FAQ

 

How to Apply

How do I know that Academic Studies Abroad is a reputable study abroad provider?
How do I apply?
What is the GPA requirement?
What is the application deadline?
How far before the deadline should I apply?
I don’t have my passport yet. Can I still apply?
Is the application fee refundable?
What are the program dates?
How soon will I find out if I’ve been accepted?
How many people go on the trips, and where are they from?

Credit Transfer & Academics

How many credits can I earn on an ASA program?
Are credits transferable?
How do I go about getting the credits and courses approved by my home university?
Who will issue my final transcript, and how will the credits be transferred to my home university?
How many hours a day will I have class while I’m abroad?
What kinds of classes can I take?
Does ASA offer graduate level programs?
Do I have to be currently enrolled as an undergrad to go on an ASA program?

Payment & Financial Aid

Are ASA’s programs affordable?
How much does the program cost and what is included?
When is payment due?
What types of payment do you accept?
Do any of ASA’s programs require a Damage Deposit?
Where can I find more information about scholarships and financial aid?

Passports, Visas & Travel

How do I get a passport?
Do I need a Student Visa?
Will I be able to travel on my own during the program?
How much luggage can I bring?
Should I get a Eurail pass if I’m studying abroad in Europe?
What is the local currency?
Are any excursions included with the ASA program?

Housing FAQs

What types of housing are offered through ASA’s programs, and how many meals are included?

HOW TO APPLY

How do I know that Academic Studies Abroad is a reputable study abroad provider?

Academic Studies Abroad has hosted students from such prestigious universities as Harvard, Cornell, Duke, University of California at Berkeley, University of Michigan, University of Virginia, and many, many more. In addition, we are on the “approved list of programs” for many colleges and universities throughout the country. We are always happy to provide contact information for students currently on our programs, alumni, and study abroad advisors who know our programs so that you can ask them about their experience with ASA.

How do I apply?

Our application guidelines can be found on our How to Apply page.

What is the GPA requirement?

The minimum GPA requirement varies by program. Please go to Program Eligibility to find out the GPA requirement for your desired program.

What is the application deadline?

The application deadline also varies by program and term. You can find a complete list of program deadlines on our Dates, Prices & Deadlines page. Please note: 2 weeks after the Application Deadline is the Forms and Payment Deadline, by which you must submit full payment for your program fees (or financial aid verification).

How far before the deadline should I apply?

Students are always encouraged to apply early, as some programs fill up before the deadline. Also, for some programs, applying early will give you the best possible course selection. Applying at the last minute, or after the deadline, may result in late fees and/or diminished housing and course selection. If you’re unsure about when is the best time to apply for your particular program location, just give us a call at 888-845-4272.

I don’t have my passport yet. Can I still apply?

For some ASA programs, you can send us the rest of your application materials, minus the passport copy. However, some host institutions must have a photocopy of your valid passport in order to enroll you in classes and housing, which means we’ll need a copy of your passport when you apply, or very shortly thereafter. A VALID PASSPORT IS ONE THAT DOES NOT EXPIRE WITHIN 6 MONTHS OF YOUR RETURN DATE FROM ABROAD.  For details on which programs require a passport at the time of application, please click here. In addition, for programs that require a Student Visa (France, Spain, Italy, and some UK programs), you will need your valid passport in hand in order to apply for your visa. Depending on how early you apply, you may need to start working on your visa as soon as you’re accepted.

No matter which program you’re applying for, you should apply for a passport immediately if you don’t have one already. If you already have a passport, be sure to check the expiration date and ensure it doesn’t expire within 6 months of your return date from abroad. (Scroll down to the “Passports, Visas & Travel” section to find out how to apply for or renew a passport.)

Is the application fee refundable?

All students must submit a $50 application fee (non-refundable) and $100 program deposit along with the rest of their application materials, in order for their application to be considered. If you are not accepted to the program, the $100 program deposit will be refunded in full. If you are accepted to the program, then the $150 is applied as a credit to your program fees due. (For example, if your program costs $5,000, then your balance due would be $4,900 after being accepted.) If you are accepted to the program and withdraw before the application deadline, then we will refund you the $100 program deposit. If you withdraw after the application deadline, your $100 program deposit cannot be refunded.

What are the program dates?

The dates are different for each program location and term. You can find a complete list of program dates on our Dates, Prices & Deadlines page.

How soon will I find out if I’ve been accepted?

You will receive an email from us regarding your acceptance within 3 business days of receiving your complete application package, containing all of the required documents as described on our Apply Online page. We’ll also mail you an official acceptance letter. There will be additional post-acceptance paperwork for you to fill out once you have been accepted, which is due 2 weeks after you were accepted.

How many people go on the trips, and where are they from?

Depending on which program you choose, the number of ASA students per group normally varies from 10-40 students. We have students from all over the United States, from hundreds of different college and universities. Keep in mind that no matter which program you attend, your host institution will have other students going there besides just ASA students, so you will meet students in your classes who are from outside the ASA group.

CREDIT TRANSFER & ACADEMICS

How many credits can I earn on an ASA program?

It is possible to earn 3-30 semester credit hours or 4-42 quarter units per session, depending on the length of the program (summer/semester/trimester/academic year).

Are credits transferable?

Yes, credits are transferable, however, you must first get pre-departure approval and the proper signatures from your university’s Study Abroad Office or Office of International Education/Programs. They will help you determine how many credits will transfer.

Students should always get pre-approved for more classes than are needed to allow flexibility at registration. Many times the actual class schedules aren’t published until just before the term begins, so schedule conflicts can occur. If your college or university is not cooperative, please contact ASA so that we can assist you.

How do I go about getting the credits and courses approved at my home university?

First, pay a visit to your school’s Study Abroad Office or Office of International Education/Programs. They are there to guide you through the process of getting the ASA program approved for credit by your school.

Next, one of the documents required when you apply is our Release & Credits Form, where you must have your study abroad or academic advisor sign off on the academic credits. If you have a copy of the ASA catalog, the Release & Credits Form is on the reverse side of the ASA application form, found on the last page of the catalog. If you apply online, you can download the Release & Credits Form under Step 3.

Who will issue my final transcript, and how will the credits be transferred to my home university?

After your program ends, ASA will forward your final transcript to your home school for you. Just be sure to give ASA the correct forwarding address for your school when you fill out your Transcript Address Form. In order for your credits to transfer, you must get the necessary pre-approvals from your home university per the previous FAQ.

The final transcripts are issued for our programs as follows:
-Buenos Aires, Argentina – Universidad de Belgrano
-Viña del Mar, Chile – Universidad de Vina del Mar
-San José, Costa Rica – Universidad Latina de Costa Rica
-Cambridge, England – Anglia Ruskin University
-London, England (London South Bank University) – London South Bank University
-London, England (University of the Arts, London) – University of the Arts, London
-Oxford, England – Oxford Brookes University
-Aix-en-Provence, France – IAU College (You may have a U.S. transcript issued by Truman State University, for an additional fee. If you require a TSU transcript, please be sure to notify us at least 3 months prior to departure.)
-Paris, France – Université Paris – Sorbonne
-Dublin, Ireland (Griffith College Dublin) – Griffith College Dublin
-Dublin, Ireland (Maynooth University) – Maynooth University
-Florence, Italy – University of South Florida
-Sorrento, Italy – Alfred State, SUNY College of Technology
-Cuzco, Peru & Lima, Peru – Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola
-Edinburgh, Scotland – University of Edinburgh
-Sevilla, Spain I – Universidad de Sevilla
-Sevilla, Spain II – Universidad Pablo de Olavide
-Sevilla, Spain III – EUSA (Escuela Universitaria Superior de Andalucía)
-Barcelona, Spain I (at ELISAVA) – ELISAVA (Escola Universitària de Barcelona | Disseny i Enginyeria)
-Barcelona, Spain II (at UAB) – Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB)
-Madrid I (semester/academic year) – Universidad Carlos III
-Madrid II (semester/academic year) – Universidad Complutense de Madrid

How many hours a day will I have class while I’m abroad?

This depends on how many credits you are taking. Most semester students taking a full load of classes (minimum 12 credits for a semester) and summer students taking 6 credits will be in class 3 to 4 hours a day. This will leave you plenty of free time to explore your city.

What kinds of classes can I take?

ASA’s programs offer classes in a wide variety of subject areas! Go to our Courses page to see what types of classes are offered through each of our programs.

Does ASA offer graduate level programs?

No. All of our programs are at the undergraduate level.

Do I have to be currently enrolled as an undergrad to go on an ASA program?

This depends on the program. Some of our programs are open to students who have graduated from high school but have not gone to college yet, and some programs are open to students who have already graduated from college. Please see our Program Eligibility page to see the eligibility rules for each of our programs.

PAYMENT & FINANCIAL AID

Are ASA’s programs affordable?

Yes! If you compare various study abroad programs and what is included with each, you will find that ours are some of the most affordable programs available. When you’re comparing prices, just be sure you’re comparing apples to apples – it’s essential to compare what is included with that price rather than simply the price itself. For a list of what is and is not included with the ASA program fee, simply click on the price of your program.

We also offer scholarships and accept any type of financial aid, grants, scholarships, or loans that you receive to help pay for our programs. For full details on how to use your financial aid to study abroad, please visit our Financial Aid page.

How much does the program cost and what is included?

This varies by program. You can find a complete list of program costs on our Dates, Prices & Deadlines page. Click on the price to see what is and is not included with our program fee.

When is payment due?

For all ASA programs, full payment (or financial aid verification) is due 2 weeks after the application deadline. This is called the Forms & Payment Deadline. Students may be subject to a late fee if they do not complete their post-acceptance forms and make their financial arrangements before the Forms & Payment Deadline.

If you plan to pay for the program using financial aid (thereby deferring your payment until your financial aid is disbursed), ASA must receive the following items by the Forms & Payment Deadline:

  • Consortium Agreement from your home institution’s financial aid or study abroad office
  • Written verification of your financial aid award and disbursement date. (We provide a “Financial Aid Verification Form” that you’ll have your university financial aid office complete.)

Any portion of the program fees not covered by financial aid must be paid to ASA by the Forms & Payment Deadline.

Please remember that in order to provide ASA with verification of your financial aid by the Forms & Payment Deadline, you will need to contact your school’s financial aid office and/or study abroad office several weeks ahead of time to begin making these arrangements. Once again, the Forms & Payment Deadline is 2 weeks after the Application Deadline. For full details on how to use financial aid to study abroad, please visit our financial aid page.

PLEASE NOTE: Because some of our partners abroad require a down payment up front in order to secure your enrollment and housing, certain programs require a non-refundable Down Payment shortly after being accepted to the ASA program. Once paid, your Down Payment will be deducted from your balance due. Because we cannot enroll you in classes and housing until we receive your Down Payment, we recommend paying it as soon as possible after you’re accepted for the best possible housing and course selection. Please note: Down Payments cannot be deferred with financial aid.

The following programs require a non-refundable Down Payment. For these programs, your space on the ASA program is not confirmed until we receive your Down Payment.

  • Aix-en Provence, France: $1,000
  • San José, Costa Rica: $1,000
  • Edinburgh, Scotland: $1,500
  • All Italy programs: $1,000
  • Madrid, Spain: $500 or $1,000 for students staying in a homestay
  • Paris, France: $500 or $1,000 for students staying in a homestay
  • University of the Arts London: $1,000
  • January Term Traveling Seminar: $1,500
  • Internship programs in the UK: $5,000
  • Cambridge, England: $1,000

Full payment or verification of financial aid is still due by the Forms & Payment Deadline, as described in the above FAQs.

What types of payments do you accept?

Payment for all program fees and down payments must be made in the form of a personal check, money order, cashier’s check or e-check, made payable to Academic Studies Abroad.

Do any of ASA’s programs require a Damage Deposit?

Yes, some programs do require a Damage Deposit, as follows. Damage Deposits are refundable after the end of the program, as long as nothing is missing or damaged in your living space. Please note: Damage Deposits cannot be deferred with financial aid.

  • Florence, Italy: $350, paid to ASA 30 days prior to departure
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina: $250, paid to ASA 30 days prior to departure
  • Sevilla and Barcelona, Spain: $500, paid to ASA 30 days prior to departure (applicable only to students who choose to live in a shared apartment)
  • Edinburgh, Scotland: $250, in the form of a credit card authorization upon arrival
  • Sorrento, Italy: $250, paid to ASA 30 days prior to departure
  • London (University of the Arts London only): $350, paid to ASA 30 days prior to departure

Where can I find more information about scholarships and financial aid?

You can find everything you need to know about financial aid by clicking here.

We do offer scholarships, and you can find out how to apply for one here.

PASSPORTS, VISAS & TRAVEL

How do I get a passport?

You can pick up a passport application at most any U.S. Post Office. Or, click here.

For some ASA programs, you’ll need to send ASA a copy of your valid passport at the time of application.  If a copy of your valid passport isn’t required at the time of application, it will be required immediately upon acceptance to the program.  You can find out when your valid passport will be needed by checking our Eligibility Page.  A VALID PASSPORT IS ONE THAT DOES NOT EXPIRE WITHIN 6 MONTHS OF YOUR RETURN DATE FROM ABROAD.  If you don’t have a passport yet, or if yours expires between now and 6 months of your return date from abroad, you MUST apply for one right away, as they can take 6 weeks to process by regular service. You have the option to pay extra for expedited service, which should get you a passport in 2-3 weeks.  Expedited service is strongly recommended!

Do I need a Student Visa?

NOTE: This information applies to U.S. passport holders. In all cases, you must have a valid passport in hand at least 3 months before departure in order to apply for your visa. Do NOT delay in applying for a passport!

Below is a summary of visa requirements for U.S. passport holders. You can find detailed visa application instructions for all ASA programs in our Information Library. Students who overstay their visa or travel without the proper visa are subject to fines, deportation, and dismissal from the ASA program. ASA is not responsible for any repercussions, loss of credits, or loss of program fees resulting from overstaying your visa or failing to obtain the proper visa.

England students: If you’re studying in Cambridge/London/Oxford for a Summer or Semester program (a program under 6 months long), then you aren’t required to apply for a Student Visa before you depart, but there are certain documents you must bring with you on the plane and present to the Immigration officer at the airport of your first entry into the UK, in order to be issued a Short Term Study Visa. Holders of a Short Term Study Visa must bring their original visa documents with them EVERY TIME you leave the UK, as you will be asked to present them every time you re-enter the UK.  

If you’re going to study in England for an academic year, or if you are going to study and intern in the UK for any length of time, you must obtain a Tier 4 Student Visa prior to departure. If you are considering extending your study course in the UK past 6 months, then you MUST obtain a Tier 4 Student Visa prior to departure because a Short Term Study Visa cannot be extended. While the Short Term Study Visa is free and simple to obtain upon arrival in the UK, applying for a Tier 4 Student Visa is more complicated; it must be completed several months prior to departure and carries a fee. Please see our Information Library for fees and detailed instructions on how to apply.

Ireland students: Students aren’t required to obtain a Student Visa before departure. U.S. citizens may stay in Ireland for up to 90 days within a 180-day period as a tourist, with no prior visa (this is called entering on a Tourist Visa, indicated by a stamp you’ll receive in your passport upon your first entry to Ireland. To get your stamp, you’ll need to carry certain documents with you on the plane.) Therefore, students attending Summer programs have a maximum of 90 days to study and travel in Ireland. Students attending a semester or academic year program in Ireland will also receive a 90-day stamp in their passport upon first entry to Ireland; then, about 2 weeks after arrival you must apply for a visa extension using certain documents that you must bring with you (cost: 300 euro – subject to change). On-site staff will assist semester students with the visa extension process. Please see our Information Library for fees and detailed instructions on what documents you have to bring with you.

Spain, Italy & France students: If your program duration is less than 90 days, then you don’t need to apply for a Student Visa. U.S. citizens may stay the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period as a tourist, with no prior visa (this is called entering on a Tourist Visa, indicated by a stamp you’ll receive in your passport upon your first entry to the Schengen Area). This visa cannot be extended or renewed.  Students on a Tourist (Schengen) Visa MUST leave the Schengen Area within 90 days or risk fines and deportation.

For students going to Spain, Italy, or France for longer than 90 days (e.g. a semester program), you will need to apply for a Student Visa 2-3 months prior to departure at the Spanish/Italian/French Consulate in the U.S. that represents your state’s jurisdiction. (Spain & Italy students must apply 2 months prior to departure; France students must begin the process at least 3 months prior to departure.) IMPORTANT: DO NOT PLAN ANY INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL DURING THE 3 MONTHS PRIOR TO THE START OF YOUR PROGRAM BECAUSE YOU MUST LEAVE YOUR PASSPORT AT THE CONSULATE WHILE YOUR VISA IS BEING PROCESSED. Please see our Information Library for fees and detailed instructions on how to apply.

PLEASE NOTE: The Spanish/Italian/French Consulates will not issue Student Visas to U.S. passport holders if your program duration is less than 90 days (i.e. Universidad de Sevilla fall semester and all ASA Summer programs in Spain) because U.S. passport holders can simply enter as a tourist (see above). Therefore, students attending a program with a duration of less than 90 days have a maximum of 90 days to study and travel in the Schengen Area/their host country. If you overstay your Tourist Visa/Schengen Visa, it is at your own risk, and you risk fines and deportation. ASA is not responsible for any repercussions resulting from overstaying your visa.

Chile Semester students must apply for a Student Visa 2 months prior to departure at the Chilean Consulate in the U.S. that represents your state’s jurisdiction. IMPORTANT: One of the visa requirements is an FBI Background Check. Because it takes the FBI several weeks to process this, and because your visa appointment must take place 45-60 days prior to departure, YOU NEED TO APPLY FOR THE FBI BACKGROUND CHECK SEVERAL MONTHS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE. For students attending a summer program, a Tourist Visa is issued upon arrival and is valid for 30-90 days. IMPORTANT: DO NOT PLAN ANY INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL DURING THE 3 MONTHS PRIOR TO THE START OF YOUR PROGRAM. If you’re applying for a Chilean Student Visa, you must leave your passport at the Chilean Consulate while your visa is being processed (up to a full 60 days prior to your departure date). Please see our Information Library for fees and detailed instructions on how to apply.

Argentina students: Visa is issued after arrival (fee required). Students born in the U.S. do not have to apply for anything or bring any particular paperwork with them in order to have their visa issued after arrival. However, students who were born in certain countries (other than the U.S.) may need apply for an Entry Permit prior to departure or bring an FBI Background Check in order to have their visa issued after arrival. It takes the FBI several weeks to process this, so if you were not born in the U.S., please read the Argentina visa information found in our Information Library (visa fees are also described here).

Peru students: U.S. passport holders may enter as a tourist and will be given a stamp for a 30-, 90-, or 180-day stay, at the discretion of the Immigration Officer. If the duration of your program exceeds your stamp, you will have to apply for a tourist permit extension (fee required). For details on how this works, please visit our Information Library.

Will I be able to travel on my own during the program?

Absolutely. You will have free time to travel on weekends and during scheduled breaks. Just be sure to let your parents, Site Director or someone at your school know where you are going and when you will return. Some students also choose to travel before or after the program. If you want to do this, just make sure that you are not overstaying your limit in your host country according to its Visa regulations.

Don’t book any personal travel before you depart, since you may want to plan your trips with the new friends you make while you’re abroad. Also, you are encouraged to take your personal trips during scheduled breaks or holidays. Don’t forget that traveling every weekend may interfere with your studies, and we want everyone to do well in their classes!

How much luggage can I bring?

You must check your particular airline’s luggage policy to find out their weight and size limits, as every airline has different regulations. Please note that many airlines have recently decreased their luggage weight limits for both domestic and international flights, and some airlines have begun charging a fee to check baggage on both domestic and international flights. DO NOT BRING MORE LUGGAGE THAN YOU CAN CARRY BY YOURSELF! Be sure to leave some extra room for souvenirs, or bring along an extra lightweight duffel bag that you could use as a carry-on for extra things on your way home. You’ll also want to bring a backpack or small suitcase to use on weekend trips.

Should I get a Eurail pass if I’m studying abroad in Europe?

While it is not at all mandatory for ASA students to purchase Eurail passes, some students choose to purchase one if they wish to travel on their own. In general, Eurail passes are helpful for students who wish to travel through several European countries within a certain time period (i.e. one consecutive week or more). This is because once you activate your pass, it expires within a certain time period. The validity period depends on which kind of Eurail pass you purchased.

If you are planning to do a few weekend trips here and there spread throughout the semester, a Eurail pass is probably not worthwhile for you. If you are planning to travel for a week or more consecutively, then a Eurail pass may be a good idea. Or, if you know that you want to travel on a few weekends in a row, then a Eurail pass may be worthwhile. KEEP IN MIND THAT EURAIL PASSES MUST BE PURCHASED IN THE U.S., PRIOR TO DEPARTURE. You cannot purchase a Eurail pass in Europe. To purchase a Eurail ticket, go to www.raileurope.com

What is the local currency?

UK – British Pound Sterling
Spain – Euro
Ireland (Republic of Ireland) – Euro (NOTE: Northern Ireland’s currency is the Pound. Dublin is located in the Republic of Ireland, therefore, Dublin students will use the Euro.)
France – Euro
Italy – Euro
Chile – Chilean Peso (CLP)
Peru – Nuevo Sol (PEN)
Argentina – Argentine Peso (ARS)
For the most current exchange rates, go to http://www.xe.com/ucc.

Are any excursions included with the ASA program?

Yes, at least one day excursion is included with most of our programs. Some programs also include one or more overnight excursions. The number and kind of excursions included vary per program location and duration. To see how many and what type of excursions are included with your program, go to our Dates, Prices and Deadlines page and then click on the price of your program to see a list of what is and is not included.

HOUSING FAQs

What types of housing are offered through ASA’s programs, and how many meals are included?

Please click here to read about our Housing Options and Housing FAQs.

PLEASE NOTE: Some programs require a damage deposit. Please see the “Payment and Financial Aid” section above for details.