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FAQs: Parents

Frequently Asked Questions
Parents of Tulane Study Abroad Students

These frequently asked questions have been prepared to address the most common queries that we receive from Tulane parents whose son or daughter plans to study abroad. The FAQs are a great starting point for parents as they begin to research the study abroad process at Tulane. The staff of the Office of Study Abroad strongly recommends that parents also review the policies and procedures listed on the Study Abroad website, www.studyabroad.tulane.edu.
 
Office of Study Abroad
 
If your student is attending a program run by the Office of Study Abroad, contact:
 
Office of Study Abroad
6901 Willow Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70118
Phone: 504-865-5339
 
Freeman School of Business
 
If your student is attending a program run by the A.B. Freeman School of Business, contact:
 
Freeman International Programs
Goldring Institute for Business
Phone: 504-862-9770
http://www.goldringinstitute.com/programs_exchange.html
 
Please note that these questions and answers have been prepared for students who are studying abroad through a program approved by the Office of Study Abroad. Therefore, the answers are not necessarily applicable to students participating on a program through the Freeman School of Business or a non-Tulane Program.

Why should my student study abroad?
Tulane University supports study abroad for all interested students and sees it as an investment in your son or daughter's education that can provide or enhance the following:
  • An expanded worldview, with an enlarged and more diverse friend group and academic and/or professional network;
  • Increased flexibility and adaptability as a result of navigating unfamiliar settings and new cultures;
  • Cross-cultural communication skills as a result of working with people in diverse environments who may speak a foreign language or have a different communication style;
  • Increased language proficiency, if applicable, from using a foreign language inside the classroom, in social situations and while handling the everyday aspects of life in a new city. 
Tulane students have consistently pointed to the development of increased confidence and a greater sense of independence, personally and academically, as a result of study abroad.
 
ELIGIBILITY & ADMISSION
TUITION & OTHER FINANCIAL ISSUES
ACADEMICS 
HEALTH & SAFETY
PREPARATION, DOCUMENTATION & DEPARTURE

ELIGIBILITY & ADMISSION
 
What does the application process for study abroad entail?
Once students have selected their desired program, they must complete an on-line application – found on the study abroad website – and submit any additional, requested materials to the Tulane Office of Study Abroad and/or the host university or program. The application includes an essay, a proposed course of study, faculty recommendations and a record of prior, graded coursework. Within three weeks of the application deadline, students receive a decision from the OSA. Following Tulane approval to study abroad, most students need to apply to and receive admission from their host university or program as well. After receiving admission, students are required to participate in pre-departure orientation programming the semester prior to studying abroad.
 
Is my son or daughter eligible for study abroad? How can they find out?
At the time of application and in the semester prior to the start of the program, all applicants should be in good academic and disciplinary standing, meet the minimum Tulane and program requirements, including minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA), applicable language proficiency and prior coursework, full-time status and adequate progress towards graduation. Students with registration holds are not eligible to study abroad. Some programs have more specific eligibility requirements, which are listed on their individual program page.
 
What is the GPA requirement for study abroad?
Tulane requires students to have a cumulative 3.0 grade point average at the time of application for study abroad. This standard takes precedence even if the host program or university requires a lower CGPA. If the host program or university requires a higher CGPA, students must meet the higher standard. In the semester prior to study abroad, students must earn a minimum of 12 credits and a GPA of 3.0. Failure to meet this minimum standard may result in the revocation of approval to study abroad.
 
For more information, please visit the Study Abroad Approval & Eligibility Section of our website at: http://studyabroad.tulane.edu/?go=Eligibility.

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TUITION & OTHER FINANCIAL ISSUES
 
What is the cost of study abroad at Tulane?
Tulane students remain enrolled full-time while studying abroad and are charged full-time student tuition and a study abroad fee, which replaces the Tulane academic support fee. The study abroad fee allows students to retain access to such resources as the Academic Advising Center and the Tulane Library. The tuition cost for study abroad will not exceed the normal Tulane tuition paid each semester. All financial aid and scholarships, except housing, apply while the student is on a study abroad program. Students are charged room and board costs directly by the host institution; price varies based on the program and type of housing selected but is comparable to the cost of Tulane housing. Students who receive scholarships, grants and/or loans and plan to utilize them during study abroad should schedule an appointment with Tulane Financial Aid.
 
What is the billing process for study abroad?
Tulane tuition is billed in the same manner during study abroad as during any other semester, and any balance owed to the university is due according to the schedule set forth by the Tulane Accounting Office. Students and parents can access this information through the Gibson online portal. Housing, board (if applicable) and other fees will be billed directly by the host program or university and due dates will vary. Students will receive information about these due dates after being accepted by the program. In some cases, housing will be paid directly to a landlord based on an agreement made in the host city.
 
How can I find out which scholarships & other forms of financial aid apply to study abroad?
Tulane scholarships, including the Dean’s Honor Scholarships, Presidential Scholarships and others, are applicable to the cost of tuition while abroad. Some grants and loans are also applicable. Because of the individual nature of Financial Aid and the specificity of each student’s award, the Office of Study Abroad strongly recommends that students who plan to use any financial aid while studying abroad make an appointment with their Financial Aid counselor.
 
Are there additional scholarships available for study abroad students?
Yes! Tulane offers a limited number of scholarships for study abroad and also provides information on outside funding opportunities. Additionally, many of our affiliated program providers, such as CIEE, CET, IES and SIT, offer scholarship opportunities for well-qualified applicants. Students eligible for Pell Grants should explore the Gilman Scholarship Program.  OSA strongly recommends that students interested in these scholarships begin the research process early – even one-to-two years prior to departure – as scholarship deadlines can come well before program application deadlines.
 
Tulane is committed to equal access in study abroad and the belief that no student should be barred from participating in a study program because of financial limitations. The Office of Study Abroad will make every effort to work with the student and the Financial Aid Office to identify funding opportunities and develop strategies to make study abroad possible.
 
What additional or unexpected costs can I plan for?
Additional or unexpected costs vary from program to program and from student to student. Some additional costs that all students can anticipate include:
  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Plane tickets
  • Health insurance
  • Vaccinations
  • Arrival or Departure taxes
Some of the additional costs that are less fixed and will vary more widely include:
  • Leisure travel
  • Food and entertainment
  • Internet/Cell Phone fees
  • Student Club and Gym memberships
  • Local transportation
We recommend that parents and students research the exchange rate in their host country and their banking options in order to find the most cost-effective method of accessing money while abroad (and to sidestep hidden fees). Establishing a realistic budget is an important step in preparing for study abroad and can help parents and students both avoid too many unexpected costs during the study abroad period. Students should not plan on working while in their host country.
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ACADEMICS

Will my son or daughter receive a high-quality education comparable to what they experience at Tulane during their study abroad?
Tulane University and the Office of Study Abroad are dedicated to identifying international partners that offer coursework that is of the same quality and rigor as that which a student would undertake while studying on campus in New Orleans. Host programs and universities are regularly vetted by Tulane faculty and OSA staff to ensure that the full range of study abroad options meets the academic needs and expectations of Tulane students.
 
Can my son or daughter study abroad and still graduate on time?
Students who study on an approved Tulane program will earn elective credit for all courses taken abroad, as long as Tulane offers a matching discipline. Therefore, students continue to earn credit that will count towards the total number of hours they need to obtain in order to graduate. By working closely with advisers in the Office of Study Abroad, the Academic Advising Center and their major or minor departments, students can ensure that they will continue to make meaningful progress towards their degrees and therefore graduate on schedule.
 
Will credit taken abroad count towards their major or minor?
Credit taken abroad can count towards a student’s major or minor, but the awarding of major or minor credit is wholly at the discretion of the relevant Tulane academic department. Students are advised to retain course materials, including syllabi, reading lists, papers and exams, and to closely coordinate with their major and minor advisers prior to study abroad and during registration periods as much as possible in order to understand credit transfer requirements.
 
How will grades earned on a study abroad program be factored into the Tulane GPA?
Grades earned on an approved Tulane study abroad program appear on the official Tulane transcript but are not factored into the Tulane GPA. The only current exception to this policy is for grades earned in Tulane faculty-led summer programs.  
 
When will they receive their grades?
Grades are processed and posted as they are received, and the timing of their posting varies from program to program. The Tulane Office of Study Abroad receives student grade reports from host institutions and programs, and is therefore dependent upon these institutions for the grades. Students should expect a waiting period of up to three months following the conclusion of the study abroad program. Upon receipt, the grades are checked by OSA staff and then entered into the Tulane system. If the student has any financial hold from the host institution, their grades may be delayed.  Students are also expected to complete their study abroad program evaluations prior to the posting of grades.

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HEALTH & SAFETY

How can my son or daughter be safe while studying abroad?
The safety of Tulane students is an integral part of the mission of the Office of Study Abroad. Tulane takes great care to select and continuously monitor the programs in our portfolio, using such resources as the U.S. State Department, the International SOS Traveler’s Assistance Program, various news outlets and the Tulane Office of Insurance and Risk Management. During the pre-departure orientation programming, OSA staff advises students on how to take responsibility for their safety while abroad by using these same resources to stay informed of the general security status of the host country, aware of their specific surroundings and attuned to situations that have the potential to be unsafe. All students register for the International SOS program, which provides up-to-date information about travel security conditions in locations around the world. Students are advised to pay close attention to unfamiliar surroundings, keep others informed of their plans and schedules, and to avoid risky behavior that may impair their awareness and ability to protect themselves. Just as students have access to a support system while in New Orleans, they will have access to staff in their host country who can assist them if necessary.
 
How will Tulane handle potential instability or an extreme weather event in my son or daughter's study abroad location?
The Office of Study Abroad works closely with other offices on campus and with host staff abroad to act quickly and monitor carefully in the event of an emergency abroad. Every student is required to have International SOS, which provides medical, personal, travel and security advice and assistance. In the case of an emergency, International SOS may be contracted to provide emergency medical care or evacuation and security assistance, which includes evacuation in the event that it is determined that a student security is threatened by any political instability or civil unrest.
 
How will insurance work while my son or daughter is abroad?
Tulane students must demonstrate adequate health coverage both in the U.S. and in their host country while studying abroad.  To demonstrate health coverage in the U.S. students must complete the same annual on-campus waiver process they complete every year they are enrolled at Tulane.  For overseas insurance, students and families are urged to explore their options and understand fully how they are insured during the period they study abroad. Students must complete a declaration form indicating to the Office of Study Abroad indicating how they will be covered abroad.  It is possible that the student’s domestic health insurance may cover them while abroad; the student can contact the provider to make that determination. In the case that they are not covered while abroad, Tulane works with HTH insurance to provide international coverage. Additionally, some program providers and host universities require a particular kind of insurance as a condition of enrollment.  Because the method a student may secure health insurance while abroad varies, based on the program provider, the host institution or host country, students should research their options so that they can make an informed decision.
 
My son or daughter has a particular medical condition. How can we prepare for their study abroad experience?
Most medical conditions are completely manageable while abroad and simply require a bit of preparation and planning so that they do not interfere with the student’s experience. If a student has a pre-existing medical condition, they should speak with their physician in order to develop a plan for their time abroad. Here is a list of questions to discuss with a health care provider prior to studying abroad:
  • How do you import prescription medication into the host country or identify the most suitable alternative that is available in the host country?
  • Can the physician consult with you over the phone or email if necessary?
  • Should you find a local physician to help monitor the condition regularly while abroad?
  • Are there local issues that may exacerbate the condition? Excessive sun? Allergens?
  • Does the potential host city have the resources and infrastructure so that you may find the necessary care while there?
If the student receives accommodations from the Center for Student Accessibility at Tulane, we will work with the student to identify a suitable program that can accommodate their needs.
 
Our approved programs have procedures in place to ensure that students have access to adequate healthcare, whether their medical condition is new or old. Furthermore, while it does not provide health insurance, International SOS can assist in finding local medical professionals (English-speaking, if necessary). The Office of Study Abroad recommends that students stay informed about health conditions and risks in their host country while taking necessary preventative measures to stay healthy.

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PREPARATION, DOCUMENTATION & DEPARTURE

How can I find the dates for my son or daughter's study abroad program?
Dates will vary by program and are set by the program provider or host university, not by Tulane or the Office of Study Abroad. Some programs may begin or end at significantly different times than Tulane. Program dates are available on the individual program page on the Office of Study Abroad website. Students should plan to be at their study abroad location no later than the date listed on the program website and should plan to depart no earlier than the date listed on the program website. Students must adhere to all host program rules and regulation and be present for all regularly scheduled exams before departing the host location.
 
How does Tulane prepare students for study abroad?
The Tulane Office of Study Abroad begins to prepare students for the study abroad process from the first time they come into the office for advising. We work with students to ensure they have access to information about their program options and Tulane policies. Prior to study abroad, all students participate in a two-part Pre-Departure Orientation in which they receive information about policies and expectations, cultural adjustment and strategies for success. The OSA also coordinates with other offices on campus to provide cross-cultural exchange opportunities for students preparing to study abroad.
 
Does Tulane assist with travel arrangements?
The Office of Study Abroad does not assist with travel arrangements for study abroad. Some program providers may offer advice, group flight options and/or airport pick-up services. Students are advised to work closely with the program provider or host institution to arrive on the appropriate date.
 
Passport Information
Students must have a valid passport in order to study abroad. Generally, customs officials recommend that the passport is valid for at least six months after the program end date. Because many students must produce passports in order to apply for a visa prior to study abroad, students should not delay applying for a new or replacement passport.
 
We also recommend that parents of study abroad students ensure that their own passports are valid for the entire duration of their son or daughter's study abroad program so that, in the case of an emergency, the parent is able to travel immediately to the host country, if necessary.
 
Visa Information
A visa is the host country’s endorsement that the student is allowed to enter and stay in the country for a specified period of time and for a specified reason. Tulane students are responsible for obtaining their own visa. Because the visa application requirements vary by country and are subject to change, students should refer to the embassy website of their host country for the most up-to-date information about the visa application process, costs and requirements.
 
Where will my son or daughter live and what will they eat while studying abroad?
Students elect a housing option prior to their departure. Depending on the host program, they may be in a homestay, a dorm or an independent apartment. In every case possible, we recommend that students seek housing options that will maximize integration into the host culture by exposing them to a local host family or having them live with local students. As with housing, meal options will also vary. Some students may find themselves eating three meals a day with their host family, while others may have on-campus dining hall options that are very similar to those available at Tulane. Others yet may cook meals for themselves in a dorm or apartment.
 
How will my son or daughter communicate in their host country and what are the best ways for us to stay in touch?
Students have many options for communication while studying abroad. Wifi and other internet options are widely available while abroad and offer the easiest way for students to stay in touch, through email, chat programs, Skype and What’s App. Students may also investigate the cost of a global phone plan that will allow them to use their cell phone while abroad, or may decide to purchase an inexpensive local cell phone or a SIM card for their American cell phone. The choices for communication are varied and will depend on the available options in the host country as well as the student’s budget.  While the Office of Study Abroad understands the importance of students staying in touch with their families when they study abroad, we also encourage students and families to be mindful of the ways in which excessive communication with friends and family at home can impact their study abroad experience. 
 
How can I find more information!?
The Office of Study Abroad website contains comprehensive information about the policies and procedures that govern study abroad at Tulane University. On this site, you will find a page for each program which contains details about the location, host program or university, eligibility requirements, accommodation and a link to the host program or university page.
 
Parents are also welcome to contact the Office of Study Abroad at (504) 865-5339 or cge@tulane.edu.

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