Frequently Asked Questions About Studying Abroad
I am not admitted to the business school yet, and so don’t have an advisor. What
should I do?
Unfortunately, we will not be able to advise you as to how your courses abroad
might transfer for BMGT credits. We strongly recommend that you either fulfill your
lower level elective requirements abroad or wait until you are through your first
semester at Smith before going abroad.
Does the 30-credit rule apply if I go on exchange?
Students wishing to do a semester study abroad during their final 30 credits
should make an appointment with their advisor. Please refer to the following website
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Can I go abroad and still participate in a Junior/Senior BMGT Fellows program?
Some Fellows programs are 1 year in length therefore making study abroad very
feasible. When choosing a 2 year Fellows program, check if there is a flexible semester.
If not, students must choose between the Fellows program or study abroad. It is
important to note that some Fellows programs have study trips available and students
should consider alternatives to a semester abroad such as a summer or winter study
What courses can I take abroad?
If the study abroad program is AASCB or EQUIS accredited,
then students are permitted to take BMGT courses abroad. For those students with
Upper Level ECON, free electives, or University CORE remaining, enrolling in these
courses is also an option.
I am fluent in the language of my host country. Can I take classes in that language?
Yes. Please be advised however that you may have to get your syllabi translated
– while you know the language, your advisor and department chair may not!
Are classes taught in English?
Yes. All of our partners offer business classes in English.
Can I take a language while abroad?
Yes. Most universities offer either an intensive language class that starts 2
weeks before the semester, or language classes throughout the semester. We highly
recommend taking these classes – it’s a great way to meet people, plus you will
need to know the language when you are out and about in the city. Language classes
are not usually accepted for credit however, this is an extracurricular activity.
When will my classes be entered onto my transcript?
After the semester concludes, your host university will send an official transcript
to our offices. We will evaluate the transcript and enter your classes/credits.
This usually happens about eight (8) weeks after your semester abroad.
How will my classes be entered onto my transcript?
When you study abroad, your institution, class titles, and credits are recorded
on your UMD transcript, but grades achieved abroad are not; your grades abroad are
not part of your UMD GPA. Keep in mind though, if you apply to another institution
later you will be asked to submit both transcripts.
What is the minimum grade allowed in order to get credit for a class?
You must achieve the equivalent of better than a C-. Grading systems vary widely
from country to country. Check with your host institution as to what grade is indicated
as “barely satisfactory”. You must achieve a grade higher than the C- equivalent
to receive credit for your class abroad.
How much will it cost to study abroad?
If you participate in one of our exchange programs, your tuition will remain
the same, meaning you will pay according to your current status at the University
of Maryland. If you are coded as in-state you will pay the Maryland in-state tuition
rate. The same applies for out-of state students. Housing costs vary frequently
and are higher abroad, as are food costs. You can be creative about how to save
money on food, for example, many cafes/bars provide a “happy hour” type of buffet.
The International Student ID card provides some savings on museums, airline flights,
etc. You should also be aware that the visa will cost something, and there is a
study abroad fee as well. Students want to travel while they are abroad, so set
aside some money for that as well. Overall though, the amount you spend depends
in large part on the choices you make.
Will my scholarship or financial aid apply when I go abroad?
Yes. Check with your administrator of the program for the details, but your aid
or scholarship should remain in place. When you go on an exchange program, you are
still listed as active in the UMD system and are billed through Testudo. Your scholarship
or aid should not be affected.
I get tuition remission. Will I still be eligible if I go abroad?
It depends. If, for example, your tuition remission is through a parent working
at UMD, you should continue to receive that benefit because you are paying UMD tuition
and active in the UMD system. However, if you receive tuition remission because
you are a student worker, you will not be working while abroad and so will not continue
to receive that benefit. Again, check with the administrator of the program for
When can I go abroad?
Students typically go abroad in their junior year but in some cases, students
have gone abroad in the spring semester of their sophomore year or the fall semester
of their senior year. Students are not permitted to go abroad in their final semester.
Consulting with an academic advisor may help determine when the most appropriate
time to be abroad.
Where can I go abroad?
Many students may have a specific school and/or country in mind when initially
thinking about study abroad. It is important for students to remain flexible. Some
schools or programs may not fit into your curriculum. Planning early and keeping
all options open will help when choosing a destination.
What paperwork is due, and when?
In order to nominate you, we need photos, your official transcript, an essay,
your resume and the application form. These are due Oct. 1 and March 1 for the following
semester abroad. After this initial round of paperwork, there is then paperwork
to fill out for your host university to apply for housing, etc. UMD requires a waiver,
health insurance information, and a form signed by your advisor(s) that indicates
how your credits will transfer back. These forms are due at the end of the semester
before your break, i.e. May or December.
Should I expect to be accepted to the program?
Yes. We want you to go abroad, and do our best to facilitate the process. There
are very few universities where the process is competitive. We will let you know
after the deadline if we have had more students apply than we can send; at that
point it is largely decided by GPA. If you do not get your first choice, we will
send you to your second choice.
When should I expect to hear from my host university?
We nominate students about one week after the deadline to apply. You should hear
something from your host university about one month following that. The first communication
you receive from your host university is usually your acceptance letter and the
documents required to obtain your visa.
Am I assured housing as part of my exchange?
You are not guaranteed housing as part of your exchange program, so it is critical
to make sure you are responsible and return your housing requests. Your host university
is expected to assist you to their greatest degree possible in finding housing,
but if you do not do your part their obligations end.
How do I find out about housing options?
Most universities have information about housing online. We will also put you
in touch with students who studied at your host university in previous semesters,
and they should be able to give you recommendations. Almost all schools have you
register for housing as soon as you are admitted – be sure to fill out and return
those forms as soon as possible in order to guarantee a spot.
Can I room with a friend?
Yes, most schools have the ability to allow you to indicate a roommate.
How do I work on obtaining a summer internship in America while I am abroad?
Students who go abroad in the spring and wish to obtain a summer internship can
still search for opportunities and submit their resumes on HireSmith. Students should
indicate they are abroad to potential employers. Also, students should meet with
an Office of Career Management advisor the semester before going abroad to discuss
additional tips and strategies for obtaining an internship.
Do I need a visa?
Yes. All countries require that you possess a student visa if you are to live
and study in the country for longer than a few weeks. Your host university will
provide you with their necessary documents. Please check with the consular office
for your host country as to further documents required to obtain a visa.
My passport is about to expire, is that a problem?
Yes. Your passport will need to be good for six (6) months AFTER YOUR RETURN.
Can I work abroad?
Some countries will allow you to work 20 hours or less. You need to indicate
you want to work when you apply for your visa. Check with your host country’s laws
Do you book group flights?
No. You are certainly welcome and encouraged to contact the other students who
will be with you at your host university and organize a flight. However, we do not
organize flights through the Office of Global Programs.
Can I talk to students who have already been to the school I am interested in?
Absolutely. Please contact us, and we will send you the contact information for
students who have attended your university of interest.
Do I have to get the International Student ID card?
No. This is an optional card. The benefits are 1) it has some insurance that
comes with it that satisfies the UMD insurance requirements, 2) it conveys some
discounts, and 3) it is sometimes nice to have an ID that does not indicate you
Classes in foreign institutions tend to be focused on lectures, and with one
big deliverable/exam at the end. Don’t start thinking you can skip a lot of classes!
You will be overwhelmed at the end, and frequently host universities will not let
you take the exam more than once, and will not let you take the exam from the states.
Also – we strongly recommend that you come home with at least one story of how
you went above and beyond while abroad – whether it is an informational interview
at a company of interest, a local industry study, volunteering (if legal in your
country) with a local organization or leading a club or other effort. Interviewers
are happy to see that you have gone abroad and they know you have learned a lot
in your semester – they want to see how you have excelled.