Frequently Asked Questions
In general, yes! Most federal and state financial aid is applicable to LCSC’s approved study away programs. Work study is not available and there may be some limitations on private grants or scholarships. Make an appointment with the financial aid office as soon as you consider studying away, or with the representative of the private organization or group that gave you the scholarship or grant. Students must allow adequate time to process financial aid forms for overseas programs.
Yes! A range of additional scholarships may be available depending on the student’s destination, personal situation, and course and length of study. For more information, please visit our scholarships page.
It’s very possible! Each student’s situation is different depending on their major and what they want to do overseas. It may take additional time and paperwork in order to make study away possible, so contact your representatives as soon as you can.
Earning wages for work while you are away under a student visa is often prohibited. Your student visa authorizes only living and learning in your host country. Some countries will allow part-time jobs, but only while school is in session. Never expect to support yourself by working overseas. Instead, budget for your trip based on money that you have earned prior to your departure. Working overseas, if allowed, can be a valuable experience, but is not reliable enough to fund study away.
Some people still like to use travelers' checks. If you purchase these, be sure to get denominations that are large enough, so that you don't incur unnecessary bank fees for every transaction.
You may find that bringing a bank check (issued by a large international bank) in the currency of your host country and opening a bank account with these funds is a good option for you. This will allow you quick access to your money, give you a safe place to store it, and you will avoid often expensive international transaction fees (imagine losing 20 dollars or more every time you use the ATM!).
ATMs are widespread throughout the world, and cash withdrawals with a credit card or a debit card are very easy. Make sure that you use a debit card with the symbol of a major credit card on it as ATM systems vary and the major credit card companies are the most universally recognized. Again, be careful to ask your bank what the ATM transaction fees will be as they can be quite expensive. Some fees are percentages and others are a flat rate; if it’s a flat rate, it’s better to remove a larger amount at once.
Possibly. Many countries do not use credit cards as easily as Americans do, especially in smaller shops and towns. It is recommended you order some of the country’s currency from your bank before leaving. Once there, you will need to carry some cash with you. However, major credit cards are widely accepted in most urban areas overseas. Keep in mind that a "cap" can be placed on the amount charged, to avoid excessive spending and debt.
Keep a separate list of credit and debit card account numbers and customer service telephone numbers (also for travelers' checks and all personal ID papers) for emergency replacement. Loss or theft of a card away can be a huge inconvenience when you are traveling. Remember, even with a credit card, you will encounter businesses that require cash for transactions.
Finally, let your bank or credit card company know you will be using the card overseas so they don’t lock it for potential fraudulent use!
Classes & Registration:
In most cases you will be required to choose classes and submit a proposed course of study with your application. Our partner universities attempt to pre-register you whenever possible. All universities have an orientation program for international students. It is the students' responsibility to learn about the orientation and the registration process, and to arrive in time to get acquainted with the university before classes start. The orientation also helps to establish contact with other international students.
Not necessarily! If you start early and plan well, you can often take the classes you need while studying away and stay on track for graduation. This can be more difficult if you start the process late or if you are part of a program with many required classes, like Pre-Nursing or Education. Some students decide that taking an extra semester to graduate is worth the invaluable experience studying away gives them; those who don't want to take longer to graduate are highly recommended to start the process as early as possible.
Most universities have a broad range of course offerings, but some of their courses may be closed to you. For instance, a business, engineering, or pre-med student might not find space available at an overseas university for their particular distribution requirements. Before making a course selection, all students must study the offerings at the host university, and consult with the Study Away Coordinator and academic advisor at their home college to assure that they will meet their requirements for credit. Students must take credits that count towards their degree to receive financial aid and all grades do transfer back.
Before you depart for your study away program, you must complete the LC State Study Away Agreement Form, which includes a section for Department Chairs to approve each class and declare its equivalent at LC State. As long as you take the classes you indicated you would take, you will receive the credit that is promised to you upon signing that document.
Depending on your destination, the school you attend may follow a quarter-system schedule (like UW) or the semester schedule (like LC State). Their academic year may begin at the same time as ours, but if the school is in the southern hemisphere, it will seem backwards! For example, Australia’s calendar year is as follows: Semester 1 (what we usually call fall) usually starts in February or March and runs to June or July. Semester 2 (what we call spring) begins in July and runs to November or December. To find the exact start dates of the semester, consult the program or institution's website and pay close attention – when you book your plane ticket, you need to arrive in plenty of time for orientation!
Yes! Any full-time LC State student who wishes to engage in study away is encouraged to do so. Being an international student may limit the scholarships or programs you can apply for, and it will also affect the types of visas or requirements you may need to get to study away. Speak to the Study Away Coordinator for more information.
It is wise to take a supply of medications adequate for the duration of your program with you from home, and it is a good idea to advise the on-site coordinator of any special needs that you may have. Filling a prescription in another country, as in the United States, requires a visit to a physician. University health clinics may be able to help you with medications and locating a pharmacy.
You must bring your prescription(s) with you as evidence that the medication has been prescribed to you by a physician. In a very few cases, certain medications will not be allowed into certain countries. This includes some over-the-counter medications as well. For more information, consult the CDC and the embassy web site of your host country.
Some providers, like International Studies Away (ISA), require students to purchase insurance. This insurance will cover your costs if you are sick overseas, though it is often a pay first-get reimbursed later scenario. If you are on exchange, you should either purchase the local insurance plan provided by your host institution or make certain before departure that your insurance provider offers services in the location you will be studying in. Studying overseas include special considerations that may warrant additional insurance, like medical evacuation, lost luggage, cancelled flights, repatriation of remains, etc. Check with your insurance provider to see if you are covered for these situations. If not, the Study Away Coordinator can recommend additional resources.
If you have any allergies, be sure to carry identification on your person at all times, indicating the specific nature of the allergies, and spelling out clearly what must be done should you be unable to communicate this information yourself. In the event that you become significantly ill or injured, please contact your host program/institution's study away office and us as soon as safely possible.
You can bring it, but you might not be able to use it. Cell phones in other regions of the world often operate on systems incompatible with U.S. cell phone providers. If you do take your cell phone, beware of large roaming fees. Ask your cell phone provider if they offer reasonable rates in the location you are traveling to; if they do not, consider getting a prepaid phone for in-country calls and using a calling card to call home. Most countries have very cheap phone cards available that will allow you to call home to the U.S. for as little as a few cents per minute!
The U.S. uses an electrical system incompatible with most other countries. This means, given the difference in voltage and electrical connections, battery chargers often do not function well or at all in other countries if you can even plug them in (most outlets look significantly different than American electrical outlets). Electrical systems in foreign countries are not compatible with the system of the United States, so all small appliances (like your hair dryer, iron, electric shaver) need converters. You may also need a plug adapter to let your appliances fit into the outlet holes. You can purchase the converter and/or adapters ahead of time for your destination on amazon.com, or simply buy the appliances that you need upon arrival. Some items, like your laptop, have a converter already built into the cord (the large black box in the center of it), so they only require a plug adapter.
Generally, going to school in another state or country is no more dangerous than going to school in the U.S. Small towns and big cities alike experience crime, but regardless of where you are, there are many things you can do to minimize your risk. Be sure to register with the LC State Risk Management officer and follow government recommendations for safety abroad.
No. You are responsible for getting an updated passport that is valid until 6 months after the expected end date of your program. If you need help locating the application form or working through the process, please ask us for help. If you do not already have a passport, get one now! You need a passport in hand before you can apply for a visa. For some countries, getting a visa can take many weeks or even months.
Visa rules vary according to the country you are visiting. The Study Away Coordinator will guide and support you as you apply for your visa, and in many cases can also provide detailed instructions and application forms. In the end, however, it is your responsibility to secure the travel documents that you need for your specific study away program. If you have questions or concerns, please ask for help.
NSE participants do NOT require a Passport or Visa, but if you are traveling to Guam, the Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico, a passport is highly recommended.
If you are working with ISA, they will provide visa guidance for you; if you are going to Spain, they may also offer a visa service for you if you submit your documents early enough.
If you are an international student, you may have different requirements, restrictions or freedoms, so be sure to check.
While You're Away:
Some programs and host universities will offer an airport pick-up, as requested by the student. If airport pick-up is offered at your program or host university, you must return the form by the stated deadline. If you fail to do so, the university may be unable to retrieve you and you will have to find your own way to campus. If you arrive early, some host institutions may offer temporary housing options until permanent quarters are found, but students must complete all of the appropriate paperwork to meet accommodation deadlines. Be prepared to stay in a hotel if you arrive prior to the move-in date.
Programs and host institutions will provide a comprehensive orientation to the university and its services as well as to the surrounding area, including topics such as safety, security and how to accomplish common tasks.
"Self-catered" housing means that there is no meal plan. Shared kitchens or reasonably priced restaurants are available. "Catered" housing means that some meals are provided, and "fully-catered" housing means that all meals are included.
"En-suite" indicates that rooms have their own bathroom facilities. "Standard" rooms have shared facilities.
Absolutely! Travel is a big part of the study away experience. Be sure to figure funds for personal travel into your budget. Travel expenses are not part of official cost estimates, unless excursions have been built into the program (ISA only). The Study Away office does not offer travel advice. For travel advice, contact your local travel agency. Many universities also have student travel services and outing clubs for inexpensive trips to points of interest and into the countryside.
Yes. Since September 11, the customs and immigration officials are very vigilant. You should receive customs information on your outbound flight. If you do not, please ask a flight attendant or immigration officer for information on US customs regulations so that you can plan for your return. Review this information carefully, both for departure and reentry into the United States. Allow adequate time for checking in at the airport, both while leaving and returning. The security measures can be extensive and time-consuming.
When a crisis occurs in the study away realm, students and their loved ones turn to college officials and expect a response that is calm, thorough, and effective. They and others within the LCSC community and beyond will also ask what steps the institution has taken to prevent and prepare for an emergency. While it may be impossible to anticipate every type of crisis, there are well-established protocols and action plans that colleges and universities across the country have shared with each other. International Education organizations such as the Forum for Education Abroad, the Peace Corps, and NAFSA, Association of International Educators have published best practices in study abroad crisis management. This document is a compilation of best practices from those sources.
When a crisis occurs, campus leaders often need to make quick decisions. This crisis management plan is designed for quick referral and is predicated on pre-travel risk mitigation and routine staff training.