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Frequently Asked Questions

Why study abroad?

Learning in another culture provides students unique opportunities and challenges to grow and broaden intellectually, personally, and professionally. College is an ideal time to experience different cultures, gain language skills, and explore one's own interests and abilities.

How are academic credits handled?

Academic credit for Vanderbilt approved programs is "direct credit". That is, courses and grades are entered directly on the student's transcript and factor into the student's GPA. All financial aid awards apply to the costs of the semester and year-long programs. Only if Vanderbilt students study abroad through another University on a non-Vanderbilt program does the issue of "transfer credit" arise.


When do most students study abroad?

Although many students still study abroad during their junior year, students may go abroad anytime after completing their freshman year.

What is the language proficiency prerequisite for participation?

In programs in which a foreign language is a pre-requisite, the requirement is usually four semesters or more of college language study or the equivalent fluency in that language since all course work, including lectures, papers, and exams, is conducted in the language of the host country.

Are there any other requirements a student needs to meet in order to study abroad besides languages?

All participating students must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.7. However, many programs require at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Students who study abroad must also have academic, financial and disciplinary clearance.

How do the students travel to their study abroad program?

All transportation to and from the study site is arranged by the individual student and is not included in the published cost of the program.

Where do participants live while studying abroad?

Living arrangements vary depending on the program. In most programs, students live in dorms, private homes or in apartments. Please note that by policy Vanderbilt University does not allow participants to arrange their own housing on any direct credit study abroad program.

Can I arrange my own housing during my study abroad program?

In general, students may not select their own housing while studying abroad on a direct-credit program. Please see the study abroad housing policy for more information.

What support systems are set up for the student while studying abroad?

All programs feature on-site Resident Directors. Vanderbilt in France has a Resident Director who is Vanderbilt faculty. Resident Directors help the students in all areas from academic counseling to dealing with culture shock and are available 24 hours a day for students abroad.

What are the costs of the programs?

Students participating in approved Vanderbilt University Study Abroad programs pay the same tuition as if they were on campus, a study abroad administrative fee and, in some cases, a program fee. The study abroad administrative fee is charged to all students and covers administrative costs associated with study abroad.

For further information, see the Costs and Fees section of our website.

What is included in an application?

Applications are completed online through the GEO website and may require submission of additional items. Most applications will ask for personal data, essay or short answers, and professor recommendation(s). Some may ask for passport photos and a photocopy of your passport. Some will require a $50 fee per application.