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FAQs (How to Apply)

Where do Union students go abroad?

Click Here to view the complete program list.

How do I create an application?

  • Use Firefox or Chrome for best results.
  • Find a program by clicking on Programs, located to the left of the home page and selecting All Programs
    You can search by program by name, location or other variables.  Be sure to review the program information to make sure it is the correct program!
  • Once you have open the page of the program you wish to apply for, click Apply Now.
    • You will be asked: Please indicate how you will be logging in.
    • Select I have a username and password and click submit.
    • Log in using your Nexus/Webadvising ID and password.
  • Click on the program name to access your application.  Detailed instructions are on the application.

What are the application deadlines?

You apply for international programs two terms in advance. It is very important to meet these deadlines: Fall term, mid-January; Winter term, mid-April; and Spring term: mid-September. All application material including essays, and unofficial transcripts, etc., are due by the third Friday of the appropriate month on the International Programs Website. Decision letters are emailed on the Friday of the sixth week of term after 4:00 p.m. If accepted, students must select "commit" or "decline" at the International Programs online application site to confirm participation no later than the Tuesday of the eighth week of the term applied.

Are all of the credits transferrable?

In each program, all courses count toward the graduation requirement of 36 courses. For students who entered Union before Fall 2022, all terms abroad and exchanges satisfy the General Education "Other Cultures" requirement. Some courses with departmental designations count toward departmental requirements as well.

Where do students live?

Accommodations vary. In some case students live with host families. In other programs they stay in dormitories or apartments. Check the individual programs for specific arrangements.

How competitive are the programs?

While we're proud of the unusually high percentage of Union students who study abroad, our international programs are competitive, some more than others. And while it's wonderful to have a passion for a certain country or locale, it's also important to remain open and flexible about studying in countries you may not have considered. Be sure to attend informational meetings about several programs. The programs are announced to students in advance. Also seek out advice from your academic advisors and from the International Programs Office to choose programs appropriate to your interests.

Can students go on a mini-term and a term abroad?

Yes, students may apply and be selected for both types of international programs.

How are students selected?

Selection criteria include your term abroad essay, GPA, faculty recommendations, course of study, certification by the Dean of Students, and the faculty selection committee's assessment of your ability to adapt to the program's social and academic environment. The selection committee is also looking for a group of students with varied academic and intellectual backgrounds and interests.

How much does it cost to study abroad?

Generally, a term abroad costs approximately $650 more than a term on campus. With the exception of work-study, all financial aid you receive on campus applies to the program. The term abroad fee covers tuition, room, board, health excursion and all group excursions. Arrangements and the cost of round-trip travel, passport and visa fee's are the responsibility of each individual student.

What is the difference between a term abroad and an exchange?

There are three significant differences: There are no group excursions on an exchange. Participants in an exchange are not charged the terms abroad surcharge. And there is no Union faculty member accompanying students on an exchange; rather, a staff member at the host institution is responsible for the Union students.

I need to renew my passport. What should I do?

It can take 6-8 weeks to obtain a passport, once you have applied. Available services depend upon the facility location. Visit this page for more information.

What forms are required to go abroad?

There are a number of forms you and your family must sign and return to the International Programs Office by the deadline given at the first orientation meeting for each program and online. Included in these is a Participant's Agreement, a legal document that has to be signed by the student and both parents in front of a Notary Public. For a general overview, see Student/Parent Paperwork under the For Parents section.

What happens with my on-campus housing at Union while I am abroad and upon return?

Due to limited occupancy, all students who study abroad are required to move out of their on campus housing throughout the duration of their study abroad trip. The Office of Residential Education & Housing does not guarantee students abroad the same room or bed when returning to campus, and is not able to preserve any vacancies (i.e. students are not permitted to "save" or "retain" their spaces while abroad). Students who are slated to return to campus after studying abroad are required to submit a Returning Students Housing Application in the housing portal. Application opening, and closing dates will be sent directly to students abroad via email during week 6. See the Residential Education page on housing and study abroad for more information.

What about medical coverage while traveling abroad?

All students participating in a Union College study abroad program will be enrolled in a GeoBlue health insurance plan that provides comprehensive medical and evacuation insurance coverage. After being accepted into a program, students will receive access to the GeoBlue website to learn more about the benefits, tools, and services available. Students will also receive an insurance card, which should be carried at all times while abroad. Parents can access information about GeoBlue by visiting the GeoBlue Parents website.

You should also check to see what vaccinations you will need for your program.

Who arranges air travel to the chosen country?

Each student is responsible for arranging airline reservations. The College does not arrange group travel. If you do not have a passport at the time of application, or it is about to expire, you should apply for one immediately. The passport must be valid for six months after the end of the program. If a visa is needed, this process should be started as soon as possible, as well.

Be sure your parents keep a copy of your passport, visa, travel itinerary homestay or dormitory information.

What's the best way to keep in touch with my parents while I'm away?

Before you leave, arrange how you will communicate with your family, i.e., email, WhatsApp, cell phone, international calling card. It is also important your parents have the name, email address and telephone number of Union's contact in your overseas program.

While there are all sorts of delays when traveling–plane delays, difficulty in setting up phone or computer communication–remember, your parents are eager to hear from you!

Should I purchase "Student Personal Property Plan" insurance?

The decision is yours to evaluate this purchase depending on your personal need. We work with College Student Insurance along with other offices on campus. The low-cost plan covers accidental damage, theft and other losses to your valuables on and off campus and while abroad.

What if I get homesick while I'm away?

Despite the initial thrill of traveling, being in another country is an adjustment. Jet lag, foreign foods, unfamiliar culture, missing friends and family–all can have an impact on even the most seasoned and sophisticated traveler. Know that this usually resolves itself within a week or so. If this persists, talk to the faculty in residence, the International Programs Office or the international office in the host country. Remember, you must keep in touch with the faculty in residence and you must stay at your accommodation.

Is there a number I can contact in case of emergency?

In case of illness, hospitalization or other potentially life-threatening situations, Lara Atkins, director of International Programs, can be reached at this emergency number: (518) 573-0471.