FAQs

We understand that planning your study abroad can be a bit overwhelming at times. Please review the following Frequent Asked Questions to be directed to the applicable resource you need to hopefully get your questions answered. When in doubt, you can always contact the OEA at 704-687-7747 or edabroad@uncc.edu.

1. What are the steps to studying abroad?

Check out our Getting Started page to learn more.

2. Am I required to apply to the OEA?

Yes! All UNC Charlotte students are required to apply to our office to receive approval to go abroad, regardless of the type of program or whether or not they receive academic credit. This also applies to non-UNC Charlotte students participating in a UNC Charlotte program.

3. How can I learn more about the basics of studying abroad?

Complete Study Abroad 101. This is not a course that you enroll in, but is a a series of videos that walks you through important information and resources you need to know in order for you to choose the best experience for you. Study Abroad 101 also helps answer a lot of the initial questions you probably have about studying abroad.

4. Why Should I Study abroad?

The benefits are endless! Learn more about why you should study abroad here. We also encourage you to reach out to our Study Abroad Peer Advisors & OEA Interns to hear it straight from the perspective of students who have experienced it.

1. Can i apply to more than one program for the term i want to go abroad?

This depends on the program type:

  • UNC Charlotte Exchange: Students apply to their first choice host university and are able to identify a back up university (from the list of UNC Charlotte exchange partners) in their application
  • Statewide Exchange: Students apply to their first choice host university and are able to identify a back up university (from the list of BW/NC host universities) in their application
  • ISEP Exchange: Students apply to their first choice host university and are able to identify up to 9 additional back up universities (from the list of ISEP exchange partners) in their application in priority order
  • Affiliate Provider: Students are only eligible to apply to one affiliate provider program for the term they go abroad. This is for the student's benefit, as all affiliate providers charge application fees that are a few hundred dollars
  • Faculty-Led: Students can apply to multiple programs, but whether or not they may participate in more than one in a given term depends on the program. Students will pay a non-refundable application fee for each application they submit

2. Is the application process the same for each program or program type?

Nope! Explore the How to Apply tab for more information on what to expect with the OEA application requirements and deadlines for each program type. Note that even programs within a given program type may have different application components.

3. What does "This Program is currently not accepting applications" on a program brochure mean?

This simply means that either we are not yet accepting applications for that term, or that the application deadline has passed. Exchange, affiliate provider, and direct enrollment programs are typically always offered semester to semester, but faculty-led program offerings typically vary each year. The OEA recommends waiting for the application cycle to open for the term you're looking to go abroad before applying so that you can evaluate all of your options. We post updates on application openings on the homepage of our website.

4. Do I have to meet with an Education Abroad Advisor in Order to Start a Study Abroad APplication?

This depends on the program. Refer to our How to Apply tab for all required application steps.

5. If a meeting with an Education Abroad Advisor is not required, can I still meet with one?

Of course! Be sure to prepare for your meeting with an Advisor and learn how to schedule an appointment here.

6. I am a transfer student. Can I go abroad?

Yes! Learn more on our Eligibility tab here.

7. When can freshman go abroad for the first time?

Learn more on our Eligibility tab here.

8. Can I study abroad more than once?

Yes, and many students do! Check out our When Can You Go tab.

9. I want to go abroad with another UNC Charlotte student. How can we go abroad together?

First, you'll need to ensure that both you and your friend have identified a program that is a good academic, financial, and personal fit for both of you individually. Make sure you both meet the eligibility requirements of the program and submit an application as soon as possible. Note that approval (and placement in the event of an exchange program) is never guaranteed. However, we have had many students successfully participate in the same program together.

10. I want to go abroad with my friend who is a non-UNC Charlotte student. Can I?

Sure! As long as you have identified a program that is a good academic, financial, and personal fit for you individually from the OEA's list of approved programs and that your friend's home university also allows him or her to apply for that program through his or her home study abroad office, then you both should apply! Note that approval (and placement in the event of an exchange program) is never guaranteed. However, we have had many students successfully participate in the same program together.

11. Can I graduate the same semester I study abroad?

Only if you participate in a faculty-led program. You can study abroad the same semester you're supposed to graduate (through a non-faculty-led program), but your graduation date would be pushed to the subsequent fall or spring semester.

12. What are my chances of being accepted into a program?

If you meet the eligibility requirements of the OEA and of the program, your chances of being approved and ultimately accepted into the program are typically high. However, because there are so many different types of programs, we can't quantify your chances of being approved and accepted. Ultimately, the OEA recommends you get your application in as early as possible, as some programs have rolling admissions. Note that approval (and placement in the event of an exchange program) is never guaranteed. 

13. Do I have to have taken university-level language courses or know another language to study abroad?

No! Nor are you are not limited to studying abroad in a country that speaks your native language if you don't speak another language. In fact, a majority of the students we send abroad to non-English speaking countries do NOT know the language of that country! A majority of study abroad programs offer courses delivered in English. However, there are some programs that do require you to have certain amount of prerequisite language courses in order to be considered, particularly language immersion programs.

14. Where can I learn more about eligibility requirements?

You can check out our Eligibility tab here.

16. Where can I learn more about the application process?

Refer to our Application Process tab here.

17. How can I meet with an Education Abroad Advisor?

You can either schedule an appointment or come by during Drop-in Advising hours (if you're eligible to do so). 

1. Will i get transfer credit for the courses i take abroad?

No! You will receive UNC Charlotte equivalent credit for all courses taken abroad. This means that when you get back from studying abroad, the UNC Charlotte course that is equivalent to the course you took abroad will appear on your UNC Charlotte transcript. In other words, the credit you earn abroad will factor into your UNC Charlotte graduation requirements.

2. How do I know which UNC Charlotte equivalent credit I will receive for the courses I take abroad?

This depends on the type of program and individual program. Check out our Academic Credit tab for more information.

3. Once I know which UNC Charlotte equivalent credit I will receive for the courses I will take abroad, how will I know how those courses fit into my graduation requirements?

You should consult the UNC Charlotte catalogyour Academic Advisor(s), or the applicable academic department.

4. Do I have to participate in a faculty-led program led by my academic department in order to get academic credit that will count towards my graduation requirements?

No! Students will earn UNC Charlotte equivalent credit for any course they take abroad. You just need to be sure that you choose a program that offers courses that will satisfy your graduation requirements by working closely with your academic department(s). Learn more on the Academic Credit tab.

5. Will the courses I take abroad appear on my UNC Charlotte transcript?

Yes! The UNC Charlotte equivalent course credit, as determined by the applicable UNC Charlotte academic department, will appear on your UNC Charlotte transcript the semester you went abroad. The words "study abroad" will appear under the term.

6. How Do I Register in Classes For My Study Abroad?

You are registered as an active student at UNC Charlotte while you are abroad, but you may or may not register in classes yourself. Visit the Academic Credit page for information on course registration as it applies to each program type.

7. When Will my Study Abroad Courses Appear on My Transcript - When will my study abroad grades be processed? 

This depends on the program type and on when we receive all grades from your Faculty Director, affiliate provider, and/or host institution. Refer to our Academic Credit tab for more information on timelines. Keep in mind that study abroad grades will not be processed until all balances are paid to OEA and as long as all scholarship requirements are completed (OEA Scholarship Recipients only).

1. how much does it cost to study abroad?

There is no one answer to this! It depends on a lot of different factors, including (but not limited to):

  • Program type
  • Length of program
  • Location of program
  • Cost of living in host country
  • Exchange rate
  • Program inclusions
  • Student residency
  • Student need

Refer to our Costs to Consider page to learn more about how you can determine your total estimated program cost.

2. Do I Pay Tuition to UNC Charlotte While Abroad?

This depends on the program. Our Billing Information page will tell you more.

3. How Do I make Payments to the OEA? How much do I owe? When are my payments due?

Balances due to the OEA do not appear on your Student Account, but are paid directly to the OEA. Refer to our Billing Information page for more information.

4. Are there scholarships available that can be used to study abroad?

Hundreds! Check out our Scholarships tab for more information.

5. If I'm awarded financial aid/Scholarships the Term I go abroad, can I use it to cover program expenses?

Yes! As long as you will receive academic credit and are the equivalent of full-time at UNC Charlotte the term you go abroad, you can utilize your aid to put towards study abroad-related expenses.

6. If my program costs more than the amount of financial aid/Scholarships I receive, will I automatically receive enough aid to cover all program expenses?

No. Students who are awarded financial aid the term they go abroad should expect to receive the amount of aid they did the previous semester based on their FAFSA. However, the amount of aid received depends on each individual student and their specific financial situation. Be sure to contact the Office of Financial Aid to confirm for how much aid you're eligible.

7. When will my aid be disbursed to me, And how can I use it to pay study abroad expenses?

Financial aid is disbursed at the start of the fall, spring, or summer term you go abroad according to UNC Charlotte's academic calendar (i.e. regardless of your departure date or cost of your program). Unfortunately, financial aid cannot be disbursed early for any reasons. Refer to our Financial Aid tab for details.

8. Can I Postpone Paying Balances Due to the OEA?

If you are a financial aid/scholarship recipient, you may be able to request to defer submitting certain payments due to the OEA until you receive your aid/scholarships. You would request this via your OEA application once you are approved. However, certain payments, such as application fees and faculty-led program deposits, cannot be deferred and must be submitted by the specified due date. 

9. Do my financial aid/Scholarship funds automatically get transferred to the OEA or other third parties to pay my balances Due?

No! Aid is disbursed to you at the start of the term you go abroad (according to UNC Charlotte's academic calendar). It is then your responsibility to use the funds to pay any entity to whom you owe a balance.

10. I Don't Think My Financial Aid/Scholarship was disbursed. What Do I Do?

Financial aid/scholarship funds are typically disbursed at the start of the term when you go abroad. If the term has started and you don't believe you've received an anticipated refund, please login to your Student Account to review account activity, including refunds and charges from other University departments. Please contact Niner Central with any concerns about your Student Account activity. Refer to our Financial Aid page for more information.

11. I'm Receiving Emails That I Owe A Balance to the OEA, But I Don't See A Balance on my Student Account. Why Am I Getting These Messages?

Payments due to the OEA do NOT appear on your Student Account. They are listed in your OEA application. Please refer to our Billing Information page for details.

12. What happens if I'm awarded financial aid/Scholarships but I leave my program early or do not remain the equivalent of full-time at UNC Charlotte while abroad?

This will depend on at what point you leave your program. In some cases, the host university may allow students to finish their exams in the U.S. In other cases, you may have to forfeit the entire semester, which would mean paying back any financial aid used that semester. The OEA will evaluate each situation on a case-by-case basis and discuss the early withdrawal process with you, to include potential consequences. 

13. Other than financial aid & scholarships, are there other ways I can get funding to go abroad?

There are a variety of ways you can apply for or raise money to go abroad. Refer to our Other Funding Resources tab for more information.

14. Can I use my credit and debit cards abroad?

Yes, usually this is no problem, but there are some things to consider. Refer to our Managing Money tab for more tips and resources.

15. Should I or am I required to open a local bank account in the host country?

In most cases, it is not necessary for students to open bank accounts in the host country, especially for students participating in short-term programs (e.g. spring break and summer). However, it is up to the student to determine whether or not this is good choice based on their personal situation. In some cases, the student may be required to open a bank account in the host country, such as if the student was awarded a scholarship by the host university and the only way the student can receive the funds is by setting up a local bank account.

1. where can i study abroad?

Nearly anywhere! Almost every country in the world has institutions of higher learning, and you are not limited to only those countries/institutions with which UNC Charlotte has an agreement. However, there are some places you will not be allowed to go for safety reasons.

2. How do I know if a program Will get me the course Credits I for my major/gen ed Requirements?

First, you'll need to understand how academic credit works. Then, you'll need to be very diligent about thoroughly researching programs and choosing one that you believe will be the best academic fit for you, consulting the course catalog and your academic departments as necessary.

3. The location I want to go to is not listed in the OEA's search function. Does that mean I can't go there?

Chances are that if a location is not listed in our database, it means that we either don't allow students to study in that location, or that there is currently not an approved program in that location. Meet with an Education Abroad Advisor to discuss the possibility of directly enrolling at an accredited institution in a location that is not listed on the OEA's website. Keep in mind that students looking to go abroad in a Level 3 location as designed by the U.S. Department of State will have to undergo a petition process with the OEA.

4. How do I know If a program is a good fit for me?

Each individual student has individual needs, even two students who have the same major. You need to do thorough research to ensure a program is a good academic fit for you, meaning that you would be able to take courses abroad that interest you and/or that would help you stay on track with graduation requirements.

Additionally, it is critical that you identify a program that is a good financial fit for you. This means that you should feel confident that you can cover all program-related expenses and financially support yourself throughout your time abroad.

The OEA also recommends that you dig a little deeper: think beyond graduation to consider what your personal and career goals are - who do you want to be and what do you want to do after you graduate? - and think about how a particular study abroad program may help you achieve these goals.

5. Can I participate in 2 different programs back to back (ex. Fall semester in Spain, Spring semester in Australia)?

Sure! Keep in mind you would need to complete 2 separate OEA applications (and any applicable additional applications required, depending on the program). Also, it will be your responsibility to consider immigration requirements for each program: for example, if the second program requires that you be in the U.S. to apply for a visa prior to the start of the program, it may be possible that you would have to fly home during the first program in order to apply for a visa for the second program (this is simply an example).

6. I have a friend or family that lives abroad. Can I study in that location and opt out of housing so that I can live with my friend or family member?

Yes, you can study in that location! However, you will need to verify if the chosen program allows you to opt out of the housing provided. For example, ISEP exchange and faculty-led programs typically require that students stay in the provided housing and do not allow students to opt out of the provided housing. Some other program types may allow students to opt out.

1. am i responsible for purchasing my own flight to get abroad?

In most cases, yes, you are required to purchase your own roundtrip flight to and from the U.S. However, some programs may have a group flight option or required group flight. Be sure to read the program brochure to confirm travel inclusions.

2. When should i book my flight?

Not until you are 100% sure you are going abroad, exactly when you need to arrive in the host country (e.g. for required orientations, and exactly until which date you need to stay in the host country (e.g. for finals). This will vary by program type and individual program. Learn more on our Travel Logistics page.

3. Will I or can i travel with other students?

This depends on the program. Students participating in faculty-led programs tend to communicate with each other and their Faculty Directors to book the same flight. Students participating in other program types tend to travel independently.

4. Will there be on-site staff to pick me up from the airport?

Maybe. This depends on the program and what is included in the program fee. If airport pick-up is not available, instructions on how to get from the airport to the next location (e.g. host university, housing, etc.) will be communicated to the student.

5. Do I need a passport?

Yes. All students will need a valid passport to travel internationally. Learn more about passports here.

6. Do I need to apply for a visa or other immigration document in order to enter and reside in another country?

Maybe. This depends on several factors. Learn more on our Immigration Documents tab.

7. What should I pack?

We've compiled Packing Resources to help students consider what to pack depending on their program and personal habits. We also encourage you to chat with a Peer Advisor for their valuable perspective.

8. How will I get around when I'm abroad? Will I drive?

It can be difficult for Americans to wrap our heads around given our car culture here, but in most cases, students have no need of a car while abroad. Most locations abroad have well-developed, extensive public transportation systems or are very walkable. Learn more on our Transportation page

1. what are the housing options abroad?

This depends on the program. Be sure to read the program brochure carefully to see what the housing options or required housing arrangements are. You can also learn more about housing in general on our Housing tab.

2. Are there meal plans available?

A meal plan, while very common at U.S. institutions, is typically not an option abroad. Students buy groceries and cook, or eat at the (typically affordable) on-campus cafeterias and local cafés.

3. What happens if I need to go to the doctor while abroad?

All students who study abroad are required to have international health insurance supplied by the UNC System. You will be fully insured while abroad in the case you need to go to the doctor. Learn more about the International Health Insurance here.

1. Are there any oea requirements when i get back to UNC Charlotte?

While there are no new requirements to complete upon your return, you need to ensure you don't owe the OEA any requirements, such as balances.

2. How can I get involved with international happenings on campus?

We're glad you asked! Check out our Get Involved tab for more resources.

3. I can't stop talking about my study abroad experience & I want to encourage other students to go abroad. Is there a way I can do that?

Yes! Learn more about our Study Abroad Peer Advisor program here.

4. Does the OEA offer any in-office internships?

Each semester the OEA brings 2-3 interns on board. Learn more about OEA Internships here.