Study Away FAQ


1. Who can participate?

All majors and minors are welcome to participate as long as you meet the eligibility requirements and are interested in an adventure! UAB has faculty-led and exchange study abroad options, and there are thousands of programs organized by other global institutions and universities that cater to all majors and minors.

2. How do I get started?

The easiest place to begin is the Where to Start? page. In addition, you can explore the world of opportunities by using our Program Map.

3. How do I know what program is best for me?

The Office for Study Away offers programs to fit every students needs. While the options may seem overwhelming, we encourage each student to research programs and choose the best fit for them. The Where to Start section has some good questions to ask yourself as you begin researching. Remember that researching the various opportunities is a fun part of the process! However, if you get stuck or have several questions the best thing is to contact us and set-up an appointment.

4. When, where and how long can I study away?

Once you have 30 completed credits and a 2.7 GPA you are eligible to go. However, some programs may have additional requirements so make sure to check the individual program details. You can study away just about anywhere in the world. The National Student Exchange and The Washington Center offer domestic programs while there are several other program options internationally. Programs range in length from a few weeks to an academic year. In most cases you are allowed to study away for up to 1 academic year (fall, spring and summer). This does not have to be completed all at once. In other words you can study away for a summer term and then complete a spring semester away a year later.

5. What is the difference between a passport and a visa? How do I know which one I need?

A passport is the official document proving your citizenship. As the old saying goes, “A person without a passport, is a person without a country.” Your passport is the single most important document you will need for international travel. If you do not currently have one, you can apply for a passport online.

A visa is the official documentation that states how long and for what purpose you will be visiting the country. Visa requirements vary by country and also by your country of citizenship. Typically a visa is required only for a study period of 90 days (3 months) or longer. If you do need a visa, you can only apply for it once you have been accepted into your study away program. You will also need a current passport to apply. If you have additional questions regarding the passport and visa process please contact the Study Away office.

6. What courses am I allowed to take?

We allow students to enroll in any class they choose as long as they are enrolled full time according to UAB policies and meet the pre-requisites according to program rules. You are not required to take classes towards your major or minor although most students do. Some students take other classes that are only available at the location due to the topic or because it is of personal interest to them. Our office recommends that you meet with your academic advisor to determine what types of classes are appropriate given your individual situation.

7. Will the course I enroll in count towards my degree requirements?

If you complete all the necessary requirements prior to leaving on your program the credits you earn overseas will count towards your UAB requirements. Part of the advising process our office completes prior to your departure includes approving the overseas courses as UAB equivalents which is called the course articulation process. This will help as you plan your future semester coursework.

8. If I don't speak a foreign language, can I still study abroad?

Many countries have universities that offer courses taught in English. However, the Study Away Office does recommend that you enroll in a language course while you are participating in the program in order to ease your transition.

9. Will the grade I earn overseas count towards my GPA?

UAB Grading Policy requires that all credits earned overseas are counted as graded credits. Grades earned overseas are converted to US grades based on a standardized grading scales.

10. Where will I live while I am studying abroad?

Housing options vary by country, program and duration of program. Some of the options include: dorms (on campus), apartments (on or off campus), residencies (group housing) or home stays. Some programs will give you several options while others may only have one option available.

11. I've decided on my program and location. What's the next step?

The next step if you haven’t done so already is to create an account profile. Once our office determines that you meet our eligibility requirements, you will receive a notification that you can (1) apply to the program you wish to attend and (2) to schedule an appointment with the UAB Study Away Office.

12. I don't see the program I'm interested in on your website. Does that mean I can't go on that program?

Not necessarily. If you don't see the program you are interested in listed, you should make an appointment with the Study Away Office so we can evaluate it on a case-by-case basis.

13. Can I participate in a study abroad program through another university?

Yes. You can go on their programs as a transient student. Contact the Study Away Office to set-up an appointment to discuss this opportunity.

14. I have Federal Financial Aid (grants, loans, PACT, GI Bill, etc.) will they apply?

Yes. All Federal Aid will apply to Study Away. Refer to the "Financing" tab of our Outgoing Students page to learn more. It is also a good idea to speak with a Financial Aid Advisor to let them know of your plans. They will tell you the stages to take to apply your aid package to a Study Away program. Remember, in order for your Aid to be disbursed to you, you must be enrolled in the minimum number of hours to be considered full time. If you will not be enrolled at UAB while you are studying away, you will need to complete a consortium agreement.

15. I have a UAB scholarship, does that apply to Study Away?

Yes. If your program occurs during the Fall / Spring semester, you can apply your UAB scholarship. Be sure to speak with a UAB scholarship advisor to learn more. If you will not be enrolled at UAB while you are studying away, you will need to complete a consortium agreement.

16. Are there other scholarship opportunities for Study Away?

Yes. Check out UAB Study Away Scholarships. Also be sure to talk to the Financial Aid office and your Academic Advisor to find more on other scholarship opportunities.

17. What do I do if I require special accommodations?

Keep in mind that accessibility standards in other countries may not meet American standards. If you require any special accommodations per the Americans with Disabilities Act please make sure that you are registered with UAB Disability Support Services and that you notify the Director of Study Away as early as possible. These UAB offices will work together to advise you regarding accessibility issues while abroad. Students are also encouraged to visit Mobility International USA for additional information and resources.