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Study Abroad Frequently Asked Questions

Program Specific FAQ

  • Faculty-Directed Programs

    Where do I pay my program fee?
    When you apply online, you will be required to submit a program deposit ($300 for summer and fall break/spring break programs & $750 for semester programs). This deposit is the first payment toward the program fee. Subsequent payments are made to the Accounts Receivable Office; Accounts Receivable does not accept payments in person.

    My tuition bill isn’t posted yet—what’s wrong?
    Check the dates for the term’s bill to be posted and the payment deadlines for that term—your tuition bill will be posted by that date.

    Do I have to come to pre-departure orientation if my professor has already held meetings for the program?
    Yes—all Clemson University students going abroad on any program have to attend the Pre-Departure Orientation. If you are unable to attend any of the sessions due to a class, exam, work commitment, or family emergency, you can contact us and we will send you supplemental material.

    When will I know if I’ve been accepted?
    Each program recruits and accepts students in different ways and at different rates. You will be notified of your application status through your online application. Don’t expect to hear immediately as to whether you were accepted. If you have not heard back regarding your acceptance several weeks after the program deadline, contact the faculty leader directly to follow up. The Study Abroad Office does not have any role in your acceptance after you submit your online application.

  • Exchange Programs

    When will I receive my acceptance letter?
    Different exchange partners have different deadlines in their international offices for confirming their outgoing and incoming students. You will probably receive official confirmation of your acceptance later in the semester (October, April) due to these internal deadlines, not because you’re a bad candidate for a program.

    I can’t be sure which courses I’ll enroll in once I arrive. How do I fill out the coursework form?
    If you cannot access the course offerings for the current term, you can either:

    1. Fill out the form based on the most recent courses you can access and make changes when you return to Clemson--this is recommended if you are receiving financial aid.
    2. Complete the entire form once you return to campus. This option will delay the rate at which your courses are added to your Clemson record and is not recommended for students receiving financial aid during or after their study abroad program.

    Can I go to my friend’s university on an exchange program? Can my friend come to Clemson as an exchange student?
    If your friend’s university is one of Clemson’s exchange partners, then you or your friend can apply for the exchange through your campus’ offices (you would apply through the STUDY ABROAD Office). If the foreign university is not an exchange partner, you will need to apply directly to the university and meet with a study abroad adviser to make sure that your application process is correct. You will not receive the Clemson University in-state tuition rate if you directly apply to a non-exchange foreign university.

    Can I decide to stay for another term once I’m at my host university?
    If you are interested in staying a second semester, you should contact Clemson Abroad and your academic adviser in plenty of time to discuss and coordinate an application.

  • Third-Party Programs

    Are there providers that the Study Abroad Office recommends?
    All of the third-party providers listed on our site are “recommended” by our office. We make individual recommendations based on each student’s needs and interests.

    What are the cheapest options?
    The cost of a program varies significantly based on location, duration, and provider. Once you have goals for your experience, our office can assist you in comparing your financial options.

    Will I stay with a host family?
    Some programs coordinate homestays with host families for summer or semester programs; others house students in dormitories or local apartments. If this is a priority for you, it will help you narrow your program choices.

    Are there internship opportunities?
    Yes, there are! Some providers offer internships as part of a study abroad program and others coordinate separate volunteer or internship programs. Search for “Internship Abroad” on our Program Search page.

    I had to submit my passport and travel information to my provider—do I have to give it to the Study Abroad Office, also?
    Yes, you need to upload these documents to your Clemson study abroad online application. Our third-party providers do not share application documents with us.

General FAQ Topics

  • Requirements

    What are the GPR requirements to study abroad?
    A 2.75 GPR is preferred, a 2.5 is the minimum. Some programs may have higher GPR requirements. In some cases exceptions are possible. If your GPR does not meet the minimum, you should contact Clemson Abroad to discuss your specific circumstances.

    When can I study abroad?
    Study abroad programs are available during the fall, spring and summer and can last from two weeks to a full academic year. There are also short term programs available during fall and spring break.
    Students may study abroad at any time in their Clemson career. Some programs require junior standing to participate. Transfer students may study abroad at any time after their first semester at Clemson. Students who are completing their senior year may also participate in a study abroad experience. These students should be aware of potential delays in the arrival of their international transcript to Clemson which may affect graduation. Contact the Study Abroad Office to discuss your specific circumstances.

    Where can I study abroad?
    Study abroad programs are available all over the world! However, students may not study abroad in a country that is currently listed as having a Travel Warning issued by the U.S. Department of State. If a student wishes to travel to a country under a Travel Warning, they may submit an appeal to Clemson's International Programs Coordination Committee for consideration. Please see the Travel Warnings page and contact Clemson Abroad for more information.

    Do I need to be a Clemson student to apply to a program?
    You do not need to be a Clemson student to apply to a Clemson faculty-directed program; however, you cannot apply to an exchange or third-party program. If you wish to participate in a faculty-led program, you can apply to Clemson as a transient student. Contact our office for more details.

    Do I need to speak a foreign language?
    No. There multiple are programs throughout the world where students can take their entire courseload in English. In addition, there are programs available in many foreign languages for students who wish to take classes in that language while abroad. Students can also take a combination of courses in English and a foreign language if desired.

  • Application Process

    How do I get started with the study abroad process?
    Study abroad requires careful planning, and getting an early start is always a good idea. Attend a Study Abroad 101 session to learn more about program options and how to get started. Meet with your academic adviser to start planning your academic classes and make an appointment to meet with a study abroad adviser to choose a program and start the process. Click here to schedule a meeting or get more information. We look forward to working with you on your study abroad plans.

    Will the credit transfer?
    Yes. Credit taken overseas is transferable, with approval by your department. During Clemson faculty-led summer programs (and some semester programs), you will be registered for Clemson courses, and these courses will be recorded on your Clemson transcript with both Clemson grades and credit hours. As part of the application for exchange or third-party programs, you will work with your adviser to complete the Request for Approval of Work to be Taken Abroad form. This form will determine how the courses you plan to take abroad will transfer back to Clemson.

  • Finances and Financial Aid

    What is the cost range for studying abroad?
    Clemson University works with multiple faculty members, third-party providers, and university partners, and each program has different costs based on its duration, location, and extra-curricular components. For more information about the different costs associated with each program type, visit our Study Abroad Programs page.

    What is the study abroad fee and what does it cover?
    The study abroad fee contributes to the provision of services offered by the Office of Global Engagement and covers study abroad advising, registration, financial aid services, transfer of credit, pre-departure orientations, contact while abroad, cross-cultural awareness registration, etc. Please see Finance Page for more information.

    Can I use my financial aid or scholarships abroad?
    In general, financial aid and scholarships can be used for study abroad. You should work with the Office of Student Financial Aid as early as possible in the process. Students planning to participate in a summer study abroad program should be aware that financial aid resources for summer school are normally very limited.

    Are there scholarships available specifically for study abroad?
    Yes. However, at this time the Clemson Abroad has very limited scholarship money available. Visit our Scholarships page to view study abroad scholarships that are outside of Clemson University. It is also a good idea to inquire about study abroad scholarships through your individual college.

    How do I pay my tuition bill?
    Study abroad tuition bills are paid just like regular tuition bills — via the iROAR interface. Please see iROAR billing page for the billing dates for each term.

    Why hasn’t my financial aid been applied to my study abroad term?
    If you met with the Financial Aid Office and were approved to use financial aid during your program, then it may not have been dispersed. Financial aid cannot be dispersed before the start of the regular semester at Clemson University. Therefore, for some programs, payments or deferments may need to be arranged until your financial aid has been released. If you did not meet with the financial aid office, your funding will not automatically be applied to your term abroad. Contact our office to ensure that you submitted your coursework approval form; this form is necessary to receive financial aid.

    What insurance coverage do I need? Is insurance mandatory?
    Please see the Insurance page for more information.

  • Preparing to Go/ While Abroad

    How do I prepare to go abroad?
    All students who are studying abroad are required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation session (offered each semester). In addition, our office can put you in contact with former participants or international students from the country in which you will be studying. We will work with you to make sure you feel prepared.

    Will I still be enrolled at Clemson while I am studying abroad?
    Yes. Clemson Abroad ensures that all students who are studying abroad are considered full-time Clemson students. Students who are participating in a Clemson faculty-led program will be enrolled in Clemson University courses while abroad. Students who are participating in an exchange or a third-party program will be enrolled in a zero-credit hour course while abroad (SAP 1010 or TSAP 1010). This course will maintain the student's full-time status at Clemson University while participating in a study abroad program.

    How do I register for courses to take at Clemson while I am abroad?
    Students participating in a study abroad program will register through the online iROAR system for courses to take at Clemson the semester they return. Students who are abroad will not need a registration number. Students should refer to their assigned registration time to know what day and time to register for classes. If you need advice on what courses to register for, contact your academic adviser.

    How do I vote while abroad?
    Students who would like to vote while overseas should register to vote and request an absentee ballot to be completed before going abroad. This can be done through the Youth Vote Overseas website.

    Where can I get more information about subleasing my apartment while I am abroad or finding a place to live when I return?
    Visit the Off-Campus Student Services website for more information about subleasing an apartment, finding roommates, and securing off-campus accommodations at Clemson upon your return from studying abroad. In addition, you can visit the Clemson off-campus housing website for additional information on posting or searching for available apartments.

    When I get back how do I talk about my study abroad experience in my resume or in interviews?
    For information on utilizing your study abroad experience in your future career, check out the AIFS Student Guide to Study Abroad and Career Development. This guide, written by Mark Tillman of Global Career Compass and published by AIFS, aims to provide students with a framework to understand the impact and added value of study abroad for their career development. The paper makes the case that employers value study abroad and offers students strategies to pursue "purposeful" study abroad that contributes to career goals.

    In addition, visit the Clemson University Center for Career and Professional Development to learn more about upcoming workshops or to set up an appointment with a career counselor. The Clemson Study Abroad Ambassador program is another great way to share your experience abroad! Study Abroad Ambassadors are recently returned students who work in the Study Abroad Office to promote international programs on campus. Ambassador applications will be made available during the summer before the upcoming academic year.

  • Academics

    Can I study abroad if my major has a very rigid course schedule?
    Yes, there are opportunities for students in every major to study abroad. If you have particular concerns about fitting a study abroad experience into your four years at Clemson, you should plan in advance with your academic adviser and a study abroad adviser to find the best term and program.

    How can I send my foreign transcript back to Clemson?
    Credit taken overseas is transferable, with approval by the student’s department. As part of the application for third-party and exchange programs, students will work with his/her adviser to complete the Request for Approval of Courses to be Taken Abroad form. This form determines how courses abroad will transfer back to Clemson. Students also request for their transcripts to be sent to Clemson Abroad. Transcripts usually take 3 months to receive after the conclusion of a program—discuss with Clemson Abroad and Student Financial Aid. When we receive these transcripts, we verify that they match the courses previously approved and send the transcripts to the Registrar’s Office to add the credits to each student’s Clemson records.

  • Safety

    Who do I contact in the event of an emergency?
    During international emergencies, students and faculty should contact the Clemson University police department at 864-656-2222. The CUPD dispatcher will direct them to an appropriate campus contact. During our office hours, we ask students to notify us of emergencies via our contact information.

    Where can I get more information about safety concerns abroad?

  • Facts and Figures

    How many Clemson University students go abroad every year?
    Over 1,400 students study abroad each year, including semester, summer, and short-term programs. Most students study abroad in the spring or summer.

    In what year do students typically study abroad?
    This varies widely, but many students study abroad during their sophomore or junior years.

    Can students study abroad multiple times?
    Absolutely! Students who have studied abroad once frequently choose to do so again during their four years at Clemson.

    Are students usually accepted to the program of their choice?
    As long as students are in good academic standing, follow application deadlines, and meet the minimum GPA requirements, they are usually accepted to their programs. Some third-party and exchange programs are more competitive and may have higher GPA requirements than the Clemson University minimum of 2.5.

    Will students be studying abroad with other Clemson students or American students?
    In faculty-directed programs, Clemson students travel and study together. Third-party programs typically involve American students from various universities. Exchange programs place students directly in a foreign university where they will interact with local and international students.

    Can non-Clemson students participate in Clemson programs?
    Yes, non-Clemson students can participate in Clemson University faculty-directed programs. However, we do not coordinate exchange or third-party programs for non-Clemson students.

    What is the most popular program or the program your office recommends?
    Clemson University enables students to go abroad on dozens of programs all over the world, and there isn’t a prevalent pattern of choice for individual programs. Based on our most recent data, students most frequently choose faculty-directed programs over third-party or exchange programs and prefer to go abroad during the summer rather than during a semester. Our office makes recommendations to students based on their individual interests, goals, and needs.