Study Abroad FAQ's
- Why should I study abroad?
- What are the eligibility requirements for study abroad?
- When can I study abroad?
- Are there study abroad opportunities for Freshmen or Sophomores?
- Are there specific programs approved for certain majors?
- What if I want to study in a location that is not listed among the pre-approved programs?
- Can someone else complete my application for me?
- When are the deadlines to apply?
- Do I need to schedule an appointment with the Study Abroad Office?
- How much will it cost to study abroad?
- Can I use my financial aid?
- How many courses/credits will I take during the study abroad semester?
- How will my credits transfer from the foreign institution?
- I’m a transfer student – can I study abroad?
- What if I still have more questions that weren’t answered here?
Q: Why should I study abroad?
A: Studying abroad or away is a great opportunity for students to experience the world. It provides students with a unique opportunity to learn about different cultures while, at once, learning more about themselves. It also makes a great addition to any résumé and will give you a competetive edge against other professionals in your field after you graduate. (Current statistics show that less that 10% of US college students study abroad.)
Q: What are the eligibility requirements for study abroad?
A: In order to qualify for study abroad, students must have at least 60 credits completed, absolutely cannot be on disciplinary or academic probation, and must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5. Please note that some study abroad programs will require a higher GPA; maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or higher will qualify you for all of our pre-approved study abroad programs.
Q: When can I study abroad?
A: The Study Away Program at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) is a junior year program. Some programs like interior design, animation and graphic design designate specific semesters to Study Away. If you are interested in one of our summer programs, the earliest a student may go abroad is the summer after sophomore year, assuming the student has completed at least 60 credits. Exceptions: Architecture students go abroad during their fourth year. Graduate students need permission from their program director and typically go in summer after completing two semesters of coursework at Jefferson.
Q: Are there study abroad opportunities for Freshmen or Sophomores?
A: Semester or summer study away is mostly reserved for juniors, however there may be faculty-led short courses that are open to freshmen and sophomores. Check the "short course" information on the website or check with the Study Away Office.
Q: Are there specific programs approved for certain majors?
A: Yes and No. There are study abroad programs that are best suited for specific majors and studio courses are often only available at specific programs. However some of our study away programs will work for just about any major. Ultimately it depends on your academic plan. If you would like to learn more about your options, please visit the "Programs" link at the top of this page or stop by our office to talk with us about it.
Q: What if I want to study in a location that is not listed among the pre-approved programs?
A: You are also not limited to the list of currently approved programs in our office. If you are thinking outside the box and have an idea for a different kind of program, feel free to schedule an appointment with our Director to discuss your ideas in depth. There is a special approval process for review of new programs that requires you to develop a proposal for review by the Study Abroad Advisory committee.
Q: Can someone else complete my application for me?
A: Absolutely not. As a college student (above the age of 18, and legally an adult), it is expected that you will take complete responsibility for your personal affairs. Additionally, our office has high expectations that the students who are to be accepted into the Study Away Program are mature, responsible individuals. Thus, we expect that all applicants will take care of completing and submitting each aspect of their own application (and acceptance materials) accurately and on time.
Q: When are the deadlines to apply?
A: The deadlines typically fall during the middle of February for Summer, Fall, and National Student Exchange and late April for the following Spring. Short Course deadlines are in the Fall. A few of our programs, like Jefferson Rome Semester have early decision deadlines for the spring semester. Exact deadlines for each program and term can be found on each program's brochure page on our website. There are no excuses for tardiness – if your application is incomplete after the deadline has passed, your application will not be considered. If you are ever unsure of your deadline, just ask us and we will help you!
Q: Do I need to schedule an appointment with the Study Abroad Office?
A: Yes! Meeting with the Director or Coordinator for Study Away is a mandatory part of the application process. If you are applying to study abroad and you have not yet scheduled an appointment, please make sure you do so before the deadline.
Q: How much will it cost to study abroad?
A: All Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) - East Falls Campus students who participate in our Study Away Program will pay Jefferson - East Falls Campus tuition and financial aid remains in effect. However, if you select a program with tuition greater than that of Jefferson - East Falls you are responsible for paying the difference. Cost of housing varies by program, and typically costs between $3,500 and $6,000. There is an $800 non-refundable administrative fee and required travel health insurance that will also be included in your Jefferson - East Falls bill for your semester abroad. Information regarding additional costs (visa fees, airfare, food, etc.) can be found in your program’s printed brochure or on the foreign program's website.
Q: Can I use my financial aid?
A: Yes you can. All students who have university issued Financial Aid can use it to support a portion of their study abroad bill. Aid is disbursed according to Jefferson's academic calendar, NOT your programs calendar, so plan accordingly! Note: The Study Abroad Office cannot answer specific questions about your financial aid package or eligibility. These questions MUST be directed to Lisa Cooper in the Financial Aid Office. She can be reached at CooperL@philau.edu.
Q: How many courses/credits will I take during the study abroad semester?
A: All students studying abroad on a full semester program are required to maintain their full-time student status with 12 - 15 credits (or 4 - 5 courses) while abroad. Summer applicants typically take 3 - 9 credits (1 - 3 courses) abroad.
Q: How will my credits transfer from the foreign institution?
A: Study Abroad courses appear on your Jefferson University transcripts as Jefferson credit. Students must receive the equivalent of a "C" or better for the course credits to transfer. These courses will count towards the student’s degree, but they will not affect the student’s cumulative GPA. (Exception: Jefferson Rome Semester program courses and Public Health Issues at PhilaU Experience for the Health Sciences will count for credit AND a letter grade because they are university coordinated courses.)
Q: I’m a transfer student – can I study abroad?
A: Yes you can. Transfer students must have the equivalent of junior status on our campus and must have at least 15 credits completed at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University). Extra planning with your academic advisor may be required, depending on what credits you were able to transfer in from your previous school and what you have left to take to graduate from PhilaU.
Q: What if I still have more questions that weren’t answered here?
A: Call, email or stop by the Study Away Office! You do not need to schedule an appointment with us to come in and ask general questions. Our office is located in Suite 102 of the Kanbar Campus Center. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM. (Please visit our contact page for more contact information.)