International Student And Scholar Services

 

Study Abroad Frequently Asked Questions

What is study abroad?

Study Abroad is the term applied to the participation of a university student in a structured, credit-granting program of academic study in a foreign country for a summer, a semester or an academic year which is sponsored either by an accredited U.S. university, or by a foreign university which is recognized in its country. About 225,000 US students study abroad annually, out of 16 million university students.

Who can study abroad?

Full time, degree-seeking university students in any major may study abroad and earn academic credit which can be applied to their home university's course of study.

Why should I study abroad?

These days, it is becoming more and more common for students from all majors to spend a semester or a year studying in another country as a part of their college experience. Students and their parents increasingly recognize that time spent living and studying abroad should be a component of every student's education, introducing them to new ways of looking at the world and understanding their surroundings. Study abroad can lead to personal and professional growth and the acquisition of valuable skills including adaptability, communication, patience, cultural awareness, problem-solving, observation, confidence and awareness of global issues.

Miami University offers hundreds of opportunities in dozens of countries for students of all academic majors - including Business, Education, Fine Arts, Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, Foreign Languages and Engineering. Scholarships are available for study abroad - and students can use their regular Miami scholarships for some study abroad programs as well. If they plan ahead, any student should be able to take either major or elective classes abroad that will help them graduate on time.

Miami expects its students to study abroad for an academic year, for a semester or for a summer term - and more than 1500 Miami students go abroad for study every year!

When should I study abroad?

We encourage you to study abroad for a semester or an academic year if you can, but summer and other short-term programs are also available, either through our Approved providers or through the School of Business' summer international programs or the faculty-led credit workshops organized by individual departments and overseen by the Office of Lifelong Learning.

About three-quarters of students who study abroad for a semester or academic year do so in their junior year. Many other students study abroad as sophomores or seniors. We recommend that students wait until at least their sophomore year so that they can fully experience a year at Miami before leaving to study elsewhere. Current participation in semester programs is about equal for the fall and spring semesters - your own decision may be based on commitments you've already made for one semester or the other (organization events, housing, etc.).

Where can I study abroad?

Study Abroad programs are offered almost anywhere in the world that is politically and economically secure. Miami offers Sponsored, Co-Sponsored, Exchange and Approved study abroad programs in about 90 countries, but there are many other countries available if you contact a study abroad advisor. Programs are offered in large cities, smaller cities, or in the depths of the rainforest! With the help of a study abroad advisor and with some consideration of the kind of living situation you prefer, you should be able to find a program that meets your needs. You can start by looking at our Program Selection page.

Do many Miami students study abroad?

Over 1,900 Miami students have some kind of study abroad experience each year:

Miami students' level of study abroad participation is among the highest of U.S. universities.

Where do Miami students typically go?

Our students study anywhere in the world where there are programs - virtually every continent.The majority go to Luxembourg, Spain, Australia, United Kingdom and other western European sites. Increasing numbers are going to Latin American countries, China, Japan and to Middle Eastern and African countries. For a list of the countries students are encouraged to consider, see Program Selection.

What types of programs are offered at Miami?

Four types of programs are offered at Miami. Contact a Study Abroad advisor if you have questions or want to know which kind of program best meets your needs and goals.

Sponsored programs

  • Examples: MUDEC, Study Abroad Credit Workshops, Student Teaching Abroad
  • Faculty: Operated and taught by Miami faculty
  • Students: Most enrolled students are Miami students
  • Registration: Regular Miami course registration
  • Credit: Regular Miami credit counts for graduation and is calculated into Miami GPA
  • Payments: All tuition and program fees are paid to Miami University
  • Financial Aid: All federal and Miami financial aid applies
  • Scholarships: All Miami scholarships apply. Staff/faculty self/dependent tuition waivers apply. The Honors Tuition Waiver may apply for eligible students for summer sponsored and exchange programs. Consult with the Honors Program for more information.
  • Length: Year, semester or short-term
  • To find a Sponsored Program: Program selection

Exchange Programs

  • Examples: ISEP, Palacky, Kansai Gaidai, etc.
  • Faculty: Operated and taught by faculty of the foreign host university
  • Students: Most enrolled students are not Miami students
  • Registration: Special Miami course registration; also course registration at university abroad
  • Credit: Transfer credit counts for graduation but is not calculated into the Miami GPA
  • Payments: All tuition and program fees are paid to Miami University
  • Financial Aid: All federal and Miami financial aid applies
  • Scholarships: All Miami scholarships apply. Staff/faculty self/dependent tuition waivers apply. The Honors Tuition Waiver may apply for eligible students for summer sponsored and exchange programs. Consult with the Honors Program for more information.
  • Length: Year, semester or very few short-term
  • To find an Exchange Program: Exchange programs; Program selection

Co-Sponsored Programs

  • Examples: The Miami Royal Holloway Semester in England, Ohio International Consortium programs, CIEE, IES, SIT
  • Faculty: Operated and taught by faculty of another US or foreign university
  • Students: Most enrolled students are not Miami students
  • Registration: No Miami registration; Course registration at US or foreign university
  • Credit: Transfer credit counts for graduation but is not calculated into the Miami GPA
  • Payments: All tuition and program fees are paid to host university/provider and not to Miami
  • Financial Aid: All federal and Miami financial aid applies
  • Scholarships: Miami scholarships apply (except OLS/ORS). Tuition waivers do not apply.
  • Length: Year or semester only. Summer programs through Co-Sponsored providers fall into the Approved category (see below).
  • To find a Co-Sponsored Program: Co-Sponsored programs; Program selection

Approved Programs

  • Examples: AIFS, Arcadia, Butler, CEA, School for Field Studies, etc.
  • Faculty: Operated and taught by faculty of another US or foreign university
  • Students: Most enrolled students are not Miami students
  • Registration: No Miami registration; Course registration at US or foreign university
  • Credit: Transfer credit counts for graduation but is not calculated into the Miami GPA
  • Payments: All tuition and program fees are paid to host university/provider and not to Miami
  • Financial Aid: Federal aid applies; Miami financial aid does not.
  • Scholarships: Miami scholarships do not apply but program-specific scholarships may be available. Tuition waivers do not apply.
  • Length: Year, semester or short-term
  • To find an Approved Program: Program selection

What is Miami's relationship to the institutions and organizations that offer these Co-sponsored and Approved programs?

Miami University encourages its students to study abroad on high-quality and challenging programs that combine academic learning and cultural immersion. The Office of International Education and Miami's academic departments research and approve, for credit-transfer purposes, a wide variety of study programs operated by other institutions and organizations. Miami selectively enters into affiliation agreements with institutions that provide special access to our students and/or benefits to the University. These Approved programs are not the only programs available to you. We encourage you to determine with the assistance of your academic advisor the study abroad program that best fits your academic and personal needs.

What's the best study abroad program?

We can't make that decision for you! Although we are often asked which are the "best" places to study abroad, the answer is that the program you choose will be best for you. If you'd like to talk to a study abroad advisor, we can help guide you through the selection process. To start, you can ask yourself questions like:

  • Do you already know of any particular countries or universities that match well to your major or interests?
  • Are you interested in learning a foreign language or fulfilling language requirements abroad?
  • Is financial aid a concern? Do you need to find a program where your scholarships will apply?
  • Would you like to be in a large city or a smaller one?
  • Do you want to go on the same program as friends from Miami or make new friends abroad?
  • Is there a particular region/country/city/culture you've always wanted to learn more about?
  • Has a professor or academic advisor recommended a particular program?

You can also explore some of your options in the Programs section of this website. If you have any questions, ask a study abroad advisor!

How can I afford to study abroad ?

If you can afford to attend Miami, you should be able to afford to study abroad. There are many study abroad opportunities available at Miami, and the fees for these programs vary widely. Many of the program fees are at or around the price of Miami's fees. Some study abroad programs allow you to use your Miami scholarships and all programs allow you to apply your federal financial aid. Additional scholarships may also be available - from Miami, from your study abroad program, or from other sources. If cost is a concern, please see the Funding section of our website and talk to a study abroad advisor about ways to finance your study abroad.

Will I get credit for studying abroad?

Students who participate in a program for which an official transcript from an accredited U.S. university is issued, or in a program at a foreign university which offers official documentation comparable to a transcript, will receive transfer credit from Miami. Students who participate in a Miami Sponsored program receive direct Miami academic credit. You should talk to your academic advisor about your study abroad plans and how you will use this credit toward graduation.

I don't think that study abroad is compatible with my major. What can I do?

Start early and talk to your academic advisor! Departments at Miami are very supportive of study abroad if they know that you're interested. Your academic advisor can help you to plan your academic career to include a study abroad experience. If you think that it will be difficult to study abroad within your major, you may want to plan to fulfill Miami Plan, thematic sequence or elective requirements abroad. Your academic advisor can help you make this decision. Here is a list of chief departmental advisors for majors within the College of Arts & Sciences: http://www.cas.muohio.edu/advising/cda.html. Students in other divisions should consult with their divisional advisor for more information.

Can I study abroad and still graduate on time?

Most students do - especially those who plan ahead. If you plan to study abroad, be sure to bring it up with your academic advisor. They can recommend an academic plan that will include the study abroad experience you want. By sticking to this plan, you should graduate on time as planned!

Do I have to study a language?

While studying a language in the country where it is spoken is the best way to acquire fluency, it is not necessary to learn a new language to study abroad. There are many programs in English-speaking countries, and it is possible to take courses in English in a number of non-English-speaking countries. The important thing is to expose yourself to a different culture. And remember: even if you go to an English-speaking country, you may still have communication challenges due to accents and dialects!

I want to study abroad but my parents aren't interested. How can I convince them?

If your parents are concerned about the cost of studying abroad or have fears about your health and safety abroad, please direct them to the Parents section of our website. There we offer information about these issues and general information about study abroad at Miami. Your parents can also contact a study abroad advisor to address specific concerns.

Who can I talk to about studying abroad?

There are several groups of people you may want to discuss your study abroad plans with:

  1. Study abroad advisor - A study abroad advisor can give you information about the programs that are available and answer basic questions about study abroad, as well as direct you to where you can learn more. You should also talk to a study abroad advisor if you have found a program on your own and want to be sure that you can earn credit for your study abroad experience.
  2. Academic advisor - An academic advisor in your major department can give you advice on when to study abroad and which classes to take while you're abroad. They can also help you work out course equivalencies so that you can make progress in your major while studying abroad.
  3. Parents - Keep your parents apprised of your study abroad research and listen to questions or concerns they may have about your study abroad plans. Your parents may also have valuable advice about study abroad programs that will work well with your future plans, as they know you a lot better than your advisors!
  4. Returned students - About 33% of Miami's students study abroad, so there are a lot of people on campus with study abroad experience and knowledge of particular areas of the world. The Office of International Education employs several returned students in our Resource Center and we also have a Study Abroad Contact List which you can consult to find students who studied abroad in a certain location or at a certain university and have volunteered to be contacted about that location or university. This list is available only in the Office of International Education, 216 MacMillan Hall.
  5. Study abroad program contacts - If you have questions about a specific program or need a syllabus for a course abroad, please contact the study abroad provider directly. You can do this via phone or email - the contact information is usually available on each provider's website.

 


Miami University International Student and Scholar Services | 200 MacMillan Hall | Oxford, Ohio 45056, USA
Telephone:  (1) 513-529-5628 | Fax:  (1) 513-529-7383 | Email:  international@MiamiOH.edu

Last update: June 15 2012 9:39

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