Our most frequently asked questions and answers

Is studying abroad considered to be safe?

The University maintains close contact with the international offices at our partner institutions to help ensure your safety. Each institution has on-site help and support that will be available to assist students if there is a need. Also, international travel insurance is offered which will provide services such as emergency evacuation.

Do I need to speak a second language to study abroad?

No. There are both English speaking countries and non-English speaking countries that offer academic programming in English.

What if I do speak multiple languages?

Certain partner universities require the use of a language other than English. Speaking the required language will open up an opportunity to study with that institution that would not be available otherwise.

Is there a GPA requirement for study abroad?

Yes. A 2.75 GPA is standard for partner universities and program providers (with some exceptions).

Will my credits transfer back toward my major or minor requirements?

Yes. If your academic schedule at the foreign institution has been approved by your academic advisor and the Dean or Chair of your department, the credits will transfer. The study abroad adviser can help you put your schedule together.

Will I graduate later if I study abroad?

No, but graduation does require some advanced planning.

When is the best time during my academic career to study abroad and for how long?

The timing and length of your program is dependent on your academic program and your interest. Semester or year-long programs allow for a more in-depth look into the culture and people of your host nation, and for secondary language purposes, a longer program is usually recommended. Short-term or summer programming is also available and may fit more easily into your academic schedule. Some summer programs are also tailored to specific majors. As a general rule, most students study abroad during their sophomore or junior year. It is suggested that education and nursing majors study abroad during their sophomore year.

When should I begin planning to go abroad?

Sooner is always better, but the planning and paperwork can usually be completed within the semester before you go abroad. Taking extra time to research your options and financially plan is always recommended. As long as you are able to meet all required deadlines, last minute planning is possible but not encouraged.

Financial FAQ

Is study abroad affordable?

In many cases, studying abroad with partner institutions is comparable to living on campus and having an on-campus meal plan. With partner universities, tuition continues to be paid directly to USC Upstate. Housing and food costs vary based on the country, university, and exchange rates but are usually comparable to Upstate.

Can I use my financial aid/scholarships?

In most cases, yes. It is best to speak with the financial aid office to get an answer specific to your situation.