Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How early can I study abroad?
A. You can study abroad as early as a second-semester sophomore and as late as a first-semester senior. This leaves each student with 4 semesters in which they are viable to spend overseas.
Q. How long can I study abroad?
A. Every Washington College student is eligible to study abroad for up to 2 semesters. If you choose to study abroad for 2 semesters, they do not have to be consecutive semesters (for example, you can study abroad your sophomore-spring semester and then again your junior-spring semester), and they do not have to be at the same institution. Or, you can choose to study abroad consecutively for an academic year at one institution (for example, your junior year at Meiji Gakuin University). The only students who can study abroad for more than 2 semesters are students who have declared an International Studies majors. IS majors can study abroad for a maximum of 3 semesters.
Q. Where can I study abroad?
A. Washington College partners with 29 universities in 23 countries around the world! Any Washington College student is eligible to study abroad at any of these 29 locations. Some programs are instructed in a foreign language, which requires language proficiency, and some partners are better suited for different majors or areas of interest. You can view the list of all 29 partners on this website (under the 'PROGRAMS' tab in the black menu at the top of this page), but we recommend you make an appointment with Study Abroad Coordinator, Alex Levy, to discuss the differences between these programs to help you find the place that fits you best!
Q. How do I apply?
A. To apply, simply submit a completed application on this site by the appropriate deadline! The application can be found on the page of the program you wish to apply to. This application requires you to complete a short biographical and academic questionnaire, submit a 200-500 word personal statement or essay about why you want to study abroad, 2 faculty recommendations, a deposit to the Business Office, and some require you to upload passport-sized photographs. You are also required to meet with the Study Abroad Coordinator at least once before submitting an application. You can make an appointment with the Coordinator here.
Q. Can I apply to more than one place?
A. You can only submit one application per application cycle, however the application will ask for your Top 3 Location Choices. The personal statement is an opportunity for you to explain your location rankings, and why your first choice is your first choice. You will then be approved by Washington College to study at one partner institution.
Q. When are the applications due?
A. Applications are due early the semester before you would like to be abroad. Therefore, if you'd like to be studying abroad during the fall semester (or for that entire next year), applications will be due early the February before. If you'd like to be abroad for the spring semester, your application will be due the September before.
Applications for the Spring 2018 semester are due Friday, September 15, 2017.
Q. Does it cost me extra to study abroad?
A. It is a very common misconception that studying abroad is more expensive than a semester at Washington College, however we try very hard to make it so that you will not spend more for your semester(s) abroad than you would for a semester at Washington College. All of our 29 programs are Tuition Exchange Programs, which means you will still pay that semester(s)'s tuition to Washington College as you normally would, maintaining all scholarships, loans, and aid you have now. No matter what location you choose, your current scholarships, loans, and aid will remain in place. The price-tag only then can fluctuate when it comes to the cost of room and board, since most of the time, those costs are being billed to you directly by the host institution (with the exception of Full Exchange programs, and Tuition/Room Exchanges, to an extent). We have tried to keep the Room and Board costs as comparable as possible to those costs at Washington College, taking into consideration the cost of living and currency conversion in your host country. Some programs end up being cheaper than a semester at Washington College, and some end up a little more expensive, depending on personal spending, travel, conversion rates, and cost of living. Please view the Budget Sheets available on each program's brochure page, as well as the explanations of exchange types in the left-side navigation menu of the homepage for further information. The Global Education Office (GEO) also has some additional scholarships and grants available to help offset additional costs.
Q. I don't want to lose my Financial Aid, will studying abroad effect it?
A. Your Financial Aid will NOT be effected by studying abroad at one of GEO's partner institution.
Q. What kind of GPA do I need to study abroad?
A. Different partners have different GPA minimums, but we generally recommend students have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above to apply. Select schools have minimums of 2.5 or 2.8, while a few have minimums at 3.2 or 3.3. These values are indicated on each program's brochure page as well.
Q. What kind of classes can I take while I'm abroad?
A. Essentially, any class you can take at Washington College can be taken overseas...and more! While the classes are not the exact same, you can fulfill Major, Minor, Distribution, and Elective credit while studying abroad. Due to GEO's agreements with our partner institutions, the classes you take TRANSFER BACK to Washington College as Washington College credit. Most other institutions only accept study abroad credits as Pass/Fail transfer credit, but Washington College accepts all grades, credits, and classes taken abroad at one of our partner institutions. This means, for example, a Beginners French Language class taken overseas will transfer back to Washington College as FRS 101 worth 4 credits. There is a common misconception that a semester abroad is a waste of time because you're delaying classes and credits you need to graduate, but that is not true! You can take Major, Minor, Distribution, and Elective credits abroad, so you don't miss a beat!
Q. Can I still study abroad if I don't speak another language?
A. YES! Out of our 29 programs abroad, 20 of them are instructed in English, even though only 7 programs are located in English-Speaking Countries! The only exceptions are: 2 of our 3 programs in France and our program in Senegal require French language proficiency up to the 300 Level at WAC, our 2 programs in Germany require German language proficiency up to the 300 Level at WAC, and finally our program in Spain, as well as 3 of our 4 programs in South America require Spanish language proficiency up to the 300 Level at WAC. You can study in countries like Japan, Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, and Hong Kong without speaking another language - all the classes are instructed in English!
Q. What are the eligibility requirements?
A. Students MUST be a second-semester sophomore (when they are actively abroad), have a valid passport and visa, apply on-time, and meet the minimum academic requirements for their program.