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1. Why should I study abroad or go on an exchange?

Because it’s a great time to spread your wings!   Your college years offer a magnitude of opportunities to learn, grow, try new things, meet interesting people, and gain a new understanding of your self and the world.  It becomes increasingly difficult to find reasons not to embark on a life changing adventure such as exchange or study abroad.  The benefits range from increasing your knowledge of the world to gaining personal strength, courage and self-esteem.

The top five reasons to study abroad or go on exchange:
  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 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 another 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 connects 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), the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), and AHA International. UAS also has affiliations with GlobaLinks and the Institute for Study Abroad - Butler University (IFSA-Butler) 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, one student from UAS studies elsewhere while another student from somewhere else takes the place of the UAS student (temporarily, of course). Study abroad programs host UAS students at other universities around the world.

4. Will I earn credit towards my degree?

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

5. How much does it cost?

Exchange prices are based on UAS tuition. Prices for study abroad vary depending on the destination, program provider, and destination through program.

For 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.

ISEP (exchange) has a flat program fee that is charged 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 and can range from roughly US $9,000 to $17,000 per semester.

AHA - International (NCSA) fees are set per program and range from $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.

GlobaLinks (AustraLearn/AsiaLearn/EuroLearn) offers programs that are extremely affordable options for studying in Australia/New Zealand; China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Scotland and Wales.  The estimated cost for a semester study abroad program can range from US$10,000 to $18,000 including tuition, fees, health coverage, housing, meals and special pre-trip orientation excursion, depending on your chosen program option. Scholarships are available.

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

Semester at Sea costs range depending on the length of the voyage and can be anywhere between $14,000-$33,000.

6. Are there application or other fees?

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

NSE - $200 non-refundable application fee, payable to UAS

ISEP - $390 application fee payable to ISEP. ISEP also requires students to buy international health insurance for roughly $70 per month.

AHA International (Intl') - non-refundable $50 application fee payable to AHA Inlt' plus a non-refundable $100 administrative program fee payable to UAS. AHA Intl' also requires a $250 refundable deposit due at the time of application.

GlobaLinks does not have an application fee yet stsudents are required to pay the non-refundable $100 administrative program fee payable to UAS.

IFSA-Butler - $40 non refundable application fee via credit card on their secure server is required for all online applications. If you prefer to pay the $40 application fee with a check or money order, please download a PDF application. A non-refundable $100 administrative program fee payable to UAS is also required.

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

International eligibility is 2.75.  Some international programs require a higher a 3.0 GPA.

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

The majority of 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's priority placement round for exchanges usually happens February 15. Additional applications are accepted throughout the year based on site availability.

NSE priority placements are made in mid-March at the annual conference hence requiring applications to be due mid-February in the Academic Exchange office.  Post-conference placements are possible yet many schools have limited options after the priority placements.

AHA-International, GlobaLinks, and IFSA-Butler have deadline dates on their respected web sites, and accept applications throughout the academic year.

10. How do I begin the process?

First, complete the Mandatory UAS Preliminary Application on-line, then begin your research.

Next, set up an appointment with the Academic Exchange and Study Abroad Coordinator. She is your contact for all programs. You may call 796-6000 or emailing to set up an appointment. 

Once you've decided on a program there will be an application process. Each process is different depending on the program yet most have similar steps such as completing a student profile, sending a transcript, obtaining references, and writing an essay. Each applicant will also have a personal interview with the UAS Academic Exchange and Study Abroad Coordinator, as appropriate to the specific program.

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 administrative fees
  6. A meeting with the Academic Exchange and Study Abroad coordinator BEFORE sending the application

Once accepted to a program, there are more steps such as selecting courses, obtaining a passport and visa, etc. The Academic Exchange office has check lists to help you prepare for a successful study away experience.

12. What happens after the application process?

Once the application is submitted, actual placement at the host university varies by program. NSE, ISEP and GlobaLinks require the student to rank order choices to allow for flexibility in placement; AHA-Intl', IFSA-Butler, and Semester at Sea applications are site specific.

When a student is placed, they receive additional material from the sponsoring organization and the host program coordinator. Paperwork from the Academic Exchange and Study Abroad office also will need to be completed. Most importantly, students are required to visit with their Academic/Faculty Advisor to ensure the return of courses and credits.

Planning and orientation support is provided by UAS staff prior to departure and by host campus support staff upon arrival.

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

Research program options, select a program, and then choose your host institution wisely. Consider the following: What are my goals (academic, personal, cultural)?; Am I being realistic about the costs and my financial resources?; What do I know about the new campus and community environment?; Have I researched the academic program adequately?; Am I sufficiently flexible and open to the unexpected? Then, schedule an appointment with the Academic Exchange and Study Abroad Coordinator.

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

No. Students that participate in any of these programs who are already a resident and are 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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