Frequently Asked Questions

 
How To Apply

How To Apply

+ How do I know that ASA 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 see the Eligibility section within the location page you are interested in to find out the GPA requirement for your desired program.

+ What is the Application Deadline?


The Application Deadline varies by program and term. You can find each program's Application Deadline, as well as Payment Deadline, on each individual program location page. Please note, you must submit full payment for your program fees (or verification of your financial aid) by the Payment Deadline. A non-refundable Down Payment may be required in advance of the Payment Deadline in order to secure your space.

+ How far before the deadline should I apply?


Students are always encouraged to apply early, as some programs fill up before the deadline. For many programs, applying early will give you the best possible course selection and housing 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 desired program, 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 scan of your passport. 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 very soon after being accepted, in order to apply for your visa. Depending on how early or late you apply, you may need to apply for your visa immediately after being accepted.

No matter which ASA 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, 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?


Please view our refund policy here.

+ What are the program dates?


The dates are different for each program location and term. You can find each all of our program dates on each individual program location 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 Application Guidelines page. There will be additional, post-acceptance paperwork for you to fill out once you have been accepted by ASA.

+ 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 10-60 students. We receive 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 attending the institution besides just ASA students, so you will meet students in your classes who are from outside the ASA group.

 
Credit Transfer & Academics

Credit Transfer & Academics

+ How many credits can I earn on an ASA program?


The number of credits you can earn varies by host institution and term. Please view the Course Offerings for your desired program to find out the number of credits you can earn.

+ Are credits transferable?


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

Students should always get DOUBLE the number of classes approved than you will actually take, to allow flexibility at registration. Having extra classes approved will give you back-ups you can get credit for, in case your top choices aren’t available due to cancellations or schedule conflicts. At many institutions, class schedules aren’t finalized until just before the term begins, so schedule conflicts can occur.

+ How do I go about getting the credits and courses approved by 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. You can find Course Offerings for ASA programs here.

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


After your program ends, ASA will send your final official transcript to your home institution for you. In order for your credits to transfer, you must get the necessary pre-approvals from your home university!

The final transcripts are issued for our programs as follows:

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina I – Universidad de Belgrano
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina II – Universidad del Salvador
  • 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 I – London South Bank University
  • London, England II – University of the Arts London
  • Oxford, England – Oxford Brookes University
  • Aix-en-Provence, France – IAU (Institute for American Universities)
  • -Paris, France – Université Paris – Sorbonne
  • Dublin, Ireland I – Griffith College Dublin
  • Dublin, Ireland II – Maynooth University
  • Florence, Italy – University of South Florida
  • Rome, Italy – John Cabot University
  • Sorrento, Italy – Jacksonville University
  • Cuzco, Peru – Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola
  • Sevilla, Spain I – Universidad de Sevilla
  • Sevilla, Spain II – Universidad Pablo de Olavide
  • Sevilla, Spain III – Centro Universitario EUSA (Escuela Universitaria Superior de Andalucía)
  • Barcelona, Spain I – Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB)
  • Barcelona, Spain II – ELISAVA School of Design and Engineering
  • Barcelona, Spain III – Universitat de Barcelona (UB)
  • Barcelona, Spain IV – Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)
  • Barcelona, Spain V – CETT-UB
  • Barcelona, Spain VI – Universitat de Vic-Universitat Central de Catalunya (UVic-UCC)
  • Barcelona, Spain (Summer IV) – ESADE Business School
  • Madrid I – Universidad Carlos III
  • Madrid II – Universidad Nebrija


+ 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 contact ASA at 888-845-4272 if you have not yet attended college or have already graduated from college.

 
Payment & Financial Aid

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?


The program cost and what is included vary by program. Click here to see what is and is not included with our program fee.

+ When is payment due?


The Payment Deadline varies by program and term. You can find each program's dates, prices, and deadlines on each individual program location page. Please note, you must submit full payment for your program fees (or financial aid verification) by the Payment Deadline. A non-refundable Down Payment may be required in advance of the Payment Deadline in order to secure your space. Students may be subject to a late fee if payment is not made on time.

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 by the Payment Deadline:

  • Written verification of your financial aid award and disbursement date. (We provide a Financial Aid Verification Form (FAV) that you must have your home institution’s Financial Aid Office complete before our Payment Deadline.

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

Please remember that in order to provide ASA with verification of your financial aid by the Payment Deadline, you will need to contact your school’s Financial Aid Office and/or Study Abroad/International Education Office several weeks ahead of time to begin making arrangements. For full details on how to use financial aid to study abroad, please visit our financial aid page.

Some ASA programs require a non-refundable Down Payment to be paid within 1-2 weeks of 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 or 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 (but no later than 1-2 weeks after being accepted). Please note: Down Payments cannot be deferred with financial aid.

The following ASA 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.

Full payment or verification of your financial aid is due by the Payment Deadline for your program, as described above.

+ What types of payment does ASA accept?


Payment for all program fees, down payments, and damage deposits must be made by e-check online, personal check, cashier’s check, or money order. (Personal checks, cashier’s checks, and money orders should be payable to Academic Studies Abroad and mailed to: ASA; 72 River Park Street, Suite 104, Needham, MA 02494.)

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


Yes, some programs do require a Damage Deposit, which is due 30 days before your program start date. 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.

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina: $250
  • London, England (University of the Arts London only): $350
  • Florence, Italy: $350
  • Rome, Italy: $350
  • Sorrento, Italy: $250
  • Barcelona, Spain: $500 (applicable only to students who choose shared apartment housing)
  • Sevilla, Spain: $500 (applicable only to students who choose shared apartment housing)

+ 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 some scholarships, and you can find out how to apply for one here.

 
Passport, Visas & Travel

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 the Eligibility section within the program location page you are interested in. 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 8 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?


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!

NOTE: This information applies to U.S. passport holders. Visa requirements may vary for non-U.S. passport holders.

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.

Argentina students: Visa is issued after arrival (fee required). U.S. passport holders 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 are not U.S. passport holders 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 about 12 weeks (3 months) to process a Background Check, so if you don’t have a U.S. passport and are planning to study abroad in Argentina, please contact ASA for details at 617-327-9388.

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.

+ 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 the Excursion section within the location you're interested in and then click on the price of your program to see a list of what is and is not included.