Freestanding (e.g. Summer)

Freestanding Faculty-Led

Embedded simply means that the study abroad experience is a required part of a UNC Charlotte course(s) taught during the Fall or Spring semester. 


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.

  • Students first apply for the study abroad program via the Office of Education Abroad website
  • Participants are registered in a non-tuition bearing placeholder course (FRST) while abroad for the applicable credit hours for their program
  • Participants travel and take the class(es) abroad together
  • The specific UNC Charlotte credit to be received is reported and will appear on participants' transcripts after the study abroad program ends and grades are received
  • 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.

Program Length

Freestanding Faculty-Led programs are offered typically as summer or semester length programs.‚Äč

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 program specific GPA requirement could be higher than OEA's requirement, in which case the student would ultimately need to meet the higher 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

Each applicant will submit an Application Fee Payment will be made through the student's OEA application. The cost of the OEA Application Fee for this program type is $10 and must be paid by the OEA application due date as listed on the program brochure.

Program Fees

The program fee refers to the expenses for the study abroad component of the course and amounts will 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:

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.

Confirmation deposit
  • The first program fee payment is the non-refundable deposit 
  • 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
  • The deposit must be paid by the OEA confirmation due date as listed on the program brochure

Paid to Student Accounts

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).

A budget for each freestanding faculty-led program will be listed on the program brochure. This will list all of the expenses outlined above along with estimated costs associated with each expense based on the OEA's recommendation, host university's suggestion and the exchange rate.

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 semester the student is studying according to UNC Charlotte's academic calendar. 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. Once financial aid is applied to any outstanding balances on the student's Student Account, any remaining financial aid, if applicable, will then 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.

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 are encouraged to review the Academic Credit policies for all Faculty-Led programs in the Getting Started section of this website before reviewing specific information for each faculty-led program type. 

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.

grade Processing

  • 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.

Students interested in applying for a faculty-led program will apply to the Office of Education Abroad in order to receive approval to participate in the program. The Faculty Director will then review the students' applications and will issue the acceptances. Once students are accepted, they will then need to confirm their spot in the program. Please visit the Application Process page of this website, and refer to the How to Apply section of the Faculty-Led Program page for detailed instructions. 

Request Access to an OEA Application Here

To see a list of all freestanding faculty-led programs,select the relevant term. 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 program, location, itinerary, academics, costs and more.

Fall/Spring Semester Programs

Summer Programs


Photo by Avery Dockser, Egypt