General Questions

What kinds of study abroad programs does Lander offer?

Lander offers three kinds of study abroad experiences:

  • Short-term faculty-led Study Tours; these typically last one or two weeks.
  • Semester, typically 12 to 16 weeks overseas (or a full academic year);
  • Summer, typically four to ten weeks overseas;

Semester and summer programs can be direct-enrollment programs sponsored by Lander, exchange programs sponsored by Lander, or third-party provider programs (USAC, ASA, etc.).

When is the best time to study overseas?
  • The best time for a semester abroad is when it best fits your four-year academic plan. Typically this is spring of sophomore year or either semester junior year, but there are exceptions. Freshmen cannot study overseas, nor can final-semester seniors. Sometimes other factors come into play, such as athletics and student teaching.
  • The best time for a summer program might be any summer … except the one immediately after graduation. However, if you wish to undertake an internship in your major during the summer, the best time may be between your Junior and Senior year, when you will have completed enough coursework in your major to allow you to gain the greatest benefit from the internship experience.
  • The best time for a Study Tour is when the topic of study or the program location captures your interest.
Isn’t it better to wait until after graduation to go abroad?

No! If you wish to obtain academic credit or use financial aid, then you should study abroad before you graduate. And remember, your chance to get away for several weeks or months may disappear once you have a full-time job. Go now!

Can first-year students study overseas?

First-year Lander students cannot participate in semester-long study abroad programs. They may, however, participate in Study Tours during freshman year, and in summer programs following freshman year.

What academic qualifications do I need to study abroad?
  • Most overseas institutions establish their own GPA requirement for visiting international students, and this requirement usually falls between a 2.5  and a 3.2.
  • For programs that are not administered by a foreign university, Lander requires a minimum GPA of 2.5 but recommends a minimum GPA of 3.0 for student participation.
  • Keep in mind that teaching methods and professors’ expectations overseas will differ from what you are used to here in the U.S. You will need excellent study habits, adaptability, and abundant self motivation to succeed academically.
  • A minimum GPA of 2.5 is also required for Lander’s faculty-led short-term Study Tours.

All students who wish to participate in an overseas program must complete an application and obtain a positive recommendation from a Lander professor or staff member who is familiar with the student

All students who participate in a semester study abroad must take IDSA 201 “Preparing for Study Abroad” the semester prior to departure. IDSA 201 is a one-credit online course designed to prepare students for interacting in cultures other than their own. It assists students in developing the communication and intercultural skills needed for interacting successfully in new cultural environments. Topics include cultural values and assumptions, intercultural communication, and cross-cultural problems and adjustment. In addition, students learn about the pragmatics and logistics of study abroad for their particular country, as well as how to get the most out of their time overseas. Topics include passports and visas, money matters, weekend travel strategies, journaling, and personal safety, among others.

Is study abroad safe?

Yes! Overseas travel is usually safer for Americans than living here at home. In 2019, the last year of pre-COVID travel, three times as many people were killed by lightning in the US as died in an overseas emergency. This does not mean traveling is problem-free. The State Department’s travel advisories show what to watch out for and any precautions to take for every country in the world.

At a more local level, there have been no cases of serious injury or illness for any Lander student since our study abroad programs began in 2005. Lander does not sanction study in regions or countries that the State Department classifies as unsafe, and does not approve study at universities that lack support services for visiting international students.

Why should I? What are the benefits of study abroad?
  • To experience another culture first-hand and enhance your cross-cultural competence.
  • To expand your worldview.
  • To learn about your own country and culture through other eyes.
  • To learn about yourself and become more self-aware.
  • To gain independence and self-confidence.
  • To strengthen your adaptability.
  • To hone your communication and team-building skills.
  • To learn another language.
  • To gain a competitive edge for when you apply for a job or to grad school.
  • To make new friends from around the world.

The real question is: Can you afford not to study abroad?

Money Matters

How much does study abroad cost?

The cost of study abroad depends on where you go and how long you are there.

  • Some semester-long programs, for example in Daegu, South Korea, in Rhodes, Greece, or in Chiang Mai, Thailand, can actually cost less than a semester on campus here in Greenwood. Other programs, for example in England, Spain, Japan, Italy, or Australia, cost progressively more than a semester here on campus.
  • Summer programs and internships can cost as little as $2500 or as much as $10,000 for four weeks. A factor to consider with summer programs is that, other than non-Lander scholarships or loans, financial aid may be less available.
  • Faculty-led Study Tours typically cost between $2500 and $4000 for programs of seven to 21 days.
Does my financial aid apply?

Yes! For a semester or summer abroad, you may receive federal, state, and institutional funding as long as you are receiving academic credit (at least 12 credit hours for a semester, at least 6 credit hours for summer) during the study away semester and Lander University has a signed, approved partner or consortium agreement for the study away program.

The study abroad courses students take at their host institution must count toward the student’s graduation requirements to qualify for federal, state or institutional assistance. The student should notify the Director of Study Abroad and Lander University’s Financial Aid Office immediately if the student changes the courses they take at the host institution from what was reported on the Transfer of International Credit form.

How do grades earned during study abroad affect scholarship renewal eligibility?

The grades you earn overseas will count toward your scholarship eligibility. Grades for all courses at all institutions—including those taken abroad—are calculated into Lander's Overall GPA and Transfer GPA. Any courses that are taken abroad but do not transfer back to Lander are taken out of the calculation for the LIFE Scholarship. In a nutshell, students have four GPAs:

  1. Lander GPA (Lander coursework only);
  2. Transfer GPA (non-Lander coursework only, including approved study abroad coursework);
  3. Overall GPA = Lander + Transfer GPA (Lander and non-Lander coursework, including approved study abroad coursework);
  4. LIFE Scholarship GPA (Lander and non-Lander coursework, including approved study abroad coursework but not including non-approved study abroad coursework, and not including coursework from any continuing education courses, non-degree credit courses for an associate degree or higher, or remedial/developmental courses).

Scholarship renewal currently depends on one of two GPAs: the Overall GPA for everything but the LIFE and Palmetto Fellows Scholarships, and the LIFE Scholarship GPA for the LIFE Scholarship.

If I study abroad during a semester or year, does the installment payment plan still work?

Yes, students who study overseas can utilize the 4-month payment plan available through the Business Office. The schedule for payments is the same as regular Lander students. However, students are not able to return to Lander for a subsequent semester until the account balance for the study away program has been paid in full. Payment plans are not available for summer study away.

Are there scholarships specifically for study abroad?

Yes, the Office of Study Abroad offers a modest scholarship to every student who studies overseas for a full semester. The Honors College also offers assistance through the Global Scholars program. In addition, the Office of Study Abroad provides extensive lists of outside scholarships that are available to semester and to summer study abroad students.

What about personal spending money? How much should I take?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question: numerous variables come into play including student spending habits, the amount of travel a student does, the relative cost of living in the overseas program city, among others. The Office of Study Abroad will be happy to provide additional information and suggestions.

Why is Lander tuition included in the study away billing on the Account Summary for Selected Term screen in Bearcat Web?

A bill is created once the student has been assigned an IDSA course that represents their study away program. The bill will include Lander tuition by our system default process. Adjustments are made up or down depending on the program cost information certified on the Study Away Agreement.

How will I receive my financial aid refund?

We strongly recommend that students enroll in eRefund to receive their financial aid refund (if applicable) electronically. Students can enroll in eRefund on MyLander under Student Highlights. If the student does not enroll in eRefund, the student should submit a Power of Attorney to the Financial Aid Office designating how the Business Office should distribute the refund check. The refund check will be made payable to the student. The student can give someone permission to the Business Office to mail the refund check to a certain address. NOTE: Students must validate their study away schedule on the Account Summary for Selected Term screen in Bearcat to save their schedule, both to have their invoice paid and to have any refund issued.

Is there Lander financial aid paperwork that I need to complete while I am away?

Students who study abroad during the fall semester are still required to re-apply for financial aid and to complete financial aid requirements during their time away. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available for the next academic year every October 1st. Lander’s priority deadline for FAFSA is November 1st. Supporting documentation to complete the financial aid application should be submitted as soon as possible in November, since these limited funds are awarded on a first come, first served basis.

Semester and Summer Study Abroad Questions

Where can I study for a semester?

Lander offers numerous programs for semester and summer study abroad in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The University of Winchester has traditionally been the most popular semester abroad destination for Lander students.

If I study overseas, will I have to take an additional semester to make up coursework?

This is a major concern for many students. With planning, foresight, and flexibility, it is possible to set up a study abroad program to fit any academic major or minor at Lander and stay on a four-year graduation schedule. This applies to intercollegiate athletes as well!

Can I fulfill my World Cultures General Education requirement overseas?

Yes! When you study abroad for a semester, you automatically fulfill the World Cultures requirement.

Can I do coursework in my major?

Yes! Lander encourages students to take classes that will count for major or minor credit when they study overseas. For certain majors, such as Psychology, History, Business, Art, or a foreign language, this is quite easy to arrange. For other majors, especially those with a very strict curriculum, it will take some foresight and planning. However, even students majoring in areas such as Exercise Science, Computer Science, Teacher Education, or Biology can study overseas and stay on schedule to graduate in four years.

If I am majoring in Nursing, how can I study abroad?

Under the current Nursing curriculum, students now have two opportunities to study abroad. One is to go abroad for a semester during the sophomore year. This option takes careful planning and is currently available at only a few overseas universities. The other is to undertake a Nursing internship overseas. These typically happen during the summer between Junior and Senior year. In recent years Lander students have gained invaluable work experience on Nursing internships in Mexico, Ghana, and Kenya.

How does academic credit transfer?

All coursework that you do overseas will have been preapproved for transfer back to Lander before you depart for your study abroad program. Once you have selected your Study Abroad site and arranged your class schedule with your academic advisor, you will file a Transfer of International Credit form with the Office of the Registrar at Lander. You must make a “C” or better in any course taken from an institution abroad in order for credit to transfer to Lander.

Where do I live when I am overseas?

Housing options vary by program and currently may include residence halls, apartments, and residential learning communities. Lander requires that students stay in program-approved accommodations and will not authorize students to live in housing that has not been fully vetted by our partners overseas.

Will other Lander students be there when I am?

If you participate in one of the more popular Lander programs, there is a very good chance that other Lander students will be there too. Winchester, Madrid, Alicante, Rhodes, and Daegu often host several Lander students during a semester. But given the wide range of study abroad sites available, you may be the only Lander student there that semester. In either case, you will be joined by other visiting students not only from the United States, but from around the world.

Once I am overseas, can I travel to other places during the semester?

Yes, and normally this is highly encouraged! Students on a semester or summer program abroad typically have weekends and holidays free for cultural activities and travel. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has made international travel more difficult, and most study abroad programs are currently encouraging students to limit their travel and remain in their host country. The good news is that no matter where you go, there are lots of travel opportunities to fit every budget.

What if I do not speak the language?

Lander Study Abroad programs at universities beyond the English-speaking world always offer classes in English, in addition to classes for learning that country’s language.

Short-term Faculty-led Study Tour Questions

Where do Study Tours go?

Study Tours visit countries throughout the world. During the last five years, Study Tour destinations have included Cuba, Peru, Germany and the Czech Republic, Ireland, Spain, Greece, France, and Italy. Each year, we strive to offer a Study Tour in the UK, one elsewhere in Europe, one in Asia or Africa, and one in the Americas. Upcoming 2022 destinations include Costa Rica, Japan, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Colorado.

How expensive are Study Tours?
  • Spring Break Study Tours are typically a 7 to 10-day trip to Europe or Latin America, and cost about $2500 for travel expenses. Tuition is included in the normal spring semester tuition.
  • Summer Study Tours are typically a two- or three-week trip to an intriguing place in the world, and normally cost between $2500 and $4000 for the travel expenses. In most cases, coursework for these Study Tours will take place during the previous spring semester.
What about Study Tour grades?

Study Tours led by Lander faculty members may require that students take an associated Lander course. Credit and grades for these courses are handled in the same way as credit and grades for all other Lander courses

Who can I contact for more information about Study Abroad?

If you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to contact us:

Dr. Carlos Mentley
Director of Study Abroad
LC 327 Carnell Learning Center
cmentley@lander.edu or
studyabroad@lander.edu

 

Ms. Melody Johnson
Administrative Specialist
LC 322 Carnell Learning Center
864-388-8265
mjohnson@lander.edu