The University of West Florida guidelines and procedures apply to all students studying abroad on programs administered by the University of West Florida, as well as to all UWF students studying abroad on approved non-UWF programs. Both students and their parents should be familiar with these guidelines.
University of West Florida Non-discrimination Policy
UWF does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, or age in the administration of educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid, employment, or any other university program or activity. It encourages qualified students to study abroad and participate in programs and activities that support global education. The university also does not tolerate harassment of any kind, illegal acts, or inappropriate behavior while participating in a study abroad experience
Academic Eligibility for Study Abroad
While acknowledging that all study abroad programs and overseas institutions have their own criteria for admissions, UWF students are held to the following institutional standards to be eligible to study abroad for credit. 1).The minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) required for UWF students wishing to study abroad is 2.5 on a scale of 4.0. 2.) Students with a GPA lower than 2.5 must obtain permission from their academic advisors before they will be approved for study abroad by the Associate Vice President for the Office of Diversity and International Education and Programs. 3.) Academic Advisor’s permission to study aboard must be provided in writing to the Study Abroad Office.
Study Abroad Program Agreement, Waiver, and Release
All UWF students studying abroad are required to sign the Study Abroad Program Agreement, Waiver, and Release. UWF students must submit the Study Abroad Agreement in the semester prior to departure as part of the Study Abroad Packet (see below). The signed Agreement must be submitted by the date indicated in the acceptance letter.
The Study Abroad Application Packet
UWF students wishing to study abroad for credit must complete a Study Abroad Application Packet prior to departure, according to deadlines established by the Study Abroad Office. Students who fail to submit a properly completed Study Abroad Packet by the published deadlines may not be allowed to study abroad.
Health/Accident insurance: The University of West Florida requires that all UWF students studying abroad be covered by appropriate health and accident insurance, medical evacuation and repatriation for the duration of the program and that they be financially responsible for all medical expenses. In most instances, medical expenses abroad will have to be paid out of pocket and reimbursement sought later from the insurance carrier. Each student will be required to provide the name of the insurance carrier, along with the number and date of expiration of the policy under which the student is insured, on the Health and Accident Insurance Verification Form. Final approval for a study abroad program is contingent upon clarification of health/accident insurance.
Motor vehicle insurance: The University of West Florida discourages students from operating motor vehicles abroad, but recommends that those students who plan to operate a motor vehicle obtain liability and collision insurance that will cover them in the applicable country.
Property insurance: The University of West Florida also recommends that students insure their personal property from loss or theft while abroad, since out-of-pocket replacement expenses for laptops, IPods, digital cameras, etc. can be quite costly and are not items which can be billed to UWF to be reimbursed.
First point of contact: While students are abroad, their first contact should always be the UWF faculty member present, and/or the UWF Study Abroad Advisor, or their departmental Academic Advisor, as instructed during pre-departure orientation. If students are traveling and are not able to reach that person, they should contact the UWF Police Department at (850) 474-2415. The UWF Police will contact the appropriate University staff members.
Financial aid (for UWF-students already receiving aid) is available on a semester basis for the full program budget (including airfare) of UWF-administered and UWF-approved third-party programs, provided such budget does not exceed that of a semester at UWF. Students must contact the Office of Financial Aid for further details (Financial Aid Office, Building 18, Phone: (850) 474-2400, Fax: (850) 474-3145, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Office Hours: 8:00 - 5:00 Monday-Friday, web: http://uwf.edu/finaid/
Behavior and Program Participation
As a participant in a UWF study abroad program, each student is a representative of the University and of the United States, and should conduct/behave himself/herself in a manner that reflects favorably on all. In addition to regular classes, the program may include planned lectures and field trips related to the educational experience. All students are expected to participate willingly in such activities in addition to attending regular classes. UWF gives discretion to the sponsoring institution to discipline and/or dismiss a student from the program for behavior detrimental to the program and the student. A dismissed student will receive no refund and may receive no credit for the experience.
Students are expected to adhere to the UWF Student Code of Conduct while abroad. For definitions of concepts mentioned in the UWF/REG 3.010 Student Code of Conduct.
Foreign Language in Non-English-speaking Countries
UWF students on study abroad programs in non-English-speaking countries are encouraged to take at least one course in the local language prior to or while studying abroad.
All courses taken while abroad on a UWF study abroad program must be approved by the appropriate academic department at UWF before academic credit will be granted by the University Registrar. Students should follow the procedures outlined in the Study Abroad Policy under Courses, Credits, and Grades.
Students studying abroad must take the normal (not minimum) full credit load as defined by the program or host institution. Overloads and/or underloads and/or any changes to the program of studies will require approval by the appropriate academic advisors. Students should follow the procedures outlined in the Study Abroad Policy under Courses, Credits, and Grades.
All UWF students participating in an international exchange program must maintain satisfactory progress during the study abroad period (i.e. term/semester/year) in order to be eligible to continue participation for a subsequent study abroad period (i.e. term/semester/year) as an exchange student. Satisfactory progress is defined as successful completion of the courses approved for study abroad by the students’ academic advisors, with a cumulative GPA of 2.5. Students failing to meet these eligibility requirements will not be considered for an extension of their study abroad period beyond the initial term/semester/year of participation.
Extension of Study Abroad Agreement
Any student wishing to remain with the same study abroad program for an additional semester will need to complete the Request for Extension form and submit that to the Office of Diversity and International Education and Programs. Faxed copies of signed forms are acceptable. The Request for Extension will also need the approval of the student’s academic advisor. If approved, the student will need to discuss with his/her academic advisor the proposed program of studies for the additional time and submit the International Student Exchange Advising Agreement. Once the student enrolls for the approved courses, the host school will send to the University of West Florida the Enrollment Certification Form to confirm the student’s registration for the approved courses.
Students withdrawing from any program after being placed on Study Abroad Agreement should immediately inform the Office of Diversity and International Education and Programs in writing of their withdrawal. A Notification of Withdrawal form must be completed. Students are responsible for making all arrangements for their return to campus immediately. They should consult their academic advisor as soon as possible.
Students who withdraw once a program has begun will most likely face refund penalties from the host institution. When applicable, notify the host institution exchange advisor as soon as possible. A financial aid recipient considering withdrawal after the start of a study abroad program and after the start of classes should discuss the situation with the financial aid office prior to making a final decision. A student's ability to earn credit may also be jeopardized by early withdrawal.
Medical History Form
All students are required to complete the Medical History Form. Students with special medical conditions may be required to submit a recommendation from their doctors for participation in study abroad.