Family Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

  • Why should my student study abroad?
  • How should my student get started?
  • When should my student study abroad?
  • What options are available for my student?
  • Where will my student live while abroad?
  • How long are study abroad programs?
  • Can my student study abroad and still graduate in 4 years?
  • Does my student need to know a foreign language?
  • Is it common for students at UCSC to study abroad?

Aacdemic FAQs

  • Will courses taken abroad count toward my student’s UCSC degree?
  • Can my student study abroad and still graduate in 4 years?
  • Does my student need to know a foreign language?

Financial FAQs

  • Is it expensive to study abroad?
  • Is financial aid available?
  • Are there scholarships for study abroad?
FERPA FAQs
  • Why can’t your office share details about my student’s application, academic record or study abroad participation?
  • Can I log into SlugsAbroad to see my student’s study abroad application?

Health & Safety FAQs

  • Is it safe for my student to study abroad?
  • Will my student have health insurance abroad?
Other FAQs
  • Can I visit my student abroad?
  • I have a question not listed above.  Who can I contact?

General FAQs

Q: Why should my student study abroad?

A: There are many reasons to encourage your student to study abroad, including academic, career and personal growth.  Studying abroad is an excellent way for students to complement their studies at UCSC and graduate with an international experience.

Q: How should my student get started?

A: Students should consider how to Choose a Program and then sign up for a First Steps session.  These links also provide information about upcoming workshops, FAQs, and other resources that will help them through the study abroad process.  We encourage students to start the process early – ideally one year before they want to study abroad.

Q: When should my student study abroad?

A: Students should study abroad at a time that best meets their academic needs, but they should start planning as early as possible.  While most programs require students to have junior or senior class standing, some programs are open to freshman and sophomores.  Most importantly, however, students should consult with their department and/or college advisors on the best time to go that will not interfere with their time to degree or completion of degree requirements.

Q: What options are available for my student?

A: There are many study abroad opportunities for UCSC students.  Our Program Type Comparison Chart provides a quick snapshot of different options to help your student select the program provider that best meets their needs.  Options vary by location, length, academics, and requirements.

UCSC Faculty Led – Programs designed for UCSC students.  These are UCSC courses taught abroad by UCSC faculty.

UC Education Abroad Program – UC study abroad provider that offers programs for all ten UC campuses.

UC Quarter & Summer Abroad – Programs offered on other UC campuses.

Non-UC Study Abroad – Programs not affiliated with UC or UCSC.

Q: Where will my student live while abroad?

A: Housing options vary by program, but may include dorms, home-stays, or apartments.  Students can learn more about housing abroad by researching different program options.

Q: How long are study abroad programs?

A: Most study abroad programs range from five weeks to an entire academic year.  They include summer, quarter, semester and year-long options.  Students are encouraged to start the study abroad process early to determine what length of program best fits their academic and personal goals.

 

Q: Is it common for students at UCSC to study abroad?

A: Yes! At UCSC, approximately 600 students study abroad every year.  To learn more about the demographics of UCSC students, please visit our website.

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Academic FAQs

Q: Will courses taken abroad count toward my student’s UCSC degree?

A: Maybe.  It depends on what program your student participates:

UCSC Faculty Led - Yes.  Courses taught on these programs are existing UCSC courses, which means students will earn UCSC units.  These courses may also satisfy major/minor and/or General Education requirements.

UC Education Abroad Program – Yes.  Courses taught on these programs are considered UC coursework which means students will earn UC units.  As part of the application process, students will work with their department advisor to determine which courses, if any, can satisfy major/minor and/or General Education requirements.

UC Quarter & Summer Abroad – Maybe. Courses taught on these programs are either existing courses at another UC campus, which means students will earn UC units, or non-UC courses, which must be reviewed by the Office of Admissions for transferability.  Whether they are UC courses or approved non-UC courses, students must work with their department and college advisors to determine which courses, if any, can satisfy major/minor and/or General Education requirements.

Non-UC Study Abroad – Maybe.  Courses taught on these programs are not UC or UCSC courses and must be reviewed by the Office of Admissions.  If approved, these courses may be added to a student’s transcript as transfer units and students can work with their department and college advisor to determine which of the approved courses, if any, can satisfy major/minor and/or General Education requirements.

Q: Can my student study abroad and still graduate in 4 years?

A: Yes!  With advanced academic planning, students can study abroad and still graduate within 4 years.  In fact, UCSC data shows that the average time to degree for a student who studies abroad is 4 years.  With careful planning and coordinating with their academic advisors, students may even be able to study abroad twice and still graduate in 4 years.

Q: Does my student need to know a foreign language?

A: No.  There are many study abroad programs that do not require any previous language study.  However, most study abroad programs in locations where English is not the official language will include introductory language courses to help students learn more about and acclimate to the local culture.  For students who do have some previous language study, there are many programs designed to help further their language study.  In some programs, students may even be able to enroll in courses abroad taught in the local language if they have completed appropriate language study prior to departure.

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Financial FAQs

Q: Is it expensive to study abroad?

A: A study abroad program can be less expensive, about the same as, or more expensive than it is to study at UCSC.  Overall cost depends on a variety of factors, including cost of living at the destination, length and type of program. With early planning, your student can find a program that meets their budget.  Program costs include program fees and accommodation as well as estimated costs for meals and flight, but not additional travel.  If your student plans to travel outside the program, they should factor these costs into their budget.

Q: Is financial aid available?

A: Students participating on UCUCSC, or UCEAP study abroad programs retain their UC status and their eligibility for financial aid.  The UCSC Financial Aid office will adjust a student’s financial package to meet the costs of the program.  Prior to applying, we encourage your student to meet with a financial aid advisor to receive an estimate and determine how much aid they can expect to review while abroad.  For more information on finances, scholarships, how your student can meet with a Financial Aid Advisor and upcoming workshops, please Finances & Scholarships.

For non-UC third party provider programs, limited financial aid may be available.  Your student should meet with a Financial Aid Advisor to discuss what, if any, of their aid may apply to their program.

Q: Are there scholarships for study abroad?

A: Yes.  Students should visit Finances and Scholarships to learn more about types of UCSC, UC and national scholarships as well as upcoming scholarship workshops.  Scholarships vary greatly by deadlines and eligibility requirements.  We encourage students to start their scholarship search early.

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FERPA FAQs

Q: Why can’t your office share details about my student’s application, academic record or study abroad participation?

A: Federal privacy laws (FERPA) prevent us from sharing certain information about your student’s academic record.  However, we can share as much general information as possible regarding program details and the study abroad process, much of which is accessible on our website. We encourage students to share all of the information they receive with you and keep you updated throughout the study abroad process.

Q: Can I log into SlugsAbroad to see my student’s study abroad application?

A: In addition to adhering to federal privacy laws (FERPA), the study abroad application is part of UCSC’s secure network and can only be accessed by the student, using their individual username and password.  Furthermore, it is our philosophy that it is a student’s responsibility to manage their study abroad application and participation.

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Health & Safety FAQs

Q: Is it safe for my student to study abroad?

A: Traveling and/or living abroad is not inherently unsafe.  However, any travel includes potential risks and students should practice the same, if not heightened, awareness to their surroundings as they do at home.  Although provided in most pre-departure materials, students are welcome to speak to their UCSC Study Abroad Advisor if they want to learn more or have any concerns about location specific risks associate with their program.  Every study abroad program should provide emergency response plan, safety information, and emergency contact information to students and make it available on their website .   For general information about traveling safely, visit the Travel section on the U.S. Department of State website.  More emergency information can be found on program websites: UCSC Faculty LedUCEAP, and UC Summer & Quarter Abroad.

Q: Will my student have health insurance abroad?

A: If your student is participating on a UCSC, UCEAP or UC program, yes.  They will be expected to remain enrolled UC SHIP, unless they waive UC SHIP because they are covered by a private plan.  Some UC Quarter & Summer Abroad programs have additional coverage included in the program costs.  All UCSC students participating on UCSC Faculty-Led Programs will also be enrolled in UC Traveler Insurance and UCSC students participating on a UCEAP program will be enrolled in additional coverage.  We encourage all students to review the insurance coverage provided on the their program to determine if they want to purchase additional travel insurance.

If your student participates on a Non-UC Program, they should consult directly with the program provider to determine what, if any, insurance is included in the program.  At the time of participation on a Non-UC Program, your student will not be enrolled in UC SHIP since they will not be a registered UCSC student.

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Other FAQs

Q: Can I visit my student abroad?

A: Absolutely!  Visiting your student abroad is a good opportunity to for you to explore a new culture while at the same time share in your student’s experience.  However, before finalizing your travel plans, please consult with your student about their academic schedule as to not interrupt their academics.  You may also want to consider planning your at the end of your student’s program at which point your student should have no academic limitations on their travel.

Q: I have a question not listed above.  Who can I contact?

A: Please visit our website for current contact information.

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