Frequently Asked Questions about Studying Abroad

I am studying at a campus other than Providence, who do I contact for study abroad information?
All students at all campuses can contact the Study Abroad Office in Providence. We can answer questions, discuss program options and direct you to local resources at your campus if needed.

Do students in only certain majors study abroad?
No. We encourage students in all majors to study abroad. In fact, each college offers at least one study abroad program and some programs are open to students from any discipline. We will work with you individually to identify your options.

What is the difference between “study abroad” and “exchange”?
“Study abroad” refers to programs taught, directed and supervised by JWU faculty. Students and faculty advisors travel and study together in the foreign country.

In an “exchange,” JWU and another institution exchange an equal number of students. The traveling JWU students remain registered and enrolled with JWU, but are mainstreamed into the academic courses at the host institution for a full immersion experience.

Do I have to speak a foreign language?
No. The only programs that require language proficiency are the Language Immersion Programs.

Is there a minimum GPA required?
Yes. Most JWU programs require a minimum GPA of 2.75 at the point of departure. The freshman spring term program in Sweden requires a 3.4 minimum and the College of Business summer work abroad programs (SWAP) require a 3.0 minimum.

What if I’ve fulfilled the Detailed Degree Progress Report course requirements I should have saved for study abroad?
Planning appropriately and saving the right credits ensures all study abroad credits apply towards your degree. If you have used some of the credits, study abroad can be taken partially or fully as personal enrichment. All study abroad grades appear on your transcript and affect your GPA, but the personal enrichment credits will not move you towards graduation.

How early can I start applying?
The application is available starting in October every year. Starting in October, you may apply as soon as you have identified a program that meets your interests and needs. Since programs are filled on a first come, first served basis, it is best to apply as soon as you are interested because programs do fill up and you will be placed on a waitlist.

Can I participate in more than one program?
Yes. With proper planning and personal advising from our staff, students in many majors could participate in as many as two or three programs.

I’m an international student. Can I participate?
Yes, all JWU students can apply for study abroad programs. International students will need to check re-entry regulations to get back into the U.S. after the program finishes, as well as research entry-visa requirements for the countries visited during the program.

Am I eligible to receive financial aid for study abroad and are scholarships and grants available?
The Study Abroad Office does not provide financial advising. You must work with your local campus’ Student Financial Services directly. In order for SFS to determine your eligibility for financial aid you must complete the on-line Free Application for Federal Student Aid (link to Eligibility depends on your financial need and when you go abroad. Start meeting with SFS at least 6 months before your program departs.

Will I need to purchase health insurance before I go on a study abroad program?
No. All enrolled students are covered under the JWU Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan. Through participation in study abroad, each student is automatically insured and is eligible for global emergency medical assistance.

Detailed medical insurance information will be provided at the Study Abroad Orientation. You may want to research and buy supplemental travel insurance that provides additional coverage for lost luggage, theft or other non-medical events.

What measures does JWU take to ensure my safety while I’m studying abroad?
Safety and security is a paramount concern. The International Center monitors the U.S. Department of State travel advisory and consults with partner institutions, teaching staff abroad and University officials to help University personnel make informed and prudent program decisions.

For students already abroad, the International Center, Campus Safety and Security, and university administration have developed a crisis management plan to coordinate crisis response efforts between students, faculty advisors, parents, JWU administration, as well as police, health care providers and insurance providers.

In addition, individuals need to make safe travel decisions regarding what they pack, how they dress, what activities they choose to participate in, and how they conduct themselves in a foreign country with different cultural norms and laws.