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Study Abroad Frequently Asked Questions

PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY

Who is eligible to participate in an ACC faculty-led study abroad program?

ACC faculty-led study abroad programs are student-focused and open to anyone in the community who is 18 years of age or older, from any background, educational experience, or ability. You must also be in good academic standing and complete any program prerequisites prior to the start date.

I am a high school student taking dual credit classes at ACC. Can I still study abroad?

Students must be 18 years of age or older to be eligible to participate in ACC’s study abroad programs.

I am not taking any classes at ACC. Can I study abroad with one of your programs?

Anyone can enroll at ACC for the sole purpose of participating in a study abroad program. However, be sure to check if there are prerequisites for the program in which you are interested. Prerequisites must be completed by the start of the study abroad program.

Do I have to speak the language of the destination country?

Study abroad programs that focus on a foreign language do require that you speak the language; non-language programs do not.

I will not be enrolled in the program’s prerequisite course until the spring semester. Can I still apply?

Yes. Students will have until the program begins to complete any course prerequisites. However, students must successfully complete the course prerequisites with a passing grade. A failing grade in a prerequisite course would make a student ineligible to continue their participation.

PROGRAM APPLICATION

How do I apply for a study abroad program?

You should review study abroad program information available at the International Programs webpages. After deciding on a program, you must complete a virtual advising appointment with International Programs before submitting an application. The virtual advising session will cover program details, application process, and rules and procedures. You will be given all required application forms at that time.

Is there an application fee?

International Programs does not charge a program application fee.

COURSES and CREDITS

Will I earn credit for a study abroad program?

Program participants will earn ACC credit for the courses associated with the study abroad program.

How do I register for my study abroad courses?

International Programs will register study abroad participants for the program course(s) during the summer semester registration period. International Programs will notify participants when they are registered and can pay tuition and fees.

I have already taken a course that is being offered with a program. Can still I take the course again?

Yes, you may take the course again. ACC will take the higher grade from the two courses when calculating your final ACC GPA. However, if you are planning to transfer to another institution, please check with that institution regarding transfer credit eligibility.

Will the credits I earn through the ACC study abroad program transfer to a four-year university?

As with any ACC course, you will need to speak with an academic advisor regarding whether your ACC credit can be transferred.

PROGRAM LENGTH

How long are the study abroad programs?

ACC specializes in short-term study abroad programs. Currently, all programs take place during the first or second sessions of the summer semester, which are five weeks long. Programs generally divide time between Austin and the program country, with time abroad from 2 to 4 weeks.

Will I be abroad during the whole program?

Some study abroad programs take place entirely abroad, while others are taught partially in Austin and partially abroad.

PROGRAM FEES

Is the program fee all-inclusive?

Program fees are not all-inclusive. Program fees may include:

  • Group roundtrip airfare;
  • Ground transportation in program country;
  • Excursion, entrance fees, and transportation for scheduled activities and events;
  • Accommodations;
  • Meals listed on the itinerary.

The program fee does not include:

  • Individual roundtrip airfare;
  • ACC tuition/fees/textbooks;
  • Meals not indicated on itinerary;
  • Personal expenses (shopping, entertainment, cell phone, etc.);
  • Passport and visa fees (if applicable);
  • Program country departure fee (if applicable); and,
  • Medical and accident insurance coverage.

Each program fee is different, so please refer to the specific program information packet. If you have questions, please contact International Programs at studyabroad@austincc.edu. Program fees are non- refundable except for special circumstances reviewed on a case-by-case basis or if International Programs cancels the program due to low enrollment or other force majeure circumstances.

Why are program fees non-refundable?

Program fee payments are non-refundable due to contractual arrangements for institutional, logistic, and support services associated with each study abroad program.

TUITION AND FEES

Since I am taking a course in a foreign country, will I be charged the international rate for tuition/fees?

ACC tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 academic year are based on your Texas residency status:

  • ACC in-district tuition + fees = $85 per credit hour;
  • ACC out-of-district tuition + fees = $286 per credit hour; and
  • ACC out-of-state and international student tuition + fees = $353 per credit hour.

Please note that ACC tuition and fees are subject to change.

PROGRAM CANCELLATION

What are some of the reasons a program can be cancelled?

Some examples include, but are not limited to:

  • A program may be cancelled up to the time students are boarding the program group flight if there has been a significant deterioration in health, safety, and security conditions in the program country as a whole or in the sector of the program country where travel is to occur. Examples include acts of war, terrorism, or widespread civil unrest; an outbreak of a severe or infectious disease; or natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, or hurricanes. The decision to cancel the program will take into consideration all available health, safety, and security information monitored by International Programs, including travel and safety warnings issued by the U.S. Department of State.
  • If health, safety, or security conditions deteriorate while the study abroad group is in the program country and the U.S. Embassy issues travel warnings or evacuation orders for U.S. citizens.
  • A program does not meet the minimum number of student participants to cover program costs.

FUNDING

I receive financial aid. Can I use it to pay for study abroad?

Please visit or contact Financial Aid at any ACC campus. Study abroad students seeking financial aid must submit their summer ACC Financial Aid Application as well as the FAFSA for the academic year to the Financial Aid Office. This paperwork is NOT processed through International Programs.

I would like to apply for the Board of Trustees’ (BoT) Study Abroad Scholarship, but I am not sure if I’m eligible. What do I need to do?

To apply for the BoT scholarship you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have at least a 2.0 GPA;
  • Have at least 12 cumulative ACC college credit hours by the time the program starts; and
  • Have completed at least 3 ACC credit hours by the end of the fall semester prior to your program start.

International Programs awards Boards of Trustees’ Study Abroad Scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each. Applications are available from International Programs. Contact International Programs at studyabroad@austincc.edu.

PAYMENT

What if I don’t have enough money to pay the program fee in full when I apply?

The program fee is not due at the time of application. A $400 non-refundable deposit is due within seven days of program acceptance notification. Study abroad program applicants will be sent acceptance notifications on a rolling basis until the scheduled deadline.

When do I have to pay program fees and how can I pay?

After paying the $400 non-refundable deposit, you will be able to make monthly program fee payments through ACC Marketplace until the final payment deadline. ACC Marketplace payment options include electronic check (personal checking or savings), debit card, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.

AIRFARE

Is air transportation included in the program fee?

The air transportation options for ACC study abroad programs include:

  • Individual flights (student responsibility); and
  • Mandatory group flight (included in program fee).

Some programs will have mandatory group flights depending on country destination and faculty leader preference. For programs that do not have mandatory group flights, participants will be responsible for air transportation. Air transportation options are based on program country destination, faculty leader request, or other factors.

What is a group flight?

ACC study abroad students travel to and from the program country on the same flight – the “group flight” – accompanied by the program faculty leader.

I want to stay abroad and travel after the program ends? Can I change the date of my ticket?

Yes. Study abroad program participants on group flights who would like to continue their international travels can submit a signed “Release From Liability for Group Flight Return Change” form available from International Programs. You will be responsible for making changes to the return leg of your ticket and paying any change fees or fare differences.

Is my airfare refundable?

This depends on the carrier, ticket class, and airline rules. Non-refundable tickets are typically less expensive than refundable tickets. Students are advised about optional trip cancellation insurance.

One of my friends is also participating in the program. Can we get seated together on the group flight?

Seating assignments for international flights are usually made before or during airport check-in. Some carriers may allow you to select seat assignments via its website or you may contact the airline directly to make a seating assignment request.

ACCOMMODATIONS

What kind of accommodations will I stay in?

Program accommodations can include host families, apartments, dormitories, hotels, and hostels. Rooms may be private (single occupancy) or shared (double or multiple occupancy). Accommodations for each program vary. Please see the program information packet for details on accommodations.

Can I pick my roommate?

Roommate selection will take place at your program’s pre-departure information session.

I have been working hard to save money for this program, and I really want it to be a special experience. Can I upgrade my hotel room if I pay for the extra cost?

Study abroad program accommodations are arranged by International Programs and cannot be changed before or during the program. Participants may not make their own arrangements or make changes to accommodations.

INDEPENDENT TRAVEL POLICY

Can I travel on my own when I’m in the program country?

If there is scheduled free time, meaning no mandatory program activities, students may travel on their own, but not outside the program country or a region in the program country that would hamper return for the next mandatory activity. International Programs discourages solo independent travel during free time and strongly recommends traveling with another participant for safety and security reasons (“the buddy system”). Prior to travel, students must provide the faculty leader with information regarding their intended travel, a contact number, and departure and return times.

Independent travel that interferes or conflicts with mandatory program activities and events, transportation arrangements, or scheduled class is not allowed because students would miss activities that are part of the course academic requirements, which would negatively impact the grade in each course they are taking. Students must be on time and present for all mandatory program activities.

PASSPORTS and VISAS

Do I need a passport? How can I get a passport?

All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport for international travel. You can find all relevant information, forms, and the nearest passport acceptance facility on the U.S. Department of State website.

Do I need a visa?

Visa requirements vary depending on the destination country, your country of citizenship, and the length and reason for your stay. Please contact International Programs at studyabroad@austincc.edu if you have additional questions.

INSURANCE

Do I need health insurance to participate in a program?

International travel health insurance is required for all students participating in ACC study abroad programs.

ACC Student Accident Insurance also protects ACC students during official ACC activities and programs. This coverage is activated when tuition and fees are paid. The Student Accident Insurance pays for injuries up to

$25,000 occurring from school-sponsored activities related to the registered courses.

Students who are covered by private insurance, such as insurance provided through a parent or an employer, should verify that such health insurance also provides out-of-area coverage during overseas travel and in the destination country. Let the provider know where and when you will be traveling and request that they send you a letter or email confirming out-of-area coverage.

NON-ACC PROGRAMS

I am an ACC student studying abroad through outside provider. Will my credits transfer to ACC?

ACC does not pre-approve credits that are not earned through ACC study abroad. You must have your official transcript evaluated by ACC and transfer credit will be determined at that time.

Can I apply for the Board of Trustees’ Study Abroad Scholarship if I participate in a non-ACC program?

You can apply for the Board of Trustees’ Study Abroad Scholarship. However, priority for scholarship awards will be given to applicants to ACC study abroad programs.

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