Frequently Asked Questions
FAQYou may think that the details and requirements for study abroad are overwhelming and endless, but don’t let the details stop you from realizing your studying abroad goals. We've got some answers.
___________________________________________________Choosing a program/ Application Process
- Why should I study abroad?
- What programs are offered?
- How do I apply for a study abroad program?
- Who can I contact if I am interested in studying abroad?
- How many credits can I earn while abroad?
- Will my earned credits transfer back to GGC?
- Are all study abroad programs credit bearing?
- What are the costs of studying abroad and financial aid availability?
- What scholarships can I apply to study abroad?
- Where can I get a passport and visa?
- Do I need immunizations or vaccines? Will my insurance cover me while abroad?
Choosing a Program/ The Application Process
Q: Why should I study abroad?
A: The Office of Internationalization is your passport to #GGCabroad opportunities. One of our missions is to increase the number of GGC students participating in Study Abroad programs across disciplines and expand student participation in a broad range of other international opportunities, including but not limited to internships, research fellowships and service learning. Here are Ten 10 reasons to study abroad:
- Learn more about yourself
- Learn about a new culture
- Learn a new language
- Come out of your comfort zone
- Make new friends
- Enhance your resume
- Learn about your heritage
- Travel to new destinations
- Embrace the challenge
- Come one step closer to completing the:
- Global Studies Certification
- Certificate in Latin American Studies
- Peace Prep Program
Q: What programs are offered
A: There are programs for nearly every academic discipline. For example, economics or business courses in Japan or China will give you a glimpse into the industrial/economic growth of Asia, or you can learn about agricultural-based economics in Zimbabwe or Argentina. You can take laboratory classes in chemistry in England or Australia. Pre-med students can focus on global health issues in China and Madagascar. The political changes in South Africa, Uganda and Rwanda offer pre-law students a unique opportunity to study post-conflict transformation. Religion, philosophy, identity and globalization will take on new meaning when viewed first-hand in Jordan, Morrocco, Thailand or Switzerland.
Do you plan to concentrate on a foreign language at GGC? Consider studying French in France, Morocco or Senegal; Spanish in Costa Rica, Mexico or Spain. What better place to study a language than where it is spoken? By visiting the Office of Internationalization, you will literally find hundreds of programs to choose from.
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Q: How Do I apply for a study abroad program
A: Applying for a program will be completed through the GGC education abroad portal:
- Go to the program on GGC Education Abroad Portal and click the “Apply Now” at the right side or bottom of the page. A message will appear; click “OK” to confirm, or “Cancel” to exit.
- Select "I have a MyGGC username and password," and login with your GGC credentials (the first part of your GGC email and GGC password). Once logged in, choose the term and year which you want to go abroad (e.g. Spring Break 2017), then click “Apply”.
- You will have successfully applied for the study abroad program! You will be notified via email of your application creation, and you will also be notified whether your application was approved or rejected.
Q: Who can I contact if I am interested in studying abroad?
A: You can sign-up for a Study Abroad 101 Session on the GGC Education Abroad Portal by going to Getting Started, or contact Cele Blair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Eligibility and Requirements
Q: Is there a certain GPA required?
A: GGC students who wish to participate in study abroad programs must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5; students who wish to participate in service learning abroad must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.
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Q: Who can study abroad?
A: GGC students are eligible once you have completed the minimum 24 credit hours (at least sophomore status), have a minimum 2.5 cumulative-grade point average and are in good standing, regardless of your major, whether you receive financial aid or whether you speak or are studying another language. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
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Q: How many Credits can I earn while abroad
A: The credits vary depending on the program, if the study abroad program is for two weeks then you will be able to earn up to six credits. The credits depend on the period of time of the trip.
Q: Will my earned credits transfer back to GGC?
A: GGC has agreements with several affiliate program providers, and students are encouraged to consider using one of these providers. For non-GGC and affiliate study abroad programs, courses will be reflected on another institution's transcript and will count as transfer credit at GGC.
Q: Are all study abroad programs credit bearing?
A: Not every experiential program abroad is credit bearing. For an education abroad program, students must be sure to verify whether it is credit bearing or not. If it is credit bearing, students must verify how many credits and whether the credits will transfer to their GGC program of study.
Costs/ financial Aid
Q: What are the costs of studying abroad and financial aid availability?
A; When you meet with the staff of the Office of Internationalization, you should review how much a program will cost and if there will be any charges above tuition. Don’t forget that airfare and spending money will have to be added to the figure you are given. A meeting with the Office of Financial Aid is a critical aspect of the study abroad approval process, and you should expect to be advised on the best mechanisms to finance your study abroad experience. GGC allows most financial aid to apply to programs abroad (including HOPE Scholarships, among others), so be sure to ask. Also, some programs have specific scholarships attached to them that you may be eligible for.
Some GGC sponsored programs charge full tuition and make payments on behalf of their students. Others programs expect GGC students to be responsible for making financial arrangements once they are accepted into a program. However, the finances are arranged. It is preferable to remain a registered student at your institution during the time you are studying abroad. Planning early also gives you time to anticipate your expenses and to save money prior to your departure, especially if you are paying for your education through work study or a part-time job. While you are in a foreign country, it is unlikely you will be able to work, so saving money prior to departure may be extremely important. In addition, there are scholarships available for U.S. college students who study abroad and some are specifically for students of color. Once you decide on your study abroad program, ask if there are scholarship funds available or fee waivers for which you qualify.
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Q: What scholarships can I apply to study abroad?
A: There are many scholarships that students can apply for, in the education abroad portal under the financial aid section there is a subsection for scholarships. There is a list of scholarships and websites of where students can apply for scholarships.
Travel Specific Requirements
Q: Where can I get a visa and passport?
A: A passport is an official government document that certifies your country of citizenship. You must have one to travel outside of the United States and to be admitted to other countries. Passports are issued to citizens 18 years and over, and are valid for ten years. Review more information on the U.S. Passport website. If you have never held a passport, you must apply in person at an authorized post office or federal, state or county courthouse. Remember that many people apply for passports between March and August, so apply early.
A visa is an endorsement by a foreign country that you can visit that country for a particular purpose and for a specified period of time. Visas are stamped in your passport, and must be obtained from the embassy or consulate of the country you plan to visit. There is space for visas on both re-entry permits and refugee travel documents if you are not a U.S. citizen. Not all countries require visas of U.S. citizens. Most likely the program that accepted you will send you literature with information about obtaining a visa. If not, you can call the Washington, D.C. embassy or consulate of the country where you intend to travel. Again, remember to allow adequate time, since you will have to send your passport, re-entry permit or travel documents directly to the embassy or consulate.
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Q: Do I need immunizations or vaccines? Will my insurance cover me while abroad?
A: For more information on recommended vaccines visit the smart traveler checklist provided by the CDC. If a study abroad program is offered by GGC, it is certain that credit earned will be easily transferred. Further, the majority of all programs promoted and administered by the Office of Internationalization are done so with the intent of students being able to transfer the credit back to GGC. If you are unsure whether you can transfer the credit to GGC, you should first consult the Director of Internationalization. Then, you should consult your academic mentor and Registrar. They will advise you on the academic quality of your chosen program. Be sure you have a written description of your proposed program (catalog, brochures, etc.) to show them.
Remember, the sooner you begin planning, the more likely you are to find a program that will fit your academic program and that your academic mentor, dean and registrar will approve. Early planning is especially important if you are a science major with limited options for the number of classes you can take away from GGC.
[ Back to top ] No matter what you decide to do after graduating, the time you spend studying abroad is likely to be viewed as an asset by admissions officers at graduate schools and employers who are increasingly looking for people who are adaptable, yet focused. The 21st century will continue to demand that educated people be knowledgeable about the world, comfortable with people from diverse backgrounds, able to speak other languages and willing to break out of their provincial prejudices to seek common solutions to complex global problems.
National boundaries are becoming less consequential in the fields of education, business and public services. At the same time, the U.S. workforce is becoming more ethnically diversified. If you want to be competitive in this century, then studying abroad is one way to start. Yet, probably the best reason for studying abroad is the chance of a lifetime to see another part of the world. You will meet new people, see the sights you have read about and change your perspective by thinking of yourself as a citizen of the world.
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