In order to help students through the process of studying abroad, it is helpful for you as parents, guardians, or family members to also understand the process and what the students will experience.
CHOOSING A PROGRAM
The first step, once students have interest in studying abroad, is to meet with one of our Study Abroad Advisors to learn about different programs, course credits, financial aid information, and the application process. Advisors work with students to find the program that best fits their needs and interests. With programs in over 300 different locations, there are many great options from which students can choose. Students can make an appointment with a Study Abroad Advisor or they can stop by the Office of International Education for walk-in hours Monday through Friday from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Virtual appointments are also available through our Bookings website. During the initial meeting, students will go over the process (summarized in these Study Abroad Checklists) and typically view this introductory video:
APPLYING FOR A PROGRAM
Once students decide on a program, they can apply directly through the website. Students should keep program deadlines in mind when deciding on the term that they would like to study abroad. Applications for WinTerm and Spring are due on October 15th, while applications for Summer, Fall, and the Academic Year are due on March 1st. Applications for National Student Exchange (NSE) are due February 15th, for any term the following academic year. Advisors and staff are available to assist students with the application process should they have any questions on any of the required items.
Note: A non-refundable application fee payment of $190 is made during the application process.
Applications are reviewed once all materials have been submitted. Upon review, the students are either accepted or denied based on their eligibility and ability to meet the requirements for the program. Once accepted, the applications are then sent to the host institution, if applicable, for their acceptance. If students choose to withdraw after being accepted, they are responsible for the service fee ($400 for international programs and NSE, $200 for domestic faculty-led programs). For faculty-led programs, students are also responsible for any incurred costs associated with reservations already made (flights, accommodation, etc.), in addition to the service fee.
PREPARING FOR DEPARTURE
In order to prepare students for their study abroad experience, students are responsible for completing two pre-departure orientation components. The first is an online orientation that students must complete. At the end of the online orientation, students take an assessment that tests what they should have learned in the online orientation. For semester students going abroad, the second component is a mandatory face-to-face orientation session. This orientation, held with all students studying abroad that semester, gives students more information about enrollment and academics, physical health and safety, mental health, intercultural development, communication, cultural adjustments, and finances. Faculty-led students meet with their faculty leader for pre-departure orientation and NSE students meet with the NSE Coordinator to help them prepare for their NSE placement.
In addition, host institutions often send out additional information directly to the semester students who have been accepted into their programs, regarding specific information such as housing. It is important to remember that host countries may operate at a much slower pace than those here in the United States; therefore, it is important to be patient with communications.
Semester students are enrolled in a study abroad holding course for their study abroad experiences or the specific course offered if they are participating in a faculty-led program. Students are enrolled in CISI international insurance prior to their departure as well. Please see the Health and Safety section for more information on CISI insurance as well as other health and safety preparations.
Once students have reached their destination, their first on-the-ground contact is their on-site representative who can address any immediate concerns, questions, and emergencies. Students are encouraged to stay in contact with the Office of International Education at UW-Stout and are required to check their Stout email for any communication sent to them.
RETURNING TO THE UNITED STATES
Upon return from a study abroad program, students are encouraged to utilize university services, such as the Counseling Center and/or Career Services, to address any re-entry adjustments and career opportunities. Students are notified when their transcript arrives from their study abroad program.
Throughout this entire process, advisors, and other staff in the Office of International Education are available and ready to assist in any way to ensure that students understand the entire process.