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Study Abroad Basics

1. What is Study Abroad?
2. Why should I study abroad?
3. Where can I study?
4. Is a program available for my major?
5. Can I really afford to study abroad?
6. Will I get behind in my studies?
7. What are my chances of being selected for the program?
8. Do I have to speak a foreign language?
9. How do I get started?
10. What types of programs are available to me?
11. Can I talk to other students who have studied abroad?


1. What is Study Abroad?

Study Abroad is a program in which students attend school in a country outside the United States and receive academic credit at their home institution.

2. Why should I study abroad?

See the World: This is your chance to travel and explore the world. College is an ideal time to visit new places, both through your studies and independent travel. There is a new experience around every bend.

Personal Enrichment: Studying abroad is a great way to step outside your natural environment and change your view of the world and yourself? Enhance your sense of independence and self-confidence. There is no better way to experience personal growth than to travel somewhere new and exciting.

Cultural Awareness: Immersion in a new culture is the best way to learn about the people, values and traditions. By studying abroad, you will gain not only an appreciation for your host country, but a newfound understanding and appreciation for your own!

Change Your Thinking: Living in another culture presents a unique opportunity to broaden your perspective.   There are so many ways of thinking, so many different views in the world.  Studying abroad can help you "open your eyes" to the rest of the world, and will help shape your thinking and perspective on issues.

Academic Credit: Study abroad is a great way to complement your studies with new and different courses that can still count for full credit with department approval.

Language Immersion: Depending on the country you choose, you may have the opportunity to be immersed in a new language 24/7. Whether it is for personal enjoyment or an academic requirement, immersion is the best way to improve on or learn a new language.

Professional Edge: Today's market is often driven by international markets and globalization. Diversity is an important characteristic to possess and there is no better way to demonstrate cross-cultural knowledge than from a study abroad experience. This is a terrific way to expand your career choices and develop a global resume!

3. Where can I study?

As a Montclair State University student you can study in more than 50 countries. You have many different programs open to you through various affiliations.

4. Is a program available for my major?

Montclair State has a program overseas for almost everyone. As long as you begin planning early enough and are flexible with your choices, we can find a location for you.  Most students are able to find courses in their major, or courses that will satisfy General Education requirements while abroad.

5. Can I really afford to study abroad?

You may be able to use financial aid. If you already qualify for financial aid, in most cases you may apply some or all of it to your study-abroad experience. For more information on financial aid, click here.

Some scholarships are available. Depending on your destination, program and the program provider, some scholarships may be available to you by outside organizations. Most of these scholarships are competitive and require planning ahead. Information on scholarships can be found here

You can't afford not to study abroad! Study abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are few other experiences available to you that will offer you the education and personal growth you will gain by living and learning in a new culture.

6. Will I get behind in my studies?

Montclair State students retain campus residency while studying abroad.  You will be enrolled in a generic course for study abroad. After you return, academic reports prepared by the Global Education Center will convert host university credits (as long as grades are considered a C- or above). They then become a part of your official Montclair State transcript. Courses taken overseas do not affect GPA. You can even waive your Global Issues requirement of GNED 303 Global Issues just by studying abroad!

With Departmental approval, you can apply some study abroad credits to your major and/or minor requirements. If you plan ahead, your Advisor can work with you to find a program that will not set you behind.

7. What are my chances of being selected for the program?

Excellent! Check to see if you meet the minimum requirements. You must submit an official application complete with references, official transcript and essay, and take part in a personal interview. Some programs may require prerequisites of language or specific course work. You do not need to speak the language of the country in many cases. Montclair State offers many programs in English.  To be accepted to participate in a study abroad program you must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 (some programs require a higher GPA), not be under disciplinary action at the University and have completed at least one semester at Montclair State.  Some specific programs may have additional or different requirements.  See your Study Abroad Advisor for more information.

8. Do I have to speak a foreign language?

Many programs do not require previous language study and allow you to learn the language of the country while taking other course work in English.  However, the more language you know before studying abroad, the easier it will be to meet host nationals and integrate yourself in the culture.

9. How do I get started?

Study Abroad can change your life!  Living and learning in a new culture and environment will give you the unique opportunity to gain a fresh perspective, make friends and gain confidence and independence that is seldom available at home.
The process of selecting and applying to programs can seem overwhelming at first, but the staff of the Global Education Center is here to support and advise you through the process.  Here are some steps to get you started:
  • Attend a Study Abroad Information Session
Information Sessions are held every Wednesday at 2:30PM in the Global Education Center.  We will discuss program and term options, academic planning (for study abroad), application processes and funding.  All Montclair State students are strongly encouraged to attend an information session before meeting individually with an adviser.
  • Set Goals and Prioritize
Determine your goals and priorities for study abroad. Study abroad programs can help you meet major or minor requirements, fulfill general education requirements, or achieve proficiency in a second language.  You can live with a host family or in student residences, take classes in English or the host country language, stay for a full academic year or just a few weeks. Opportunities abound! With careful planning you can study abroad and graduate on time. Think about the term you'd like to study abroad and the type of coursework you'd like to cover.
Montclair State University offers over programs in over 30 different countries during several different sessions.  Choosing your program is exciting but can seem overwhelming.  Read the statements below to help you explore your options and lead you toward the program that is right for you.

I know where I want to go. If this statement describes you, click on our interactive map and select your destination of choice.  There you will find a list of programs that are offered.  Some countries may only have one option, while others may have selections in several cities, and multiple programs in some cities.  If you are certain about where you want to go, the map is a great way to begin your program search.

I know when and for how long I want to go. Does your academic program, personal life or job dictate when you are free to participate in study abroad?  Is fall semester the most convenient time for you? Spring? Summer?  Maybe you want to go abroad but can only fit a week or two into your schedule.  Or, maybe you want to get as much experience possible abroad and a full academic year.

I know what I want to study. Depending on how far you have progressed toward your degree, you may have many general education requirements left to satisfy, or you may be working only on your major and minor requirements now.  If you have free electives and/or Gen Ed requirements left to fulfill, you will have much more flexibility in selecting a program. If, however, you are restricted to satisfying major requirements, or if you just want to take specific courses while abroad, you may have a more limited selection. The further ahead you start planning for your term abroad, the more flexibility you will have in selecting a program.
  • Explore Programs
Use our interactive map and other search tools to explore what programs are available to you as a Montclair State University student.

  • Meet with a Study Abroad Adviser
After verifying that you are in good academic and disciplinary standing at Montclair State University, you are ready to focus on selecting a program.

At this stage in the process, it would be a good idea to schedule an appointment with a Study Abroad Advisor.  Your advisor can discuss the programs you are considering and guide you in the application process and other resources.  Different programs may require different applications and forms.
You may also want to schedule and informal meeting with your academic or major advisor to review your degree requirements and determine what types of courses you will need to take during study abroad consult with your major department advisers and/or academic advisers about your plans. Discuss coursework and terms that will work for you. 
Please schedule an appointment with a Study Abroad Advisor.
  • Apply Early

Allow yourself plenty of time to complete the program application, finish your academic planning, fulfill financial aid and scholarship requirements, and get ready to study abroad. Application deadlines range from three months to one year before the program start date.  Deadlines vary by program but generally, deadlines are as follows:

Fall programs:  Submit completed application to the Study Abroad Office by March 1st.
Spring programs:  Submit completed application to the Study Abroad Office by October 1st.
Summer programs:  Submit completed application to the Study Abroad Office by March 1st.

10. What types of programs are available to me?

The Global Education Center at Montclair State University offers numerous options for students seeking an opportunity to study in another country.

There are four different ways to participate in study abroad programs.

ONE TO FIVE WEEK PROGRAMS

MSU Short-Term Faculty-Led Programs:  These programs are run by Montclair State University faculty who accompany you, along with a group of Montclair students, to your overseas destination to take an Montclair course(s). You are billed by Montclair State University directly for these programs.  You will be traveling and taking classes with a group from Montclair State University.

    * Maintain your Montclair State enrollment
    * Receive Montclair State credit AND Montclair State grades
    * Eligible to use financial aid
    * Travel and stay with a group of Montclair faculty and students

SEMESTER, ACADEMIC YEAR AND SUMMER PROGRAMS

Montclair State University Exchange Programs: These are traditional study abroad student exchange programs.  Montclair State University partners with the overseas institution to "exchange" students for a semester or year.  There are many benefits to this type of study abroad including lower cost, access to all financial aid and a greater opportunity for immersion in the host culture.  For these programs, you must apply through the Study Abroad Office at Montclair State University.

    * Maintain your Montclair State enrollment
    * Charged Montclair State tuition and fees
    * Receive resident credit, no grades
    * Eligible to use financial aid: Federal, State and Institutional

Montclair State University Affiliated Programs:

Providers:  These are programs run by third-party providers.  The provider may be a non-profit (SIT) or for-profit private company that runs study abroad programs for universities around the country (SIT, ISA and CEA are our current affiliates).  Montclair State has partnered with these providers to offer programs for Montclair students.

Institutions:  These are universities, colleges or programs abroad that have been approved by Montclair State for study abroad.

For these programs, you must apply through the Study Abroad Office at Montclair State University.
  • Maintain your Montclair State enrollment
  • Billed by the Affiliate Program
  • Not charged Montclair State tuition and fees
  • Receive resident credit, no grades
  • Eligible to use financial aid: Federal and some Institutional
  • Montclair State University Non-Affiliated Programs:  These are programs with overseas institutions or third party providers, with which Montclair State has no affiliation or formal agreement.  If you choose to participate in a non-affiliated program, in most cases you:
  • Withdraw from University*
  • Apply for transfer credit, no grades
  • Require a foreign credential evaluation
  • May not use financial aid through Montclair State
*In most cases, applications for non-affiliated programs are not supported by the Study Abroad Office at Montclair State.  However, there are some exceptions.  If you are interested in a Non-Affiliated Program, please make an appointment with the Director of Study Abroad to petition for your program.  Under certain circumstances, Montclair State may permit you to participate without withdrawal.

11. Can I talk to other students who have studied abroad?

Absolutely! At any time, feel free to contact our Study Abroad Peer Advisors (SAPA's) to learn about their experiences and advice on how to prepare for your own educational experiences abroad. They can also discuss topics such as traveling, living abroad, and what it is like to be immersed in a different culture. To contact a peer advisor, click here.