Study Abroad

Global Engagement
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are extensive FAQs about Elon Global Engagement. If you cannot find the answer to your question, or if you have more specific questions, please contact the staff at Elon's Isabella Cannon Global Education Center (GEC). They will be glad to assist you.


Where is the study abroad office? / Where is the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center (GEC)?

The Isabella Cannon Global Education Center (GEC) is located in Global Commons 360 in the Global Neighborhood.  

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Why should I study abroad?

  • Study abroad is an excellent addition to any academic program, regardless of your major.
  • Study abroad is a unique opportunity to learn about the world and broaden your horizons while continuing your academic education. 
  • Study abroad gives you the chance to look at life through a different perspective, to learn more about colorful individuals and the idiosyncracies of cultures. You'll be surprised how much you learn about yourself, too.
  • Study abroad is a valuable experience that will enhance your resume. Many employers are looking for individuals who have practical experience living in a different culture. Studying abroad affirms to employers you are an independent and resourceful risk-taker who is able to deal with the stresses of uncertainty and unexpected challenges. 

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Can first-year students study abroad?

First-year students are eligible for Winter Term programs during their first year and for Summer Term programs the summer after their first year at Elon. Although most semester programs require sophomore status, some first-year students who want to study abroad during their sophomore year may need to apply during their first year depending on application deadlines for specific programs. 

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When should I study abroad?

When you should study abroad depends on several factors, such as your year in school, your major(s)/minor(s), graduation requirements, leadership positions and other campus commitments, etc. For example, some majors may require you to be on campus for particular terms, whereas sometimes required courses may only be offered during a certain term. Early planning is key in helping you decide when studying abroad best fits into your four-year plan. 

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Can I study abroad multiple times?

Yes. As long as you plan early, it’s usually possible.

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When should I start planning to study abroad?

Now! Early planning is essential to studying abroad. 

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Where can I get information about study abroad locations?  Where can I study abroad?

For information on all the current available programs listed by location, visit the Programs page. Once you have reviewed some of the study abroad information, we recommend you meet with an International Programs Advisor about the specific program(s) in which you are interested.

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Is it possible to study abroad through programs not offered by Elon?

If after meeting with an advisor in the GEC you are still not able to identify an Elon study abroad program that fits your plan of studies, you may want to consider participating in an Independent Elon Program Abroad (IEPA) or a non-Elon program.

Independent Elon Program Abroad (IEPA): An IEPA allows students to create their own independent program in consultation with a faculty advisor, for which they earn Elon credit. For more information about IEPAs, visit the IEPA page.

Non-Elon Programs: We strongly recommend you consider Elon-approved programs only.  We have carefully selected the programs we offer because of their comparable academics and professional levels of instruction to our campus courses. If you choose to study through a non-Elon program, you should have a compelling reason for not considering an Elon program. For more information on the non-Elon program process, visit the Non-Elon Programs page.

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What GPA do I need to study abroad?

Winter Term and Summer Term (faculty-led) programs require a minimum GPA of 2.0. 

Non-faculty-led Summer Term programs may have specific requirements. Check program bruchures in Elon Abroad for program-specific information and requirements.

Semester programs at Elon Centers Abroad (Elon in London, Elon in Costa Rica, and Elon in Florence, Italy) require a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Affiliate and exchange semester programs vary in their minimum GPA requirements anywhere from 2.5 to 3.2. Check individual program webpages for specific GPA requirements, or search by minimum GPA in Advanced Search.

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Do I need to know a foreign language?

A small number of programs have a language requirement. Individual program webpages will list what (if any) foreign language requirements there may be. You can search by language prerequisite in Advanced Search.

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How much does it cost to study abroad?

The cost of studying abroad varies by program and term. See the individual program webpages for specific program costs-- financial information can be found on a program's budget sheets. Some programs may be less expensive than a semester at Elon, while others may be more expensive. This is due to what the program cost covers as well as exchange rates and the cost of living in the program location. 

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Is financial aid available?

Yes, there are opportunities for financial aid through Elon and through other means. If you are concerned about the costs of study abroad, make sure to meet with a staff member from the Office of Financial Planning (located behind Belk library) who can provide you with financial planning and financial aid information. You may also visit the Financial Planning for Global Study page for further information.

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Are scholarships available?

Yes, scholarships are available. There are need-based scholarships offered through the GEC for all Elon study abroad programs (Winter Term, Summer Term, and semester programs). There are also other scholarships for specific study abroad programs. For more information on scholarship and grant opportunities, visit the Financial Planning for Global Study page.

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How do I apply?  When do I apply?

Winter Term, Summer and semester study abroad applications are available in Elon Abroad. Peruse program webpages through Advanced Search, and click "Apply Now" on a program's brochure when you are ready to apply. Remember, you are only able to apply to one program per term, so do not click "Apply Now" until you are certain of your program choice. Once you have started an application, you may return to it anytime by logging into your Elon Abroad account.

Take special note of the application deadlines. Please visit the Deadline and Events Calendar for general deadlines. You can find a specific program's application deadline listed in its brochure pages in Elon Abroad, or you can examine program deadlines and exceptions.

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What are the application deadlines?

Please visit the Deadline and Events Calendar for the most up-to-date deadline information. You can find a specific program's deadline information listed in its brochure pages in Elon Abroad, or you can examine program deadlines and exceptions.

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Is it possible to apply for more than one program at a time?

No. You may only apply to one program (per term) at a time. This applies to Winter Term, Summer Term, and Semester study abroad programs. When you click "apply now" in Elon Abroad, make sure this is the right program for you as you can only submit one application per term.

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Is it possible to participate in an internship on a study abroad program?

Yes. There are some programs where it is possible to do an internship abroad, such as the Elon in London semester program,  the London Summer Internship program, and the semester program in Dublin, Ireland. There may also be opportunities for internships as part of the Australia; Heidelberg, Germany; and Toledo, Spain semester programs. If you would like to do an internship during a specific study-abroad program, contact the international programs advisor for the program to ask if there are internship possibilities.  You can search by internship option in Advanced Search.

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Where will I live?  With whom will I live?

For semester programs, living arrangements vary by program and location and may include homestays, dormitories, and apartments/flats. Additionally, the type of students you live with may include other Elon students, American students from other universities, and students from the host country. Please check program webpages for more information about housing options. 

For Winter Term programs, students typically stay in hotels, although homestays may be available through some programs.

You can search by housing option in Advanced Search.  If you'd like to select more than one option by which to search, hold the control button and select more than one option.

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Do I get grades for my courses?  Will my grades count in my GPA?

For all Elon programs (programs listed on the website), grades will be transferred from abroad and will factor into your Elon GPA.  For non-Elon programs, you will need to talk to an International Programs Advisor to see how grades and credits will transfer.   

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How do I apply for a passport?  Where can I get a passport photo taken?

Please visit the U.S. State Department website for detailed instructions.

The local Elon postal office has passport services and passport photo services. Businesses that have in-store photo processing may also have passport photo services. Note: The cost and number of pictures that you receive may vary by store.

You may also check the U.S. State Department website to search for passport application facilities and photo services.  

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Do I need a visa?

Some programs do require a visa. The cost of the visa as well as the application process may vary by country and type of program.  Program brochures in Elon Abroad list additional visa information and links where necessary. The GEC staff can direct you to sources to find visa information otherwise not listed.

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Can I take a class on campus during Winter Term and still be able to study abroad during the spring semester?

The opportunity to take a Winter Term class at Elon before a spring semester study abroad program varies from program to program depending on the semester program calendar. 

Semester program webpages in Elon Abroad give approximate start and end dates for the spring semester, but check with an International Programs Advisor for more specific information about the semester program in which you are interested. 

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If I study abroad during a fall semester, will I be able to be back on campus for Winter Term?

Many fall semester programs will end in time for you to return to Elon to take a Winter Term course, but this depends on the calendar for the particular semester program in which you are interested. The semester program webpages in Elon Abroad give an approximate start and end dates for the fall semester, but check with an International Programs Advisor for more specific date information.

Note: If you are not at Elon during the fall semester, you CANNOT take a Winter Term study-abroad course because you will have missed the required fall one-credit pre-departure course associated with the WT study-abroad course.

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Can I study abroad my final semester and still graduate?

Some programs end early enough in the spring that you can study abroad your final semester and still graduate, such as the Elon Centers Abroad programs in London, England and Florence, Italy.  However, many other programs do not send grades in time for you to walk across the stage at graduation in May. Contact the GEC for program-specific information.

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Will I know what courses I am taking before I go abroad on a semester program?

Sometimes, but not always. For some programs, you may not register until you get there.  Regardless of whether you can officially pre-register, you must meet with the Assistant Registrar before you leave to discuss the classes you will take while abroad, to ensure they will transfer, and to confirm you understand how they will count for credit at Elon.  You will need to have some flexibility with courses as we cannot guarantee you can take a specific course while you are abroad. This process will take place once you are approved by Elon to study abroad.

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Can I take a study abroad class pass/fail?  Can I audit a study abroad class?

No. You cannot take a study abroad class pass/fail, nor audit a study abroad class.

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