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Application Process

Applying for a study abroad program can feel intimidating, but we do our best to make it as straightforward as possible! Remember that your Education Abroad Advisor is a resource to help you throughout the study abroad application process. If you’re ever not clear on the process or what your next step is, feel free to reach out to us.
Typically, study abroad applications will feel like a less-intensive, less-competitive version of college applications. Application requirements vary from program to program, but generally speaking you will need to give your program information about yourself; write a personal statement explaining your interest in your program; sign off on any necessary policy information; and submit an application fee. Deadlines will vary from program to program.
Your application process will be a bit different, depending on the type of program that you select. Generally speaking, there are two application tracks for study abroad programs at VCU.

Applying to VCU Exchanges or VCU Short-Term Programs

Applications are processed through the VCU Education Abroad office for two types of programs:
  • VCU exchange programs (for example, Curtin University, Bauhaus University, or Chung Ang University)
  • VCU short-term programs (summer, spring, or winter break; for example, Jamaica Service Learning Community Health Promotion, Florence Revealed or VCU Summer at the American College of Greece)
For these programs, you will submit one application through VCU’s study abroad application system.

Applying to all other programs

All other programs—whether a VCU direct-enroll semester program (American College of Greece semester, Macquarie…); a featured external program; or any other programs through a third-party organization or university outside of VCU—will have a two-step application process.
You will submit an application directly to the university or program that is administering your study abroad program. Simultaneously, you will also need to formally register your program with VCU. Registering your program with VCU is required to maintain your enrollment, allow you to use financial aid, and transfer your credits when you get back. Your Education Abroad advisor will provide you with more information about your registration requirements once you’ve finalized your program selection.

VCU Global Education Office Standards of Participation

In addition to the need to meet program-specific requirements, all students who wish to participate in VCU education abroad experiences must also meet VCU’s Global Education Office standards of participation. VCU expects its study abroad participants to represent VCU with a sensitivity to cultural and other difference in the global community. Because studying abroad requires a higher level of tolerance and a willingness to adapt to the different (and sometimes much less comfortable) living and learning conditions from those on VCU’s campus, students should possess a high level of initiative, motivation, maturity, integrity, self-reliance, and adaptability to be most successful as a study abroad student. Students should demonstrate a genuine interest in cultural engagement, the ability to work in teams toward a shared goal or mission, and a willingness to encounter challenging situations.  All participants must be at least 18 years of age or older by the start of the program.

GEO Education Abroad Administration $250 fee

VCU’s Board of Visitors has mandated an Education Abroad Administration Fee that is charged to every student participating in an education abroad experience, including, but not limited to participants in faculty-led study abroad programs, International Summer Institutes, partnership exchange programs, alternative programs, and other international experiences. As the fee is mandated by the Board of Visitors, and is a part of VCU's policy on International Travel for Employee and Students, GEO is unable to waive or alter the fee, and as the fee is not tied to VCU tuition, GEO applies the fee to each participant application. The fee can be found on the Global Education Programs page within the Comprehensive Budget Plan. The fee is used to offset the cost to GEO of administering study abroad programs including, but not limited to:

  • Student advising services for study abroad programs
  • Course maintenance and enrollment
  • Coordination of course approval and credit transfer processes (when applicable)
  • Coordination with Student Financial Services to facilitate the application of financial aid and scholarships to study abroad (when applicable)
  • Administration of VCU education abroad scholarship programs, airfare vouchers, and advising for national scholarship programs applicable on study abroad experiences such as the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program, Boren Awards, Critical Language Program, and others
  • Coordination of student pre-departure orientation and faculty training
  • Enrollment of faculty-led program participants in the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
  • Coordination of CISI insurance program (note: fee does not cover the actual cost of the insurance policy for each participant)
  • Contract with TerraDotta Software which provides the department's website to promote programs and process student applications and program registrations
  • 24/7 emergency support to faculty leaders and to students (via VCU Police and GEO phone tree)
  • Development and production of marketing materials for the program
  • Oversight of faculty-led programs as well as program development support and fiscal administration of programs including managing all financial transactions including vendor payments, travel advances, posting student charges to Student Accounting, and processing travel reimbursements

Still unclear on how to apply?

That's okay! Contact your Education Abroad Advisor: we're here for you.