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Study Abroad
Frequently Asked Questions



WHY STUDY ABROAD?

Reasons for participating in a study abroad experience are as varied as the people who do it. Whether you want to experience other cultures first-hand, see the U.S.A. from an international perspective, test your foreign language skills, or trace your personal history, you will surely return a changed person with a new understanding of the world and yourself. Whatever your motivation, we encourage you to use the information in this publication to help you turn your dreams into reality.

ELIGIBILITY

Students planning to study abroad must be highly motivated, successful students. This usually means a minimum grade point average of 2.5; however, 3.0 is required for many programs. Intellectual curiosity and personal flexibility are important traits to cultivate in oneself prior to beginning an international experience. Academically, the junior year is an ideal time to study abroad, however, sophomores and seniors can often be accommodated, depending on the individual and the program of study.

HOW MUCH DOES STUDY ABROAD COST?

Price is determined by the type of program, accommodations and cost of living the host country. Typically, programs  in developed countries (Australia, Western Europe, Japan and New Zealand) are more expensive than programs in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Eastern Europe and most of Asia.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Students can  typically use most types of financial assistance otherwise available for study at UMF to finance study abroad. Transfer of funds is NOT automatic however, so any student considering using financial aid for study abroad should meet, early on, with a financial aid advisor to discuss his or her individual case.

ACADEMIC CREDIT

Once you decide on the school you will be attending abroad, you will meet with your academic advisor to select courses. You must have a thorough understanding of your degree requirements so that you can make informed course changes as necessary while you are overseas.

The student's major department will determine whether study abroad work will be credited toward the student's degree requirements at UMF. You should contact your academic advisor as early as possible to determine what courses taken abroad may be accepted for credit by UMF.

Some courses offered by those colleges and universities with which UMF has formal exchange agreements automatically qualify for credit and all course must be approved prior to departure for your study abroad experience. Courses not pre-approved will be reviewed for credit by examining syllabi and other information the student brings back to UMF after their time abroad.

WILL STUDY ABROAD SET ME BACK IN MY STUDIES?

With proper planning, studying abroad should not set you back in your studies. You will work closely with the Study Abroad Advisor and your academic department in selecting the right courses to satisfy your major, general education or general elective requirements

IS IT SAFE TO STUDY ABROAD?

UMF does not approve study abroad programs in areas of political unrest or recent natural disasters. Safety information is provided prior to departure and during on-site orientation. All programs have a 24/7 on-site staff available to students in case of emergencies

PREPARING FOR DEPARTURE

Informational meetings are held each semester for students preparing to depart on study abroad programs. These meetings cover a variety of topics and issues pertinent to particular programs as well as information common to all programs such as academic expectations and cultural adjustment.

PASSPORTS AND VISAS

All students studying abroad will need a US Passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the end date of their program. Many study locations will also require a visa. Information regarding the procedure for obtaining passports and visas is available in the Office of International and Exchange Programs.

MEDICAL INSURANCE / INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL INSURANCE REQUIREMENT

The importance of having adequate insurance when visiting another country cannot be over emphasized. Before leaving the United States, students should be sure their domestic medical and accident insurance policies are valid while traveling abroad.  
 
UMF requires all students participating in study abroad programs to be covered by international travel insurance. Many study abroad provider program fees include such insurance. For UMF programs and provider programs that do not include this insurance, UMF students are required to purchase the iNext international travel insurance through the Office of International and Exchange Programs.

WORKING ABROAD

The practice of working one's way through college is not common abroad. Because of foreign labor laws, students should not plan to seek paid employment. Various work programs for students, trainees, and volunteers, usually during the summer months, may offer room and board rather than a salary. Visa restrictions will limit work possibilities abroad.

WHERE AND WHEN TO BEGIN

Ideally, a student should begin researching study abroad opportunities a year or more in advance of departure. Adequate planning is critical to the successful study abroad experience. Information, resources and application forms are available in the Office of International and Exchange Programs.

Your study abroad advisor, academic advisor, knowledgeable faculty members, students returning from exchange experiences, and the coordinator of the particular program you are interested in are all sources of information for planning your trip. Application deadlines vary by program - check with the Office of International and Exchange Programs for specific program deadlines.
 
UMF Study Abroad Application materials can be found on myCampus, UMF Tools, Forms and Documents


University of Maine at Farmington International & Exchange Programs