Once you’ve decided you want to study abroad, what’s the next step? Below is a summary of what you need to prepare for a study abroad experience.
The ODIEP is located in the International Center, Building 71, and provides information and advice about study abroad.
Many programs are limited to certain disciplines or courses, so where you can go may depend on your major. When you can go may depend on the academic calendar at the exchange school of your choice. Some school calendars do not coincide with UWF’s calendar for fall semester, so you must go for either an academic year or just spring semester. Some schools do not offer summer programs. Most language programs are summer only. In general, you need to plan well in advance in order to complete the application process for the host school and to get everything ready at UWF before your departure. For example, if you don’t have a passport, it could take 6-8 weeks (or longer) to get one. It is a good idea to plan at least one whole semester in advance.
Step 3: Apply to the program
Some programs have a detailed formal application process; others require only the nomination of the Office of Diversity and International Education and Programs. The application process begins with your filling out a Study Abroad Application , writing a one to two-page statement explaining your reasons for wanting to study abroad, and filling out and having your academic advisor sign an International Exchange Participation Request. Depending on the program you select, you will be given the appropriate application forms for individual schools. The host school determines acceptance into all programs.
Step 4: Consider the cost
Where you go may be influenced by the cost. On UWF sponsored exchange programs, you are able to pay your UWF tuition while attending the host school. Other expenses, including transportation, room/board, insurance, and personal expenses will average between $3,000 and $10,000 for a semester. Some special programs may include a program fee to cover instruction and program administration.
If you are eligible for financial aid, you can use it to study abroad. Check with the Financial Aid Office for specific guidelines. In general, financial aid is applicable to all UWF sponsored exchange programs. It is important to promptly notify the Financial Aid Office after you have decided to study abroad and to complete all required paper work before your departure. Taking care of Financial Aid details before departure is the student’s responsibility. Things left undone before departure can create serious delays in the disbursement of aid. Also, you should be aware that even if everything is in order, there is normally a delay in the disbursement of aid until after classes start at your host school. Therefore, you need to have sufficient funds to carry you over until your financial aid arrives.
Step 6: Gather the documents required for travel and study abroad
The requirements for travel and study abroad differ from country to country, but the list below covers the most essential documents you will need:
Liability release. Prior to departure, students must sign an agreement, waiver and release indicating acceptance of risks normally associated with travel abroad and living for an extended period in a foreign country.