivalent of four semesters of college-level language courses. Other program sites have no language prerequisite. 
 

What programs are available at UWSP?

Check out our Semester Programs.  We offer a variety of programs!
 
Our short-term programs are generally theme oriented (i.e. environmental studies, cultural geography, or art and design) and change on a regular basis. 
 

How do I choose a study abroad program?

Give serious consideration to your academic and vocational aspirations. Any experience abroad will add to your future employability and broaden your personal horizons, but those that link to your long-term goals will be even more valuable. Some programs are less expensive than others, but all offer an incredible experience. Your primary consideration should be how the experience will help fulfill your goals. We welcome appointments to talk about your specific needs, or just stop by the office during walk in hours on Wednesdays. 
 

Will courses taken abroad apply to graduation?

All credits earned abroad are granted through UWSP. In general, they are 300 (junior) level or above and many are general education requirement courses. Though we cannot offer every student every class they need, our offerings highlight the culture of our chosen countries while helping students proceed toward graduation. In some cases, independent study options are also available. To ensure that overseas courses fit into your overall academic program, plan early and consult your adviser. 
 

Is a study abroad program affordable?

Yes, though it is sometimes more expensive than staying in Stevens Point, studying abroad is still an affordable way to gain a full semester of credits and experience a foreign country. 
money


Does my financial aid apply to the cost of the program?

For UWSP students, if you are eligible for financial aid, it will apply in at least the same amount you receive on campus. In most cases, additional loan money is made available to you. Please contact the Financial Aid Office, Room 103 Student Services Center, 715-346-4771, finaid@uwsp.edu, for details.
 
Eligible students from other schools may or may not receive financial aid from their institution. Application to UWSP may entitle them to financial aid. The Financial Aid Office will work with the OIE to ensure your financial aid is applied to your study abroad program. If any refund is due, it will be applied to your UWSP account.
 

What happens after I apply?

For short term programs, you will need to attend a pre-acceptance meeting. Then the leader will review your application. For semester programs you will need to attend a pre-acceptance meeting and schedule a final interview with the OIE Advisor. Once accepted you will receive further instructions from the OIE.
 
You are ultimately responsible for preparing yourself for a semester abroad. Attend the orientation meetings. Listen attentively, ask questions, and take notes. Frequently students return and tell us that they wished they had prepared better.
 
Our brochures, fact sheets, and website will give you some of the specific information you seek. In the semester before you depart, an intensive Departure Workshop is held. Attendance is required for regional participants. 
 

How do I become admitted to UWSP?

Every student participating in a semester abroad must be admitted to UWSP as a regular or special student. If you intend to apply for financial aid at UWSP, you must fill out the regular admission application and send transcripts as requested. If you are financing your own trip, ask us for a guest matriculant form. Credits are treated as resident UWSP credits. Grades and credits will appear on transcripts in the usual manner and be transferred to your home school. It is up to you to make sure your home university will accept the credits.
 

When are payments due?

When you are accepted as a group member, signify acceptance by sending us your first nonrefundable payment. The first payment applies toward the announced price of the program. You will receive a payment schedule with your acceptance letter. All fees are due when regular campus payments are due. If you are receiving financial aid, we will wait until your aid arrives. Please supply us with verification of aid eligibility. 
 

What does the announced program cost include?

Program costs include: 
  • Full-time undergraduate Wisconsin resident tuition; Minnesota resident students pay a reciprocity fee. Other out-of-state students must pay a $1,000 nonresident surcharge.
  • When airfare is included, airport departure taxes, where applicable, are also included. When airfare is not included, we will help you find a flight.All UWSP Study Abroad air travel must be booked through Fox World Travel.  NO semester long programs include air. For Semester Costs please see our website. For summer costs please see our website. For programs that do not include the air, we will provide you with the information to book your airfare with Fox World Travel.
  • CISI health insurance for your "official" time abroad; all students participating in UW System study abroad programs are REQUIRED to have the state mandated health/travel insurance coverage. UWSP OIE builds this cost into your program price. Under no circumstances are you allowed to opt out of this mandatory coverage.   
    • In addition, all participants in UWSP study abroad programs may also buy their own health insurance to cover extra medical/hospital costs in the event of sickness or injury while abroad. The choice of insurance is yours. The OIE  can assist you by providing information on special health insurance coverage for foreign travelers.
  • Area field trips required as part of class requirements while at your major site;
  • Guest lecturers and guides.
 

How many credits can I earn?

Students may sign up for a maximum of 17 credits during the semester. Each semester student must take a minimum of 12-14 credits depending on program requirements. In rare cases, noncredit participation is permitted on our short-term programs, if the participant agrees to attend class regularly and pay the announced price.
 
An independent study credit option (1-3 credits) is available in some programs. Graduate credit may be available. Contact the OIE for more information. 
academics

What will classes be like?

You will be receiving instruction in the study center of a university or an adjacent location and will not, in most cases, be attending classes with students from your host country. Core courses are mostly humanities and social studies. Classes will be small and often held in unusual locations or nontraditional classrooms.
 
Be aware that professors from the site country may have accents. Professors accompanying the group may well adapt their material and delivery to the location. Class schedules are not set up until after your arrival. 

 

How much free time will I have on the program?

Students may allocate their free time consistent with class responsibilities. These are academic programs so students are expected to attend the classes for which they have enrolled. There is ample free time. Most weekends are free but check with your leader or designated on-site coordinator to be sure. Do not make extensive "break" plans until you arrive in the country to verify class dates. 
 

Who is in charge?

The faculty leader or our designated on-site coordinator administers all aspects of the program. The administrator has the right to terminate the participation of any individual whose conduct disrupts the program, offends persons in the host country, breaks the law, or endangers someone. 
 

What will we find in the countries we visit?

No one can say for sure what you will find. You will be going to lands of contrasts, enigma, and paradox. You may be traversing a continent, but you will see only a small piece of it. Undoubtedly, you will see things you do not understand, but if you keep an open mind, you will broaden your horizons and find yourself asking new questions. 
 

Do I need a passport or visa?

Yes, acquisition of a valid passport is the responsibility of the student. Information on the process will be given to you upon request. It will save all of us additional stress if you already have your passport when you apply to a study abroad program.
Passport details and sig page

 
When visas are required
A visa is an official document allowing you to enter, study and/or reside in a specific country. Check your host countries' embassy or consulate services online to see if you need any special visas before you travel! 
 
Studying in another country sometimes requires a special visa.  Although our office cannot secure your visas for you, we will help guide you through the process for your study abroad experience.  Please note: Visa costs are not part of program costs, and your out-of-pocket cost for a visa can be up to $500 or higher!
In some cases, your valid passport must be sent to the host country's embassy to have the visa physically added to your passport and you will need to appear in person at the consulate.  This takes considerable lead-time and cannot be done at the last minute before departure!
In other cases, the visa application and visa is electronic.

Be advised that any criminal conviction may bar you from entering certain countries or obtaining a visa.
 

Will I need vaccinations and immunizations?

vaccineCurrently there are no vaccinations required for travel in Europe, but a health advisory letter will be distributed to participants electing programs in countries where immunizations are recommended. Immunization recommendations can also be viewed on the Center for Disease Control's website: http://www.cdc.gov
 

Can I drive in a different country?

Generally no.
 

What happens if I need to withdraw?

When a participant withdraws from a program before departure or returns to the U.S. before completion of a program, the individual must communicate directly with the OIE as soon as possible to ensure all essential university procedures are followed and to receive the fullest refund possible.  Airlines and international service providers, including foreign universities and their affiliated agencies, often require advanced payments and impose large cancellation fees.  In case of a participant withdrawal, the OIE will strive to refund payments as much as possible to the individual, but the OIE is not liable for fees and charges imposed by partner agencies and universities. 
 
All study abroad participants assume financial responsibilities for their international experience well before the official U.S. departure date. International programming requires advance payments made on behalf of each individual participant to secure services such as academic lectures, tours, airfare and housing accommodations.

Please read the following withdrawal and refund policy carefully.

1.Airline Tickets.  As an officially confirmed participant in a UWSP study abroad program, any airline tickets purchased on the student's behalf by the UWSP Office of International Education are the student's personal property and financial responsibility. These airline tickets are not part of the UWSP study abroad program fee and thus are not covered by the following refund policy.

2.Required Written Statement of Withdrawal.  In order for a participant to be considered officially withdrawn from a study abroad program, the participant must provide a written statement of withdrawal that is confirmed by a staff member in the Office of International Education.

3.Program Fee Refund Policy for Withdrawal Before the Official Program Commences. The following policy statements are in reference to the date of confirmed statement of withdrawal.

More than one hundred (100) days prior to the official program start date: The Office of International Education will retain the non-refundable application fee and charge a $250 cancellation fee. The application fee is not transferable.

In the period from one hundred (100) days to thirty-one (31) days prior to the official program start date: The Office of International Education will retain the non-refundable application fee and charge a $250 cancellation fee as well as assess penalties for any purchased or reserved transportation, accommodation arrangements, and any instructional costs that on-site providers assess as well as any other program expenditure incurred to the date of withdrawal.

Thirty (30) days prior to the official program start date: The Office of International Education will assess the penalties listed above for the period from one hundred days to thirty-one days, but participants should be aware that on-site providers and other pre-purchased services may be fully non-refundable. 

4. Generally, no refund of any part of the program cost is possible for withdrawal once a program has officially begun.


National Student Exchange:    

Withdrawal before the Official Program Commences.  Prior to January 1 of the year in which the Exchange occurs, the Office of International Education will retain the non-refundable application fee and charge a $250 cancellation fee. The NSE portion of the initial program fee may be refunded prior to its transmission to the NSE offices.   After January 1 of the year in which the Exchange occurs, the NSE portion of the initial program fee is completely non-refundable according to NSE policy. Thereafter, students are subject to cancellation fees by the host university for expenses such as housing, meals, books, etc. and also responsible for any applicable UWSP tuition charges.   Withdrawal during the Official Program: Generally, no refund of any part of the program costs is possible.  NOTE FOR ALL PROGRAMS:  Individual participants are responsible for all expenses and fees charged for their participation.  Any outstanding payments due may be applied to the participant’s UWSP Billing Account.

NOTE:  Individual participants are responsible for all expenses and fees charged for their participation.  Any outstanding payments due may be applied to the participant’s UWSP Billing Account. 
 
Also note:  UWSP does not purchase trip cancellation insurance for program participants. 
Individuals are encouraged to research trip cancellation insurance options and choose personally whether or not to purchase it.


 

Am I ready for travel abroad?

Put some serious thought into studying abroad. If all you want is a vacation, your money may be better spent with a travel agency. Studying abroad can be exhilarating as well as frustrating, fascinating and frightening. It is a commitment to education as well as step outside of the norm.

UWSP and Study Abroad exist to open doors for you. You should approach a study abroad experience with humility, with an open mind, and with a spirit of discovery, in the hope that you may learn about new cultures and other parts of the world. In that spirit, the Study Abroad Office invites you to share this adventure.
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