On Thursday October 17th, the Missouri S&T Study Abroad Program held a Study Abroad Information Session in 103 Norwood Hall on the Missouri S&T campus. The session was geared towards current Missouri S&T students and sought to relay the many benefits of studying abroad, but also to inform students of the level of commitment studying abroad takes. During the information session General Eligibility Requirements were reviewed. Students seeking to study abroad must have been enrolled full time at Missouri S&T for one semester and have maintained good academic standing throughout their time at S&T with a minimum GPA of 2.75. This may vary with some universities requiring a higher GPA. Students must be sufficiently proficient in the language of their chosen host institution. The level of proficiency requirements also vary by institution.
Students who meet the above requirements must work with a study abroad advisor to assist them in course and study abroad program selection. This ensures that all credits gained throughout the program can be properly transferred.
During the information session students were advised to begin the planning process as early as a full semester before the anticipated semester of departure. This is to allow time for the application process and any requirements, specifically language prerequisites, which still need to be met by the student academically.
Missouri S&T students in attendance were also told of the multiple program durations available to them. Programs include short-term which may be completed during the summer, winter, or spring break. Semester programs for fall and spring are also available as well as programs lasting an entire academic year.
The session also covered the various exchange programs which Missouri S&T is a part of. These programs include the Missouri Consortium of International Programs and Studies (MOCON), Independent Agreements, the MAUI–Utrecht Network Student Exchange, the Global Engineering Education Exchange, and the Magellan Exchange.
Another major topic of the information session was the financial aspect of studying abroad. Missouri S&T students studying abroad are charged for 15 undergraduate credits (9 graduate credits) and any other semester fees during their time abroad. Out of state students are charged Missouri resident tuition fees while abroad. Study abroad students must also submit a non-refundable one time fee of $300. Students were informed that most aid granted at Missouri S&T is transferable to the study abroad program. Furthermore, students not eligible for FAFSA at Missouri S&T may be eligible to receive aid for a study abroad program. Students may also apply for Missouri S&T Study Abroad Scholarships.
The session touched on essential topics such as health and safety while abroad and travel related vaccines and medications. All outgoing Missouri S&T exchange students are required to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP). This program acts to assist United States citizens in foreign countries in case of emergency and issues travel advisories regarding unstable countries. Missouri S&T also mandates a specific insurance policy for all students studying abroad. The session emphasized safety as a priority above all else, and learning a close second.
Students were assured that their academic advisor will be there to help for everything from matching them to a suitable program to ensuring semester deadlines in the foreign country are known and met. In conclusion, the session offered students interested in studying abroad a glimpse into the commitment and logistics of studying abroad while also highlighting the adventure that study abroad is.