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Planning for Study Abroad

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  1. An Overview of Program Choices, Course Approval, Program Costs and Applications Office of International ProgramsRC-G1 607-777-2336 Planning for Study Abroad

  2. How do I choose a program? Where I can I learn about programs? Who runs study abroad programs? What types of programs are available? How do I get approval for my classes? What is the Global Studies Minor? How much does study abroad cost; what factors affect the price? How do I apply for a program? What happens once I am accepted? ~What can I learn here?~

  3. Many students are able to find programs with coursework that complements their major and keeps them on track for graduation—start researching programs early to have the change to explore all of your options! What features vary for each program: • Cost • Location • When the program is offered • How long the program runs • Coursework available • Depth of cultural & language immersion • Housing arrangements • Excursions & activities 1: How Do I Choose a Program?

  4. Be sure to take noteswhen researching programs online, so you can easily return to any programs that catch your attention ~ International students attending Binghamton University may also studied abroad—check with ISSS regarding any visa requirements or other procedures you need to know. What are you looking for? • How long do you want to be abroad: a short term, summer, semester or academic year? • What semester will work best for your degree progress? • How many degree requirements do you want to complete while abroad? • Do you have any personal connections or interest in specific locations? • Are you looking for an academic experience, volunteer work, or internship (or a combination)? • Do you want to live in a dorm, apartment or home stay? • Do you want to live with international students or other Americans? • How much language instruction and/or cultural immersion are you looking for? • Do you meet the GPA and degree requirements to apply for the program, and have enough time to complete the application? 1: How Do I Choose a Program?

  5. Researching programs can be the most time-intensive part of the process. ~ One can start with search engines and general brochures. Then once you identify a program that interests you, visit the program sponsor’s website for details. Also review any websites by the foreign university/institution. ~ Approach the process as you did when you were looking at colleges a few years ago, and visit OIP any time you feel stuck! • Binghamton’s Office of International Programs (OIP) • Brochures • Walk-in advising • Advisor appointments • General information sessions • Topical information sessions (early each semester • Study Abroad Fair (fall semester) • Common Websites • • • ~many other search engines are available~ 2: Where Can I Learn About Programs?

  6. Be sure to understand how billing, credits and financial aid apply for each of these program sponsor options! Binghamton University students can participate on programs operated by: • Binghamton University • Other SUNY Campuses • Non-SUNY sponsors 3: Who Runs Study Abroad Programs?

  7. Approximately 30 programs available • Billing: SUNY Tuition and any Program Fee/Tuition Differential are paid to Binghamton University and OIP • Credits: appear on Binghamton University transcript and will affect GPA. Students can obtain credit approval for majors or minors through their department advisors. • Federal Financial Aid: Applies—bring a program cost sheet to Financial Aid. They can review your aid package, and confirm whether it can be adjusted based on program cost. Binghamton’s Programs

  8. Binghamton students can participate in programs offered by other schools within the SUNY system, with some differences: • Billing: There are 2 Bills • SUNY Tuition is paid to Binghamton University’s student accounts. • Tuition Differential is paid to the SUNY Campus sponsoring the program • Credits: appear as SUNY transfer credit once approved, and do not affect GPA. The transcript supplement is attached to your Binghamton transcript and becomes a part of your permanent record. *If you already have a large number of transfer credits, meet with advising to review how this may affect degree progress. • Federal Financial Aid: : Applies—bring a program cost sheet to Financial Aid. They can review your package and confirm if it can be adjusted based on program cost SUNY Programs

  9. Billing: All payments go directly to the program provider. Students are on a leave-of-absence from BU if they choose a Non-SUNY program. The program provider will be the institution to provide proof of full-time enrollment. • Credits: Please meet with department and school advisors to confirm your credits will be accepted before applying. All credits will be transfer credits. • Federal Financial Aid: Not all programs will qualify. Please make an appointment with OIP to review eligibility before applying. Students are welcome to participate in programs outside the SUNY system. Programs outside of the SUNY System offer varying costs, levels of academic quality and administrative support. While students are welcome to visit OIP to discuss these programs, the staff at OIP may not be familiar with program features due to the large number of options available. Non-SUNY Programs

  10. Students can also look for internship, volunteer and research opportunities! Program designs tend to fall into three categories: • Direct enrollment with a university • Self-contained programs designed by the sponsoring school • A blend of these two approaches Learn more…. 4: What Types of Programs are Available?

  11. Offer a strong academic focus • Many institutions are in English-speaking countries or offer coursework in English • Students are enrolled directly with the university and may access the full course catalog • Students are fully integrated with the university’s academic and social life • Housing options may include dormitories, flats and home stay • Tend to be full-semester or academic-year programs • May offer exchange opportunities Tip: Visit the university’s own website to learn more about course options and other details to gain a sense for the school’s personality Direct Enrollment Programs

  12. Not affiliated directly with a foreign university—courses, instructors, housing and excursions are determined by the program sponsor. • Tend to be designed for study abroad students--often one takes coursework with and lives with other Americans abroad. • Often have a strong focus on culture and/or language. • May be available during semester, summer or short term. Examples: Binghamton’s Semester in London and Spanish Language & Culture in Madrid/Malaga Self-Contained Programs

  13. Some programs offer a mix of direct enrollment and self-contained features. Example: Binghamton’s program in Graz, Austria has special courses designed for international students for the fall term; then students directly enroll with the university if they stay for the spring semester Blended Programs • Certain programs may provide internship or volunteer opportunities • Example: Cortland’s program in Salamanca, Spain offers students the option to assist in local elementary schools part-time while taking courses at the university • Internships can be found as part of a program, or as a ‘stand alone’ experience. • Examples: Binghamton’s summer program in Fudan, China incorporates business visits as part of the courses. Students can also review a broad range of volunteer program through sponsors like the International Partnership for Service Learning & Leadership.

  14. It may take 2-3 months after the program ends for your transcript to arrive and be posted to your academic record . If you pre-select courses and obtain approval before you go, it can help speed the process! ~ If you plan to graduate immediately after the program, check with the Registrar’s Office regarding how this may affect when your diploma is released. ~ Students in pre-med, the School of Management and Watson should meet with their advisor to review the best period to go abroad. Look at summer and short term options if a full semester seems difficult As you research and identify one or two favorite programs, print out your course options and bring to the appropriate office for review: General Education Courses • Binghamton Programs: OIP approves courses • SUNY and Non-SUNY: School advising office approves courses Major and Minor Courses: • All Programs: students obtain approval from the department 5: How Does Credit Approval Work?

  15. Often students find courses they’ve already taken fulfill requirements for the minor, reducing the need to take additional classes. Students need to enroll in the Global Studies Minor before they study abroad due to a pre-departure course The Global Studies Minor is a unique program which builds on the existing ‘Global Interdependencies’ requirement. It enhances your study abroad experience with activities that encourage reflection and analysis Requirements are outlined online: Contact staff at to review how this program can work with your current courses. 6: What is the Global Studies Minor?

  16. As you identify favorite program opportunities, ask the sponsoring campus for a detailed cost sheet that will outline what items are included in the program fee and what is the total cost of the program There is no simple answer Every program will have its own unique price. Detailed cost sheets usually can be found online at the program sponsor’s website. Binghamton University and SUNY Programs cover the expense of sending a student abroad by combining SUNY Tuition PLUS a program fee/tuition differential (if the program costs more than SUNY Tuition) Non-SUNY programs are not necessarily more or less expensive. It is important to confirm if credits can transfer back and if financial aid applies to the program before applying. 7: How Much Does Study Abroad Cost?

  17. What is an “Exchange” Program? Exchange program opportunities may be available for direct enrollment programs. If you are selected as an exchange student, you pay designated costs (e.g tuition, fees, housing) to your home campus. The student selected at the partner university pays the same designated costs to their home school. With an exchange, each student is paying these costs at a domestic rate, so this reduces the overall expense of sending a student abroad, and can make a program more affordable. You do not necessarily need to travel the exact same term as the other student; you are each just creating a space at the other institution. Check with the program sponsor regarding whether a program has an exchange option and if there are spaces available. 7: How Much Does Study Abroad Cost?

  18. Common Factors that Affect a Program’s Cost Tips for Finding affordable Programs • Tuition/fees at the program institution • Housing and meal arrangements • Books and supplies • General cost of living • Airfare • Local transportation, regional travel and excursions • Exchange rate • Be flexible with destination—Europe is often pricier than other regions of the world. • Major cities may be pricier than smaller towns. • Sometimes a location with a higher program fee may actually be less expensive overall if airfare, cost of living and exchange rates are favorable; look at the bottom line of a cost sheet. How Much Does Studying Abroad Cost?

  19. Most spring programs have deadlines from mid-September through October ~ Fall and academic-year programs are often due from mid-February through early April. ~ Summer and short-term programs may have rolling deadlines, where applying early may reduce costs. Look over the application dates carefully. OIP also has the general SUNY application in the office. Check with the program sponsor to ensure you have all of the required application pages for your program. Be sure to note the application deadline—every program is different due to processing and visa requirements Complete paperwork neatly and ensure it is all submitted by the deadline. Use a word processing program or type when possible! Students should anticipate applying for only one or two programs, demonstrating they have researched the best options for their goals. 8. How Do I Apply For a Program?

  20. Work Backwards!Begin with items that you rely on others to complete to ensure they will be submitted in time: • Reference letters—SUNY programs generally require two academic references • Transcripts—SUNY programs require one • Study Abroad Statement—make sure your response indicates why the program is the best fit for you • Application forms: SUNY application and any forms required by the host school or program ~Notify the program sponsor if you realize any pieces will be delayed~ How Do I Apply for a Program?

  21. How Do I Apply for a Program? Application Checklist • Complete all paperwork neatly • Provide a copy of the application to the Office of International Programs • Submit all forms to the program sponsor by the deadline The program sponsor should contact you if any paperwork appears incomplete. They can also provide the most accurate timeline of when you will hear a reply ~ If you meet the program requirements, the paperwork is done neatly and are submitted on time, and your essay shows the program design matches your study abroad goals, you should have an excellent chance of being accepted!

  22. Pre-departure Planning Tips: Review costs with the program sponsor so you understand the billing procedures; meet with financial aid to confirm your aid package and how funds can be released. Meet with your academic advisor to confirm credit approvals Purchase the international medical insurance offered by the program sponsor; or be very clear about how your current medical coverage will work at your program location Attend pre-departure information sessions to obtain program and location-specific details . Purchase refundable airline tickets in case you need to modify your dates or any issues occur with the program The program sponsor will send you an acceptance letter and packet containing instructions and required forms Binghamton University Students that are going on a program run by another SUNY school or outside of the SUNY system should contact the Binghamton Office of International Programs to confirm participation, review registration procedures and receive pre-departure information 9: What Happens When I am Accepted

  23. Please contact the Office of International Programs with any questions regarding the information provided here: Rockefeller Center, Room G-1 Phone: (607) 777-2336 Fax: (607) 777-2889 We look forward to assisting you! Good Luck Planning Your Study Abroad Adventure!