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Choosing a Program

Congratulations to your child for choosing to study abroad!

Gaining international experience is not only an essential component of educational and professional development, it is also one of the most rewarding personal experiences in a person's life. You can aid greatly in your child's ability to maximize the study abroad experience at each step along the way.

We invite you to review thoroughly all of the information available on this website, in order to understand the selection and preparation experience. To help you assist your son or daughter engage in this important experience, we offer some answers to many of the questions most frequently asked by parents.

How does the process of choosing the right study abroad program begin?

The first step is understanding that the most rewarding study abroad experiences start with a self-managed research process. Your son/daughter has a wide variety of program offerings to choose from, and s/he must determine what type of program best suits his/her academic program and personality. Encourage your student to seek the answers to questions on his/her own. If you do too much of the legwork up front, your son/daughter will not be able to take full ownership of the final program choice. If you have questions, ask them first of your student, so that s/he may benefit from seeking out the answers for both of you.

My son/daughter has a disability, can they study abroad?

AU Abroad makes every effort to assure that students with disabilities can participate successfully in study abroad programs.  Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that facilities and/or support services will be available at each location abroad in the same range and quality as on the AU campus.  We cannot alter architecture, transportation, or laws in other countries.  We can, however, encourage students with disabilities to meet with staff in the Academic Support Center (ASC) or Disability Support Services (DSS) to discuss accommodation needs and identify appropriate sites overseas.  These offices can work with each student in order to identify support system needs and discuss the availability of accommodations abroad.

Is it easier to study abroad in an English-speaking country?

Students and parents frequently assume that because the official language of the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada is English, that there will be little or no adjustment phase to studying abroad in these countries. This is not the case. These are distinctive cultures, each with its own educational tradition, and are different from American culture in ways both subtle and substantial. If students make the faulty assumption that there will be no adjustment period, s/he can end up experiencing it more acutely than those who enter into their study abroad experience with the appropriate expectations.

How do students apply to study abroad? When does my student find out whether he/she is admitted?

Once a program has been selected, AU Abroad's electronic application system will point the way in completing the application process. Please note that some programs are wholly owned and operated by AU and the AU Abroad office can make admissions decisions with two weeks of receipt of the completed application. Others are offered in partnership with study abroad organizations and/or foreign institutions of higher education. Admission for these programs is a two-step process, and students are actually admitted by the partnering institution. As a result, the admission can take from three to eight weeks from the time of receipt of the completed application.

It is also important to note that some programs admit students on a rolling basis, while others will consider a pool of applications received after a deadline. AU Abroad does not have the ability to change the application processes for those programs, so it is important to understand the parameters for the program for which your student has applied, and set expectations accordingly.

While the AU Abroad staff is more than willing to speak with you regarding your concerns, we are limited by the same confidentiality restrictions that apply to students while they are on campus. Therefore, there may be some questions, particularly those of an academic nature, that we will not be able to answer for you.>

Can my son/daughter study on a non-AU program?

If students have specific academic needs that cannot be met on any of AU Abroad's many program offerings, they may petition for a Permit to Study on a Non-AU program.  Non-AU programs must meet the following requirements in order to be approved:  the program's course offerings must meet the student's educational/academic goals in a way that no analogous AU Abroad program can; they must offer a sustained experience directly interacting in a single culture; they must meet AU's quality standards and learning objectives.  Students studying away on Permit status are not enrolled in AU courses and therefore cannot receive any AU institutional aid during that time.  Students will receive transfer credit for work completed on their program.  AU will charge an administrative fee of $2000/semester or $1000/summer to any student who participates on a program abroad via a Permit to Study Abroad when the Permit has been granted and is processed.