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.

All students must meet OEA eligibility requirements listed here in addition to 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 page for 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.

Cost Estimate Worksheet

The OEA has designed a cost estimate worksheet, which can be used as a resource to determine the total estimated cost of a program. Please download the Cost Estimate Worksheet here and input expenses in the red boxes as applicable to you and your program. The total will then automatically increase as expenses are inputted. You do not need to fill this out and submit to the OEA during the application phase. If and once approved by the OEA, you will then be prompted to download the official document to complete prior to departure.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Financial aid can be applied to a direct enrollment program. Learn more about Financial Aid here. All students are encouraged to apply for scholarships as well. The OEA has a lot of financial resources on our Money Matters page that students are highly encouraged to review.

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

Application Process Overview

Students interested in participating in a direct enrollment program will be required to apply to the Office of Education Abroad in order to receive approval to go abroad and will need to apply to the host institution in order to receive acceptance into the program. Refer to the How to Apply tab under the "direct enrollment" heading for more information

OEA Application Deadlines

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

To see a list of all UNC Charlotte exchange 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 university, location, academics, costs and more.

Search Direct Enrollment Programs Here


Photo by Corey Albrecht, China