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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How early can I study abroad?
. 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 can spend time overseas.

Q. How long can I study abroad?
A. Every Washington College student is eligible to study abroad for up to 2 semesters; International Studies majors are eligible to study abroad for up to 3 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). Students studying abroad for an additional semester pay the off-campus study fee only once.

Q. Where can I study abroad? 
A. Washington College partners with programs all over the world! Any Washington College student is eligible to study abroad at any of our partner institutions. 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 our partners on this website (under the 'PROGRAMS' tab in the black menu at the top of this page).

Q. How do I apply?
A. To apply, first meet with your advisor and with GEO staff. Then 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 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. A more detailed list of steps is on our Getting Started page, available from the left menu.

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. If accepted, you will then be approved by Washington College to apply to a partner institution as the second step of the application process. 

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. Late applications are not accepted.

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 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 tuition scholarships, loans, and aid will remain in place.

Our programs are divided into two groups: most are in Group E-Signature Exchange- and the rest are in Group O-Other One-Way Programs. The Group E Signature Exchange programs have only a $200.00 application fee, while Group O Other Partnership programs have a $200.00 application fee and a $450.00 Study Abroad Fee. You can see which programs are in Group E and which are in Group O on our Study Abroad Group EO Flyer.

The price-tag then can fluctuate only 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 of our 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 for tuition will NOT be effected by studying abroad at one of GEO's partner institutions. 

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 exactly the 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! Most of our programs abroad are instructed in English, even though only a few 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 at the 300 Level at WAC, our 2 programs in Germany require German language proficiency at 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 at the 300 Level at WAC. You can study in countries like Japan, Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, and Hong Kong without speaking another language - most of their 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. 

Q. I am an LGBTQ+ student, and I want to make sure I am going to a country that is supportive of me. What countries should I look at and what are some helpful resources for me?
A. We have a list of resources for LGBTQ+ students on our Diversity Resources page, available from the left menu.

Q. What if I want to study abroad in a location or university that’s not on the list?
A. Studying abroad at an institution that Washington College does not have an agreement with is not easy, but it is possible. Firstly, Washington College students are not permitted to study abroad at a non-partnered university during the academic year, so in order to do so, the student must temporarily withdraw from the College. (There is no restriction on registering at a foreign university during WAC’s summer or winter breaks.) Secondly, the student would have to apply to the host-institution as an independent student, without the support of a Washington College nomination or of the Global Education Office. And lastly, once the student completes their semester(s) abroad, they would have to re-apply to the College through the Admissions Office, where their financial aid would be re-evaluated and the credits earned overseas would be reflected on their transcript as transfer credit.
What does a voluntary, temporary withdrawal from the College entail? First, you must state your intent to de-enroll to the Dean and Provost of the College. Next, you must obtain signatures from the following offices: Registrar, Financial Aid, and Business Office. You will then be removed from the College’s register at the end of the term. You will be able to submit your application for re-enrollment mid-way through your semester abroad, and considered for re-admission pending review of your host-institution’s transcript upon the completion of your coursework. If you presently receive financial aid, your need will be re-evaluated with your application for re-enrollment. It is very likely that you will not receive the same amount of aid as you did previously, and quite possible that you will not be awarded any aid at all.
Washington College does accept transfer credits from other accredited institutions. Students must earn a grade of C- or higher in order for the course to be accepted and appear on their Washington College transcript. Grades earned in transfer courses will not be factored into a student’s GPA. The Registrar's Office has more information on transfer credits. By contrast, classes taken overseas at our partnered institutions are transferred back to Washington College as Washington College credit with Washington College class titles, credit value, and grades; these courses do factor into your Washington College GPA. Therefore, classes taken at our partner-institutions can more easily be used to fulfill major, minor, distribution, or elective requirements.
If you are interested in studying abroad at a non-partnered institution, please make an appointment with GEO staff.