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Study Abroad


FAQ for Students Accepted to Study Abroad

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How do I apply for a passport?
Pick up a passport application at the Center for International Education office or visit the State Department for an application and instructions. You should request a passport booklet for international travel. The new passport card is not as widely accepted.
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Do I need a visa?
Perhaps. Visa requirements vary by country and often depend on the length of your stay. The State Department offers a comprehensive list of specific Entry/Exit requirements for US travelers. You should also read all your post-acceptance materials carefully to determine whether or not you will need a visa. Your program provider and the Center for International Education will help you through the visa process. 
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Why do I need to send my passport with my visa application?
The visa will be attached to a page in your passport, so you will need to include your actual passport booklet with the rest of your visa application materials. When mailing your visa application, use a service such as FedEx that allows you to track your shipment. 
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Do I need any vaccinations?
Perhaps.  Vaccination requirements vary by country. The Centers for Disease Control have up-to-date country specific information. If you need a vaccination or immunization, contact your primary health care physician or the local Passport Health clinic. 
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What classes should I take when I am abroad?
Work with your academic advisor, study abroad coordinator and/or program provider to determine which classes you should take while abroad. Oftentimes, you will pre-register for classes when you are accepted into a study abroad program. Your actual schedule will be determined when you reach your destination. Therefore it is wise to choose a few "back-up" courses in case you need to make changes. Your academic advisor must sign off on all of your course selections before you depart. Notify your advisor and the Center for International Education if you make any changes to your schedule. 
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Do I need to register for study abroad classes?
No. The Center for International Education will work with Records and Registration to register all study abroad students. Semester students will be registered for Overseas (OVS) 300 for 12 credits. OVS 300 is a place saver so you can retain your full-time student status at SAU while you are gone. Your actual classes and credits will be transferred in when we receive your transcripts. Students may not exceed 18 credits for their study abroad term or they will be subject to additional fees.  
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Can I take Writing Intensive courses while abroad?
No.  Writing Intensive (WI) courses at SAU are specially formulated to meet certain standards and must pass an approval process to receive the WI designation. In most cases, overseas institutions require students to complete far fewer writing assignments and they do not meet the same standards as WI classes at home. If you choose to take a WI equivalent course while abroad, you will receive academic credit for the course, but you will not receive WI credit. 
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Should I still register for on-campus classes?
That's your decision. If you have any doubts about studying abroad, registering at SAU will provide you with a safety net in case you don't get accepted or need to withdraw your application. If you do register for on-campus classes, remember to drop them before you study abroad to avoid additional tuition fees. 
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Will my study abroad grades count toward my GPA?
Yes. Approved study abroad courses will transfer back to SAU and grades do count toward your GPA. So go to class and study hard! 
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How long will it take to receive my grades?
It usually takes 6-8 weeks for grades to come back from our international partners.
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How do I arrange to live on campus when I return to SAU?
Contact Residence Life and submit a housing contract before you leave campus. 
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How do I pay my bill and who should I pay?
We set up direct billing agreements with our program providers.That means you will pay an SAU bill even if you don't study abroad on an SAU program. You should submit your payment to Student Account Services either in person or through the mail or through Beeline. Checks should be made payable to St. Ambrose University. All program deposits will be subtracted from your total program cost. 
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Where can I find more information about my host country?
The SAU Library is a great resource to start researching your host country. There are also a multitude of websites where students can learn more. Don't settle for Wikipedia - dig deeper. The more you know about your host country, the easier it will be to adjust to your new surroundings.
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