Steps to Study Abroad
Frequently Asked Questions
In our increasingly interdependent world, studying abroad can add to your college experience and boost your resume while opening your eyes to a new culture, giving you a fresh perspective on your way of life. Carefully selecting the right study abroad program can give you some unique insight into your field of interest while helping you become more appealing to future employers, regardless of your major.
International experiences appeal to both employers and graduate school admissions counselors. If you study abroad in a country that does not speak English, you can also build foreign language skills and open up a wider array of career choices upon graduation. Study abroad returnees routinely report their time abroad as a life-changing experience. Take advantage of this opportunity to spend an extended amount of time in another culture.
The best time to study abroad depends on the student. With our Appalachian Faculty-Led Programs, students can study abroad as early as their Freshman year. Once you have completed at least two successful semesters at Appalachian, you are eligible to participate in our semester or year study abroad and exchange programs. Studying abroad during your senior year is an option; however, note that academic calendars abroad do not always coincide which ours and could create conflicts for you if you want to walk in graduation.
When reading program descriptions, pay careful attention to the calendar of the foreign institution. If you plan to study abroad for only one semester, make sure that the semester at your foreign institution does not overlap with your next semester at Appalachian State. Another thing to consider is what courses you need to obtain for your degree and whether or not these courses are sequenced. If you start a sequenced set of courses at Appalachian you will have to delay your study abroad until you have the sequence completed.
With careful planning, you can receive credit towards your major, minor, elective, or core curriculum requirements and still graduate on time. The key is to come to a general information session early – your first semester at Appalachian is not too soon – in order to explore your options. Many students within certain majors can study abroad for an entire year and still graduate on time. For others, study abroad programs during the summer semesters may be a good choice.
Studying abroad doesn't have to be expensive. Look into the details of the study abroad programs you are considering to determine which options fit your budget. If you are eligible for federal and state financial aid you can apply it to your study abroad expenses. Scholarships are also available in our Study Abroad office, academic departments as well as outside the university (see our scholarship database). If you already have a scholarship, it's possible that it can be applied toward the cost of studying abroad. You should contact your Scholarship sponsor to verify if this is possible.
Please visit the Finances page of our website for more information.
You can take courses for your major, minor, electives, or general education. While not all areas of study are available in all locations, students can find appropriate courses for their program as long as they begin planning well in advance. Appalachian actively promotes the advantages of studying abroad by assisting students in matching credits from foreign institutions to their own curriculum.
More information on course approvals and credit transfer can be found on the Academics section of our website.
If you plan to aquire language credit abroad there will be a language level requirement. However, speaking the language of your study abroad destination is not a equirement for study abroad. Many countries have programs and courses taught in English even if their primary language is not English. Destinations like England and Australia are obvious choices for studying in English; however, you can also study in English in Thailand, Finland, South Korea and the Netherlands to name a few.
Faculty-Led program fees and Semester/Yr charges that are posted to your Appalachian State student account can be paid through your Touchnet student/parent payment portal. Please refer to the following document for instructions on how to make sure your payments are applied to the Study abroad charges.
You may also submit a payment via mail to the Student Accounts office or go to their office in the John E. Thomas building to make the payment in person.
Mailing Check -- Please include a reference on the check about "study abroad & what term the charges are for" so the Student Accounts office will know to apply the amount you are paying to your Study abroad charges.
In Person Payment --Student Accounts office in the John E. Thomas building, second floor. You can make payment with check, debit card, cash, or money order. Please make sure to tell the cashier "that your paying for your study abroad charges for the term of your travel". Other wise the money wll be applied to tuition and possibly the wrong term.
Study abroad students are automatically enrolled in an international health insurance plan. This insurance is a requirement for study abroad and students will be billed the cost on their Appalachian State student accounts unless they are participating in an affiliate study abroad program , in which case the affiliate will enroll the student and bill them directly for the charges.
The international insurance plan is your "primary insurance" while you are abroad. The "Student Blue insurance plan" that you get through Appalachian State is not used abroad. However, we do recommend that if you normally purchase this insurance for the sememster that you keep it even though you are abroad. The international insurance plan only covers expeneses while you are abroad, so if you come home due to an injury or sickness and need additional medical treatments in the U.S. you will need Domestic insurance to cover those expenses. For this reason as well as sometimes semester dates differ abroad from ours, we recommend you keep the Student Blue or any other domestic health insurance you my have while you are abroad.