My student is interested in study abroad. Where and when do we start?
Right now! We encourage you and your student to look through the Office of International Programs website for all of our current study abroad options. We host regular information sessions for prospective students. An information session schedule is available in our office and is posted on our website. Students should plan to attend information sessions for any programs of interest, and meet with our program directors during our twice-yearly registration advising sessions. These registration advising sessions will be held each semester prior to course registration. Students may contact our program directors with any remaining questions after they have attended these sessions. Students should expect to study abroad in their junior year, and will need to apply in their sophomore year. As soon as your child has decided to study abroad, they should apply for a passport.
What are the basic requirements that a student must meet in order to go abroad?
In order to be eligible for study abroad, a student must have at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA (although many programs will require between a 2.8 – 3.0 CQPA). Applicants must not have a record of serious disciplinary problems with Student Life, and each student must be able to find a full complement of courses for his or her degree program. Some programs are competitive, so meeting the basic program criteria will not necessarily guarantee placement in the program.
Can my son or daughter apply to more than one program at a time?
No. We only accept one study abroad application per student. However, our application allows students to select a first, second and third choice. If a student is not placed into their first choice program, then we will work with them to find a suitable alternative based on their preferences. Students will still be required to meet a program’s minimum criteria when searching for an alternative. It is a good idea for students to keep a few alternative programs in mind when applying, in case they are not accepted to their first choice.
Do all study abroad opportunities offer the same courses?
No. Each study abroad opportunity offers an individual set of courses that will depend upon which courses are offered at the host university and which courses are approved for Loyola students. Not all programs are suited for all majors, and some programs are better suited for certain majors over others. It is important for students to take this into consideration when applying for study abroad.
Which courses will my student likely take while abroad?
Students will often take a combination of major, minor, core, and elective requirements while abroad. Upper-level core courses are the most widely available in many of our programs. Students with a good number of upper-level core and electives available will increase their chances of finding a program that works for them academically. Students should plan to attend our registration advising sessions, where we can help students plan their course selections to best prepare themselves for study abroad. Some study abroad programs will require students to take a certain course or courses associated with that program. It helps if students are aware of this beforehand and keep those course requirements available.
Will a student receive grades for courses taken abroad?
For all semester and year-long opportunities, grades and credits will transfer. These grades will affect the student’s cumulative GPA. Students studying abroad on an external opportunity do not receive grades, and their GPA will not be affected by their term abroad. They do, however, need to receive at least a 2.0 (C) in each course abroad in order to receive credit for that course.
What if a student decides to take a course that has not been approved by Loyola?
Any course, whether it is for a student’s major, minor, core, or non-departmental elective, must receive departmental approval before a student can take it abroad. Any course that is taken without prior departmental approval will not transfer back to Loyola. Each program’s director will help students select approved courses at their host institution and seek additional course approvals when necessary. Please note that courses submitted for departmental approval are not guaranteed to be approved, and should not be taken unless the approval has been finalized.
My son or daughter has a friend participating in a study abroad opportunity. Will they receive the same benefits?
No. Benefits vary based on what amenities are available through the host university or host country. Packages are tailored to benefit the students of each specific program, and students should not expect to receive the same benefits as students at another location.
Will students be responsible for arranging their own airfare?
Some opportunities require students to arrange their own airline tickets. Students who choose to arrange airfare through Loyola's travel agent may travel as a group to their host university. Students should contact their program director for more detailed travel information.
Will my Honors student be able to study abroad?
Yes, in most cases. Certain study abroad opportunities will enable Honors students to receive Honors credit by enrolling in more advanced courses, or by supplementing their standard coursework with an additional paper or research project. If your student is in the Honors program, they should notify the director of their study abroad program, so that special arrangements can be made for them if necessary. Not all study abroad programs can accommodate Honors students.
Will my student’s financial aid package be affected during his or her semester or year abroad?
Students traveling with an affiliation or external opportunity will not receive aid from Loyola University Maryland, but may still be eligible for certain private, state or federal aid programs. Loyola, state and federal aid will transfer to other semester and year-long opportunities while abroad, with the exclusion of Federal Work Study.
My student is considering an external opportunity. Is there anything that we should keep in mind?
If your student is hoping to participate in an external opportunity, there are a few things that he or she will want to consider before applying. First, students must complete two separate applications for an external opportunity: an application to Loyola, and then an application to the host university. Acceptance by Loyola does not guarantee acceptance to the external opportunity. Students who use an external opportunity will receive the lowest priority for on-campus housing when they return from abroad, which means that placement in on-campus housing is not guaranteed. No Loyola-based financial aid will transfer with an external opportunity, though some forms of state, private or federal aid may transfer. Only courses and credits will be reflected on the Loyola transcript (no grades), and a student must receive at least a 2.0 (C) in each course to have it credited by Loyola. Once a student completes their study abroad experience with an external opportunity, he or she will not be permitted to take any other courses away from campus. All remaining courses must be taken at Loyola University Maryland. For additional information, please refer to the External Opportunity page.