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Frequently Asked Questions

What is education abroad?
Education abroad is an academic experience in another country. The venue and method of instruction will vary depending on the program and country, but it is a process that aims to complement and deepen a student’s collegiate experience.

Studying abroad is not "time off" from your undergraduate degree or just traveling for pleasure, although the latter can be a part of it.

Why should I participate?
There are countless reasons to study abroad, but most importantly, it offers a chance to engage with other cultures, gain new perspectives, and cultivate humane instincts. Students who study abroad develop skills that are frequently sought by selection committees, such as intercultural competence, awareness of international issues, communication skills, foreign language capabilities, creative problem solving, and more.

Who is eligible?
Students who are in good academic, financial, and disciplinary standing are eligible to study abroad. This means a student must have a minimum 2.5 GPA, no balances on their student account, and no current conduct sanctions. Some programs will have additional eligibility requirements, such as a higher GPA or previous study in a certain subject.

Do I have to know a foreign language?
Not necessarily. Some programs on the approved list require 1-4 semesters of foreign language study, but many programs offer courses in English. If the native language in a student’s host country is not English, we strongly recommend that students take an introductory language course when they are abroad as it will encourage deeper cultural immersion and make day-to-day living easier.

Do I have to be a certain major? Will I get credit towards my degree?
Students from any major can find a program that will work with their academic goals. Courses may count toward major, minor, or Ways of Knowing credit. Students should complete a Preauthorization to Transfer Credit form prior to departure to determine how their courses could count toward their Davidson degree.

I have a chronic health condition - are any programs accessible for me?
With advanced planning, it is possible to find a program with accommodations to meet specific needs. Education Abroad Advisers are equipped to help students explore resources available to them and assist with searching for a suitable program. Partner providers also seek to make programs as accessible as possible. We encourage students to discuss specific needs early on when they are considering studying abroad, and students can review helpful resources on accessibility and dietary restrictions. Additionally, we encourage students to discuss concerns with the Office of Academic Access and Disability Resources.

Can I use my financial aid?
Yes, in most cases, financial aid can be applied toward the cost of a program. VA benefits are also eligible to be applied to certain types of programs. Students should refer to Financial Planning and schedule an appointment with an Education Abroad Adviser to discuss financial aid matters.

When can I study abroad?
Students are eligible to study abroad beginning the summer after their first year at Davidson up until the summer after their junior year. Under certain circumstances, with advance approval, it may also be possible for first-semester seniors to study abroad. Semester, academic year, summer, and winter break programs allow students to find an option that works best in their schedule. Some students even participate on multiple programs.

What types of programs are available?
All students who plan to study abroad during the academic year must select a program from the approved programs list. The list is generous and spans across all disciplines and most of the globe. Programs led by Davidson faculty are popular, but there are over 120 additional options in 54 countries around the world. The options reflect different locations, course offerings, GPA requirements, and costs.
We also have a list of recommended programs for summer and winter break.

What are the application deadlines?
February 1: fall, academic year, summer
October 1: spring, winter break
Note: Partner provider deadlines may differ from the Davidson deadline. Students must submit all application materials, including transcripts, recommendations, and any supporting documents to the approved partner provider program by the Davidson deadline.
If students do not submit all of the materials by the Davidson College deadline, approval to study abroad may be revoked.
Note that a few partner programs have deadlines earlier than the Davidson deadline, and in those cases, the partner program deadline supersedes Davidson’s deadline.)

When should I start planning?
Students should start planning early. Schedule an appointment to chat with an Education Abroad Adviser about their interests, available program options, program requirements, and applicable deadlines. Students may also want to sit down with their academic or major adviser to discuss where and how study abroad fits in their academic plan.