Frequently Asked Questions about Study Abroad
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Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about studying abroad at PCC. Please let us know if you have additional questions.
Who is eligible to participate?
PCC study abroad programs are designed for undergraduate credit. While a minimum age of 18 years is a frequent requirement, in some programs, students under 18 (min. age of 16) may also be considered, given sufficient maturity and academic background (and consent by guardian or parent).
What are the requirements?
At least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale is required. Some programs may also require letters of recommendation, academic references, official college transcripts, and additional pre-requisites. Students should consult individual program pages for information regarding participation requirements and application deadlines. It is important that students begin planning ahead early to attend to the many details necessary for studying abroad in another country.
I am interested in studying abroad. When do you suggest I should begin the application and planning process?
In general, students should begin the application process at least six months before they intend to study abroad. Review the table below for suggested guidelines as to when students should begin planning for participation in a PCC-sponsored program.
|Study Abroad Program Term||Begin Planning & Application Process|
|Fall||In March or April before program departure|
|Winter||In May or June before program departure|
|Spring||In September or October before program departure|
|Summer||In November or December before program departure|
How competitive is the selection for study abroad programs?
It depends on the program. Some programs have a maximum number of students that can be accepted, while others do not. All programs require experience with college level coursework and a good academic standing. For the intensive Spanish immersion programs in Barcelona and Mexico, students will need to submit proof of language proficiency, two academic references, a statement of purpose and participate in an interview session with study abroad program staff.
What will it cost?
Costs for study abroad programs vary, depending on the cost of living and currency exchange rates in various countries. The total cost for a term abroad is often less than the cost at a private college or university, or roughly comparable to that at a public institution. For details on specific program costs, please refer to individual program web pages..
Can I use my financial aid to help fund my trip?
Yes, financial aid may be used toward funding a study abroad program. The amount that may be used varies on each students' own aid situation.
Are there scholarships for study abroad programs?
Yes. There are many scholarships that can be used for study abroad programs. In fact, some scholarships are specifically designed for study abroad participants. Review the funding page on this website for more information and links to scholarships. In order to be considered for most scholarships, students should have a competitive GPA (i.e. higher than 3.0 GPA).
How long can I study abroad?
Program lengths vary. PCC offers short-term, summer study abroad programs, lasting 2-3 weeks, as well as term long programs, that are anywhere from 8-12 weeks in length.
Can I work overseas while participating in a study abroad program?
It is not advisable to participate in an overseas program with the intent of obtaining a job to support yourself. Most foreign labor laws will not allow you to seek paid employment. Students should consult with a PCC study abroad advisor for further clarification about work/internship opportunities overseas.
Do I have to live with a host family?
Most programs offer at least two options for living arrangements. These include: apartment living, dormitory living, and host family living. However, there are some programs which only offer a host family living situation. Students can find out what type of living arrangements are offered by reviewing the program logistics section of an individual program web page.
What sorts of vaccinations are required before studying abroad?
This varies on your destination. Please see the following website for specific requirements: http://www.cdc.gov/travel/
Will the credits transfer?
Yes. Students participating in a PCC-sponsored study abroad program receive 12-5 credits per full academic term. Students participating in short-term, summer study abroad programs receive 4-12 credits. Grades for coursework taken on a PCC-sponsored study abroad program are recorded on PCC student transcripts. It is strongly recommended that students meet with an academic adviser prior to departure on a study abroad program to verify how credits will apply to General Education, degree program and school transfer requirements.
Do I have to find my own housing?
Housing is secured by the host institution for most of the programs sponsored by PCC. Students participating in the intensive Spanish immersion program in Barcelona are responsible to find and secure their own accommodations. Depending on the program, students will live in either shared, self-catered apartments or family home-stay accommodations. All host families are screened by the program provider, and most home stays include at least one meal per day.
Do I need to speak the language?
Language proficiency is a prerequisite for all PCC-sponsored study abroad programs except for the general education programs in Florence and London. For all PCC-sponsored programs, except the general education program in London, students are required to study the language of the host country during the course of the program. PCC-sponsored General Education study abroad programs also offer social science and humanities elective courses, taught in English, by Oregon community college instructors
Do I have to arrange my own travel?
International air travel is arranged for the general education programs in Barcelona, Cusco, Costa Rica, Florence and London. For Florence and London, the transportation package is an optional purchase. If this package is not purchased, students are responsible for arranging their own travel. All Students participating in the the intensive Spanish immersion programs in Mexico and Spain are responsible for arranging and paying for their own international travel arrangements.
Do I need a passport or visas to study overseas?
All students require a passport when traveling out of the country. Students will have to apply for their passport, in person, if they are applying for the first time, renewing a passport issued over eleven years ago, or if they were younger than 18 when their last passport was issued. Students may apply in person at selected post offices, at federal or state courts of records, or at one of the passport agencies of the U.S. Department of State (www.state.gov). Proof of U.S. Citizenship (birth certificate, naturalization certificate or previous U.S. passport), two recent photos (2X2) and current I.D. with photo or physical description are required. Students may renew a passport by mail if their passport has recently expired. It is important that students apply early for new or renewed passports, as application processing can take from 6 to 10 weeks.
A visa is written permission to visit a country granted by the government of that country. Requirements vary from country to country. Students may require a student visa if they plan to study in a country for more than 90 days. Information relating to visas may be obtained from a study abroad advisor or by consulting the U.S State Department International Travel website.
I am an older student, can I still study abroad?
Yes! PCC sends many non-traditional students to study overseas. Older students can have a wonderful international travel experience while participating in interesting academic classes abroad. Non-traditional students can choose to live with other students in the program, in a home stay, or pay extra for single room accommodations.
What if I have dietary restrictions? Can I still study abroad?
Many students with dietary restrictions study abroad. It is important that students clearly note their dietary requirements on their program application and pre-departure orientation materials. On-site coordinators will then be made aware of unique student dietary needs and will their best to make necessary accommodations. PCC Study Abroad cannot ensure that all students unique dietary needs will be accommodated on a study abroad program.
Do I need to have medical insurance to go overseas?
YES! International travel and medical insurance is required for all students participating in a PCC sponsored study abroad program. All students are required to purchase international travel insurance, to supplement their medical insurance. Students should contact their medical insurance company to verify if their policy is valid while traveling abroad. If a student learns they are not covered under their own U.S. medical insurance policy, or their parent's policy, then international medical insurance must be purchased in addition to the mandatory international travel insurance. Students can consult with a study abroad advisor regarding international medical and travel insurance policy providers.