Study Abroad FAQ

Frequently Asked Question Topics:

Myths About Studying Abroad
Planning for Study Abroad
Academic Requirements
Living Abroad
Returning from Abroad 

Myths About Studying Abroad

Myth #1: "Study Abroad is very expensive. I can't afford it!"

The Reality: Studying overseas can be done to fit any budget. Programs range from those that cost less than remaining at Fredonia for a semester to those that cost more than a comparable length of time at Fredonia. The choice is up to you. Our office can help to find the program that fits your budget.

Myth #2: "You have to have a 4.0 to study abroad. I only have average grades- I would never make it!"

The Reality: Most programs have a GPA requirement of 2.5 and this is flexible depending on students' particular circumstances. We try to find reasons to accept you into our programs, not reasons to turn you down. We are more interested in your level of maturity than your GPA.

Myth #3: "If I study overseas, it may delay my graduation; I will never get out in four years.

The Reality: If you choose your program and courses carefully with your advisor, you may end up ahead in your program when you return from overseas. Since course selection is done prior to your departure, you will not be closed out of needed courses. Students in some programs earn 18 credits for a semester of work.

Myth #4: "Studying abroad is a frill. My parents work hard enough just to send me to college. I can't ask for a semester of work."

The Reality: Studying overseas can no longer be considered an add-on to your basic education. Employers look with favor on students who have lived outside the U.S., as they have proven that they are able to cope with new experiences and, in many cases, they have competency in foreign language. Studying overseas will enhance your resume.'.

Myth #5: "I don't speak any foreign language. I guess there are no programs for me."

The Reality: Not true!! We have more programs in English-speaking countries than anywhere else. Some programs in non-English- speaking countries are taught in English and are open to all.

Myth #6: "I'm on financial aid. I can never hope to go abroad."

The Reality: This will not hold you back. TAP, Pell and Stafford loans can be used for study overseas. The only financial aid that does not go with you is College Work Study. In some countries, you are permitted to work part-time and earn while you learn. In other cases, the semester begins later than Fredonia so you can stay at your summer job and earn additional money.

Myth #7: "I'm an Education [Business, Math, Chemistry, Criminal Justice, etc.] major. I can't study abroad."

The Reality: Any major can study overseas. Many of our programs are at large and comprehensive universities offering many more courses than are available at Fredonia and everyone can find courses in their major field. Your advisor can help you.

Myth #8: "I can't manage an entire semester overseas. There's probably no program for me."

The Reality: Fredonia offers programs ranging from two to six weeks, in summer and during winter break. You can earn three to nine credits from this study period.

Myth #9: "It's no big deal to go overseas. I'll think about it in the fall of my senior year."

The Reality: The earlier you begin to plan, the easier the process will be and the more certain you will be of being accepted into your first-choice program. First-Year year is the best time to start working towards the goal of overseas study. Of course you can almost always go even if you begin to plan in your senior year, but it's better to start planning early.

Myth #10: None of my friends are studying abroad, and I'll miss home too much.

The Reality: A lot of students worry about missing their friends and family, losing a chance to be involved in the college experience, or feeling home sick. These are important concerns that your school will help you with before and after your departure. Remember that experiences like this don't come around often, take advantage of this life enhancing opportunity.

Myth #11: The world is far too dangerous now to study abroad-it's safer to stay home.

The Reality: The world can be a dangerous place, but statistically, you are far more likely to have an accident at home than on a study abroad experience. If you use the same caution you would exercise when visiting a big U.S. city, you won't have any trouble. In addition, the Office of International Education monitors the situation in each country where we have programs and will cancel a program if the U.S. Department of State issues a Travel Warning. Be careful, but don't be afraid to travel and study abroad.

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Planning for Study Abroad

Q: Is study abroad expensive?

A: Absolutely not! Most study abroad programs range in cost from $8,000 to $15,000 a semester. You already pay about $7,000 a semester to attend Fredonia. Scholarships are also widely available, and it is quite easy to obtain more loans if need be. Financial aid is also available from New York State if you already receive help based on your FAFSA forms. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.

Q: Where can I go?

A: The SUNY system offers over 450 programs in 58 different countries! So basically, if you can think of a place that you want to go, we can help get you there.

Q: Will I need a travel visa?

A: Visa requirements very from country to country and program-to-program. In any case you will need a valid passport for entry into any country. Visa application usually occurs after your acceptance into the university abroad. For visa information pertaining to a specific country visit

Q: Do grades transfer to Fredonia and how?

A: If you are attending a U.S. accredited university abroad then yes, grades do transfer. Your grades for the courses you take abroad are averaged together and converted to the Fredonia 4 point GPA system. The grade then appears on your transcript as INED400, the course you applied for here at  Fredonia. Be sure to get your courses approved before you go by the departments and your advisor. If you are a non-Fredonia SUNY student, contact your Study Abroad Advisor to discuss how credits transfer back into your school.

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Academic Requirements

Q: What kind of grades do I need to have to Study Abroad?

A: GPA requirements very for each program. Generally you need a 2.5 or
higher to study abroad. Short term programs may require only a 2.0 or only
that you are in good academic standing.

Q: What majors are able to study abroad?

A: The SUNY system has programs for every major available! The two majors that tend to have more difficulty studying abroad are Education and Music. However, as long as Education and Music majors plan ahead, there will be no problems. Any major can take College Core Curriculum (CCCs)/General Education Requirements abroad.

Q: Do I have to speak a foreign language?

A: There are hundreds of programs available that do not require you to speak a foreign language. Programs to Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand and England are popular because they are English speaking countries, but there are thirty other countries that will offer courses in English as well! Contact the Office of International Education for a list of programs that offer instruction in English in non-English primary speaking countries.

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Living Abroad

Q: Where will I live during study abroad?

A: Most of the SUNY programs offer on campus housing. There are also programs that offer housing in apartments or with host families.

Q: Is studying abroad dangerous?

A: Actually, since September 11, the number of American students studying abroad has actually increased substantially. Make an attempt to learn the language AND the culture by interacting with the locals. Avoid getting into political debates and getting involved with any kind of political movements overseas. Allow yourself to be open-minded while studying abroad, as you'll probably come across many different perspectives on life.

Q: I can't access my FredMail from abroad, what do I do?

A: Contact the Fredonia ITS Service Center at from a different E-Mail and be sure to let them know of your circumstances. Include in the E-Mail your name, your Fredonia E-Mail address, and an alternate e-mail so they know how to set up E-Mail forwarding for you.

Q: I can't access ‘Your Connection' from overseas, what do I do?

A: Contact the Fredonia ITS Service Center at and let them know of your circumstances. A possible solution has been for students to use computers in Internet Cafes off-campus. If the problem specifically pertains to registration, then you could ask a friend to register for you or contact the ITS Service Center as soon as possible.

Q: I haven't been able to get the classes I need due to pre-requisites - now what?

A: Obtain and retain the course syllabus from the course from abroad if you are trying to qualify a study abroad course for a Fredonia course. Contact the professor and explain to the professor why you need the course and how the course you are taking abroad fulfills the prerequisites for the course you'd like to take upon returning.

Q: I've decided to stay another semester abroad, what do I do?

A: Contact the Office of International Education and find out what steps you need to take to continue your education abroad.

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Returning from Abroad

Q: How do I register for classes for the upcoming semester?

A: You register abroad as you would normally through Fredonia's ‘Your Connection.' The Office of International Education will give you your Registration Pin number after the advising session.

Q: When is advising week and how do I do advising?

A: While you are abroad the Office of International Education will sign up for advising and meet with your advisor in your place - after you decide on the courses you would like to take for the semester you return and notify us.

Q: How do I get transfer credit approval for courses abroad?

A: When you are accepted to a Fredonia or another SUNY school's program, you need to make an appointment with the Office of International Education. At that time, they will provide you with the appropriate forms and instructions on how to get pre-approval for courses that you take abroad. 

IMPORTANT: While you are abroad be sure to retain copies of the syllabi of your courses abroad as a summary of the material and content covered, as they will be required for review by the Department Chairperson.

Q: How do I apply for Fredonia on-campus housing while abroad?

A: You should have filled out a housing Scan-tron sheet prior to leaving when you met with the Office of International Education. Room drawings are pulled at random and room assignment will be given out at the Resident Director's discretion. If you have a roommate in mind, make sure you put their name down on the Scan-tron and tell them to do the same.

Q: I'm graduating when I return from study abroad, what do I need to do?

A: Be sure to apply for your degree prior to leaving. Cap and gowns can be purchased through a friend or family member's help while you are abroad from the campus Bookstore towards the end of the semester.

Q: I haven't been able to get the classes I need - now what?

A: Contact the professor of the course you'd like to take and be sure to let them know that you are studying abroad and why you need the course.

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Office of International Education

7 LoGrasso Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3451