Whether you're a student considering studying abroad or the parent of a student preparing for departure, there are many issues to consider and questions that may arise. A student's first point of contact should always be the Global Education Office of the Reves Center for International Studies but some questions may be answered below:
Our students may study abroad through W&M faculty-led programs, W&M tuition exchanges, W&M sponsored semester programs, third-party study abroad provider programs, other US university programs, and in some instances, direct enroll in a foreign university. For more information, please see the section on Programs.
A student contemplating study abroad should first look at their 4-year academic plan and consult with their academic advisor to determine when study abroad might be most appropriate. With that in mind, they should attend a Study Abroad Workshop, or sign up for an individual appointment with a study abroad peer advisor. Study Abroad Peer Advisors are available Monday-Friday 11-5 in the Global Education Office. Walk-ins are fine; however, it is best to make an appointment to speak with an advisor individually. No reservation or appointment is needed to attend a workshop.
Read more about Getting Started.
W&M accepts transfer credit from courses taken abroad if the student receives faculty approval and a grade of a W&M "C" or higher. This will be determined upon completion of the program and receipt of the host university official transcript. The Global Education Office will guide students through the transfer credit and approval process. W&M faculty-led summer programs and the W&M sponsored programs in Seville, Spain and La Plata, Argentina offer courses with W&M credit, which will appear on the transcript and be included in W&M GPA calculations.
The range of program costs is very broad, and is affected by location, academic offerings, length of stay, type of housing, extent of student services and number and type of extracurricular activities.
Unless a student is participating in a W&M tuition exchange, they will not be required to pay home tuition while abroad. Tuition exchange students pay tuition and fees to William & Mary and all other costs (accommodation, meals, etc.) to the host institution.
What will I be billed by W&M for study abroad?
That answer will depend on the type of program you are studying abroad through:
For W&M sponsored summer and sponsored semester programs: Students will pay a $75 application fee directly to the Bursar's Office via check, money order, or cash by the stated application deadline.
Students will be billed the program fee directly on their student account. CISI medical/evacuation insurance is included in the program fee. Students are asked to commit to a program by paying a non-refundable deposit prior to paying the remaining balance of the program. Please note that your program will provide you with specific dates and program fee information.
For W&M exchange programs: If you are going on one of W&M's exchange programs, you will be billed your regular W&M tuition and fees along with the CISI medical/evacuation insurance for that term, and a $375 study abroad administrative fee. Room and board will be paid directly to the institution or housing partner.
For all other credit-bearing study abroad programs: If you are going on a credit-bearing study abroad program through a third-party provider, the only charges you will see on your W&M account will be the CISI medical/evacuation insurance and the $375 study abroad administration fee. Other charges for your study abroad program (e.g., tuition, housing, etc.) will be paid directly to the third-party provider.
If you are unsure what type of program you are studying abroad on, please contact the Global Education Office. The billing cycle for each type of program is available in the student's individual application.
Yes. Federal, state, and most private grants, loans, and scholarships may be applied to the cost of study abroad. The student will need to complete a Consortium Agreement (pdf) and a Disbursement Form (pdf), and should talk discuss their plans with their W&M financial aid advisor. W&M Student Accounts offers eRefunds, which provides financial aid refund disbursements via direct deposit as opposed to a paper check via mail. Students need to opt-in to this program, and may do so here.
The Global Education Office awards over $500,000 annually to William & Mary students participating in the university's programs abroad. These scholarships are need-based; scholarship applications are due at the same time as the program application. For students studying abroad with other institutions, there is information on sources of funding for study abroad in the Global Education Office, and on our Scholarships section of the website. All third-party study abroad providers offer scholarships for their programs as well.
Please read about obtaining a passport and visa under Travel Documents and Information.
To a great extent, a student's safety abroad, just as at home, is a function of common sense and responsible behavior. To help students prepare to conduct themselves wisely in their new surroundings, W&M offers all students going abroad a Pre-Departure Orientation and a Study Abroad Handbook, which cover many aspects of traveling to and living in a foreign country, and focuses on issues of safety. In addition, providers of study abroad programs conduct on-site orientations and have resident staff on site who are available to advise and care for students.
To view health and safety information for specific destinations, we recommend that you visit the websites of the U.S. Department of State, the World Health Organization, and the Center for Disease Control.
All study abroad students are required to be covered through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI)'s health and emergency evacuation insurance unless a waiver is approved based on the same or better coverage through another policy.
If your student has already chosen a study abroad program, they are the best person to ask. We strongly encourage students to take responsibility for managing all aspects of their study abroad experience, and your expectation that they be fully informed can greatly strengthen that encouragement.
Of course, if you have questions that your student cannot answer, please feel free to contact the Global Education Office directly.
Email and cell phones have made it much easier to stay in touch around the globe. It is extremely likely that your student will have access to one or both of these means of communication while abroad. Skype is also a cheap and easy way to communicate over long distances. In addition, be sure that you have contact information for the on-site faculty and staff responsible for the participants on the program and, if available, a phone number for your student's place of residence.
It may take your student some time to re-adjust to life in the U.S. after their study abroad experience. Students often grow and change remarkably when they live and learn abroad and are sometimes quite surprised to find their "home" culture almost as unfamiliar as the "foreign" one they've become part of while abroad. They may feel different, disoriented, or divided from friends and family. This re-entry, or "reverse culture" shock is a normal part of the study abroad process and you can help make the transition an easier one. Encourage your student to talk through their experience with you, but be patient and don't take their new views on the home culture personally. You can also encourage them to keep the experience alive by becoming involved in international programming and events on campus.