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Columbia College Chicago
Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

 


When should I start planning for study abroad?
It's never too early.  The more in advance you plan, the easier it will be when you land in Paris or London or Shanghai. A good place to start is with your College Advisor. Your advisor will help you figure out the best courses to take to plan your semesters, so you'll be sure your courses abroad fit in to your graduation requirements.
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Where can I go to study abroad?
You can go almost anywhere. Okay, there isn't a university in Antarctica, but dream big and maybe you'll end up in Rome or Singapore or Dublin. Semester long Exchange Programs run every Fall and Spring semester, and are an easy option. Faculty-led Programs, usually run in the Summer or J- term, and usually last about a month. You also have the option to study with an Independent Study Abroad, but it's going to take some extra work. No matter what you choose, our office can help you figure it all out.
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Will I be able to get credit for my major and LAS electives and core requirements?

Definitely. Before you leave, you'll meet with the Office of Degree and Transfer Evaluation to be sure your planned courses will count beck here. Some courses might count for Liberal Education, and some others for your major, but they'll help you figure it out.

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Can I afford to study abroad?

You bet. But, remember, plan early, and there won't be any surprises. Costs change depending on where you go, because an apartment in London is going to be a lot more expensive than the same one in China. An exchange is sometimes cheaper (you pay your same tuition and can even use Columbia scholarships), but we can talk to you about all the choices. Wherever you go, you'll still need to plan for the costs of airfare, and food and rent, but you already know Chicago isn't cheap. If you can afford it here, you'll probably do fine just about anywhere.

To get started, use this worksheet to breakdown and compare program costs: Comparing Study Abroad Costs

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Can financial aid and scholarships be used for studying abroad?
Definitely! Most government awards will count towards your adventure overseas, but it's really important to know, so a visit to Student Financial Services will let you know where you stand. They're they experts, and you don't want any surprises.  Also, if you receive a Columbia scholarship, you can apply it to exchanges, but not independent travel.
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Is there a minimum GPA to study abroad?
You have to be in academic compliance at Columbia to be considered for any program abroad.  Beyond that, most programs are open to you.
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Do I have to be a junior in order to study abroad?
No, but that's the most popular time to go.  Again, the sooner you start planning, the sooner you'll know when you'll go.  Then, you can start saving or learning a language or finding all the cool sights you're going to visit.
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When should I apply?
Just look on the website for application dates.  You can apply though our link 24/7, but we always encourage you to talk to us first, so we can answer any questions.
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Am I still considered a Columbia student while abroad?
Yes, which means you can use your Columbia e-mail address, access Oasis and register for classes for the next semester while you're away.
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How are tuition and fees handled?
If it is a Columbia College exchange or departmental program, tuition is paid, as normal to Columbia College through Oasis.   With an independent program provider, you pay tuition directly to that provider.
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How do I know what kind of courses to take while I am abroad?
Your College Advisor will help you figure out what you still need to graduate.  Maybe you'll take Liberal Ed courses or maybe some in your major.  Maybe you just want to take some courses that sound fun.  Either way, check first with your advisor, so you're sure everything counts towards graduation.
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How will my credits be evaluated?
Before departure students will work with their College Advisor, departmental faculty and the Office of Degree and Transfer Evaluation to assure how and where credits from abroad will transfer.
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How do I register for my next semester while abroad?
You'll register online through Oasis, just like you would in Chicago.  Just remember to check your Columbia email account (@loop.colum.edu), so you know when you can register.  Plus, you can email your advisor while away for any last minute questions.
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Are my grades from abroad averaged into my cumulative grade-point average?
Programs taught by Columbia faculty (faculty led programs) will count to your GPA. Exchanges and independent programs will show up as a “T” (transfer) on the Columbia transcript and will not be figured into your GPA. Remember, just because the courses don't count for your CCC GPA, graduate schools might ask to see the transcripts with grades from your time abroad. And, any class that comes in as a “T” is part of the overall limit of courses you can transfer into Columbia.
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Do I need to know a foreign language to study abroad?
No way.  There are programs in English speaking countries, but even our programs in other countries hold their classes in English.  Still, it's a great opportunity to learn a new language.  Get started now with this free language learning website: www.livemocha.com and http://radiolingua.com
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Where can I get my official transcript?
Easy: http://www.colum.edu/Administrative_offices/Records/Transcripts.php
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Do I need a Visa to study abroad?
It depends where you're going.  Check out the US Department of State website:http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1765.html for specific Visa requirements. Once you're accepted into a program, we'll help you with visa info.
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Where do I find out about what options are available to me?
Stop by the Study Abroad Office in the 618 S. Michigan building.  We're on the ground floor, just inside the Learning Studio.  You can also email aiipoffice@colum.edu or call us at 312.369.7726.
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What if I'm a faculty member and I want to propose a new Columbia study abroad program?
Work through your school’s curriculum committee process.  Additional documentation can be found on the Curriculum Guide site in IRIS
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