Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: When should I apply to study abroad?
A: Generally, students should begin the application process at least six months before they intend to study abroad. See Upcoming Application Deadlines.
Q: What is involved in the application process?
A: Each program has its own application. Most require the following: application form, two academic references, official transcripts from all institutions attended, statement of purpose, and a non-refundable application fee. After applying you will be interviewed by a study abroad advisor and later notified if you are accepted.
Q: How competitive is selection for study abroad programs?
A: Programs vary in their competitiveness, but in most cases students with good academic records, strong references, and solid purpose statements are successful candidates in their desired program.
Q: What types of courses can I take while overseas?
A: Students often study language, culture, and other social sciences, though science and business majors are increasingly able to take related courses overseas. Programs vary in what they offer Study Abroad students. Most programs list their course offerings in their brochure and online.
Q: How do my credits transfer?
A: Credits transfer to PSU upon program completion and appear on your transcript as PSU credits. For overseas courses to fulfill PSU requirements, you need to make advanced arrangements with the respective PSU academic department.
Q: Do I have to know a foreign language?
A: No. Many programs are available in English-speaking countries or countries where English is the language of instruction. However, many programs offer the opportunity to increase your fluency by requiring some knowledge of its country’s language.
Q: How do I learn more about Study Abroad?
A: Drop in on one of our weekly information sessions held Tuesdays from Noon to 1:00 pm in East Hall, Room 331.
Q: When do most students study abroad?
A: Students may study abroad during their sophomore, junior, or senior year. The exception to this rule is Carpe Diem programs, which are available to PSU students during freshman year. You will work with your academic advisor to plan the best time for your study abroad experience.
Q: Is it possible to do my internship overseas?
A: Yes. Junior, senior and graduate students may complete an international internship through IE3. See IE3’s website for details.
Q: How long can I study abroad?
A: Program lengths vary from 2 weeks to a full calendar year. Summer programs are also available lasting 2-8 weeks.
Q: Do I have to live with a host family?
A: Most programs offer at least two living arrangement options. Options may include apartments, dormitories, or host families. Some programs offer only one option. See program brochures and websites for living arrangement offerings.
Q: What vaccinations do I need before studying abroad?
A: This depends on your destination. See the Center for Disease Control for specific requirements.
Q: How do I get a passport?
A: See the government site for information and necessary forms.
Q: Are scholarships available for study abroad programs?
A: Yes. Some scholarships may be used for study abroad programs and others are designed specifically for study abroad students. See our scholarship page for more information.
Q: How much more is the cost of studying abroad compared to staying in Portland?
A: Costs vary depending on the unique requirements of each program. Check program sites for cost details. For accurate comparison be sure to include all costs of living in Portland (housing, utilities, insurance, food, etc.).
Q: Can I pay my program bill with a credit card?
A: Yes. You may pay with a credit card online, or you may fill out an authorization with your study abroad advisor before leaving for your program. Your advisor is then able to charge your debit/ credit card while you are abroad.
Q: Can I pay my program bill in monthly installments?
A: Yes. However, you will be charged interest and each term’s bill should be paid in full before the next term’s installment is due.
Q: I have a PSU-based scholarship. Can I use it for my program?
A: Yes. The only scholarship that is NOT applicable to your study abroad program is WUE.
Q: Can I use my financial aid to study abroad?
A: Yes, as long as you are participating in a PSU-approved study abroad program.
Q: How does Financial Aid work with study abroad programs?
A: The answer is found at this page: http://www.oia.pdx.edu/ea/financial_aid_resources
Q: I’m a post-bac or masters student. Can I still study abroad?
A: Yes, in some programs. However, most programs offer undergraduate credit. You might consider an international internship where you may earn graduate level credit. See IE3 for details.
Q: Can I take dependents with me?
A: Some programs do allow students to bring dependents. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.
Q: Can older students still study abroad?
A: Yes. Non-traditional students often participate in study abroad programs.
Q: What if I have dietary restrictions? Can I still study abroad?
A: Yes. Clearly note any dietary restrictions on your pre-departure forms and on your application. On-site coordinators will then be aware of your needs and may make necessary accommodations.