Preparing for a study abroad experience
Studying abroad is a big decision and takes careful planning. The following information will help you determine the best program for your degree and how to make your global experience happen.
Think about your goals and preferences for your study abroad experience
As you consider study abroad, it’s important to ask yourself some questions. For example:
- Where do I want to go? Do I have a country or region of interest?
- Do I want to study in an English-speaking country or a country where I can learn another language?
- When is the best time for me to study abroad, and how long would I like to be in my host country?
- What do I want to study? Do I want to take courses in my major, HSS courses, or both?
- Do I need to get credit for my courses abroad? If so, what type of credit do I need?
- How can I use my financial aid to pay for my time abroad?
- Do I want to also have an internship as part of my study abroad?
Collect information and research programs
Come by the Office of Global Programs in Myers 230 to pick up information about study abroad programs and make an appointment to talk to a study abroad advisor. The study abroad advisor can answer your questions about programs and the study abroad process and can help you determine your application timeline.
Talk to your academic advisor
Inform your academic advisor of your plans to study abroad. Your advisor can help you determine the optimal time to study abroad and which courses you may take.
Talk to your family
If your family members are helping you with college expenses, be sure to include them in your study abroad planning. It is important to understand all the expenses in order to give them an accurate idea of the costs.
Talk to Financial Aid
Make an appointment to talk with a financial aid counselor before or immediately after applying to a program to see how your financial aid could be attributed to your study abroad. Federal aid is applicable to your study abroad experience, depending on the program. You may not use any institutional or state aid during your study abroad, and aid allotted for the term or terms you study abroad will be forfeited. If you have been awarded an outside scholarship, you will need to check with the donor to see if you can use the scholarship for studying abroad. In order to use your financial aid abroad, you will need to sign a Consortium Agreement form in the Financial Aid office. Tuition for all Rose-Hulman exchange programs is free! You do not pay any tuition here or abroad!
Apply to your program of choice
Determine the deadlines for the program in which you're interested and collect all the required documents so you can submit your application. If you need help determining what is required for the application, please consult the Office of Global Programs.
Complete Rose-Hulman forms
There are four important documents that you must provide to the Office of Global Programs to make your study abroad plans official. If you do not complete this step, you will be dropped from the Rose-Hulman system and not receive your financial aid!
- Provide a copy of your acceptance letter from your study abroad program
- Complete a Transfer Credit Evaluation form for the registrar
- Sign and complete the Assumption of Risk and Release Waiver form
- Submit your name, birthdate, gender, country of citizenship, destination country, and study abroad program dates so you can be enrolled in international medical insurance
If your study abroad program requires a visa, it is best to apply for the visa several months in advance. It is YOUR responsibility to know what is necessary to apply for your visa and to submit all the required documentation to the proper office. If you have questions about your visa application process, please contact the Office of Global Programs for advice.
How to apply for a Visa
1. Do you need one?
You can find out which countries require Americans to have visas, and for what on http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/general/americans-traveling-abroad.html. This will only be for those traveling abroad, if you intend to study abroad most countries do require a visa, but check with the consulate of the individual country to confirm.
2. Find the consulate region that processes the applications for where you live.
For example, if you need a visa for China and you live in Indiana you would use the consulate in Chicago, but if you live in Ohio you would need to use the consulate in New York. For specific details about which consulates to use go to that countries consulate website and find the one for your state.
3. Fill out the application.
Some consulates will have different applications for different regions/states, so make sure that you fill out the right one or they will send it back. Also make sure you have all the documents that they require. Many times they will ask for a letter from the university that you will study at to confirm that you have a place to go and that you have “permission” to come.
4. Wait time for your Visa
It can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks to get your visa back, but once you have it you should make sure that all of the information is correct.
Airfare: Students are also responsible for arranging their own airfare to and from their host country. When planning your air travel, keep in mind whether or not you want to travel before or after your study abroad program. Also be sure to ask about student discounts when booking your flights. Sites such as STA Travel and Student Universe offer discounts to students traveling abroad.
Pre-Departure Orientation: The Office of Global Programs will give a Pre-Departure Orientation to help students prepare for their upcoming time abroad. It is strongly encouraged that students attend this orientation!
Rose-Hulman things to do while you're studying abroad
Don't forget that you'll still be a Rose-Hulman student when you return. That means you will need to register for classes and reserve on-campus housing the same time you normally would preceding an academic quarter.