Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing a Program

  • Why should I study abroad?
  • How will I chose the program that is right for me?
  • Do I need to know a foreign language to study abroad?
  • When should I start planning to study abroad?
  • How long can I study abroad?
  • How will a study abroad experience enhance my employability after I graduate?

Academics

  • Can I receive UALR credits for the courses I take while studying abroad?
  • Can I receive UALR credit for an overseas internship?
  • Can I graduate on time if I study abroad?

Eligibility

  • Who can participate in study abroad?
  • When can I study abroad?
  • Can I study abroad if I haven’t declared my major yet?
  • Can part-time students study abroad?
  • Can graduate students study abroad?

Application Process

  • How do I apply for study abroad?
  • How early can I start applying?
  • What is the deadline for studying abroad?
  • Can I apply to more than one program?

Travel and Housing

  • What types of accommodations are available?
  • What kinds of travel documents will I need?
  • Do I need to arrange my own airfare and accommodations?
  • Will I have access to affordable medical care?

Costs and Financial Aid

  • Can I afford to study abroad?
  • Can I use my financial aid to study abroad?
  • Are there any scholarships for study abroad?

 

Choosing a Program

Why should I study abroad?

Study abroad is an enriching and eye-opening adventure, where learning extends far beyond the classroom. The experience will expose you to new ways of thinking, living, and viewing the world. Benefits include: the opportunity to learn about another culture firsthand; exposure to an entirely new language or increased fluency in one you have already studied; the ability to travel before, during, and after your study experience; the opportunity to fulfill major and minor coursework requirements in a different academic atmosphere; and the development of new intellectual pursuits, skills, and perspectives. By living in another culture, you are likely to gain a new understanding of, and perhaps even appreciation for, the United States and its way of life. You can also expect to make friends and create memories that will last a lifetime. To find out more, please visit our Study Abroad Benefits page to hear from other UALR Study Abroad students.

How will I choose the program that is right for me?

The possibilities for study abroad are abundant. Before researching programs, you should make some preliminary decisions concerning the type of experience you want to have. Start by realistically assessing your academic and personal preparation, as well as your objectives. Consider the following questions in assessing the kind of study abroad experience that would be the right “fit” for you.

Personal Needs

  • Family – Do you have children? A spouse? What arrangements need to be in place for you and your family while you are abroad?
  • Work – How much time do you need to request off for your study abroad program? How much time can you afford being off of work?
  • Other Obligations – Who will collect your mail and/or bills while you are abroad? Are you comfortable living with a host family? Do you like the idea of living in another culture for an extended period of time?

Academics

  • Graduation requirements – Have you met with your Academic Adviser yet? What courses do you still need to graduate? Do you need to complete an internship? What academic department do you intend to receive credit from?
  • GPA – Does your GPA qualify you for the program? Minimum GPA requirements vary from 2.5 – 3.0 depending on the program.
  • Long-term career goals – What type of program would set you apart from other graduates in your field? How will your Study Abroad program impact your career goals?
  • Foreign Language – How fluent are you in the target language?  Would you be able to take classes taught entirely in a foreign language? Are you interested in taking courses on the language and culture of the host country?

Source of Funds

  • Budgeting – Have you downloaded the Study Abroad Budget Worksheet yet? How much money can you contribute to your Study Abroad program? How much money in scholarships and/or Financial Aid do you need to make your Study Abroad program?
  • Financial Aid – Do you plan to use Financial Aid? Have you spoken with your Financial Aid Adviser yet? What obligations do you have to receive Financial Aid?
  • Scholarships – Are there scholarships that you might be eligible for to help fund your study abroad?

Potential Barriers

  • Foreign Language – Do you speak more than one language? Do you mind living in a country where English is not the primary language spoken?
  • Tolerance – Are you comfortable being with people who hold different beliefs and worldviews than you? Are you aware of the socio-cultural issues you may face while abroad? Have you considered the social climate of your host country?
  • Dietary – Do you have dietary restrictions?

Program Location

  • Location – Where would you like to study abroad? Do you want to study in a developing country or a developed country? Would you prefer to live in an urban area or a rural area?
  • Housing – Do you want to live in a university dormitory? An apartment? With a host family?
  • Weather – How much heat can you handle? Snow? Rain?
  • Public Transportation – Are you comfortable using public transportation?

Do I need to know a foreign language to study abroad?

No. Study Abroad programs with courses taught in English are available all over the world – not just in native English-speaking countries. If you study in a country where English is not the native language, you will likely have the opportunity to take local language courses as part of your program.

When should I start planning to study abroad?

Early planning is one of the keys to a successful study abroad program. Hundreds of study abroad opportunities exist; they differ in location, duration, curriculum, language, degree of cultural immersion, cost, and many other factors. It is never too early to start planning to study abroad.  In order to find the program that is the right “fit” for your personal and academic objectives, you should ideally begin planning your study abroad experience one year or so before you plan to depart. Please contact Study Abroad at studyabroad@ualr.edu for additional assistance in planning your study abroad experience.

How long can I study abroad?

The duration of your program depends on your academic goals, as well as personal considerations. It is possible to plan a study abroad experience for a summer, semester, or full academic year, and there are even some short term travel study programs that are only one week in length.

How will a study abroad experience enhance my employability after I graduate?

Employers increasingly seek graduates who have international experience. International knowledge, cross-cultural communication skills, flexibility, resilience, creative problem-solving, tolerance for ambiguity and unexpected changes, and the ability to adapt to new circumstances are skills enhanced through study abroad. These types of skills are important and valued by employers across a broad spectrum of fields.

Academics

Can I receive UALR credit for the courses I take while studying abroad?

Yes. Credits earned while studying abroad can be applied to your major, minor, elective, or general education requirements by submitting a Study Abroad Course Pre-Approval form prior to departure. Talk to your Academic Advisor to identify specific courses that could be targeted for study abroad, then talk to the Director of Study Abroad. We will help you work with the department of your major to identify which courses taken abroad will count toward UALR credit. Please be advised that students must finalize these details prior to their departure and that each academic department reserves the right to decide which courses will be counted toward coursework in the respective department.

Can I receive UALR credit for an overseas internship?

Yes. Overseas internship can be applied to your major, minor, elective, or general education requirements by submitting a Study Abroad Course Pre-Approval form prior to departure. Talk to your Academic Advisor to identify specific requirements for your internship program, then talk to the Director of Study Abroad. Please be advised that students must finalize these details prior to their departure and that each academic department reserves the right to decide which courses will be counted toward coursework in the respective department.

Can I graduate on time if I study abroad?

Yes. Study abroad is easily integrated into most academic programs. We will help you work with your academic department to have your coursework pre-approved for UALR credit prior to departure. The earlier you plan your study abroad experience, the greater the likelihood that it will work smoothly into your graduation plan.

Eligibility

Who can participate in study abroad?

Most programs are designed for students who have already studied at least 1 year at a university. Students must have a GPA of at least 2.5, but some of the more competitive programs require a GPA of 3.0. General qualifications for acceptance include good academic standing, letters of recommendation from UALR Faculty, and a 250-word personal statement. Language requirements vary per program, and additional qualifications may exist depending on the program to which you apply.

When can I study abroad?

Students can apply to study abroad any time after they have completed at least 1 year of college. We encourage students to plan their study abroad experience as early as possible to avoid scheduling concerns that may conflict completing their degree. Major requirements for graduation can sometimes make it more difficult to study abroad for a full semester during senior year.

Can I study abroad if I haven’t declared my major yet?

Yes. A variety of general education courses are offered by many study abroad programs.

Can part-time students study abroad?

Yes. Please note that some programs do require you to take a full-time course load while enrolled at the host institution.

Can graduate students study abroad?

UALR Study Abroad primarily advises undergraduate students but graduate students may also participate in a study abroad program with approval from the respective graduate program.

Application Process

How do I apply for study abroad?

UALR has a 5-step Study Abroad process:

Step 1: Attend a Study Abroad Information Session
To attend a Study Abroad Information Session, please visit our Info Session webpage. These Info Sessions are casual and typically last around 30-40 minutes, so please feel free to bring your lunch or your friends with you.

Step 2: Explore the possibilities
Start exploring the countless study abroad options by visiting our Study Abroad Programs webpage.

Step 3: Identify 2-3 programs/locations of your interest
Narrow your program interest down to 2-3 options and gather all of the information you can about those programs to help weigh the program’s academics, inclusions and costs .

Step 4: Find the best fit by scheduling an appointment with the Study Abroad Director
Once you have either decided on a program or made some preliminary decisions about the type of program you are interested in, contact the Study Abroad Director for an appointment. Request an appointment by emailing studyabroad@ualr.edu

Step 5: Apply!
For application instructions, deadlines and materials, please visit our Apply Now webpage.

How early can I start applying?

Students should plan to apply for their study abroad program the semester prior to their program start date.  For example, if you would like to apply for a spring study abroad program, you must apply during the fall semester.  For official application deadlines, please visit our Apply Now webpage.

What is the deadline for studying abroad?

For the most updated information on application deadlines, please visit our Apply Now webpage. Generally, the application deadline for the Spring semester will be in early to mid-October, the application deadline for Spring Break trips will be around mid-November, and the application deadline for a Summer program or the Fall semester will be around early to mid-March.

Can I apply to more than one program?

Yes. Students may apply for more than one program but we encourage students to apply for only one program per term, unless he or she applied for a competitive program and there is reason to believe he or she may not be accepted into the program.

Travel and Housing Arrangements

What types of living accommodations are available?

The accommodation options range from apartments or residential halls to homestays with families and are dependent on the program that you choose.

What kinds of travel documents will I need?

Passport – For all study abroad programs you will need a passport. A passport is an official document from the US government verifying your identity and giving you permission to travel to foreign countries. To apply for your passport, please visit www.travel.state.gov.

Visa – For some programs you will also need a visa. A visa is an official document from the host country’s government granting you permission to enter their country. You can visit the US State Department’s website at www.travel.state.gov to see if you must obtain a visa.

Do I need to arrange my own airfare and accommodations?

For faculty-led programs the University will arrange airfare and accommodations for you. For other programs you will likely need to arrange your own airfare and accommodations. UALR Study Abroad is happy to help you explore options and make the appropriate preparations for your study abroad experience.

Will I have access to affordable medical care?

Yes. Students are required to purchase medical insurance through UALR Study Abroad from iNext before participating in a study abroad program. The Enhanced Comprehensive Plan through iNext is designed to cover any unexpected accidents or illnesses that occur while you are overseas. To review the insurance coverage, please visit www.inext.com/plans/comprehensive/.

Costs and Financial Aid

Can I afford to study abroad?

Yes, you can! Generally, financial aid awards, including loans, grants, and scholarships, are applicable to UALR-based study abroad programs. Financial aid packages can be reevaluated to consider the cost of your specific program, and aid packages may be adjusted (up to the maximum eligibility amount) according to the modified cost of the study abroad program. Students may also be able to receive additional loans to help finance their study abroad. There are also scholarships available specifically for students who study abroad.

Keep in mind that the cost of participation in a study abroad program depends on a host of factors, and these should be taken into consideration as you select the program that is right for you. These factors include the type of study program, duration of program, location, cost of living in host country, exchange rates, etc.  For more information on funding your study abroad experience, please visit our Financial Info webpage.

Can I use my financial aid to study abroad?

In many cases, financial aid can be applied toward study abroad programs. Your Financial Aid adviser can tell you how your specific financial aid package can apply to your study abroad program. For information on Financial Aid, please visit the UALR Financial Aid website.

Are there any scholarships for study abroad?

Yes. Scholarship money is available for certain study abroad programs and through independent organizations. Generally, you will find more scholarships for study in non-western or developing countries. Being flexible about your location may help you cut your study abroad costs. If you are set on one particular city, you may not find scholarships or lower cost programs there. Instead, focus on a region, country, or language area, and find the program which best suits your budget. For more information see our section on  Financial Info.

Any more questions?  Feel free to visit our office, email or call us!