University of South Alabama students in all academic disciplines are encouraged to participate in a study abroad experience for credit toward their major, minor or elective credits. Academic research, practicum, internship and work abroad experience are also highly encouraged for all disciplines and all USA students. Students should check with their academic advisors and the Office of International Education for available opportunities, information on scholarships and application/approval procedures.
All students receiving academic credit for study or interning abroad must be enrolled in an official USA Study Abroad "course" (check with the Office of International Education for course and section numbers). This includes participation in faculty- led USA Study Abroad programs as well as other USA approved study abroad programs offered by other universities and third party program providers. To participate in a study abroad program, have an overall GPA of at least 2.25 for undergraduates. Graduate student qualifications vary by department and program. Student should see Office of International Education for "exceptional" circumstances procedures. Students with a GPA between 2.0 and 2.25 must demonstrate positive and constructive maintenance of their GPA with no decline in order to be considered for study abroad. Students should have no incomplete coursework due from the term prior to going abroad. Students experiencing academic challenges on campus should work closely with their academic advisors and the Office of International Education prior to making any plans to study abroad. Students requiring accommodations or special services should contact the USA Office of Student Disability Services and discuss such arrangements with OIE and the host program well in advance of their proposed activity abroad. All applicants for USA Study Abroad must be in good academic and non-academic standing prior to and during the proposed activities abroad. Additionally, all students who plan to study are encouraged to take a pre-departure course entitled IST 300: Global Orientation prior to going abroad. This course is an eight week, one credit hour blended format course designed to help students prepare to go abroad. The IST 300 course is a requirement for all students who intend to participate in semester or yearlong programs, and for all Foreign Languages and Literature majors.
With some planning, study abroad can be fully integrated in USA degree programs and applied to core, major, minor and elective courses. Prior knowledge of a foreign language is not required although many programs provide access to all levels of language learning (beginning to expert). All programs encourage and facilitate intercultural learning opportunities. Opportunities abroad last from one week (depending on the nature of the program) to a full academic year and are available for all semesters including fall, spring, summer and May term. Upon completing USA's study abroad application, including course approval form(s), students will enroll in a USA Study Abroad "course". These courses carry an administrative and registration fee of at least $150 per program and term abroad. With this registration students are able to receive academic credit for courses taken abroad and while abroad have access to a 24/7 emergency assistance network. Additionally this registration provides access to study abroad advising and support services. Depending on the duration of the program, students may be charged additional fee for international insurance. Students participating in USA Faculty-led programs will enroll in a discipline specific USA course that confers USA credits. Students on Faculty-led programs pay a program fee that generally includes tuition, housing abroad, in-country travel, international insurance, and other on-site expenses. All students who plan to study abroad must attend required USA Study Abroad information and pre-departure sessions. By participating in an approved program, students will retain official full time USA student status and in some instances, may apply for or retain their existing financial aid and scholarship money. Freshmen are encouraged to begin planning for study abroad upon arrival to USA. Scholarship information is available through International Education for internal University scholarships as well as for external sources, such as the Gilman Scholarship, U.S. Fulbright Awards for graduating seniors, and the National Security Education/Boren Program for Undergraduate and Graduate Students. Additionally, students eligible for the Alabama prepaid tuition (PACT) program, vocational rehab, and veteran's benefits may be able to apply these funds to their study abroad program. For more information, please visit the Office of International Education's website at www.southalabama.edu/ie or www.southalabama.edu/studyabroad. Students can also come to Study Abroad walk-in hours (see website for hours) or schedule an appointment with a study abroad advisor by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.