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FAQs

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Why should I study abroad? When can I study abroad?
How long can I study abroad? Where can I go and what programs are available?
Do I need to know a foreign language? Where would I live?
How much will it cost?  What is the difference between study abroad and exchange?
How can I tell if a program is an exchange program? How can I apply for an exchange program?
Are there scholarships available? Can I use financial aid? 
What is the withdrawal policy?  How does credit work?
Will courses taken abroad count towards degree requirements?  Can I take any courses abroad as pass/fail?
What are the requirements to go on a study abroad program? What are the next steps, and how do I apply? 

Q: Why should I study abroad?
A: The benefits to studying abroad are enormous for academic, professional, and personal reasons. Whatever your field, and wherever you end up, you will be part of the global marketplace — employers are looking for the skills you can build during a program abroad: 
  • Education abroad encourages cross-cultural communication, understanding, and acceptance
  • Examine your academic and professional interests from new perspectives
  • Make professional connections through faculty, other students, and volunteer/internship programs
  • Improve openness to new languages, cultures, and ideas 
  • Enjoy academic and experiential learning, and become a more independent thinker
  • Enhance your intellectual maturity and self-confidence 
  • Gain a new level of self-reliance and enhance your problem-solving abilities
     

Q: When can I study abroad?

A: Traditionally, most students have studied abroad as juniors, and that remains a popular time. However, students study abroad as early as the summer after their freshman year and as late as the summer after their senior year. Some students even study abroad more than once! Meet with an advisor in your major department or in your school to discuss your education-abroad plans and determine the best time to go. Also, visit our office at OH 240 early so you can plan the most convenient and effective time for you to study abroad.


Q: How long can I study abroad?

A: Programs can be as short as 2-3 weeks during winter session or spring break; 2-8 weeks during the summer; as well as semester or academic-year terms. You may also be able to study abroad multiple times!


Q: Where can I go and what types of programs are available?

A: Binghamton University offers over 50 active education-abroad programs and new programs are constantly being developed. Students can also explore programs offered by any SUNY campus, which provides a streamlined process for credit transfer and financial aid. Altogether, SUNY programs number over 1000 in some 50 countries.
 

Binghamton Programs
SUNY Programs: research options at suny.edu/studyabroad; then visit the website for the SUNY campus sponsoring any programs of interest


Students may also choose to study in a non-SUNY program, and we recommend meeting with an IEGI advisor if you are considering this option to obtain information about credits and financial aid. 


Q: Do I need to know a foreign language?

A: Not necessarily: many students choose to study in English-speaking countries. Others may choose a program in a non English-speaking country, which provides coursework in English.


Q: Where would I live?

A: Housing options vary for each program. The possibilities include campus residential halls where you may stay with other American students, international students or students from the host campus; home-stay; or various types of off-campus apartments or residences. Meal plan options also vary by program. Housing arrangements often influence students’ choice of programs, so be sure to learn about the housing for the programs you are considering. Please note that in some cases you may be required to live in the housing option designated by the program. 


Q: How much will it cost?

A: The cost of studying abroad varies greatly from program to program and according to the destination. Factors that influence costs include instructional costs, cost-of-living, and airfare. Be sure to look at program details and cost sheets to determine the exact costs of the programs you are considering. If you are considering a semester-long program, participating as an exchange student can be a great way to make study abroad more affordable. IEGI can help you find a program that meets your financial needs and look for scholarships to assist with study abroad expenses.
 

Q: What is the difference between study abroad and exchange?

A: The term 'exchange program' means that a university has an made agreement with an overseas partner to exchange students in both directions. A Binghamton University exchange program typically covers SUNY tuition and Binghamton University's standard semester fees to cover the costs for an inbound student; the student at the overseas partner has covered these same costs at the overseas school for our outbound student. An exchange option is typically only available during the fall or spring semester (not during the winter or summer terms). Participating as an exchange student often allows one to save a significant amount of money, since our overseas partners' international student tuition tends to be higher than SUNY tuition. 


Q: How can I tell if a program is an exchange program?

A: All Binghamton exchange programs are described as exchange — or exchange and study abroad — in program materials. For other SUNY programs, it is best to visit the website for the sponsor-campus to review the full program description and details. If it is still not clear, contact the international programs office at the sponsor campus to ask. 


Q: How can I apply for an exchange position?

A: There is no separate application process for Binghamton’s exchange programs. We consider all applications that are completed by the deadline for the available exchange places. If there are more applicants than exchange places, we will make a decision based on a combination of financial need and academic merit. Some of our programs have more exchange places than others, and you can find out the number of available places from the program advisor. For SUNY programs, it’s best to contact the particular SUNY campus to find out how it considers applications for exchange places.


Q: Are scholarships available?

A: Yes! The Office of International Education and Global Initiatives administers several scholarship programs. Most offer competitions twice a year — once for students studying abroad during the spring semester and again for those going during the summer, fall or academic year. Multiple awards are given out each competition cycle. In addition, many Binghamton students have been successful in winning national scholarships. Be sure to visit our website highlighting many of these options. 

**Scholarship deadlines are typically at the same time as program application deadlines, so be sure to research and apply for scholarships at the same time you are taking the same steps for your study abroad program**


Q: Can I use financial aid?

A: Federal and New York state financial aid may be applied to the costs of Binghamton and other SUNY study-abroad programs. It is recommended that you speak to your financial aid advisor once you have an idea of what program(s) interest you to get a general idea of how much aid you may expect. Bring program cost information with you to the financial aid advising appointment. Then, once you’ve been admitted to a program, your financial aid award will need to be re-determined.

Financial Aid is not applicable to many non-SUNY programs. Email iegi@binghamton.edu with a link to the program you are interested in if you’re considering a non-SUNY program and plan to use financial aid. We recommend inquiring about financial aid 


Q: What is the Withdrawal Policy?

A: The Education Abroad Withdrawal Policy is guided by both the SUNY tuition liability schedule and the campus policy for broad based fee liability.  Financial liability for Education Abroad programs begin to accrue on the Education Abroad program's published start date.  As such, financial liability is calculated based on the published start date and the withdrawal date. 

Education Abroad Program Fees paid for by Binghamton University on behalf of a student prior to the Education Abroad start date are the full financial responsibility of the student, regardless of when the student withdraws from the program.  Questions about withdrawing from an Education Abroad Program should be directed to: iegi@binghamton.edu


Q: How does credit work?

A: The credit approval process varies based on your program sponsor: 

  • When Binghamton students participate in a Binghamton-sponsored program, the credits are Binghamton credits. They count towards residency, and are calculated into your GPA. The grades and credit hours are part of your Binghamton University transcript record. 
     
  • For Binghamton Students other SUNY programs, credits are considered SUNY transfer credits, and the grades you receive will not count towards your GPA. The SUNY campus sponsoring your program will send a SUNY transcript supplement to IEGI when your grades have arrived to expedite credit processing; this transcript supplement will attached to your Binghamton University transcript, so the grades and credit hours are visible to anyone who reviews your Binghamton University transcript record
     
  • For non-SUNY programs, credit is not guaranteed. You should get approval from your academic advisor or department prior to participation. When you complete the program, you will need to send the transcript to Binghamton University for processing as transfer credit; it will not count towards your GPA. You will also need to contact your program provider each time you need a copy of the academic transcript for your program


Q: Will courses taken abroad count towards degree requirements?

A: Many times they can--this is determined by the appropriate academic department. W encourage students to plan for study abroad as early as possible, since this helps students to find the program that is the best academic fit for their goals and ensure studying abroad will keep them on track for graduation. 

  • Binghamton University students on a Binghamton program can obtain pre-approval for their courses before they go by submitting the Advisor Course Approval form; this form will be in your online program application
  • Binghamton University students on a SUNY program will complete the transfer credit petition form for their school; you can obtain this form from your academic or department advisor
  • Binghamton students on a non-SUNY program must confirm the credits can transfer back towards your degree; we recommend that you meet with your school academic advising office before you apply for a non-SUNY program so you know if the credits will be accepted
  • Other students on Binghamton's programs should contact the appropriate advising office at their home campus to learn more about the credit approval process


Q: Can I take any courses abroad on a pass/fail basis?

A: Students who study abroad on Binghamton sponsored programs may choose to take one class on a pass/fail basis if it meets the following guidelines:

  • the class is not a requirement for their major or minor
  • the student has not exceeded the pass/fail limit allowed by Binghamton University
  • the pass/fail request must be submitted in writing (e.g. by email) to the Office of International Education and Global Initiatives by the mid-point of the semester at the host university (not at Binghamton University)
  • Non-Binghamton students should also contact the academic advising office at their home institution to ensure the pass/fail grade will be accepted


Q: What are the requirements and/or restrictions for study abroad programs?

A: Each program will have its own set of requirements, and they are typically very straightforward: 

  • Most programs have a GPA requirement, ranging from 2.0 to 3.5
  • Programs in non-English-speaking countries may have a language requirement. There may be a language proficiency recommendation in your application to confirm you hold the skill level required for the program
  • Some programs are restricted to juniors or seniors
  • Some programs may be limited to by major
  • In some cases, a Binghamton program may be limited to Binghamton University students, or to Binghamton and SUNY students, due to the agreement we have in place with the partner
  • Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that this may impede your ability to study abroad or participate in an internship. Students who have concerns about such matters are advised to contact staff with the Office of International Education and Global Initiatives.


A: Here are some helpful tips: 

  • IEGI provides walk in hours Monday through Friday. Stop by to speak with education abroad advisor or student ambassador to discuss program options, ways to internationalize your Binghamton degree, or other academic and practical planning details
  • Ask specific questions about your program from the program advisor, a faculty director or department. The Binghamton IEGI staff are the experts for Binghamton University's programs, and the general process for participating in programs sponsored by other institutions. If you are considering a SUNY or non-SUNY program, the program sponsor will have the information for program-specific details such as cost, housing arrangements, and application procedures. 
  • Meet with your department advisor for questions and approval about applying study abroad credit toward major/ minor requirements
  • Consult with the academic advising office for your school for approval of credit toward general degree requirements, or for approval of transfer credit from a non-SUNY program. 
  • Look at the cost of each individual program you are considering and review financial aid rules and general cost information
  • If you use financial aid, meet with your school's financial aid office before applying to a program so you have a general sense of how financial aid will work for you
How to Apply
  • Apply for the program early in the semester before you wish to go, preferably in advance of the deadline. If you are caught in last-minute planning, contact the office sponsoring the program to see if a late application is possible​.
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