What is an exchange program? An exchange is a mutual partnership shared between two or more universities that allows students from one university to study at another university as if they were enrolled there. Exchange programs allow students to experience the host country and culture in a real and authentic way and provide students with an opportunity that is unique. UNCG has over 80 partnering universities from around the world.
How long is an exchange program? An exchange can last for one semester or a full academic year.
What is a faculty-led program? Faculty-led programs are short term programs developed and led by UNCG faculty. All aspects of these programs (amount and type of credit, activities, dates, and costs) are determined by the faculty and vary. Programs take place either during spring break, summer, fall break, or winter break.
Will I receive UNCG credit? Yes! With prior planning, credit earned abroad will be applied toward your degree. Students taking part on semester exchange programs or short term programs at international partner schools will be taking classes offered by those institutions and transferring the credit back to UNCG for specific equivalencies. Early approval from your advisor regarding credit transfer will reduce later worries. For faculty led programs, you are enrolled in UNCG classes.
How much does it cost? You can participate in an exchange for about the same cost as a semester or year in residence at UNCG. Most Federal/State financial aid will apply. Our motto is: "If you can afford to study at UNCG, you can afford to study abroad!" There are other factors to consider, such as exchange rates and the value of the US dollar at the time you go abroad. UNCG also offers special travel grants to students who study abroad on our programs. Costs for faculty led and short term programs at partner schools vary greatly.
Do I have to speak a foreign language? Certainly not! Many opportunities are available in English-speaking countries. There are also many programs in non-English speaking countries that offer instruction in English.
How can I apply? Find out how to apply by setting up an Options appointment with a Study Abroad advisor in 207 Foust Building, or call 334-5404.
What is ISEP? ISEP is an organization that offers even more possibilities to study abroad for its members. If you can not find a UNCG program that fits your academic plan, ISEP is another option to consider. Based out of Washington D.C., ISEP offers opportunities in over 39 countries worldwide. The ISEP program requires that students complete and ISEP application, in addition to the UNCG study abroad application, and ISEP deadlines are often earlier than our UNCG program deadlines.
Why are students encouraged to choose more than one destination? Some destinations are more competitive than others and it is important to have a solid backup plan.
When should I get started? It is never too early to get started. Come by or call to make an Options appointment soon. Once you know the process you can plan accordingly and apply for the appropriate semester. We look forward to working with you!
What is the difference between a TF and a TFRB swap? These apply only to semester and year long exchange programs. With a tuition/fee swap you only pay your tuition and fees at UNCG and take money for your room and board with you to the host university. The host university will let you know how to make payments for housing.
With the tuition/fee/room/board swap, you pay all four at UNCG and receive equivalent benefits at the university. You will have a place to stay and will receive meal benefits, usually in the form of a stipend. Many programs do not offer meal plans like those known in the U.S. We call these exchanges equivalent exchanges because depending on the strength of the dollar in the host country the dollar value may vary.
When do I make payments to UNCG? For exchange programs, tuition, fees, insurance charges, and program fees (if applicable) will be charged to your account in the beginning of the semester that you go abroad (August for Fall semester and January for Spring semester) If your host university requires payment for any of their services, you may have to pay them before departure. For summer programs at partner schools and faculty led programs, payment procedures and deadlines vary.
Do I need to notify Financial Aid that I am going on an exchange? No, the International Programs Center will send the Financial Aid Office a list of students going abroad. You should, however, contact them before you leave to make sure all your paperwork is in order.
If I live on campus at the moment, should I cancel my housing before going abroad? Yes, be sure to cancel your housing and tell Housing and Residence Life that you will be abroad if you are on a semester or year exchange program.
Should I wait until the travel grant comes to get my ticket? The travel grant may not be awarded to you by the time you are ready to purchase your plane ticket and, therefore, it may be necessary to buy tickets before your travel grant is collected. The best ticket prices are generally 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Be sure to plan ahead.
Will I need a visa to study abroad? The answer varies from country to country. Many semester or year long programs require a visa. Short term programs sypically do not require a visa. Specific information is given out at orientation. Be sure you apply promptly upon receipt of your acceptance letter from the host university so that you will have the visa before you leave.
What happens if I get to my host school and I have to change my course schedule? If this happens be sure to contact your major advisor and let them know your choices. Be sure to also email IPC staff related to any messages about coursework so that we can put a copy in your file.
What should I do if I want to extend my exchange once I am abroad? There is no guarantee that your time will be extended, but you need to write a formal email to your study abroad advisor explaining your reasons for wanting to extend and your exact plans. They will then send you instructions for extending. These will include getting approval from your departmental academic advisor with an appropriate selection of courses and making arrangements for payments.
How will I know what to do for pre-registration? If you are abroad on a semester or year long program, while you are abroad your study abroad advisor will send you your advising code by email. You should mark the pre-registration window on your calendar.
When do I apply for on-campus housing for when I return? The sooner, the better. You will need to do this online. If you have any problems contact the Office of Housing and Residence Life.
Do I need to do anything special before I return to UNCG? Be sure to go by the international office at your host institution. Thank them for the experience and fill out any paperwork that needs to be completed. Check to see that you have cleared all bills and that you do not owe any money. Be sure to get your Professors' signatures if requested (especially in France). If in Germany, don't forget your Scheine. Don't forget to turn in keys and check on deposits. Remember to bring back all work with you to UNCG.