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STUDY ABROAD FAQS
Study Abroad FAQs
1. What is a Faculty-led Study Abroad Program?
These programs are unique opportunities to earn academic credit towards a degree while traveling for 1-3 weeks with RMU faculty and fellow classmates. The subject matter is carefully woven into the international location and culture. Students are guided through a learning experience that cannot be replicated in a classroom or achieved by traveling alone. The best part is, students enrolled as full-time (12-18 credits) for the semester will pay no additional tuition thanks to the University’s flat-rate policy.
2. What is a Semester or Year-long Study Abroad Program?
A semester or year-long abroad program is where a student spends an academic semester (or two) immersed in another culture and language. All of your classes for that term(s) are conducted abroad and you live as though you have truly relocated your education to that country. These programs are ideal for students who want a complete study abroad experience.
3. How much does it cost?
Not as much as you think. For faculty-led programs, students enrolled as full-time (12-18 credits) for the semester will pay no additional tuition thanks to the University’s flat-rate policy. If you study through an RMU partnership program, you pay RMU tuition. Some non-partnership programs may also accept RMU tuition, while others are slightly higher. In addition, all financial aid typically transfers (except athletic dorm grants). Housing is typically comparable also, and is sometimes cheaper overseas.
4. What are the extra costs?
Where money adds up is basically determined by how much you want to travel. Two costs are a given: plane ticket and food. Although some faculty-led programs have this built-in to the program cost. The rest is travel and activities. Students can spend on average $2000-$4000 extra for a semester. Students who don't want to spend that much don't have to. Ways to save? Stay in hostels instead of hotels, walk or take the train, don't eat in expensive restaurants, etc. You can have a great experience without going broke. For information on obtaining extra funding (scholarships and/or loans), read over the Scholarships Info page on the website.
5. What if they don't offer classes in my major?
Many of our institutional partners have courses that you can substitute toward your RMU major. Although hat is not always possible, you can still have a great experience taking classes outside of your major. Taking different classes can be a great learning experience and helps you to appreciate cultural differences. Some ways to plan courses in your study abroad program are through open electives, general education electives or non-business electives. You may also want to consider the possibility of taking courses in a minor. Please note that not all locations offer all fields of study. Stop by the office and we can review your situation.
6. Will my classes be in English?
All of our partnership programs are in English. If you choose to find your own program that cannot be guaranteed but there are ample English speaking programs all over the world.
7. Isn't it dangerous for Americans to go abroad?
Many returning students have commented that they feel safer abroad than they do in the United States, but it is always important to be careful. We handle this in the following ways: we discuss safety issues in the orientation sessions, including what to do about anti-American feelings if the student encounters unfriendly people; we talk about blending in and how to not look like the typical American; we make sure there is a contact person in case of any emergency situation (or questions); and finally, we do not send our students anywhere where the risk is too great.
You can subscribe to receive updates to Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Consular Information Sheets that are issued by the U.S. Department of State via email. Sign up here.
8. How will I know where to go once I get there?
For our semester or year-long programs, it depends on the location, but we make arrangements prior to your departure regarding who is picking you up from the airport, and/or how you will get to your place of housing. All of our faculty-led programs have an RMU faculty member travel with the group throughout the duration of the course.
9. How long can I go?
Students have the opportunity to go for 1-3 weeks in a faculty-led program, a summer (varying length), semester, or year. For most programs, if you would like to go early or stay longer, extending your stay is not a problem. Note for transfer students: The maximum length of stay is one semester. If you are interested, please come to the Center for Global Engagement as early as possible to talk with us due to the limited flexibility in your checksheet.
10. Will I get credit for it?
Yes, as long as you are registered for a course(s) and complete our course substitution procedures to get your courses approved for a semester or year-long program.
11. What will happen to my grades?
All faculty-led programs are regular courses that get issued a grade upon return from traveling. Semester or year-long program grades are brought in as actual grades, or grade equivalencies; however, these grades will not be factored into your GPA. (They will be noted on your transcript).
12. Where will I live?
All faculty-led programs have the lodging planned as part of the program. For semester and year-long programs, this depends on the location. Some students choose to live in the dorms, others choose apartments (on campus, off campus, or both options may be available depending on location). Students traveling together sometimes share an apartment to save costs.
13. How should I prepare to go overseas?
There are mandatory orientation sessions for both faculty-led and semester or year-long programs during the semester prior to your departure. There are also class meetings scheduled by the professor for all faculty-led programs that you must attend. In these sessions, cultural considerations, the necessary paperwork, and safety and health concerns will be covered. There is also an opportunity to meet with students who have already been abroad. You should research as much as possible on your own to learn about the culture and plan your travels. We provide a detailed checklist to guide you through the process.
14. What about Robert Morris paperwork and deadlines for registration, classes, etc.?
The earlier you plan, the better. Most of our faculty-led programs are offered as Spring courses and you would register for that class(es) as you would the rest of your classes. For semester and year-long program participants, you also register for your courses online as you would if you were at RMU. All of the partnership locations have internet access (we cannot guarantee the others). Please note that RMU deadlines are the ones to meet, not the foreign institution's deadlines, i.e. deadline to drop/add courses. The Center for Global Engagement will be in frequent contact with you while you are abroad to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
15. I am a Senior at Robert Morris, can I still study abroad?
Yes, seniors can still participate in a study abroad experience. The major difficulty students have with this is the limited flexibility in their course selection. If you are planning on studying abroad during your senior year, be sure to save as many electives or general courses as possible to give yourself the flexibility in course selection that you will need. You may want to stop by the Center for Global Engagement to look at your checksheet and do some course planning.
16. My parents don't want me to study abroad. What should I do?
Parents are free to contact the Center for Global Engagement at any time with any questions. You may want to encourage your parents to do so. You can also suggest that they look at the Study Abroad website and talk to students who have participated in the past. These options may provide them with enough information to see the value of the experience and it may also reassure them about the risks.