Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should my student study abroad?
A: The workplace of the 21st century emphasizes a large focus on globalization and just as the employers today are not only demanding higher educations but also a deeper, broader and less nationalistic education. The knowledge and skills it takes to succeed in this globalized marketplace are often times best achieved by thoroughly experiencing a culture beyond one's own. Universities around the world all have different teaching styles that can bring in new perspectives to a familiar topic. This type of outlook can provide students a cutting edge take on the different industries that they work with on a daily basis.
A study abroad program does much more than simply prepare one for this said globalized workplace. Many students find such an experience a way to grow as a person, realize their interests, and find what it means to be an American. This type of a program branches the learning from the classroom, out to everyday activities which can lead to independent thinking, self-confidence and a stronger intellectual or personal maturity.
Q: How much will it cost?
A: For each of our programs, there is a cost estimate online which outlines the estimated expenses that students can expect during their study abroad program. The cost estimates are broken down into two sections: billable subtotal and non-billable subtotal. The billable subtotal includes standard fees for all programs, tuition and depending on the program, a program fee (which includes various items depending on the program). A direct enroll program will have the student paying for the host institutions tuition and fees or more commonly a flat program fee. An exchange program will have the student paying UW-Stout tuition and fees. As each program differs in costs, we recommend looking at the cost estimate for programs that your student is interested in.
Keep the foreign exchange rate in mind when looking at different destinations. A reputable online source to research this would be Oanda.
If your son or daughter currently attends another university and is participating on a UW-Stout study abroad program they may want to check with their financial aid office to set up a consortium agreement. This agreement will allow the allotted financial aid for their current school to be applied to the UW-Stout program.
Q: Will my student be able to use their financial aid to study abroad?
A: Cost is always a concern for our prospective study abroad students and therefore we offer many services to make each program more affordable.
Students who are eligible for financial aid may use this to pay for study abroad programs. Their financial aid need may increase when they study abroad but they will need to talk with a financial aid counselor to calculate their eligible aid amount. Every student's financial situation is different therefore, we recommend that students meet with the financial aid office to discuss their options.
The Financial Aid Office also awards an International Study Grant based on the cost estimate that is outlined for each program and financial need based on results from the student's FAFSA. Students are automatically eligible for the grant if they are a WI resident and are accepted into a UW-Stout study abroad program.
There are many scholarships and grants that students may apply for that are awarded based on a variety of factors such as financial need, diversity, location, interests, etc. If students are seeking financial assistance, they are encouraged to research their options and apply for any opportunities that they are eligible for. On our website we have a list of opportunities to look into.
The Stout University Foundation offers scholarships that apply to study abroad programs. The application cycle is open from October to the beginning of February for the following academic year. Students are encouraged to apply each year here.
Q: What courses can my student take abroad?
A: Student will be working closely with their major/minor advisors as well as the transfer coordinator to approve courses for UW-Stout credit before they leave on a study abroad program. We want to ensure that students will not be set back in their degrees because of studying abroad. We provide programs that are great academic fits for students and find them courses that will work for their program. Some students use their term abroad to take general education courses, courses for their major, minor or specialization or take short-term programs to even get ahead in their programs.
All credits from a study abroad program will show as transfer credits. Grades will transfer back as a letter grade (they will not transfer back as pass/fail) however they will not affect the students GPA unless they are graduating with honors. While abroad the student will be enrolled in a holding course until their transcript is received from the host institution. Students who study on a short-term faculty-led program will be enrolled into their specific study abroad course/s.
Q: Is it safe to study abroad?
A: Established study abroad programs fully recognize the responsibility to provide a secure and non-threatening environment where your student can live and learn safely. Campuses are in continuous communication with administration and government agencies to ensure that the location is of good standing.
Keep in mind that as a parent you may hear about political unrest, natural disasters or other difficulties from other sources well before you may be officially notified by the university. We recommend that students register themselves with the embassy before leaving the country. It will also be important to have a communication plan in place along with several forms of contact mediums to use in the case of an emergency.
Many of the health and safety problems that student encounter abroad are similar to those problems in the United States. More often than not a student's own behavior tends to directly relate to most injuries and illnesses while abroad. Advice from the university officials is not something to be taken lightly.
Please see further information in the Health and Safety section of our website.
Q: When is the best time for students to study abroad?
A: Students are able to study abroad when it best fits for them. All programs require students to have at least one semester of university before participating and a majority require students to be a sophomore at the time of participation. We encourage students to look at the eligibility requirements for their program before applying. Depending on the students availability and course structure, one semester or term may work better than another. We've found that most students study abroad between their sophomore and junior years however, seniors have studied abroad as well. Students can work with the Education Abroad Advisors and their Major Advisor to discuss when studying abroad would best work for them.
Q: What is FERPA?
A: FERPA stands for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Under FERPA guidelines students who are over 18 have a legal right to privacy in regards to their educational records. This means UW-Stout Study Abroad staff is prohibited from providing any student information to anyone other than the student. In emergencies, UW-Stout Study Abroad staff will communicate with any individuals the student has listed as their emergency contacts in the application materials. However, be aware that FERPA guidelines apply to all non-emergency matters.