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A Semester or Academic Year Abroad

Planning and getting LaGrange College approval to study away for a semester or academic year should begin at least 12 to 18 months in advance of your departure. 

You need time to:
•Research the programs on this site and schedule an advising meeting with the Office of Global Engagement.
•Decide if the program is affordable and, if needed, apply for financial aid or scholarships. Completing a Study Away Student Budget Worksheet with assistance from Global Engagement and the Financial Aid Office will help you determine the total cost and how you can pay for it.
•Discuss your intentions with your academic adviser to make sure your plan to study away fits with your academic and graduation plans and credits can transfer back. 

Application Process:  Step 1
LaGrange College approval to study away is not automatic but may be granted through the Office of Global Engagement based on:
•A completed on-line application which includes a completed budget worksheet, course and academic approval form, two (2) faculty recommendations, and required travel documents.
•The student’s fitness for travel.
•Meeting all academic, procedural, financial, and other prerequisites.
To begin, select the program you want to apply for and click on "Apply Now" to begin the applying for approval process. That will take you to the online application that you must submit once the required documents and recommendations are complete. The Office of Global Engagement will review your application along with Student Engagement and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

Application Process:  Step 2

Once Global Engagement has approved you to study away, you can then begin the application for your specific program.  A direct link to the program application instructions located on the affiliate partner's website can be found in the program "Overview" page.

Researching and Planning
The staff in the Office of Global Engagement will guide you through the process of planning for your study away experience.  To help you get started, you may want to visit USA Study Abroad, a website created by the U.S. State Department, and review the checklist of items below: 

Selecting a program:
  • Be able to clearly articulate your personal goals for wanting to study away. 
  • Attend an Introduction to Study Away session.  Read through the literature in the Office of Global Engagement and on this website then schedule a meeting with the Office of Global Engagement to discuss your plans.  Be sure to read reviews by students who have participated in programs that interest you.  Talk to students on campus or at other institutions who have experienced a semester or year studying abroad and ask for their advice.
  • Are you fluent in another language or will you need courses taught in English?   
  • Do you have the required GPA?
  • What type of housing is offered?
  • Speak to your academic advisor about your course selection while abroad.
  • Start doing research into the country you are going to be calling home for a semester or year.  Get familiar with the language and also begin to understand their culture.  It is important to understand as much as possible about the land and language in which you are about to reside.
  • Recommendation letters will be needed to apply.  Talk to your faculty recommenders about your plans so they can address your aspirations and qualifications in their recommendations.
  • Check application deadlines and other important due dates such as deposits and payments.
  • What is the cost?  If you are currently receiving financial aid, speak with your Financial Aid advisor to ask if this funds will travel with you.  If you are not currently on financial aid and you feel you may need additional resources, see if the program you’re applying to offers any scholarships or financial assistance and research other funding sources specifically for study abroad. 
  • What is the refund policy?
  • Look into travel and health insurance.  Will LaGrange College or the program provide emergency health insurance?
​Before traveling abroad
  • Renew or apply for your passport.  Check to ensure that your passport will be valid 6 months beyond your anticipated return to the U.S.
  • Check for visa requirements and what documents need to be submitted and what the process will be. 
  • Get a physical and any additional immunizations or medications you may need. You will want to have your medical records with you when you travel. Talk to your doctor about your study abroad plans; if you are on any prescription medication have your physician authorize refills.  Check and make sure all over the counter drugs you may want to take are legal.
  • Will your program provider assist with travel arrangements?
  • Research banks and the ATM and credit card options they offer.  Be aware of any additional fees.
  • Check into getting a credit card to use for emergencies or possibly for simple things such as purchasing cheaper textbooks online. If you already have one, let your bank know when and where you'll be studying abroad.
  • Make copies of important documents, leaving one set home and another with the Office of Global Engagement, and of course, bring one with you.
  • Research your options for getting an international cell phone plan and using other ways to communicate back home.
StudyAbroad101:  This site reviews over 9,000 study abroad programs