Freestanding (e.g. Summer)


This includes Faculty Led Summer programs.

A Freestanding program is still managed by UNC Charlotte and offers UNC Charlotte course credit. Freestanding simply means that the course content is delivered entirely or almost entirely on-site abroad - the study abroad is not a component of a course being taught on campus during the semester. However, students should be prepared that there may also be a few class meetings or assignments before and/or after departure abroad.

  1. Students first apply for the study abroad program via the Office of Education Abroad website
  2. Participants do not register in the specific UNC Charlotte course for which they will receive credit before departure abroad
    1. The OEA registers participants in the UNC Charlotte course and credit hours as applicable for their program
  3. Participants travel and take the class(es) abroad together
  4. The credit to be received does not appear on participants' transcripts until after the study abroad program ends

Depending on the program, students may take courses at a local university in a classroom setting, participate in group learning experiences in a more informal teaching setting, participate in cultural activities designed to acclimate students to life in the host country, visit historical sites, and more.


  • Faculty-led programs are academic experiences. As such, all participants are required to receive academic credit for the study abroad experience. It is not possible to audit the course or participate in a non-credit-seeking capacity, even if you do not want or need the credit provided
  • Participants may receive credit for the pre-specified credit offerings listed in the program's brochure only
  • Students must be present for all program activities, including any class sessions held before or after the travel component
  • Additional course requirements, policies, and schedule are set by the program's Faculty Director(s)
  • Students should be prepared for the possibility that the Faculty Director will require at least one and possibly several meetings or assignments to complete before departure and/or upon return from abroad


  • Credit will be granted for coursework and travel and will be issued by UNC Charlotte
  • The UNC Charlotte course credit and hours to be received are listed in online program brochures (links to search programs found at the end of this page)
  • If the program offers several course choices or cross-listings, students may need to complete a course selection form indicating for which courses they would like to receive credit for the study abroad. This will be completed in the OEA application after approval. 
  • Students should consult the UNC Charlotte course catalog and/or their Academic Advisor to verify any pre-requisites of the courses offered, to confirm which of the offered courses they should choose (if the program offers several course options), and to confirm how the course credit will fulfill their curriculum and graduation requirements

How Will I Register in the Study Abroad Course(s)?

  • Participants will NOT register themselves at UNC Charlotte for the term of travel
  • Before departure abroad, the OEA registers participants at UNC Charlotte via a study abroad "placeholder" course, called FRST
    • The FRST allows participants to remain active students at UNC Charlotte while abroad in order to access eligible financial aid or scholarship funds (if applicable and if registered full-time)
  • The actual UNC Charlotte credit students will receive (as described in the program brochure) does NOT appear on course schedules/transcripts until after the study abroad program ends
  • Once the OEA registers students, students will have FRST 3000, 6000, or 8000 (depending on their level) on their course schedule, not the actual course listed in the program brochure

When Will I Be Registered in the Study Abroad Courses?

Students will not be registered right when registration for the applicable term opens. The OEA aims to register participants in the FRST:

  • Spring/Fall programs: before the University add/drop deadline for the term of travel
  • Summer programs: by May 1
    • Students participating in a summer program should review the Financial Aid page of our website for information on how this registration process may affect applying for summer financial aid

The OEA will be unable to register students who:

The OEA will notify students by email if we are unable to complete their registration due to one of these issues, and it will be the student's responsibility to take action as soon as possible so that the OEA can register them. Not being registered will affect students' eligibility for financial aid. The OEA will notify students once they have been successfully registered in the FRST. 

While Abroad

While abroad, participants will still need to think about the courses in which they may need to register for at UNC Charlotte for the semester of return to campus. Students should receive email reminder(s) from their academic department(s) to enroll in courses the subsequent semester. Students will enroll in these courses as usual via their MyUNCC.


  • Participants will receive A-F grades for all courses taken abroad (no pass/fail)
  • All study abroad courses will be reported on student's official UNC Charlotte transcripts after the program ends
  • All grades from study abroad courses are calculated into students' cumulative GPA
  • The OEA does not determine the credit to be received nor award grades


  • The OEA processes the grades awarded by the Faculty Director and sends them to the Registrar
  • The study abroad courses and grades should post to students' transcripts within 4-5 weeks after the OEA receives all the grades awarded by all Faculty Directors/institutions as applicable (this will not occur immediately after the student returns from abroad and may not occur by the University grading deadline for the applicable term). The OEA will notify students by email when we have received all grades 
  • If the Faculty Director does not send the OEA the program grades by the applicable University grading deadline, students will automatically get an "I" for the study abroad course that will stay in place until the OEA is able to process grades. This should not affect students' GPAs
  • Students intending to graduate immediately following the program will need to notify their Faculty Director and the OEA right away in order to ensure their grades are processed in time for graduation

The OEA will not process grades for students who:

It is students' responsibility to keep track of their requirements and to resolve them as soon as possible.

Program costs vary.

Paid to the Office of Education Abroad

  1. Non-refundable application fee (usually $10.00)
  2. Program fee (amount varies by program)
    1. Expenses included in the program fee vary by program. Detailed explanations of what is and is not included are provided in the program's brochure, but the fee will always include at least:
      1. Study Abroad Administrative fee 
      2. Mandatory international health insurance fee 
      3. Various travel expenses. The program fee is used to pay included program expenses (as indicated in the program brochure) on the participant's behalf before travel
      4. Instructional costs for the study abroad courses
    2. The program fee is typically broken up into several payments. Payment amounts and due dates are detailed in the online program brochure and within students' OEA applications

For more information, please review our Billing Information page.


  • The first program fee payment is the non-refundable deposit (amount can vary by program; specified in program's online brochure)
  • The deposit is one of the confirmation steps and cannot be deferred or broken up into smaller payments. It must be submitted in full by no later the program's final confirmation deadline or before the program meets its maximum enrollment in order to hold a student's place in the program once approved
  • Because of rolling admissions, all students are encouraged to complete the confirmation steps per the instructions in their study abroad application as soon as possible once their application is approved and by no later than the program's final confirmation deadline 

Paid to Student Accounts at UNC Charlotte

No study abroad-related expenses should appear on participants' UNC Charlotte Student Account for freestanding faculty-led programs. Participants in freestanding faculty-led programs will NOT pay tuition and fees via their UNC Charlotte Student Account for the study abroad courses. 

Additional Expenses

Review study abroad Costs to Consider. Some expenses listed may be included in the study abroad program fee, in which case they will not need to be paid separately. Confirm fee inclusions in the online program brochure (linked at the end of this page).

Photo by Avery Dockser, Egypt