When should I start planning to study abroad?
It is never too early to start thinking about study abroad. Start your first-year learning more about programs by visiting sa.wustl.edu, Study Abroad Fairs, and information sessions. Sophomore year is when many students apply for semester abroad programs.
What are the requirements to study abroad?
Each program has its own requirements. Visit the program links to learn more.
When do most students study abroad?
Students study abroad at all different times in their college career. Discuss studying abroad with your academic advisor and study abroad staff to determine the best semester or summer to study abroad.
Who can study abroad? Transfer students? Special needs students? Athletes?
Anyone can study abroad. You should work with the Coordinator of Special Programs to determine a program in which you can complete the most requirements. Special needs students should disclose these needs at the time of your study abroad appointment to help the coordinator identify programs that are the best fit.
Do I need to be in the Sam Fox School to participate in a Sam Fox program?
In the Florence Semester Program, students must be major or second major in the SFS. In the Florence Summer Program, students can be from any school or any major, even university students from outside of WashU.
Do I need to know or have taken a foreign language?
For the Florence Semester Program, students need at least one semester of Italian before going abroad. For the Florence Summer Program, students do not need any prior language experience. For other WUSTL or Alternative programs, refer to the program details.
Can I study abroad multiple times?
Yes. Students may participate in more than one study abroad program; however, no more than a total of 15 units will be awarded as transfer credit. The Florence programs are WashU credit, not transfer credit. Students can participate in the Florence Summer and Florence Semester Programs.
Example: A student can do a WUSTL summer study abroad program and the Florence Semester Program.
Example: A student can do the Florence Summer Program and an Alternative semester study abroad program.
How much will it cost to study abroad?
Students pay normal WU tuition for the Florence Semester Program or WUSTL semester programs. Housing costs differ depending on the program. You will also have to factor in airfare, local transportation, meals (most programs do not have meal plans so you have to cook for yourself or eat at restaurants), and personal expenses. Cost estimates for each program can be found on the individual program pages.
Can I apply for any scholarships?
Yes. Talk to your Study Abroad Coordinator about scholarship opportunities.
Will I have health insurance when I go abroad?
All Sam Fox students are automatically enrolled in GeoBlue insurance (https://www.geobluestudents.com) billed directly to WebSTAC, and has the option to set up providers before you go abroad. The cost is approximately $50 per month.
What does Sam Fox School provide to prepare me for my abroad experience?
Students who go to the Florence Semester Program attend the preparation seminar the semester before they go. This is a 1 credit class that discusses such topics as culture shock, country specific information and study abroad logistics. Students who go to the Florence Summer Program attend two mandatory preparation meetings in the Spring before they go.
Are there any on-site orientations for the programs?
The Florence Program has an on-site orientation arranged by the Sam Fox School and our partner school in Florence. This is a mandatory orientation.
Will I need a visa?
Florence semester program: Yes.
Florence Summer Program: Yes if you hold a non-US passport. No if you hold a US passport.
WUSTL or Alternative Program: refer to the program details.
How can I learn more about my host country?
A good place to start is the Country Reports provided by the U.S. State department at http://www.state.gov/j/drl/irf/rpt/ or the World Factbook published by the CIA: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/. You can also get guidebooks such as the Culture Shock! Series. You can also ask for a list of current students that have studied abroad in Florence. They can tell you about the country and program from a student experience.
I have dietary restrictions; will this negatively affect my experience abroad?
Not necessarily. You should choose the living situation or program that gives you the most control over your food choices. This is a good topic to bring up with a study abroad advisor.
What type of housing can I expect to live in while I am abroad?
See Florence Summer and Florence Semester Program pages for details. See program details for WUSTL or Alternative Programs. Housing options typically include apartments, homestays, dormitories, or student apartments.
Will I have time to travel while I am abroad?
The academic schedule differs across programs, but most of the programs have some sort of fall or spring break, in addition to national holidays. Students usually find time to travel around classes, during breaks, or on weekends.
How will my credits earned abroad transfer back to WashU?
On Sam Fox Programs, credit is WU credit, not transfer credit. On WUSTL Programs, it is typical that credits come back to WU as transfer credit. You should check program details. On Alternative Programs, credits will come back to WU as transfer credit, however, the grade will not be counted in your WU GPA.
Can I take a study abroad class pass/fail?
No. You must take Italian for a grade, earn at least a C or better. See the language policy for further detail.
How will I get a summer internship while I am abroad?
The career services office is still at your disposal while you are abroad. You should connect with your career counselor before you go abroad so they can better assist your while you’re away. Our study abroad students often apply for internships from abroad, and use skype to interview. Its best to start your portfolio and/or website before you go abroad, and bring all the files you need with you to be able to work on it. Art students, contact Jen Logan Meyer for career services. Architecture students, contact Martin Padilla for career services.
How will I apply to grad school while I am abroad?
Architecture students study abroad in the fall semester of senior year, so you may be preparing to apply to graduate schools while you’re abroad. The faculty with you in Florence is well equipped to help you refine and prepare your portfolio for application and give some guidance about what schools to apply to. You should contact them for guidance. You can also be in touch with faculty mentors on campus to get help with grad school applications. Being abroad can offer less obligations on your free time, making it easier to prepare grad school applications. Being abroad has not been found to be an additional burden on students applying to grad school.