Where do Union students go abroad?
Click here to view the complete program list.
What are the application deadlines?
You apply for international programs two terms in advance. It is very important to meet these deadlines: Fall term, mid-January; Winter term, mid-April; and Spring term: mid-September. All applications, essays and unofficial transcripts are due by the third Friday of the appropriate month in the International Office, located on the third floor of Old Chapel.
Are all of the credits transferrable?
In each program, all courses count toward the graduation requirement of 36 courses. All terms abroad and exchanges satisfy the General Education "Other Cultures" requirement. Some courses with departmental designations count toward departmental requirements as well.
Where do students live?
Accommodations vary. In some case students live with host families. In other programs they stay in dormitories or apartments. Check the individual programs for specific arrangements.
How competitive are the programs?
While we're proud of the unusually high percentage of Union students who study abroad, our international programs are competitive, some more than others. And while it's wonderful to have a passion for a certain country or locale, it's also important to remain open and flexible about studying in countries you may not have considered. Be sure to attend informational meetings about several programs. The programs are announced to students in advance. Also seek out advice from your academic advisors and from the International Programs Office to choose programs appropriate to your interests.
Can students go on a mini-term and a term abroad?
Yes, students may apply and be selected for both types of international programs.
How are students selected?
Selection criteria include your term abroad essay, GPA, faculty recommendations, course of study, certification by the Dean of Students, and the faculty selection committee's assessment of your ability to adapt to the program's social and academic environment. The selection committee is also looking for a group of students with varied academic and intellectual backgrounds and interests.
How much does it cost to study abroad?
A term abroad costs approximately $600 more than a term on campus. With the exception of work-study, all financial aid you receive on campus applies to the program. The term abroad fee covers tuition, room, board, and all group excursions. Arrangements and the cost of round-trip travel are the responsibility of each individual student.
What is the difference between a term abroad and an exchange?
There are three significant differences: There are no group excursions on an exchange. Participants in an exchange are not charged the terms abroad surcharge. And there is no Union faculty member accompanying students on an exchange; rather, a staff member at the host institution is responsible for the Union students.
What forms are required to go abroad?
There are a number of forms you and your family must sign and return to the International Programs Office by the deadline given at the first orientation meeting for each program. Included in these is a Participant's Agreement, a legal document that has to be signed by the student and both parents in front of a Notary Public. See the Application Forms & Guidelines page for more information.
What about medical coverage while traveling abroad?
It is imperative that you have medical coverage while abroad. This can be medical insurance purchased from Union, coverage from parental plans, or both. All students also must purchase ($25) an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) from the International Programs Office. This card provides supplemental medical insurance while you're away.
You should also check to see what vaccinations you will need for your program.
Who arranges air travel to the chosen country?
Each student is responsible for arranging airline reservations. The College does not arrange group travel. If you do not have a passport at the time of application, or it is about to expire, you should apply for one immediately. The passport must be valid for six months after the end of the program. If a visa is needed, this process should be started as soon as possible, as well.
Be sure your parents keep a copy of your passport, visa, travel itinerary home stay or dormitory information.
What's the best way to keep in touch with my parents while I'm away?
Before you leave, arrange how you will communicate with your family, i.e., e-mail, Skype, cell phone, international calling card. It is also important your parents have the name, e-mail address and telephone number of Union's contact in your overseas program.
While there are all sorts of delays when traveling–plane delays, difficulty in setting up phone or computer communication–remember, your parents are eager to hear from you!
What if I get homesick while I'm away?
Despite the initial thrill of traveling, being in another country is an adjustment. Jet lag, foreign foods, unfamiliar culture, missing friends and family–all can have an impact on even the most seasoned and sophisticated traveler. Know that this usually resolves itself within a week or so. If this persists, talk to the faculty in residence, the International Programs Office or the international office in the host country. Remember, you must keep in touch with the faculty in residence and you must stay at your accommodation.
Is there a number I can contact in case of emergency?
In case of illness, hospitalization or other potentially life-threatening situations, Lara Atkins, director of International Programs, can be reached at this emergency number: (518) 573-0471.