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Study Abroad Policies

  • Eligibility Requirements Policy

    Students participating in an approved, regular study abroad program, including UNC Exchange, UNC Direct, any Affiliate Provider (AP) program or internship, must meet the following eligibility requirements:

    • Students must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA at the end of the term immediately preceding their study abroad program.
      • Students who do not meet the minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA at the time their application is submitted will be conditionally accepted to their program if:
        • The student meets all other program eligibility requirements
        • The student has at least a 2.2 cumulative GPA at the time of application
        • The student completes a petition for consideration and submits a recommendation from a faculty member to support their application
      • Some Affiliate programs and host institutions require a higher minimum GPA for participation. In these cases, the student must meet the higher GPA requirement.
    • Students must be at least 18 years of age or older.
      • Some Affiliate programs and host institutions require a student be older, or a specific classification (e.g., junior). In these cases, the student must meet the specific program's requirements.
    • Incoming first-year students must have earned 24 UNC credits prior to the start of the study abroad program. Transfer students must complete at least 1 semester on UNC campus prior to the start of the study abroad program.
    • Students who are currently on disciplinary probation or who have conduct violations and wish to apply for a study abroad program that will take place after their probation ends should be advised that applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with the Office of Community Standards and Conflict Resolution (CSCR).
      The following are the student's responsibilities in these cases:
      • Notify the Study Abroad & Exchange Office immediately.
        Failure to notify the Study Abroad Office will result in the student's immediate withdrawal from the program and forfeiture of the Study Abroad Application and Administration Fees.
      • Give permission for the Dean of Students' Office of Community Standards and Conflict Resolution to share information from the student's conduct record with the Study Abroad & Exchange Office.
      • Complete all sanctions, and any other requirements, prescribed by the Office of Community Standards and Conflict Resolution prior to the end of the term.
      • If the above actions are taken, and the student completes a petition to study abroad, the petition will be considered. However, this should not be taken to mean that the petition will be granted; the Study Abroad & Exchange Office reserves the right to make a case-by-case determination, in consultation with the Office of Community Standards and Conflict Resolution and may deny any petition.
    • Students must be in good academic standing at the time of application and prior to departure for their program. Students who are placed on Academic Probation are no longer eligible to participate in study abroad.
    • Students with medical or health-related concerns are responsible for taking proactive steps to address these concerns during the application process. These students are strongly encouraged to:
      • Meet with a health care professional
      • Discuss the specific concerns with their Study Abroad Advisor, or the Director, including what resources are available
    • Students must complete a UNC Study Abroad Application and all other required documents for the respective study abroad program by the stated due dates. Failure to submit required documents on schedule will result in the student's withdrawal from their program and forfeiture of the Study Abroad Application and Administration Fees.
    • Students applying to study abroad during their final year at UNC must meet with the Study Abroad Director and seek approval from their academic program and/or advisor to determine eligibility. Students who complete an application and fail to notify or meet with the Study Abroad Director may be withdrawn from their program and forfeit their Application Fee.

    If for any reason a student does not meet these eligibility requirements before departure, even if the student is initially accepted into a program, the student will be withdrawn from the UNC study abroad program.

  • Program Eligibility Requirements Policy

    Many programs have additional eligibility requirements. In some cases, those requirements will be more stringent than the UNC minimum eligibility requirements (above).

    The program-specific requirements might include:

    • Language proficiency requirement: students must demonstrate language proficiency at a specific level. Proof of proficiency may be requested via a faculty interview and report or a placement exam.
    • Cumulative GPA requirement: a specific host institution or program may require that the student have a GPA of 2.75 or 3.0, or higher, for participation in said program.
    • Course prerequisites requirement: students must have met course prerequisites, as determined by the host institution, in order to register for specific courses abroad.
  • Registration Policy

    Enrolled Full-time

    Students must be enrolled full-time while participating in an UNC study abroad program during the Fall, Spring, and Academic Year terms.

    • Full-time enrollment is 12 credits, or the equivalent to 12 U.S. credits. If the host university uses a different credit system, students must discuss this with their Study Abroad Advisor and will be provided with a minimum credit enrollment number.
    • Full-time enrollment is not required for Summer programs. However, a minimum number of credits will be required for financial aid eligibility during summer. For details about these requirements, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.
    • If a student fails to enroll full time while abroad, this will affect their financial aid and registration status.

    Courses Pre-Approved

    Students must have all courses pre-approved by their UNC Academic Advisor, the Registrar's Office, and their Study Abroad Advisor. Students intending to take a UNC Online Course, in addition to their full-time course load while abroad, must:

    • Include the Online Course on their Course Pre-approval Form, ensuring the course is vetted and approved by their Academic Advisor, and that the Registrar's and Study Abroad staff are informed.
    • Notify the Study Abroad & Exchange Office in writing to study.abroad@unco.edu
  • Credit and Residency Requirements Policy

    Students may enroll in study abroad in a combination of semester and/or summer/intersession abroad programs, but students may not enroll in three consecutive Fall/Spring semesters abroad.

    Examples for clarity

    • A student may enroll in:
      • Spring 2020 study abroad to South Korea
      • Summer 2020 study abroad to Mexico
      • Fall 2020 study abroad to England
      • Spring 2021 return to UNC
    • A student MAY NOT enroll in:
      • Spring 2020 study abroad to South Korea
      • Fall 2020 study abroad to Mexico
      • Spring 2021 study abroad to England (X)

    Students are responsible for knowing and meeting any residency credit requirements for their particular academic program of study. All students planning to study abroad must meet with their Academic Advisor prior to program acceptance. At that time, it is strongly recommended that students discuss residency credit requirements with their respective Academic Advisor.

  • Direct Enrollment Policy

    Affiliate Providers and partner universities will not accept applications from UNC students without the endorsement of the Study Abroad & Exchange Office. Students must participate in approved Affiliate Provider and partner university programs through the standard Study Abroad & Exchange Office application process.

    Any student who direct enrolls in a program, either with a host institution or through an Affiliate Provider, wherein:

    1. that program is not on the approved programs list provided by the Study Abroad & Exchange Office; and 
    2. the student circumvents the Study Abroad & Exchange Office and its application and petition process, 

    the student shall be ineligible for Study Abroad & Exchange Office support and financial aid. Transfer credits will not be accepted for students studying on unapproved programs. A student choosing to pursue a semester or academic year study abroad program not approved by the Study Abroad & Exchange Office is required to take a leave of absence from the university.

    NOTE: Dropping below full-time status or completely withdrawing from your program may impact your financial aid package.

  • Holds Policy

    All holds placed on a student's records by UNC (e.g., Bursar's Office, Registrar's Office, Health Services, Parking Services, et cetera) must be cleared before a student can be given final approval for and admission to any study abroad program.

    If a student has not had all holds cleared by the end of the term immediately preceding their study abroad, the student may be withdrawn from their program.

    If a student has holds on their account which they are working to clear, it is the student's responsibility to communicate with the Study Abroad & Exchange Office and the office responsible for the hold.

  • International Travel Insurance Policy

    All UNC students participating in a study abroad program, regardless of the length or type of said program, must be enrolled in adequate international insurance coverage.

    • Students participating in approved Affiliate Provider programs:
      • All Affiliate Provider programs require enrollment in international insurance, often included in the program fee, but sometimes at an additional expense.
      • The student will pay this insurance fee directly to the Affiliate Provider.
    • Students participating in UNC Exchange, UNC Direct, student teaching, and FLSA programs:
      • The Study Abroad & Exchange Office will acquire UNC International travel insurance coverage prior to the student's departure date.
        • NOTE: It is the student's responsibility to notify the Study Abroad & Exchange Office if the student requires proof of insurance for a visa application, or for any other reason, by a specific date. The Study Abroad & Exchange Office typically requires a minimum of 7 business days to produce the requested proof of insurance.
      • The fee for the UNC international travel insurance will be billed to the student's account in Ursa at the beginning of their study abroad term.
        • NOTE: Students participating in an Academic Year program will be billed each term for international insurance coverage. If the student requires proof of a full year's insurance coverage, they must notify the Study Abroad & Exchange Office of this in a timely manner.

    The current fee for the UNC International Travel Insurance is $3.00 per day1. Students' coverage must include their departure and return dates to and from the United States, including any personal pre-program or post-program travel. A full program itinerary will be requested from each student to document the international travel insurance coverage.

    It is the student's responsibility to notify the Study Abroad & Exchange Office of any changes to their travel itinerary, including any change to departure or return dates.

    The billed amount includes administrative fees.

  • Conduct & Ethics Policy

    Students are responsible for their own actions, activities, and behaviors while participating in a program abroad. Serious consideration of health and personal circumstances should be taken into account by students when applying for or accepting a place on a program abroad.

    Students are obligated to be aware of and comply with local laws and customs while abroad. Respect of local customs includes the conscious awareness of cultural attitudes toward alcohol use and sexual behavior. As representatives of UNC in other countries, we expect students to behave in a manner that is respectful of the rights and well-being of others.

    Students participating in programs abroad are responsible to follow the UNC Student Code of Conduct (BEAR Code), the policies of the program abroad, and any terms or policies set forth by the host institution at all times. Failure to comply will result in program dismissal.

    Violation of the Code of Conduct and/or Program Policies

    Students who are alleged to have violated the UNC Student Code of Conduct will be reported to the Director of Study Abroad and the Dean of Students' Office of Community Standards and Conflict Resolution. The Director of Study Abroad, in consultation with the Dean of Students' Office, will take appropriate disciplinary action, which may include the student's immediate dismissal from the program.

    A student dismissed from a program for cause will receive no refund, may not be eligible for credit for coursework completed on the program abroad, and is responsible for any costs incurred by early dismissal.

  • Withdrawal Policy

    Any student wishing to withdraw from a study abroad program must read the following carefully and must complete and submit a Withdrawal Form. Please note, your withdrawal from a program is not official until UNC Study Abroad & Office receives your Withdrawal Form submitted through the Global Portal. Withdrawals will be processed within 10 business days.

    It is important to understand that withdrawing from a study abroad program may have financial consequences and that you will be held to the terms and conditions of all contracts and documents that you sign.

    • If you have begun an application in the Global Portal but are still listed as Pending and the application deadline has not passed, you must Withdraw your application within the Portal and submit a Withdrawal Form.
    • Please note that any deposits or fees paid to Affiliate Providers or host institutions may be forfeited. Furthermore, students may be responsible for cancellation fees or partial/full program fees with Affiliate Providers. It is the student's responsibility to notify the Affiliate Provider of withdrawal and communicate about non-refundable deposits, cancellation fees, or any partial/full program fees owed.
    • In all cases, the Study Abroad Administrative Fee will be assessed for students who withdraw after being Accepted to their program. This fee varies by program type.
      • UNC Exchange and ISEP Exchange Programs: $250
      • All other program types, including student teaching, internships, Faculty Led and Direct Programs: $350
    • If you are withdrawing from a study abroad program after being Accepted to said program in the Global Portal, a non-refundable application fee of $50 will be assessed.
    • If a student is dismissed from a program for undesirable behavior, which may include violating the UNC Student Code of Conduct, a host institution's code of conduct, or an Affiliate Provider's code of conduct, no refunds will be provided.
    • If a student receiving financial aid withdraws from a study abroad program, the student must contact the Office of Financial Aid immediately, as withdrawal from study abroad may affect the student's financial aid eligibility.

    If you are applying to an Affiliate Provider program, refer to the program provider's withdrawal policy for possible further penalties. The student must contact the Study Abroad & Exchange Office AND any program provider to complete their withdrawal procedures. The UNC Study Abroad & Exchange Office's program Administrative Fee ($250 or $350, dependent on program type) is non-refundable after the application deadline.

  • Petition for Emergency Withdrawal

    If you cannot participate in a study abroad program due to a medical or financial emergency, you must submit an Emergency Withdrawal Petition. You may submit an Emergency Withdrawal Petition in the following circumstances:

    • Unexpected significant loss of financial resources. Examples of appropriate documentation may include unemployment paperwork, proof of bankruptcy, or bank statements.
    • Medical emergency. It is the student's responsibility to supply sufficient medical documentation.
    • Death of an immediate family member. Documentation may include a copy of the death certificate or obituary. Documentation must be included that clearly shows your relationship to the deceased.