BBA | IP

FAQ

Research

  • What can I gain from studying abroad? What are the personal and professional benefits?

    There are so many benefits to studying abroad – almost too many to list:

    1. Meet students (and make friends) from around the world
    2. Improved understanding of language and cultural differences between people and nations
    3. Develop self-confidence and problem-solving skills by adapting to new situations and challenges, and greater awareness of your own personality and culture
    4. Develop foreign language skills
    5. Increase your own marketability when you graduate – you will have gained experiences and knowledge that set you apart from other students
    6. Have fun!
  • I only speak English. Where can I go? 
    The majority of the BBA Exchange Programs offer coursework in English, so besides English-speaking countries like England, Scotland, Australia or New Zealand, you could also study in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Norway, Singapore, or Thailand.
    Our Short-Term International Programs (SIP) offer coursework taught in English by UT faculty.  You can spend a summer in Paris, Hong Kong, the Czech Republic, Scotland, London or Argentina alongside 30 of your UT classmates!  
  • I am proficient in a foreign language – what are my options? 
     In addition to any of the English-speaking programs, we have Exchange opportunities for students with background in a foreign language, where classes are conducted in that language (levels of proficiency vary from program to program):

    Chinese: China (Mandarin), Hong Kong (Mandarin and Cantonese)
    Czech: Czech Republic
    Danish: Denmark
    Dutch: Holland
    French: Belgium, France
    German: Austria, Germany, Switzerland
    Italian: Italy
    Korea: South Korea
    Norwegian: Norway
    Portuguese: Brazil
    Spanish: Chile, Mexico and Spain
  • I'm not sure where I want to go - where can I find more information?  
    There are several ways to research the various programs and opportunities:

    1. Online: Explore our Program Types section of the Web site to learn more about our partner schools, host countries, funding resources and courses abroad
    2. Information Sessions: The BBA International Programs office hold regular information sessions throughout the semester to answer student questions and explain the study abroad application process. Attending an information session is a required first step to get started.
    3. Study Abroad Coordinators: Once you have attended a general Information Session, students can schedule an appointment with one of the International Programs Coordinators by visiting CBA 2.400 or calling 471-0690
    4. Brochures/Surveys: Students are invited to browse through the International Resource Library located in CBA 2.400 to view materials from all our partner schools, as well as read completed surveys and evaluations from students who have studied abroad in the past. These surveys can be extremely helpful for getting a sense of what day-to-day life is like for students abroad.
    5. Students!: During information sessions, prospective students can hear first hand from returning study abroad students as well as current international exchange students on what it is like to like and study abroad. Most students are excited to discuss their experiences with you!
  • Are the BBA International Programs open to any business major? 
    Yes, the Exchange Programs and Short-Term International Programs are open to all undergraduate business and iMPA majors in their undergraduate segment.
  • When is the best time for me to study abroad?
    There is not necessarily one recommended time for all students to study abroad – this varies depending on your degree plan and other goals. In general, students find it easier to plan a semester exchange abroad between the second half of their second year, and the first half of their final year. When it comes to SIP programs, BBA students typically plan a summer abroad before either their second or third year, in order to save the summer prior to their final year to acquire an internship for credit.

    It is not possible to study abroad in your final semester while taking any courses you may need to finish your degree. If you wish to study abroad at the end of your academic career, you may graduate in absentia the following semester, or you should first complete all your degree requirements, and then plan to take extra electives during your semester abroad.

    Studying abroad the semester before you plan to graduate requires careful advance planning, as you may not know how all of your classes from abroad will count toward your degree by the time you register for your final semester’s classes. To ensure the smoothest process, it’s helpful to have at least a semester remaining at UT after your semester abroad. 

    Attending an information session and meeting with an International Programs Coordinator early on in your academic career is the best way to determine the ideal time for you to study abroad. 
  • Which school would provide my best fit? 
    This depends completely on you and your personal, academic and professional goals. This is probably the most individual and personal decision you will make during your UT career! Various factors in deciding what school is best for you may include course selections, language goals, location or climate, personal interests, family history, etc.

    View the Choosing the Right Program page to help you decide. You should review all the possibilities, because the best option for you might not be obvious at first. Schedule an appointment with an International Programs Coordinator to talk about your options.
  • If I can't find a BBA International Program I want to go on, are there other options?
    Yes, there are literally hundreds of other study abroad programs offered through the UT Study Abroad Office including faculty-led summer programs, Maymesters, affiliated programs and other UT reciprocal exchange programs. You can use their Web site to search through a database of available programs to find the best match for your goals.

Courses/Academics

  • Can I study abroad and still graduate on time? 
    Yes – the BBA international programs are designed to integrate with your studies here, so you will take courses abroad that count for the degree requirements you need. It helps to plan ahead as much as possible, of course, but students have been able to study abroad in two different semesters or summers and still graduate as planned.

    Any class that students successfully complete abroad on a BBA International Program will result in UT in-residence course credit:
    The course options for SIP programs are actual UT courses taught by UT faculty and are pre-determined based on the specific program you choose to attend. (Visit the program's indivisdual page to learn more about what courses you will take abroad.) 
    For Exchange Programs, exactly what credit a student receives is based solely on the content of the courses taken while abroad, which is reviewed and a UT equivalency determined by the UT professor. It is best for students to complete their "elective" course requirements while studying abroad, as well as the 2 required business courses.

  • Are there any pre-requisites for studying abroad?
    Students must be in good academic standing, and have at least a 2.0 GPA before studying abroad on an exchange program. Some programs require a 3.0 minimum GPA. Students participating on a BBA semester or year exchange program must have taken both required Economics and both required Math courses prior to studying abroad. Completion of these courses is not necessary at the time of applying. It is also highly recommended that students take ACC 312 prior to studying abroad in order to increase their ability to take a wider array of business courses abroad. Students participating on a BBA summer exchange program do not need to meet these course pre-requisites.
    SIP program eligibility varies by program.  Visit individual program pages to view GPA eligibility as well as prerequisite course requirements.

  • What courses are offered abroad? 
    Each SIP program offers two, pre-determined courses.  Course offerings vary by specific program.  Visit individual program pages to view course offerings for each program.
    Courses offered on an exchange vary widely from program to program, and also from semester to semester, depending on what partner institution the student chooses. Just like at UT, our partner schools may change their course offerings every semester, sometimes at the last minute.

    You should review the course offerings by visiting the websites of our partner schools. It’s best to look for about 10 courses that look like interesting or useful possibilities, then check if UT students have already taken any of those courses. Students also have access to a course equivalency database that shows what classes McCombs business students have taken abroad, and what UT equivalent credit they received for each class.

    If you have any elective requirements in your degree (Finance Electives, Marketing Electives, Management Electives, etc.) you should try to save those types of courses for when you study abroad, as they are more broad and a number of different courses can be used to complete them.

    Specific required business courses (FIN 357, MKT 337, MAN 336, etc.) will have equivalents at many of our partner schools, though this can be more difficult to ensure.

    Courses such as LEB 323 (U.S. Business Law) or Texas Government are unlikely to be found abroad.

    Business students are required to take at least two business classes (6 hours) while abroad, but many partner schools also offer courses in other areas. You can look at partner school’s web page to get some idea of what other courses may be offered there. Some partner schools (primarily in Europe) are more business-focused and non-business classes will not be as readily available. Students must at least take an equivalent of 12 hours of UT credit, which usually is about 4 classes, two of which have to be business courses.

    It is important to remember the 50% rule: half of your major coursework must be completed at UT. The required integrative course for each major (ACC 362, FIN 370, IB 378, MAN 374, MIS 375 or MKT 370), and writing component courses must also be taken at UT.

    For your own sake, please try to keep your options for courses abroad as flexible as possible, as we cannot guarantee that certain courses will be offered at a particular school in a particular semester! 

  • When do I register for classes abroad? 
    Registration abroad occurs in two stages; first you enroll in generic study abroad classes during the normal registration time at UT. You will usually register for the specific classes when you arrive at your host school, just before the semester begins. Flexibility and preparation become crucial in these circumstances – know the type of courses you want to take, so you will know which courses at the partner school may be the right match. 
    Registration for SIP courses occurs after you successfully enroll in the program of your choice. Students participating in a BBA short-term program will register themselves for the one course taught by the UT faculty member during the normal registration period. Short-Term International Program Coordinator, Maria Terrazas, handles registration for the second course, taught by the professor at the university overseas. For students participating in an MPA program, registration occurs in the spring semester via University Extension.  A full timeline, complete with course registration details, will be distributed to students after they successfully enroll in a program.

  • How will study abroad courses count towards my degree?
    This is one of the more complex parts of studying abroad, so please read this section carefully.

    For questions concerning how courses taken on a BBA Exchange program abroad match courses at UT, you will first work with the Study Abroad coordinators. We encourage students to consult the course equivalency database, as well as research the partner schools’ course offerings to fully explore course options.

    If you hope to earn credit for a business course that has not yet been matched with an equivalent at the partner school, you should consult the available course materials for that school to see if something similar is available. Particularly with newer partners and partners with wide offerings, it’s possible that an equivalent course exists, but simply hasn’t been evaluated yet.

    To satisfy a broad category, like a Marketing Elective, the course should be an advanced marketing course you have not already taken.

    To be equivalent to a specific UT course (for example FIN 357), the course at the host school must cover the same topics. Comparing descriptions with UT’s Undergraduate Catalog or descriptions from our department offices often helps, as does consulting with a study abroad coordinator.

    The Study Abroad coordinators forward the course materials to the appropriate faculty to make the official decisions on equivalents. Study Abroad coordinators do not make the evaluations, but facilitate the process.

    For courses not in English, students must provide a translation of the course materials.

    After your arrival at the host school, you will send back a list of your courses to your Study Abroad coordinator. The list should include how you plan to count each course. This should be sent as soon as possible so your coordinator can review the information, and alert you to problems while there is still time to make changes. Students who miss verifying their courses in this way risk not getting the credit they seek.

    You must also send back a detailed syllabus or course description for each course you take. Students are responsible for sending or bringing back adequate materials to have a course evaluated. The information should include the course objectives, texts used, means of assessment, and topics covered. Even if a course has already been evaluated, you need to provide a syllabus to insure that the course content has not changed. You will also send back accompanying course description forms for each course to indicate for which department and course you seek credit.

    For courses that are to be evaluated for a designation for the first time, particularly if you seek specific credit, (for example FIN 357 or CMS 306M) we urge students to keep (and bring back!) additional materials. Students should keep notes, a copy of anything they turn in or present for evaluation, and a list of texts and topics covered if the information is not in the syllabus. (If the material a student provides is insufficient to determine a UT equivalent, the student is responsible for contacting the instructor or host coordinator to request more information.)

    Your Study Abroad coordinator will be your main contact to see if a course has been evaluated, and what equivalent credit you will receive. Your coordinator will also let you know if more information is required for the evaluation to be processed. 

  • When will I know what credits I will receive from studying abroad? 
    Once the evaluation process detailed above is complete. This could happen soon after you arrive at your school, if you can send the necessary information back to UT right away. Some evaluations may not be completed until after you return to UT with all the necessary materials. 

  • Will the grades from studying abroad count in my UT GPA? 
    Grades from a BBA Exchange program will count in your UT GPA, since the courses are considered in-residence. The grades will show up in your UT transcript. 

  • How are the grades determined? 
    Grades and grading systems from our partner schools are all different from UT, so after we receive the transcript from your host school, an appropriate UT grade is determined by faculty members here.

    For each course taken abroad, students should distribute an instructor evaluation form and, if possible, collect it before leaving their host university. These evaluations provide valuable supplemental information in converting that school’s grades into the UT format. If an instructor must mail an evaluation, students should provide a stamped, addressed envelope.

    Due to differences in calendars, marking and grade reporting procedures, the time it takes to receive a final grade report varies from partner to partner. For the University of Bath, for example, we typically receive transcripts for our fall students in April. (We have had seniors go to Bath in fall and graduate in May through concerted efforts and good record keeping on all sides.) Until a transcript of some sort is available, it is not possible to complete a student’s record, and courses will continue to show on the transcript as generic SAB 300 hours. The Registrar requires that course titles, numbers and grades all be posted to the transcript at the same time. 

  • Am I able to take classes Pass/Fail? 
    Students who study abroad on a BBA exchange program may elect, upon completion of their semester abroad, to place up to four courses on their records with a CR (credit) rather than with a UT letter grade. The following restrictions apply:

    1. Students must earn the equivalent of a "C" or better to choose the CR option. D's or F's are recorded as letter grades.

    2. Courses taken on a BBA exchange with the CR option may be counted towards any degree requirements, major or minor. BHP students may take the CR option except on courses that will be used to fulfill the Honors "core" courses, designated with a H (MKT 337H, FIN 357H, etc.).

    3. A student may use a maximum of four (4) courses concluded with the CR designation, including those taken on a BBA Exchange, to satisfy degree requirements. Thus a student who has already taken two UT courses pass/fail may only elect up to two BBA Exchange courses to be recorded with a CR.

    4. Once a course is placed on the UT record the grade designation may not be changed. 

  • Are classes abroad more difficult than at UT? 
    Students earn grades abroad that are usually very close to their normal performance at the McCombs School of Business. Our partners are chosen because they are among the best business schools in their respective countries, so you can expect a similar quality of education and level of difficulty as that at UT. 

  • Is there enough time outside the classroom to get to visit other places, such as cultural sites? 
    Certainly! Students can set up their schedule in a way that will allow them free time to visit new places and explore the city and country in which they live. Twelve hours of classes per week will leave enough time outside the classroom to explore these opportunities.

Finances

  • How much will study abroad cost?

    With the BBA Exchange Programs, students are registered through UT Austin; therefore, they will pay the same tuition and fees as would paid for a regular summer (6 hours) or semester (12 hours) in Austin, plus a $10-per-credit-hour study abroad fee. So your basic academic costs should be quite similar to a semester in Austin.

    Depending on the program and city, the cost of housing may be comparable to Austin, but in some cases it is much less expensive, which can help offset other expenses. Living costs are usually between $500 and $1,000 per month, depending on the country. This includes housing, utilities, transportation, and meals. Hong Kong and Prague, Czech Republic are two of the most inexpensive locations, while Bath, England is one of the more expensive programs.  

    Most additional costs will come in travel expenses – getting to and from the location, and any travel you do during the semester, so this also varies considerably. 

    For more information about a particular destination, consult the online student surveys and evaluations and the survey binder in the BBA International Programs resource library (CBA 2.400). These include information on each student’s budget, and what they actually spent on housing, food, travel, etc. Estimated budgets for each program can also be found by clicking on the university's link on the BBA Exchange Programs page.

    In general, you should expect to spend more during a semester abroad than you would in Austin, but much of this will be under your control. Visit the Funding Resources page for information on available scholarships, financial aid, and budgeting resources.

  • Can I use my regular financial aid when I study abroad?
    Yes. Again, with BBA exchange programs you will be registered through UT Austin, so any financial aid or scholarships you normally receive will also apply to your semester abroad. Visit the Funding Resources page for information on available scholarships, financial aid, and budgeting resources.
  • Are there any scholarships for studying abroad?
    Yes. There are numerous scholarships available for study abroad students. Any UT student studying abroad is eligible to apply for at least one special scholarship, the IEF Scholarship (funded by the International Education Fee – a $3 fee paid by all UT students every semester). Students studying on a BBA exchange program in Asia or Latin America can also apply for the CIBER Strategic Partners Scholarship. Freshmen students participating on a BBA summer exchange program the summer after their freshmen year can apply for the JTS Summer Abroad Scholarship.

     

    The Funding Resources page of this Web site references information on available scholarships, financial aid, and budgeting resources. Other scholarships may also be available, depending on your destination. You may also visit the UT Study Abroad Office Web site for a listing of scholarships and other funding options. http://www.utexas.edu/student/abroad/funding/

  • What is the exchange rate?
    To see a daily exchange rate of the U.S. Dollar to other currencies, visit http://www.xe.com/ucc/. It is also advisable to check with your local bank to see if they can exchange some currency for you before departure. However, in countries that value the dollar very highly, it might be to the student's benefit to exchange currency upon arrival in the host country.

  • Where can students exchange money?
    Many airports provide currency exchange counters. Be sure that you know approximately how much you should expect for each dollar you exchange. Many banks are happy to exchange money, however some charge significant fees. Possibly the most comfortable (and assuredly reputable) places to exchange money would be your home bank, or a large local bank with currency exchange services.
  • What are Travelers Checks and where can they be obtained/used?
    Travelers checks take the place of cash, and are much safer than carrying cash, because these checks are often able to be cancelled if lost or stolen. Travelers checks receive mixed opinions overseas. Some places accept them, and others don't. A relatively new and very safe way to “carry” money is using a debit card with the logo of a national credit card on it. For instance, Bank of America can provide debit cards with the Visa logo, and these cards can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. Purchases on the card will automatically be debited from your student’s account. As with Visa credit cards, these debit cards can be instantly cancelled if they are lost or stolen.

  • What is the best way to send money from the U.S. to the host country?
    Electronic Fund Transfers (EFTs) or online banking transfers are the most secure way to delivery money to students abroad. However, money wires are also commonly used (i.e. Western Union), but charge a fee for their services.

  • How much spending money is needed?
    Determining the proper amount of spending money will depend almost entirely on the student's spending habits. Students should create a budget based on the amount of travel they want to do while abroad as well as the cost of living of their host country.

Process

  • How do I apply?
    Applications for BBA Exchange programs are due by March 1. For example, March 1, 2011 is the priority application deadline studying abroad summer 2011, fall 2011, and spring 2012. There is a secondary application deadline (rolling admissions) of October 1 for any programs still available for the following spring semester. 

     

    Before applying, you should first attend an Information Session to have general questions answered. You may then schedule an appointment with a Study Abroad Coordinator. 

    There are three Study Abroad Coordinators in the BBA Program Office (CBA 2.400). Once you have attended an Information Session, you can schedule an appointment with a coordinator by going to the office, or calling 471-0690. You must meet with a coordinator before you will have access to the online Study Abroad application.

    In addition to the $50 application fee, the online study abroad application, and the essay, students will need to complete and turn in additional materials to CBA 2.400:

    Essay
    Two letters of recommendation
    Resume Degree Plan with courses completed marked off

    Students studying on a BBA exchange program in China, Chile, Spain and Brazil will also need to have their foreign language skills evaluated by a faculty member.

    For details on these application materials, read our Application Tips. Completing the essay and organizing the letters of recommendation can be time-consuming, so plan to get started well before the application deadline!

    Students have reported that planning to go abroad can take almost as much time as a class at UT, so be ready to dedicate time to these activities the semester before you go.

  • How hard it is to be accepted to go abroad?  What are the selection criteria?
    The more flexible you are in destination choices, the greater your opportunities are. The selection committee looks for well-rounded students who will be good ambassadors of UT and the U.S. All of the application materials are taken into consideration. The chances of getting accepted to a particular location vary based on the applicant pool for that semester. For some semesters there may be strong competition for certain locations, depending on the number and quality of applicants. A good student has a very high chance of being accepted, but perhaps not to a first choice. You must have at least a 2.0 GPA.
  • What will I need to do if I am accepted to study abroad?
    Once you have been accepted into a BBA Exchange program, you will need to submit several forms and other paperwork for UT Austin and for your host school. You will need to attend a Pre-Departure Workshop to begin this process after you have been accepted, and attend travel counseling if studying or traveling anywhere outside of western Europe. You will also be responsible for obtaining a student visa for your host country. Learn more by visiting the Accepted Students section of the Web site.
  • Do terms and semester vary between schools?
    Yes, it depends on each school. Most of them have a spring or fall semester. To see a list of estimated program dates, click on the university name on the BBA Exchange Programs page.
  • What do students do when the school goes on holiday (i.e. winter break)?
    Students can travel during holidays or explore their host city. The dorms and apartments will still be open during this time.
  • Are parents and families allowed to visit the students? Can families stay with students in their on-campus housing?
    Finding a local hotel is the best option as many schools have strict policies on having guests in on-campus housing. Students will have to check with their school once enrolled to determined the overnight policies for guests.

  • How safe is the campus?
    Campuses are typically very safe. Most campuses have police/security guards there to provided assistance as needed. It is recommended that students travel in groups, especially after dark. General common sense will help students while traveling abroad.

  • How safe is the city?
    Depending on the city, many places are considered to be safer than the U.S., and the most common crime is petty theft. Students report they felt very safe abroad.

  • What happens in the case of an emergency? Will students have an in-country contact?
    The BBA International Programs office keeps a record of the student's contact information abroad. In case of an emergency here in the U.S., the office will quickly contact the student. Additionally, the office also contacts students regularly during the first few weeks of their semester to ensure their adjustment is going smoothly. Students will have an in-country contact, usually the host school's international program coordinator, who can help facilitate questions.

    Study abroad students are also issued an International SOS card that offers them 24/7 assistance while abroad. Students can also register their trip abroad with International SOS, for expedited help in case of emergency. Students can also upload copies of your passport and other documents, sign up for medical and security reports, find English speaking doctors abroad, get help finding if medications are legal in certain countries, look up detailed information about countries, and call them collect 24/7. This is an invaluable resource! Learn more at http://www.internationalsos.com.

Medical Insurance

  • Do students need to get an international medical insurance if they have an existing policy in the U.S
    Yes. Obtaining international health insurance coverage is required prior to departure. Per UT Austin policy, students will be automatically enrolled in a health and liability insurance plan which is a discounted plan available to UT students for about $19 per week. This insurance plan only provides coverage while abroad; therefore, it is strongly encouraged to maintain U.S. health insurance coverage in case treatment is necessary upon return to the States. For more information on the health and liability insurance requirements, visit the Insurance page on the Web site.
  • What special immunizations are needed to study abroad?
    Immunization requirements and recommendations vary by country. University Health Services provides students travel health services to help prepare them for their trip abroad. Charges apply to travel health consultations, immunizations, and physical exams. There is an additional fee for completing forms associated with physical exams, including travel and study abroad. Learn more at http://www.healthyhorns.utexas.edu/travel/index.html.
  • Do students need to take a copy of their medical records?
    It is a good idea for students to take a copy, not the originals, of their medical records.

Housing and Meals

  • Where do students live?
    Most students live in either on-campus housing (if provided by the host university) or in off-campus apartments with other international exchange students or sometimes with local students.
  • What are the safest places to live?
    It is safer to live on campus or in housing provided by the school.
  • Is it possible to have a roommate in a dorm or an apartment?
    This will vary. To have your own room is more expensive. Depending on the school, students may live with local students or with other international students. It depends on the school's dorm availability and costs. To learn if university housing accommodations or assistance is provided at the partner school, click on the university's name on the BBA Exchange Programs page and view the "Housing Resources" section.

  • Who is responsible for making housing arrangements?
    Students are responsible for coordinating their housing arrangements in the host country. For schools that do not offer on-campus housing, it is recommended that students arrive to the city at least a week before orientation in order to begin their housing search. To learn if university housing accommodations or assistance is provided at the partner school, click on the university's name on the BBA Exchange Programs page and view the "Housing Resources" section.

  • If students live in on-campus housing, are meals included as part of the tuition?
    Meals are not part of tuition but may be covered in the cost of housing at some schools. The cost of a daily lunch is similar to that of the U.S. European countries that use the Euro or Pound may have higher costs for means due to the U.S. dollar conversion. Countries where the dollar is stronger against the local currency will have lower costs of living.

  • How much does it cost to live in an apartment? Are students allowed to still eat on campus?
    Eating on campus is not restricted, in most cases, to students living on-campus. Some universities have limited campus facilities, as their structure differs from the U.S.

     

    Living costs vary by city, location, and amenities, and students should consider the likely costs of utilities, furnishings, transportation.

  • What will the food be like?
    Part of the student's research before traveling abroad should include learning about the food of the host country. If students have special dietary restrictions, it is important for them to see what alternative foods will be available in the country. Flexibility is key, and students often adjust to new styles of food within a month or so after arriving in their host country. Part of the experience in studying abroad is becoming exposed to new ways of life - including food and eating customs - therefore students should have an open mind to experiment with different culinary options that may be different from the U.S.

Travel

  • What documents (passports, visas) are needed to travel abroad?
    A passport is necessary to enter the host country. Information is available at http://www.passport.gov. Each semester, the business school also hosts Passport Day to allow students to apply for or renew a U.S. passport. Students will most likely need a student visa to study abroad. Check http://www.travel.state.gov for more information concerning specific country requirements. Students can also locate the host country's embassy or nearby consulate located in the U.S. to verify requirements. The Helpful Travel Resources page also provides links to embassy and consulate Web sites.
  • Is there a timeline to apply for a passport or visa?
    Passports and visas should be arranged as soon as possible, because documents can take up to 3 months to process. Each semester, the business school also hosts Passport Day to allow students to apply for or renew a U.S. passport.
  • Do all countries require student visas?
    While all countries require a passport, not all countries require a visa. Check the website for your host country's embassy or consulate in the U.S.
  • What are the common means of transportation while abroad?
    Most of our partner schools are in cities that have tried and true public transportation systems (subway/metro, bus). The fees ranges from $60 to $400 per semester to utilize public transportation. Whether the city offers a city-pass or pay-per-ride method is readily available information on most of our school's Web sites and can be picked up when the student arrives. Some cities are pedestrian and bike friendly, so students may choose to purchase a bike when they arrive.
    Travel within the country and to neighboring countries can be done by air, train or bus. Air travel within Europe is very inexpensive, although train travel is quite common but more expensive. Travel within Asia and Latin American is mainly done by air, although bus and train travel is also available within many countries.
  • Who is responsible for making transportation arrangements?
    Students are responsible for arranging travel to and from their host country. Many internet sites offer discount airfare rates, and there are several to choose from. some sites that consistently provide low fares include: www.kayak.com, www.statravel.com, and www.bookingbuddy.com.

  • How do students travel from the airport to their in-country housing location?
    Students may use public transportation to get from the airport to their place of residence or hotel. It is helpful to have the country's currency already in possession to ease the payment process. Host schools may also included airport transportation information in the packet of materials that is sent to accepted study abroad students.
  • Are students allowed to travel between countries?
    Yes, it is allowed. It is a great way for students to get the best experience possible by visiting new countries and becoming exposed to new cultures and ways of life.
  • Where can students receive advice about travel?
    Local students and other acquaintances can be great resources for travel tips and suggestions. Traveling with local students can provide a unique, non-touristy experience. This approach is also quite safe, as a local is fluent in the local language and is familiar with the culture and norms.
  • What are some helpful travel resources and links?
    A wide variety of travel-related resource links can be found on the Helpful Travel Resources page of the Web site.

Personal Items

  • Are things like bedding and computers provided? What other personal items should be taken?
    Depending on the living situation, bedding and linens may need to be provided by the student along with most furnishings unless they are living in a dorm or furnished apartment. Computers can be accessed at internet cafes, university computer labs, and libraries, although many students choose to take their personal computers with them.
  • Is there a recommended packing list?
    A recommended packing list can be found on the U.S. Department of State's Students Abroad Web site.

Communications

  • Will students have access to email while abroad?
    All partner schools provide internet access for students. Most cities also have cyber/internet cafe that are readily available for students to use.
  • How does snail mail work overseas?
    It also works as it does in the U.S. Students will be able to receive packages in their host country. However, because packages are shipped via air, they tend to be more costly than domestic mail.
  • Can students use a calling or credit card to call home? How can families call students abroad? Do students usually purchase cell phones while abroad?
    Credit cards are available in virtually every city, and they can also be purchased online. Calling cards are available in the U.S. to call other countries, as well. Students may with to purchase a local cell phone plan, which can also be used to call the U.S. (but may be very expensive). More and more, students choose to communicate via Skype, a free service that allows video conferences and calls from computer to computer.

Orientation

  • Do students receive an orientation once they arrive to the host country?
    Yes. Different host institutions provide varying levels of orientation, including such topics as course registration, housing, transportation, local acclimation, etc. Students should thoroughly review the host university's Web site to find out about the specific orientation practices.
  • Will students receive an interpreter if the language is unfamiliar?
    Some schools offer or require students to participate in an intensive language course before the semester begins. Schools do not provide interpreters. For schools that only instruct in the local language, students will be required to have their foreign language skills evaluated by a UT professor at the time they apply to study abroad to ensure they are proficient in the language.

Page last updated: 10/31/2014