Study Abroad Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?

When should students apply?

How to apply?

What is the language of instruction?

What is covered by the program cost?

What kind of programs does UT offer?

Will it cost more to study abroad?

Where can I get funding for study abroad?

Is it possible to get discount for tuition?

Can students transfer their credits to UT?

Will it delay students' graduation?

Do students have to go for a semester?

Is it safe?

Is it very competitive?

Shouldn't students spend time doing an internship, not an international experience?

How much spending money is needed?

Where can the students exchange money?

What are the housing options?

What are the common means of transportation while abroad?

What documents are needed to travel abroad?

Will the students be able to communicate without having a firm grasp of the language?

What will the food be like?

How can we keep in touch with the students while they are abroad?

Where can I get further information?

Who can apply?

Undergraduate and graduate students of any discipline may apply.Applicants must be in good academic standing at an accredited university.Applicants should be at least 18 years old. A diverse student population is aprogram objective.

When should students apply?

They will apply the semester before they want to studyabroad. Please check the Study Abroad home page each semester for updatedprogram-specific deadlines.

How to apply?

On the application homepage, there is a checklist of everythingthat students need to do. There are three types of documents: materialsubmissions, signature documents, and questionnaires. Please click on eachdocument for instructions, read and follow all instructions carefully and in atimely manner. Most of the application process can be done online,but hard copies of some materials must be submitted to the Programs AbroadOffice. NOTE: Application deadlines are firm and must be submitted inorder for the application to be reviewed.

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What is the language of instruction?

Most courses will be taught in English unless the students isstudying another language.

What is covered by the program cost?

Full tuition, program fees, housing.

What kind of programs does UT offer?

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville offers studentsinterested in studying abroad five different types of programs: exchanges,direct, faculty-led, third-party and academic internships.

ExchangePrograms

For programs designated "Exchange," your son ordaughter may study at University in another country, and a student from thatuniversity comes to Knoxville to study at The University of Tennessee. Becausethere is an even swap of students, your son or daughter generally pays whatthey would pay if they were spending the semester at UT Knoxville (tuition,fees, and sometimes room & board). Because there is an even exchange ofstudents, the number of students who canparticipate is limited. Exchanges, therefore, are the mostcompetitive type of program. If students want to participate on an exchangethey should be independent, resourceful and confident.

DirectPrograms

These programs allow students to enroll directly into a foreignuniversity. Instead of paying tuition to UT Knoxville as they would on anexchange program, when they participate on a direct program they pay tuition(and usually their housing) to their host institution. Some of our morepopular exchange programs also have direct options, so even if they are unableto participate on an exchange they can frequently study at the same universitythrough direct enrollment.

UT KnoxvilleFaculty-Led Programs

Faculty-led programs allow students to study abroad under theguidance and supervision of a UT Knoxville faculty member with a group ofUT Knoxville students. These are generally short-term programs that runduring mini-term, summer and spring break.

Third PartyPrograms

Third party programs are organized by companies and otheruniversities who are in the business of facilitating study abroad experiencefor students. These providers offer the greatest variety of schools andcountries to choose from. If your son or daughter have their heart set onstudying at a specific university in a specific country, then a third partyprovider is their best option.

AcademicInternships

Academic internships enable students to gain practical workexperience in a wide variety of fields while earning academic credit. Ifyour son or daughter choose and are accepted for this type of program, theywill be placed in an internship that directly reflects or relates to theircourse of study at UT Knoxville. They have the option of choosing afull-time summer internship or a part-time internship combined with atraditional study abroad program.

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Will it cost more to study abroad?

Yes. However, it's generally not a great deal more. Thedestination and program chosen helps determine the actual expense. Please referto the program-specific pages for individual program costs. In fact, dependingupon the program they choose, there are some bargains out there! Many studentsalso do not realize that their existing financial aid and most of theirscholarship money can be applied to approved study abroadprograms. There are also additional study abroad scholarships for whichstudents can apply.

In-StateStudents

There are several affordable options for Tennessee residents tostudy abroad. The least expensive programs are most often exchanges, althoughbecause they require a significant amount of independence, they are not thebest fit for every student. There are also many affordable direct and thirdparty programs that are not considerably more expensive than UT Knoxville,tuition, room and board and that offer more benefits. See program types in thegetting started section for a brief description of the different types ofprograms.

Out-of-StateStudents

Out -of-state students should consider direct or third partyprovider study abroad programs instead of exchanges. These programs arefrequently less than the cost of attending UT Knoxville.

Summer orMini-Term Programs

While the PAO strongly encourages students to study abroad for asemester or academic year, we recognize that some students will prefer to studyabroad on programs with shorter durations. With that in mind, the PAOoffers many shorter programs offered during mini-term or summer. Many ofthese programs are quite affordable, but please note that oftenscholarships and other financial aid do not apply to programs less than asemester in length. This frequently makes summer programs more expensive interms of your "out-of-pocket" expenses than semester programs. Shorter does not always mean cheaper!

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Where can I get funding for study abroad?

Students should also be aware that Federal Financial Aid is available for students who wish to study abroad. For more information on these programs and requirements click here.

Additionally, we would like to share with you the these additional potential sources of financial aid for study abroad.Click here to access funding links for study abroad.

Another way to gain international experience, in addition to a semester or program, is to participate in work abroad or internship programs, as some of these provide remuneration. For more information about internship/work abroad programs click here.

Is it possible to get discount for tuition?

Tuition discounts only apply to exchange and UT Knoxvillefaculty-led programs, and only for tuition, hence the term "tuition"discount. There is no discount for other charges such as room, board, depositsor other program fees.

Note: Studentsparticipating on UT Knoxville faculty-led spring break, mini-term orsummer programs will pay their tuition through VolXpress and the tuitiondiscount will apply. The discount does not apply to the Program Fee paid to thePrograms Abroad Office. The Program Fee covers the expenses of the program, itdoes not cover tuition, hence tuition discounts do not apply.

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Can students transfer their credits to UT?

If students study abroad on a PAO approved program(see below for the faculty-led program exception), their foreign courses willtransfer back to UT Knoxville provided that they: earn an equivalent grade of"C" or better, the courses are not remedial or vocational/technicalin nature, and do not duplicate already completed courses. Grades earnedon an approved study abroad program will not be calculated into your UTKnoxville GPA. So in short, credits transfer back, but grades donot. Keep in mind that if students plan on applying to graduate orprofessional school, the original transcripts from their study abroad programmay be examined during the application processes, so they need to remainacademically responsible while abroad.

NOTE: It is advisable that students to return from abroad with course materials whichdocument the content covered (i.e. course syllabi, list of reading materials,papers, exams, etc.). This material will facilitate the awarding of appropriatetransfer credit.

Students who participate on a UT Knoxville faculty-led program,they will receive a grade and specific course credit just as they would if theyenrolled in the same class on campus. Grades received on faculty-led programswill be calculated into their UT Knoxville GPA.

During the study abroad, PAO will register students for atemporary "study abroad" course to maintain their full-time enrollmentat UT Knoxville. The credits they earned while studying abroad programwill be substituted for this course after their program ends and theirtranscript are received.

Will it delay students' graduation?

Many academic departments allow students to study abroad duringtheir final year as an undergraduate. Please note that if they arestudying abroad during their final semester, it is very likely they willgraduate the following term. Study abroad transcripts often do not arriveuntil midway through the following semester.

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Do students have to go for a semester?

We offer summer and intersession programs in addition to our semester programs. The study abroad experience is not limited to a specificduration. We believe all students going abroad will benefit and hope they canfind a program that best suits your schedule.

Is it safe?

All students will attend mandatory pre-departure orientations covering health and safety, travel precautions, and site-specific information.In addition, all partner abroad universities have on-site international staffreadily available to assist students.

Is it very competitive?

We believe it is to every student's benefit to study abroad. Byexperiencing the world and new outside perspectives on journalism and communication,they are not only developing their skills, but also enhancing their ownpersonal growth. They must meet the program eligibility requirements andfulfill the necessary application materials

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Shouldn't students spend time doing an internship, not aninternational experience?

Students do have the time. Some of our programs are evendesigned with a sequence-specific internship that earns their school credit.Individual planning and preparing with their academic, financial, and studyabroad advisors will help them decide the best time for you to go. This is thetime in their life for learning and experiencing as much as they canacademically, personally, and professionally

How much spending money is needed?

The amount of money that will be needed for the trip depends onthe expenses that the student may be required to pay while abroad. It is a goodidea to create a budget prior to departure that separates any known living andschool expenses such as food, housing, transportation and text books from generalspending money that can be used for independent travel, tourist attractionentrance fees and souvenirs. Keep in mind that having a budget does not meanthat the student needs to have to carry cash around for each of these expenses- just know about how much is allotted to each so money for meals is not spentcarelessly on souvenirs!

The student should consider using several different forms ofpayment for expenses. Credit cards, ATM cards and cash are accepted almosteverywhere. Although U.S. dollars are also widely accepted throughout theworld, the student should make every attempt to use the local currency.

Where can the student exchange money?

To obtain foreign currency, any of the following can be used:

AIRPORTEXCHANGE BUREAU - Currency exchange offices are available at almost allinternational airports. Although the rates may not be the lowest, it isprobably the most convenient location to exchange money when the student firstarrives. Note: because the destination airport is certain to have a largesupply of the local currency, its rates for exchange may be lower than therates at the student's home airport, which may only have a limited supply ofthe foreign currency.

BANKS/ATM/CREDITCARDS - After the student has had a chance to get accustomed tohis/her new surroundings, a national bank or an ATM machine can be found, whichare known to offer the lowest exchange rates. Using a credit card can alsosecure a decent exchange rate and is often safer than carrying around a lot ofcash. American Express, Visa and Master Card are all widely accepted around theworld. Keep in mind, however, that using an ATM/debit card may incur additionalbank/commission charges.

LOCALSTORES/RESTAURANTS - 
With all the money changing options available, the bestthing the student can do is to be an educated traveler. Know what the currentexchange rate is and be able to calculate how much should be receive in returnfor each transaction. Also, be safe when carrying money and do not carry all ofit at once.

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What are the housing options?

The housing options depend entirely upon the program that isbeing offered. Many students are expected to live on campus in either single ordouble occupancy dorm rooms. Others may have the option to live off campus inapartments or participate in a home stay and live in the home of a nearbyfamily. If the student is expected to arrange his/her own housing, ask forrecommendations from the sponsoring institution because student housing inforeign countries is not always easy to come by and may be expensive. It isalso a good idea to find out what is included in the housing package (meals,linens, etc.) so your child will not be caught off guard with any unexpectedexpenses.

What are the common means of transportation while abroad?

The chosen program may have an orientation package or session,which will explain the various means of transportation available in thatparticular location. In Europe, train or subway are popular options. In othercountries, taxis or mopeds may be the cheapest and most direct choice. Whereverthe student goes it is a good idea to know the local taxi rates and tonegotiate a fair deal prior to departing. Also, make sure the student isinformed about local driving laws for car and moped rentals and check to see ifhis/her current car insurance will cover international rentals.

What documents are needed to travel abroad?

Please note: This is only a sample list of documents that may berequired for International travel. The actual documents your student will need varydepending on the location of the program. Be sure to contact the hostinginstitution for official pre-departure information. In all cases, fill out anyapplications and make all necessary appointments for each document well inadvance as it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to completethe process.

PASSPORT - The mostwidely used form of identification used for international travel is a passport.Almost all foreign countries require that visitors have a passport. For moreinformation regarding the application/renewal process, check out the followingwebsite: www.travel.state.gov/, or call the National Passport InformationCenter at 1-877-487-2778.

VISA - A visa isa permit from an international country that allows visitors to enter and leavetheir borders and may be required for the chosen program or by any countriesthat the student plans to visit while traveling independently. Visas often listplanned travel dates and do expire, so be sure to have these dates availablewhen applying. For more information about visas and how to apply, look on-lineat www.travel.state.gov/.
Please note: a visa must beobtained prior to departure, so check with the hosting institution as soon aspossible to verify if one is needed.

Will the students be able to communicate without having afirm grasp of the language?

It is possible that wherever the student goes, he/she will beable to find someone that speaks even a little English, but it is alwaysbeneficial for the student to make every effort to learn the local language, orat least some key phrases, as it will enable him/her to make the most out ofthe study abroad experience. If your child is not comfortable with thelanguage, a program should be selected where the courses are taught in English.Another option is to enroll in an intensive language class prior to departure.

What will the food be like?

Chances are, the food in the country abroad is not going to belike the food many of us are used to eating at home. Although this can be awonderful part of the experience, it may be difficult or even painful for some.Your son/daughter will be surprised, however, to find that many popular fastfood chain restaurants from the United States can also be found all over theworld! Visit http://www.cdc.gov/travel/foodwater.htm for more information about foodand water precautions.

How can we keep in touch with the student while they are abroad?

Postal mail, telephone, fax and email are all available means bywhich to communicate with students abroad. While rates may be higher to connectoverseas, the services work very similar to those here in the United States. Apopular option is to obtain a phone card/calling card from your currentlong-distance carrier. Be sure to find out the appropriate access numbers forthe United States as they vary from country to country.

Where can I get further information?

If you have questions not answered here, please e-mail us ourIOP Director; Sam Swan at sam-swan@utk.edu.

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