Frequently Asked Questions
• What is study abroad?
A period of study outside of the student’s home country in which the student enrolls in academic courses that apply towards their degree.
• Why should I study abroad?
Studying abroad gives students valuable experience that they can apply to their future careers. Students build their resume; they develop cross cultural communication skills, become more culturally aware, gain leadership skills and independence, and establish connections throughout the world.
• What are the benefits of studying abroad?
Employers are looking for experience that stands out on a resume. Studying abroad gives students that boost over other applicants. Research has shown studying abroad increases maturity, self-confidence, and expands a student’s world view. Students studying a language are more likely to move to the advanced levels in language proficiency.
• I want to study abroad, but my parents aren’t interested. How do I convince them?
Have your parents visit our website and speak with an Education Abroad Advisor about any concerns they may have about you studying abroad.
• Who should I meet with if I am interested in study abroad?
Students will meet with an Education Abroad Advisor and their academic advisor(s).
• What if UND doesn’t offer the program/location I am interested in?
There are non-affiliated programs you may participate in.
• Can I drive in a foreign country?
The OIP STRONGLY discourages students from renting or driving any motorized vehicles while abroad, and accepts no liability for students who choose to do so. If you do, NEVER get in a vehicle being driven by someone under the influence of alcohol.
• Will UND accept all grades/credits?
UND will accept grades/credits as long as they are on a transcript from an accredited institution of higher education.
• How do I set up my class schedule? Is it before or after arrival?
The scheduling of courses varies by program. Most students will enroll in their course(s) upon arrival to their host institution.
• How many classes are recommended?
Students are required to maintain full-time status as a student while abroad. For spring and fall semesters students must take the equivalent of 12 credits. Summer programs vary. Students typically take 3-5 courses while abroad.
• Will I have orientation once I arrive?
Most programs offer a mandatory orientation prior to the start of classes. Check your program to see if orientation is offered.
• Who should I meet with before I go?
Students need to meet with their academic advisor(s) to determine the courses they will take while abroad. If you are planning to use financial aid, speaking with a Financial Aid Advisor is highly recommended.
• What happens if I need to withdraw or drop a course?
Notify your Education Abroad Advisor as soon as possible. You must maintain full-time status while abroad.
• I don’t think that study abroad is compatible with my major. What can I do?
The best option is to plan earlier rather than later. Work with your academic advisor and education abroad advisor to determine when is the best time for you to study abroad.
• How do I apply?
Begin by starting an application by following the Programs and Application link. After establishing a profile, students need to schedule an appointment with an Education Abroad Advisor before completing a study abroad application. To schedule an appointment call (701) 777-4231.
• What are the requirements?
The OIP requires students to have a minimum 2.5 GPA and successful completion of at least 24 university-level credits (sophomore status). The American College of Norway is the only UND program where freshman who have completed 15 university-level credits can study abroad. Host institutions may have additional GPA, class standing, and/or language requirements.
• What does the application consist of?
Your application will vary depending on your program and may require additional documentation. Most programs require the following: UND Study Abroad Application, Official Transcript, Academic Recommendation, and the Petition for Off-Campus Credit. Contact your Education Abroad Advisor for exact program requirements.
• When is the application deadline?
The deadline for spring semester is October 1. The deadline for summer and fall semesters is March 1.
• When will I hear if I have been accepted?
Students will typically hear within 2-3 weeks after the program deadline if they have been accepted. Initial approval is based on UND requirements. Final acceptance to your program is at the discretion of the host institution and not UND.
• Do I need to know the language of where I’m going?
Most programs do not require knowledge of the language prior to studying abroad, but may require or recommend that you take a language course upon arrival to help integrate you into the culture.
• Will I be able to communicate without having a firm grasp of the language?
In most cases, yes. We recommend taking a language course to help you learn about the culture and navigate the country.
• How do I keep in touch with my family and friends while abroad?
There are many ways to keep in contact with those back home. The most common method is through the use of the internet (i.e. IM, Skype, and Facebook). Calling home is another option, but making international calls can be very expensive.
• How does financial aid work for study abroad?
Students need to complete FAFSA and meet with a financial aid advisor to reevaluate aid based on program costs. Federal Aid goes with you. Institutional aid varies on the program.
• When should I start applying for financial aid and scholarships?
Start applying for scholarships once you have applied to the program. Most scholarship deadlines are similar to program deadlines.
• When will I receive my financial aid?
Financial aid is typically disbursed during the second week of classes: early September for fall and mid-January for spring, and late May for the summer term. In some cases the disbursement may not coincide with the payment requirements of the host institution. In these cases the student must work with the study abroad institution’s business office to make their individual arrangements.
• Where can I apply for scholarships?
Check our website, financial aid, and your academic department for scholarship information.
• What scholarships can I apply for?
Each scholarship has qualifications that students must meet in order to apply. The OIP scholarship site features a compiled list of scholarships that students studying abroad may apply for.
• I don’t think I qualify for financial aid. Should I still fill out a FAFSA?
We recommend meeting with Financial Aid to review your specific circumstances.
• Do I need additional international Insurance coverage?
Yes. UND students are required to have additional international insurance coverage. Students can purchase CISI insurance though the OIP unless studying on an affiliate program that includes insurance in their program fees.
• Do I need to keep my US insurance while abroad?
Yes. The international insurance coverage only covers you while you are out of the country.
• Why does a student need study abroad health insurance?
Most students’ domestic health insurance does not cover them for health related issues outside of the U.S. UND requires all students traveling and studying abroad on a UND related program to have health insurance that covers overseas study and travel.
• What does the CISI policy cover?
Security evacuation, medical evacuation, repatriation of remains—See policy for details.
• Do I need any immunizations?
Immunization requirements are different for every country. Students should consult their physician to determine if they need any immunizations prior to arriving in their host country.
• Will UND contact my parents in the case of an emergency?
A federal law called FERPA limits what the OIP can release unless written permission is granted by the student. Students are required to list a contact in the event of an emergency. The contact listed will be contacted if an emergency situation arises.
• Can I study in a country with a travel warning?
We cannot send students to locations with travel warnings. For more information see our policy on study abroad in locations under Travel Warnings.
• I am a student with a disability. Can I study abroad?
We encourage students with disabilities to study abroad. We’ll work with you to find a program that best meets your needs.
• Where do most students live?
Most students live in on-campus housing or in off-campus apartments. Homestays are available in some locations.
• Can I pick my roommate?
In some cases you may.
• Will I have roommates in a dorm or in an apartment? How many?
See programs details for information on their accommodations.
• Are rooms fully furnished or will I have to bring my own things? (i.e. bedding, pillows, laptop)
Check with your program to determine what is offered.
• Can I bring my pet?
No pets are allowed on programs abroad.
• How much does it cost to study abroad? What do I need to budget for?
The “real” cost of studying abroad will be your UND expenses less your study abroad expenses. An estimated budget can be found on our website for direct enroll or exchange programs. For programs through an affiliate provider, visit their website for program costs. All programs require a UND application fee and UND study abroad fee.
• Are there any additional costs?
A housing deposit may be required for some programs. Affiliate providers have an application fee.
• What is the exchange rate?
The exchange rates for currencies fluctuate daily. For today’s exchange rate in terms of the U.S. dollar click here.
• How much money will I need when I arrive?
We recommend carrying approximately $100 in cash. This amount is usually appropriate for getting you from the airport to your host institution. ATMs and booths are usually available at airports to exchange monies to the local currency. Having the local currency ensures that you’ll be able to get a taxi, bus, or train or purchase food more easily.
• How can I get money while I’m abroad?
Most students get their money from ATMs or have a bank account set up to withdraw money from.
• How can my family send money while I am abroad?
Online banking transfers are probably the easiest way to transfer money. Another option is Electronic Fund Transfers (EFTs). Both are secure ways of transferring money.
• What are traveler’s checks and should I bring them?
A traveler’s check is issued by a financial institution and can be exchanged for cash. They offer additional protection because unlike cash, traveler’s checks can be replaced if lost or stolen. We do not recommend that you only carry traveler’s checks as they may be difficult to redeem in certain areas.
• Do I need a credit card to study abroad?
We recommend that students have access to either a bank account or credit/debit card while studying abroad. If you choose to bring a card be sure to notify your bank, so they don’t put a hold on your account.
• How do I get a passport?
For information on passports, view the Department of State’s website.
NOTE: If you already have a passport, check the expiration date to make sure it will be valid for at least 6 months beyond your expected return date, as some countries may refuse to issue you a visa if your passport expires within that time frame.
• Where do I get a passport?
To find the closest Passport Acceptance Facility, follow the link
• When should I apply for my passport?
Applying for your passport can take 6-8 weeks for processing, so do this immediately after acceptance to your program.
NOTE: When you receive your passport, sign it immediately. Without your signature, your passport is invalid.
• Do I need a visa?
Most countries will require a visa. Your Education Abroad Advisor will inform you if your program requires a visa.
• How do I get my visa?
You will not be able to apply for a visa until you have been accepted by your host institution. Most visa applications will require a copy of your acceptance letter, as well as proof of financial stability, a local address in that country where you can be reached during your stay, proof of insurance coverage, and one or more official passport-sized ID photos. There is often an additional processing fee. You may be required to hand deliver your passport to the consulate.
• Will the study abroad office help me get a visa?
The OIP can issue proof of participation and provide limited assistance. We cannot advise students on the details of applying for a visa. Visas are issued by foreign governments and the requirements are different for each country. We simply cannot keep up with the laws and regulations for every country we send our students to.