Education Abroad and National Student Exchange Advisor Taylor Lenze offered students information about how they can get involved in UCA’s Semester Exchange Program.
The Semester Exchange Program is the most immersive at UCA. If a student chooses to participate, they will spend a semester at a “sister university” in another country. Some of the options of countries include Brazil, Ecuador, Kenya, Thailand, China, England, Germany, Belgium, Spain and France.
UCA also offers study abroad programs that are language immersive, which means students attend universities related to their foreign language studies. UCA also offers faculty-led study abroad programs, which take place in the summer and are led by a UCA professor.
The requirements for students planning to study abroad are to complete 60 credit hours at UCA and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. “If you have a slightly lower GPA, come talk to us, we can work with you,” Lenze said.
Lenze urged students to start applying for a passport if they are thinking about studying abroad because “passports are taking anywhere between six to 10 weeks.” The deadline to study abroad this spring semester is Friday, Sept. 17.
Another thing to note about UCA’s sister universities is that they have courses that correspond with UCA’s course requirements. Depending on a student’s major, they need to fill some sort of requirements to stay on track for graduation. “For example, Language and Gender can transfer just into general special topics. So, this could actually transfer a couple of different courses here at UCA,” Lenze said.
In order to apply for the Semester Exchange Program, a student must talk to a “peer advisor” in the study abroad office, someone from the financial aid office, and complete a Course Approval Form, which is a commitment to the school the student wishes to attend and the courses they want to take.
“This is really important because it's your department's commitment to you and actually our university's commitment to you that the courses you take when in Spain or Thailand will actually count towards your major. That way you're getting ahead on your degree not behind,” Lenze said.
Tuition at a partner university will be the same as tuition for UCA. “The nice thing about it, though, is that it's a little bit cheaper than in-state tuition. So, whatever you're paying now, you'll actually get to pay the special study abroad rate,” Lenze said.
Additionally, students still pay some UCA fees while abroad, but they do not have to pay the host university fees. The only payment a student needs to take into account is for housing, either on or off-campus. The study abroad office will assist students in finding housing, but it’s ultimately up to the student to figure out where they plan to live.
FAFSA, Pell Grant, Arkansas Challenge, any university scholarships and most private scholarships can go toward study abroad expenses. Additional scholarships are offered and available to apply for to study abroad as well.
Each university abroad has a professor at UCA that can give information about the partner schools to students interested.
Visit https://uca.edu/globalstudy/updated-semester-home-page/ for more information.