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1. Why should I study abroad or go on an exchange during my college years?

Because it’s the best time in your life to travel, explore and learn about our world. And, you can do all this while working on your degree! Your college years offer a magnitude of opportunities to learn, grow, try new things, meet interesting people, and gain a new understanding of yourself. Add the study away piece and the additional benefits include new knowledge and skills, increased personal strength, courage and self-esteem, job possibilities, cultural exchange, and life-changing adventure.

The top five reasons to study away:

  1. Personal growth: Studying abroad or going on an exchange will push you out of your comfort zone. Everyday challenges will help you to become a more rounded and confident individual.
  2. Increase your marketability and value as an employee: Employers view students who have studied away as more responsible, independent and respectful of other points of view.  Also, those with experience abroad are considered better candidates for leadership positions. 
  3. Develop a foreign language: The ability to speak a foreign language is a huge bonus in our ever-changing international world market.
  4. Find international employment: Obviously living outside of your home country opens the door to a multitude of new contacts and possibilities such as teaching overseas, finding work with an American-based company, or a non-profit relief organization.
  5. Meet extraordinary people: As you engage in friendships, your values and beliefs may change and broaden. New situations with new people will allow you to question your own thoughts and norms.

2. What programs are available to me?

UAS is a member of the National Student Exchange Program (NSE) and the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP). UAS has affiliations with Global Education Oregon (GEO), the Institute for Study Abroad - Butler University (IFSA-Butler), Academic Programs International (API), International Studies Abroad (ISA), and Semester at Sea.

UAS students also have access to a number of other study abroad programs through UAF and UAA.

3. What is the difference between an exchange and a study abroad program?

Exchange programs involve an actual exchange of students. In other words, a UAS student will study away from UAS while another student will come here and take the place of the UAS student (temporarily, of course). Exchange programs are competitive, based on space availability, and have similar costs to UAS or resident tuition. They do not include academic excursions, (mandatory international) insurance, or program activities or events.  They are for the more independent, perhaps well-traveled, student.

Study abroad programs host UAS students at other universities and international educational centers around the world. Competition with other students is not an issue; space is available. Costs are variable and most often higher than exchanges yet include more as well. For example, the mandatory international insurance, orientation programs, and weekend or academic excursions are included. There is often an on-site coordinator who makes it a priority to support students through the study away experience.

4. Will I earn credit towards my degree?

Yes, grades and credits will be calculated into your GPA and posted to your UAS transcript once you complete your program.  An official transcript must be received by the UAS Academic Exchange office upon completion.

5. How much does a study away program cost?

In general, exchange program costs are based on UAS tuition. Study abroad prices vary depending on the destination, length of program, and program provider.

Through the NSE program, students pay UAS for the cost of 15 credits and fees, or in-state tuition and fees at the host campus. Students are responsible for housing, meals, books, and all other personal expenses at the host university.

The ISEP (exchange) has a flat program fee that is charged to the UAS student per semester. The fee is comparable to the cost of 15 upper division credits plus fees, and room and board at UAS. Students cover the cost of transportation to the host university and all personal expenses while on exchange. Students are also required to purchase insurance through ISEP which is roughly $70/month.

The ISEP-Direct program fees are set by the host institution, paid to ISEP, and can range from roughly US $9,000 to $17,000 per semester.

GEO program fees vary based on program location, length, and excursions, and range from US $9,000 to $17,000 per term. Program fees normally include tuition, room and board, excursions, all course material, and insurance. Students are responsible for transportation to the program site and all other personal expenses.

API program fees vary based on destination and program length ranging from US 10,000 to $18,000 per semester.

ISA program fees also vary based on program location and length, and range from US$10,000 to $20,000 including tuition, fees, health coverage, housing, meals and special pre-trip orientation excursion, depending on your chosen program option. 

IFSA-Butler program fees are set on a per semester basis ranging from US$10,000-$18,000.

Semester at Sea program costs range depending on the number of port stops and length of the voyage, and can be anywhere between $22,000-$30,000.

6. Is there an application fee or other fees to consider?

YES. Application and/or fees are required for all programs.

NSE - $225 non-refundable application fee, payable to UAS

ISEP - $100 non-refundable application fee to ISEP along a $325 deposit due at the time of placement

GEO - non-refundable $50 application fee payable to GEO plus a $250 refundable deposit due at the time of confirmation

API - no application fee but a $150 non-refundable deposit with application which is applied to the program fee. Upon confirmation, an additional $400 confirmation deposit is required to hold your space in the program.

IFSA-Butler - $50 non refundable application fee 

ISA - no application fee but a $200 non-refundable deposit is required and applied to the program cost.

Semester at Sea - $50 non-refundable application fee

UAS has an additional non-refundable $75 administrative program fee for all programs except NSE.

7. Can I use my financial aid?

YES. When participating in any of these programs, students are still enrolled at UAS as UAS students. All financial aid, loans and scholarships, apply to the costs of these programs. Even UA scholars may utilize their UA scholar funds while on a study away program. Tuition waivers can only be used through the NSE program (Plan B). Visit the Financial Aid office for more details.

8. What are the eligibility requirements to participate?

The NSE program requires a minimum GPA of 2.5

All international options eligibility is 2.75 GPA although some require a 3.0 GPA.

Students must be admitted into a UAS degree program, full-time, and in good academic, judicial and financial standing. An established UAS academic history is also needed.

The majority of international programs require a student to have a sophomore or higher degree status while studying away.

9. Are there deadline dates?

YES. Application deadlines vary for each program. Please be sure to research the deadlines for each program you are interested in. It is a great disappointment to realize you've missed an opportunity because of a late application. Some programs do have an open entry, and qualified applicants can be placed any time during the year as long as space is available.

ISEP priority placement for fall semester and full-year exchanges is in February while spring ppriority placement is late August.

NSE priority placement is late February/ early March.  Post-conference placements are possible yet many schools close or have a limited tuition payment option after priority placement.

Study away programs have varied deadline dates that are listed on their web site.

10. How do I begin the process?

  1. Complete the UAS Mandatory UAS Preliminary Application found under Applications.
  2. Schedule a meeting with the Academic Exchange and Study Abroad Coordinator. She will help you understand the differences between each program and get you started on the right track.
  3. Review eligibility requirements.
  4. Research your options.
  5. Meet with you academic advisor to determine how a study away program fits into your academic plan.
  6. Meet with Financial Aid to discuss funding options and a budget for your study away experience.
  7. Discuss your study away plan with family and other support systems.
  8. If you feel you are ready, begin the application process.

11. Is there more to do than just completing an application?

YES. To apply for any of the programs there is a process to go through. The process varies slightly with each program but each program has similar components. The components consist of six items:

  1. A program application
  2. A statement of purpose (why you are interested in an exchange or study abroad experience)
  3. Faculty reference(s)
  4. Transcript (some require official, for others a copy is fine)
  5. Application and/or a deposit or administrative fees
  6. A meeting with the Academic Exchange and Study Abroad coordinator BEFORE sending the application
  7. Once placed, a confirmation of the program is made by the program provider and more paperwork is required
  8. Pre-departure orientation is highly encouraged and offered at the end of each semester

The Academic Exchange office has a check list to help you prepare for a successful study away experience.

12. What happens after the application process?

Once the application is submitted, an actual placement will occur by the host institution or program. That placement is accepted or declined by the student. Once accepted by the student, a confirmation is made by the host. During this process, students receive additional material from the sponsoring organization and the host program coordinator. Paperwork from the UAS Academic Exchange and Study Abroad office also will need to be completed. As important is a visit to an Academic Advisor by the participating student to ensure course and credit equivalencies.

Pre-departure planning and orientation support is provided by UAS staff and by host campus staff.

13. How can I maximize my chances for a successful exchange?

Research program options, select a program or two, and choose your host institution wisely, then, schedule an appointment with the Academic Exchange and Study Abroad Coordinator.

Consider the following:

  • What are my goals (academic, personal, cultural)?
  • Am I eligible?
  • Am I being realistic about the costs and my financial resources?
  • What do I know about the new campus and community environment?
  • Is the timing right?
  • Am I sufficiently flexible and open to the unexpected?
  • Have I researched the academic program adequately?

14. Does my participation effect my residency and the PFD?

No. Students who participate in any of these programs and are already a resident, eligible for the Permanent Fund Dividend will still receive a dividend check as long as they are registered at UAS as a full-time student. Students are responsible for submitting a Verification of Enrollment Form to the Registrar's office in a timely manner. In turn, the Registrar will verify enrollment at UAS and send the form to the Permanent Fund Dividend office.

15. How can I make this happen?

Dare to venture!

  • Prepare yourself (which means do your own research)
  • Complete the Mandatory UAS Preliminary Application
  • Meet with the Academic Exchange and Study Abroad Coordinator and your Faculty Advisor
  • Fill out the Student Profile page
  • Talk to students who have participated
  • Review you finances
  • Make the application deadlines
  • Pack your bags!

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