Study Abroad Policies
Academic and Disciplinary Standing
Students participating in study abroad programs are expected to have good academic and disciplinary standing. Those who do not maintain good academic and disciplinary standing through the end of the semester preceding the program may have their acceptance rescinded upon review by the associate dean and/or faculty coordinator. Please refer to withdrawal and refund policy information below. Students who may be on academic or disciplinary probation, but interested in discussing options for study abroad, are encouraged to speak with a study abroad advisor.
A priority of the program is to provide a healthy and safe learning environment for all participants, so all students are expected to be medically fit for study abroad. In certain locations, health facilities are not equipped to handle all medical and mental health concerns, and local cuisine might not accommodate all dietary restrictions. Upon program acceptance, students are required to provide a doctor’s certification along with complete information about any health conditions that could impact their (or other students) safety, studies, and experience overseas. Students with health and dietary concerns should also consult the faculty director for the program if unsure whether their health condition might significantly impact the experience. Students who do not obtain a doctor’s clearance, or whose doctor deems them medically unfit to study abroad, will not be allowed to participate in the program. Students who fail to report pertinent medical information or follow through on program-specific pre-travel medical needs could also be dismissed from the program. Please refer to the withdrawal and refund policy information below.
The program fee charged for short-term study abroad programs through Lang covers expenses entailed with living and learning abroad for several weeks (housing arrangements, local excursions, instructional costs, classroom rental, etc.). It also represents a contribution toward the administrative expenses for the program which are shared among all participants. The program fee does not include all expenses though, such as airfare. Students should likewise be prepared to pay for some daily incidental costs while abroad. Estimates are usually available from the faculty director and/or study abroad advisor. For summer programs, students may also be charged university fees upon registration for the associated course(s). Most study abroad programs will expect a deposit upon admission to confirm participation; please note all deposits are non-refundable.
Credits associated with summer abroad programs are most often registered in the summer term. Students will register online during the spring registration period. After the program has started, students who withdraw prior to the fourth day can drop the course from their transcript with no academic penalty. Students who withdraw from the fourth to the sixth day of the program will receive a W (“withdrawal”) notation on the transcript. Students who withdraw after the sixth day will receive a WF (“withdraw fail”) notation on the transcript. Students should notify the faculty director and the study abroad coordinator in writing about withdrawals. The schedule for registration withdrawals is distinct from the schedule for program refunds; for more information about financial consequences of a withdrawal, refer to the section below.
Requests for Alternate Credit Arrangements
To ensure that short-term study abroad programs remain affordable to students, we have made special registration arrangements within the university to manage costs, and must honor these arrangements in all instances. As such, we are unable to approve requests to defer credits until a future semester, backdate credits to a previous semester, distribute credits over multiple semesters, or allow students to register for non-credit (audit). We likewise cannot approve requests for independent studies (designed to grant credit for the coursework abroad) in previous or subsequent semesters. All students should register for the full credits associated with the program in the designated term.
Where offered, homestays offer an important dimension to the study abroad experience through the opportunity for cultural lessons, language skill development and practice, and a supportive family environment. For this reason, students participating in homestays are expected to live with their assigned host family for the duration of the program. Students should also be respectful and courteous in all interactions with the host families, including assistance with household chores (especially communal spaces), compliance with household rules, checking in routinely with host families, and general cooperation. If a problem arises, students are expected to contact the faculty director for guidance in resolving the matter.
Program Refunds & Cancellation Insurance
Airline ticket refunds cannot be accommodated in case of student withdrawal or dismissal, or program cancellation, so all students are urged to purchase refundable airline tickets with cancellation insurance. In the unlikely event that the U.S. Department of State issues a travel warning for the program country that results in cancellation, the program fee will be refunded to students in full. Otherwise, full refunds of the program fee can be approved only if a student withdraws from the program before May 1 (summer) or December 1 (winter). Exceptions to this policy, including consideration for a partial refund, will be reviewed only with documented emergencies by the Lang College Study Abroad Committee. In all instances, students should notify the faculty director and study abroad coordinator in writing about withdrawal. Refunds of the program fee for students dismissed from the program will be considered on a case-by-case basis only, referencing the particular circumstances that resulted in dismissal.
All undergraduate students are expected to inform their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the policies outlined here for study abroad. Due to the Federal Education Right to Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects academic and financial records for students, information about participation in a study abroad program should be communicated to family directly by the student. In the event of an emergency, the parent(s) or guardian(s) of a student may be contacted, which is not a violation of FERPA since the federal act has provisions for emergency circumstances. For this reason, all students are required to submit emergency contact information and disclose information about any possible health/safety concerns in advance of travel and while abroad. Please remember to share this information with your family; and for additional suggestions on family support for students planning to study abroad, visit our resources site.