Direct Enrollment

Direct Enrollment

Students who participate in a direct enrollment program will be directly enrolling in a university or institution abroad for a fall, spring, summer or year.

Direct Enrollment

Direct enrollment is an opportunity for a student to directly enroll at a university or institution abroad. This means that UNC Charlotte does not have an exchange agreement with the host institution nor is there a third party (i.e. affiliate provider) that acts as a liaison between the student and the host institution. Directly enrolling in an institution abroad means that the student will be working directly with the host institution in terms of applying, registering for courses, program details, costs, logistics, etc.

If accepted into the program by the host university, the host university will communicate with the student regarding on-site logistics. Upon arrival, students will attend an orientation, where they will learn more about university resources, policies and procedures, course registration, etc. Students will have the support of the host university's international student office (or equivalent) while participating in the program. Once classes start, it will then be up to the student to attend class and any other mandatory university events; otherwise, when student's have free time, they are welcome to do as they please and to travel on weekends or breaks. While it may be possible for students to participate in this program with other UNC Charlotte students, they could also potentially be the only student from UNC Charlotte on the program at that time. However, there will likely be other American and international students also attending the host university that semester.

The OEA recommends a direct enrollment program for students who are self-reliant and organized. This program type typically does not include additional programming (i.e. excursions) or additional on-site staff compared to the way that affiliate provider programs are set up. This program type may be good for students who are looking for cultural immersion and independence while abroad. Students who participate in this program type may need to prepare themselves to receive confirmed information regarding the program (e.g. program dates, on-site orientation details, housing application instructions, etc.) several weeks or months before departure. 

The OEA has a list of approved direct enrollment program options that you can explore below.

Non-Pre-Approved Direct Enrollment

Students who identify a host university or institution abroad that they would like to attend that is not listed on the OEA's approved direct enrollment programs below can apply to the Office of Education Abroad to see if they are able to receive approval to participate in the program. After the student completes Study Abroad 101, they will then need to meet with an Advisor in the OEA. During the appointment, the OEA will set the student up with an application: Within this application, students will provide the OEA will details regarding the program. The OEA will then evaluate the application to determine if the student is approved to study abroad as well as vet the program to determine if the student is approved to participate on that particular program. Because the student is choosing to directly enroll (without going through an affiliate provider and without an agreement in place).

Program Length

Direct enrollment programs are offered summer, fall, spring or year. Some programs may not offer a fall semester option because the host university's academic calendar does not align with UNC Charlotte's academic calendar. Please refer to the program brochure for more information on the host university's academic calendar.

Program Brochure

The program brochure is the website page that lists all of the details of a program that UNC Charlotte students need to know and understand before choosing to move forward with the application process. After reading through each heading on this page, students can then choose the "Explore Program Options" section below to begin reviewing the individual program brochure within this program type.

OEA Requirements

All UNC Charlotte students are required to meet the eligibility requirements outlined by the OEA in addition to their program's eligibility requirements.

See OEA Eligibility Requirements Here

Program Eligibility

In addition to meeting the OEA eligibility requirements outlined above, students are also required to meet any further requirements listed on the program brochure (e.g. prerequisite courses, GPA, class standing, etc. if applicable). Note that in some cases, the host institution's GPA requirement could be higher than OEA's requirement, in which case the student would ultimately need to meet the highest requirement at time of application.

Paid to the Office of Education Abroad

The following will be paid to the Office of Education Abroad at UNC Charlotte.

Application fee & deposit

Each applicant will submit an Application Fee & Deposit. Payment will be made through the student's OEA application. The cost of the OEA Application Fee & Deposit for this program type is $35. Please note the following:

  • $10 of the $35 is a non-refundable application fee
  • $25 of the $35 is applied to the Study Abroad Administrative Fee
  • The Application Fee & Deposit must be paid by the OEA application due date, which is February 1st for Fall applicants and September 1st for Spring applications
Remainder of Study Abroad Administrative Fee

If and once approved by the OEA to participate in the program, students will be prompted to submit the remainder of the Study Abroad Administrative Fee, which is $575. The fee will be due typically in April for Fall participants and in November for Spring participants. Students who are financial aid or scholarship recipients can request to defer payment for this fee until their aid is released at the start of the semester they are studying abroad.

Mandatory International Health Insurance

All UNC Charlotte students who go abroad are required to be enrolled in the mandatory international health insurance. Please refer to our Costs to Consider page for the most current daily rate. An overview of the international health insurance policy and further resources can be found on our International Health Insurance page. Once accepted into the program and once the official program dates are confirmed, the OEA enrolls the student in the insurance policy from their program start date through their program end date, possibly including 1 or 2 additional days before and after their program to account for travel time. At that time, an invoice will be uploaded to the student's OEA application with instructions on how to submit payment. Students who are financial aid or scholarship recipients can request to defer payment for this fee until their aid is released at the start of the semester they are studying abroad.

Paid to the Host Institution

The following will be paid to the host institution 

Application Fee

In addition to applying to the Office of Education Abroad at UNC Charlotte in order to receive approval to participate in a direct enrollment program, students will also be required to apply to the host institution in order to receive acceptance into the program. An application fee will likely be associated with the host institution application and will be due by the host institution's application due date. For more information, refer to the host institution' program brochure or contact the host institution directly.

Program Fee

Students will be paying a program fee to the host institution. This fee may be the cost of tuition & fees. Or, this program fee may include more than one amenity or service (i.e. tuition & fees, housing, etc.). The inclusions will vary per program. It is the student's responsibility to review the host institution program brochure thoroughly to understand the program fee as well as what is and what is not included.


Students are responsible for applying for and securing their housing abroad. Housing options, the housing application process, costs and method of payment will vary per program and in some cases, per student. More information can be found on the host institution program brochure. Additionally, students are encouraged to review the OEA's Housing tab for an overview of housing options that may be offered (differs per program) and considerations of each.

Other Miscellaneous Costs

Some host institution's may have other fees associated with attendance, to include orientation fees, insurance policies, etc. Please refer to the host institution's website for further information.

Miscellaneous Costs

The following are expenses associated with international travel and living abroad. Students are encouraged to consider their cost of living abroad, currency exchange rate, their own personal spending habits and their own financial budget when financially planning for the following:


In most cases, meal plans are not offered at the host university. Most students will purchase groceries while abroad and cook at home to keep to their budget or eat at local cafeterias or restaurants. Refer to the OEA's Food Abroad page for further considerations.


Once students receive approval from the OEA, acceptance from the host university and the official program start and end date, they will then be eligible to purchase their flight. Refer to the OEA's Travel Logistics pagefor flight considerations.

In-Country Transportation

Students will need to consider the forms of transportation available in the host city and to determine potential costs associated with traveling to and from class each day as well as transportation throughout the city. Refer to the OEA's Transportation page for further considerations. 


A valid passport is required for international travel. The OEA does not issue passports. Please visit the OEA's Passport page for further information on how to determine if your current passport is valid according to the host country's regulations as well as how to apply for a new or renew a passport. While possession of a passport is not required in order to apply to study abroad, students will be required to submit a copy of their valid passport very soon after receiving approval. It's in the best interest of the student to apply for or renew their passport as soon as possible.

Visa or Immigration Document

In addition to having a valid passport, it may be possible that a student needs to apply for an additional immigration document, such as a visa or residence permit. The immigration process can be complex, time consuming and is ultimately the responsibility of the student. The OEA cannot advise on immigration requirements of host country governments. It's highly recommended that students determine whether or not an immigration document, such as a visa or residence permit, is required for their host country well before applying to the OEA. Learn more about Immigration Documents here.

Books & Supplies

Just like UNC Charlotte, students will not be notified of any required books or supplies they may need until they're accepted into the program and register for courses at the host institution (which may even occur upon arrival on-site). Refer to the "Cost Estimate Sheet" listed on the program's brochure for more information regarding estimated costs for books & supplies based on the host university's suggestion.

Personal Expenses

Students will need to budget for personal expenses. This will include things such as potentially purchasing items for their room or dorm, cultural activities, buying hygiene products, acquiring souvenirs, etc. Students should consider the cost of living abroad, the currency exchange rate and their personal spending habits when budgeting for their own personal expenses.

Personal Travel Expenses

Many students choose to take advantage of the opportunity to travel to other destinations while abroad. It's important that students do not plan any personal travel until they have received their class schedule and are sure they will not miss any mandatory program events. Refer to the OEA's Personal Travel page for further considerations.

Travel & Electronic Insurance

It's recommended students consider taking out insurance on their flight. Flight insurance is convenient in the event that the student needs to change the departure date of their flight, which, with insurance, can be done for a nominal fee. Refer to the airline's website for more information. It is also recommended that students consider taking out insurance on their valuable electronic devices in the event they are lost or stolen.

Medical & Emergency Funds

It is critical that students put aside funds for medical and emergency reasons. While students will have international health insurance coverage while abroad, they meet to pay for medical expenses out of pocket and then be reimbursed by the insurance company. Additionally, it's always smart to have a set of funds set aside in the event of emergencies.


The OEA has designed a cost estimate worksheet, which can be used as a resource to determine the total estimated cost of a direct enrollment program including all expenses outlined in the cost structure above. This is a great tool for financial planning and will also be a required component as part of the OEA application once the student begins the application process.

How to Download

The Cost Estimate Worksheet can be downloaded as an excel file here. Students who have Mac computers and who do not have Microsoft Office can use a computer in Atkins library to access and complete the worksheet:

Click Here to Download the Cost Estimate Worksheet

How to Complete

Students will be able to download the cost estimate worksheet and enter expenses in the red boxes as applicable. As expenses are entered into the red boxes, the total will then automatically increase, giving the student a comprehensive understanding of the total estimated cost of the program. Students will be required to complete and upload this Cost Estimate Worksheet once they have access to the OEA application. Students who do not yet have access to an OEA application are encouraged to utilize this tool as a budgeting resource.

Financial Aid

Students who file a FAFSA and are awarded financial aid for the semester they intend to go abroad can utilize their funds to put towards study abroad expenses. Financial aid will not be disbursed until the start of the Fall, Spring or Summer Session semester the student is studying according to UNC Charlotte's academic calendar (i.e. August, January, May or June). This means students should be prepared for out of pocket expenses before they receive their financial aid.

When financial aid is released, it will first be diverted to Student Accounts. Since there will be no study abroad-related expenses listed on their Student Account when participating in a direct enrollment program, the aid will be refunded to the student in the form of a refund check or direct deposit. Students can then utilize the remaining funds for any study abroad-related expenses, if applicable, or use it to reimburse themselves for costs already paid out of pocket. Learn more about how financial aid can be applied on our website here.

Learn More About Financial Aid Here


Students are encouraged to apply for as many scholarships as they and their program are eligible for. Students are able to put scholarship funds towards their study abroad expenses. Disbursal and method of receiving scholarship funds will vary per scholarship.

Explore Scholarships Here

Students will receive UNC Charlotte equivalent credit for the courses they take abroad. Upon approval to participate in the program, students will then begin working with the relevant academic departments at UNC Charlotte, who will assign UNC Charlotte equivalencies for each course the student intends to take abroad.

Learn More About Academic Credit Here

Students interested in participating in a direct enrollment program will be required to first apply to the Office of Education Abroad in order to receive approval to go abroad and to receive their host university placement. Once approved and placed by the OEA, students will then need to complete a supplemental application required by the host university in order to receive acceptance into the program.

Step by Step Instructions

1. Complete Study Abroad 101

All UNC Charlotte students are required to complete Study Abroad 101 before they are eligible to move forward with meeting with an Advisor and beginning the application process.

2. Meet with an OEA advisor

All applicants interested in applying for a direct enrollment program are required to meet with an OEA Advisor at least once before they are eligible to receive access to an OEA application.

3. Request access to OEA Application

Students can request access to the OEA application one of two ways:

1. During the advising appointment

If the student is ready and eligible to receive access to the OEA application during their advising appointment with an OEA Advisor, they will be given access to the application during the appointment. See how you can schedule a meeting with an OEA Advisor here.

2. Submit Application Request Form

If the student has completed Study Abroad 101, has already met with an Education Abroad Advisor at least once and is now ready to apply, they can request access to an application by filling out the following form. Please allow 1-2 business days until you receive an email notification that you have access to the OEA application.

Request Access to an OEA Application Here

4. Submit OEA Application

Once students receive access to the OEA application, they will then be able to log into the OEA Portal and begin working on the application components.

OEA Application Components

OEA application requirements for this program type include:

  • Application fee & deposit
  • Personal statement
  • Official or unofficial UNC Charlotte transcript
  • Disciplinary clearance from the Dean of Students

This may not be a comprehensive list of application components. OEA application requirements may vary depending on the specific program that the student is applying for. Instructions for how to complete each requirement will be made available to the student once they receive access to the OEA application.

OEA Application Deadlines

OEA application deadlines for direct enrollment programs are as follows:

Program Type Term Abroad OEA Application Deadline
Direct enrollment  Summer, Fall or Academic Year March 1
Direct enrollment  Spring October 1
Late Applications

Late OEA applications may be considered. If the deadline has passed, students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with an PEA Advisor (as long as they have completed Study Abroad 101) to see if it's possible to submit a late application. Note that while the OEA may consider late applications, the chances of placement may decrease significantly for students who apply after the deadline.

5. Approval


The OEA will begin reviewing applications for this program type according to the following timeline:

Program Type Term Abroad OEA Application Review Begins Application Review Time
Direct enrollment  Summer, Fall or Academic Year After January 1 2-3 weeks upon submission
Direct enrollment  Spring After August 15 2-3 weeks upon submission

Upon successful submission, the OEA will evaluate the student's OEA application to determine if they meet eligibility requirements. If so, the OEA will determine if the student can be approved to participate in the program. In rare cases, the OEA may conditionally approve a student. You can learn more about conditional approvals here.


Once the student has received their approval and placement notification from the OEA, they will be communicated with regarding their next steps. An overview of what to expect after receiving approval & placement can be found on the OEA's Post-Approval page. Students will be required to complete OEA Pre-Departure Requirements in addition to completing and submitting their host university supplemental application (see below).

6. Apply to Host Institution

Host Institution application

In addition to applying to the OEA to receive approval to go abroad, students are also required to complete an application with the host institution in order to receive acceptance into the program.

When to Submit

Students should not begin the application with the host institution until they have:

  • Completed Study Abroad 101 and;
  • Met with an Education Abroad Advisor in the OEA and;
  • Received access to the OEA application for the program they want to apply for

It is recommended that students do not wait until they receive approval from the OEA to begin this additional application, but to rather complete both the OEA application and this additional application as soon as possible and at the same time prior to the applicable deadlines. This is because host institution may process applications on a rolling admission basis, so students should apply as soon as possible. However, this additional application will likely require a  non-refundable application fee. Students should ensure they meet the OEA eligibility requirements and feel confident that they will be approved by the OEA before submitting an application or any fees to the third party. The OEA cannot be held responsible if the student submits a non-refundable fees to the host intuition but then does not receive approval from OEA to participate in the program. Additionally, please note that the host institution's application deadline may differ from the OEA application deadline.

How to Submit

Students should go to the host institution's website and follow the applicable application instructions. It is the student's responsibility to take action to complete this additional application. Host institution application requirements will vary and could include components such as a personal statement, official UNC Charlotte transcript, language evaluations or letter(s) of recommendation. Please communicate with the host institution directly if you have any questions or concerns regarding the program or the host institution application.

7. Acceptance

Students will be contacted directly via email by the host institution once they have been accepted into the program. This timeline will vary. Please contact the host institution directly with any questions regarding the acceptance timeline.

To see a list of all approved direct enrollment programs, click the button below. From there, students can click the name of the program to be taken to the Program Brochure. The Program Brochure will have all the details regarding the program, including an overview of the host institution, location, academics, costs and more.

See List of Direct Enrollment Programs Here


Photo by Corey Albrecht, China