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Below are some of the commonly asked questions parents and guardians have pertaining to study abroad! 

What is study abroad?

Studying abroad is a unique, life changing experience that will help your student grow academically and emotionally while preparing them for their professional future in a global community.

The UNI Study Abroad Center (SAC) provides opportunities for students to study in over 30 countries. Most programs offer courses in English, while select programs focus on foreign language acquisition. The SAC strives to match each student with a program appropriate to their needs and compatible with their academics, budget, and desired location.

What are the benefits of study abroad?

  • Increased maturity, self-confidence, and independence  
  • Acquisition of a foreign language
  • Enhanced resume
  • Stronger communication skills
  • Broadened perspective of different cultures and values
  • Global network of friends and connections

What are the eligibility requirements to study abroad?

Students must meet the following:

  • 2.5 GPA at the time of application and maintain this GPA prior to departure and throughout the study abroad process 
  • Must be over  the age of 18 years old 
  • Must meet the course prerequisites (participation in the program is dependent upon meeting these)
  • Must be in good standing with the University

When should students study abroad?

We suggest students plan sooner rather than later by integrating study abroad into their academic plan. The ideal time for study abroad would be sophomore or junior year. This timing allows them to solidify their major while retaining flexibility in their course choices abroad.

What is my role in the study abroad process?

The majority of the studying abroad process is completed by the student, but we highly encourage our future study abroaders to share the information they receive with their families. Studying abroad is not always an easy task; the more encouragement and emotional support you can provide to your student, the more positive their experience will be. We also realize that your role as a parent in supporting your student to go abroad, it is not always the easiest thing to do. If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to email or call our office.

Is it safe for my child to study abroad?

All UNI exchanges and partnerships are located in university communities, similar in size to Cedar Falls/Waterloo. Our staff keeps a close eye on the current travel alerts as issued and updated by the U.S. Department of State. At this time we are advised to not send students to locations that are of high risk.

Just as when traveling within the US, students should be vigilant and make sound decisions while abroad. To prepare for a safe time abroad it is important for students to research the customs, practices, and social norms of their destination.

The SAC is committed to doing its best to ensure student safety while abroad by monitoring world events. We enroll students traveling abroad with UNI into a robust health insurance and emergency services plan provided by Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI).

Will my student receive academic credit?

Yes, students can use credit earned abroad to satisfy graduation requirements in major, minor, Liberal Arts Core (LAC), or UNI elective categories. It is important for all students participating in a study abroad program to know that they are expected to attend classes and meet all course requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to pass all courses in their host country.

The Transfer Course Approval Form (TCA) must be completed before departure if your student wishes to apply credits earned abroad towards specific UNI course categories. Once approved, the TCA ensures that courses your student completes abroad will transfer and count toward their degree at UNI.

Is study abroad affordable?

Many scholarships are available specifically for UNI students studying abroad. Students should work with the SAC to find out which scholarship options suit them. Additionally, financial aid can be used for study abroad expenses. Students should meet with a Financial Aid Advisor to discuss their funding options.

Each program has a detailed program cost estimate available online. The type of program, program length, number of credits, and program location are all important factors in determining total program cost.