• Study Away FAQ


    Study away is a life changing adventure, but we know that means you might have a lot of questions too.

    Here are some of the most frequently asked questions students have.

    If your questions are not on our list, don’t hesitate to connect with the GEC!
    We’re here to help with all things Study Away and Hamline!


  • General Study Away

    Is study away for me?

    Yes! It can be if you want to do it.

    We have programs for every type of student: STEM majors, first generation college students, student athletes, and beyond!

    There is no “right” study away student- just someone who wants to challenge their world view and explore new surroundings.

    What is study away?

    Hamline and the GEC call it study away, because we have programs that are abroad and domestic.


    Some students might not want to go out of the U.S. or can’t (DACA, family or other reasons), and we’re here for you! We have programs that are literally in our backyard in the Twin Cities, to programs that you need to hop a 16 hours flight and everything in between.


    Hamline wants to be as inclusive as possible for all students. So we have a variety of options from two week programs to a full year abroad!

    When is the best time to study away?

    There isn't a best time that works for everyone. It needs to be the best time for you. That could mean a summer or short program. It could be your 3rd year (junior). Or whenever!


    We have opportunities for first year students to do any away program, and even those about to graduate.

    I was told that study away is not good for students with my major. Is that correct?

    Certain majors are more flexible than others with it comes for finding programming away. That does not mean you cannot do a program.


    Study Away has recently increased a lot of programming with the focus for STEM, Education, and Arts programs. Some advisors might not know all the options available today. Feel free to check out the
    find a program page using the Area of Study drop down list. 


    Students can also tailor their away programs to include classes outside of their major/minor to complete some other requirements at Hamline OR go all in with their major/minor coursework. You get to choose your adventure here!

    Can I study away my first year at Hamline?

    First year students are able to apply for Faculty led or summer programs in their first year at Hamline. 


    We do recommend that you take time being a Piper before becoming a Global Piper!


    Your first semester on campus is also a time to learn about resources and settle into the college experience.


    But don't wait too long to begin planning for a study away program- scholarships often have earlier deadlines!

    Can I study away my last year at Hamline?

    The GEC is here to help all students study away. If you are in your final year at Hamline, you can still study away for a semester or on a short program. There are a few additional things to think about before applying.

     

    The most important is to know that your Hamline graduation date and final transcript will be delayed. 

     

    You can still walk during commencement, but the official documents won’t be completed until your away program’s grades are sent to Hamline.This may cause problems if you are looking to go directly into a graduate program.

     

    Feel free to contact the GEC if you have any questions.

    What if I can’t go for a full semester?

    While we recommend the longer the better to really get that full immersive experience, we understand that we have students that have other responsibilities. 

     

    We have Faculty Led programs that run over Spring Break (10 days), or J-term programming that is 3 weeks. 

     

    There are also summer options that can last anywhere from 3 -8 weeks depending on your preferences.

    Can I participate in a study away program to a country with a travel warning?

    Hamline and the GEC take safety very seriously. This means that locations that have current travel warnings or health concerns that could impact the student’s time abroad will not be approved. 

     

    There are some situations where approval may be granted through a petition system where the student can provide safety plans and in country resources.

     

    Hamline follows the recommendations issued from the US Department of State Travel Warnings, and World Health Organization.

    What if I can’t find the program I want in the Hamline approved search page?

    The GEC has approved a list of programs that have been vetted for safety, academic strength, and overall quality. If you use our search page, you will find a list of these programs. 

     

    Just because a program is not in the search page does not mean it isn’t a quality one. There are many other great providers and options being created. If you find something that is the right program fit for you, please connect with the GEC. 

     

    We have a petition process to allow Hamline approval should the program be up to Hamline’s standards. You can also read more about that petition in the GEC Student Handbook. 

     

    If your program is approved through Hamline, that means the credits are guaranteed to come back to Hamline, the use of financial aid is open, and you will have the full Hamline Study Away support services.

  • Application(s) & Academics

    Will the classes I take away count here at Hamline?

    Study away is NEVER a wasted time! Hamline will accept all courses from away programs that are completed with a C grade or above.

     

    Students can work with their faculty advisors to find major/minor course equivalents or requirements.

     

    You can also get Hamline Plan Letters for study away programs (petition through Registrar's Office).

    What if my GPA is less than what is required?

    We totally understand how difficult building up a GPA can be!

     

    The GEC is here to work with students, no matter their GPA. Hamline can approve students with lower GPAs, but please note that programs also have their own GPA requirements. Most can be flexible- think of this flexibility like an appeal process- you'll have to show reasons for your GPA and a plan to improve on those grades. 

     

    Some programs do have a more strict GPA limit. For example, exchanges are ones that require a 3.0 GPA. 

     

    Never hesitate to connect with the GEC if you'd like to chat.

    Do I need to go through the GEC and pay the Study Away Fee?

    Students wanting to go on an away program AND receive their financial aid package MUST be approved by Hamline (and the program). 

     

    Hamline also charges a fee (depending on the program) that includes services like Hamline insurance, pre- and post away programming and other items. 

     

    This fee is billed to the student account around the time of tuition or program costs. There is no need for students to upfront money to Hamline before the normal billing schedule for the term.

    Where do I find the application?

    For most programs you will have two applications. Faculty-led programs built by Hamline should only have one application. 

    Exchanges and program providers will have two. ISEP may have an additional one for the host institution. 

    Hamline’s application is found in the program search page. 

     

    Additional Applications (for IES, HECUA, CAPA, ISEP, etc) can be found on the program providers and ISEP website (linked on the Hamline program search pages). 

     

    For Hamline built exchanges, the GEC will provide you the host institution’s application information.

    When are they due?

    Deadlines for applications vary by the desired term away. Make sure to double check deadlines for applications and scholarships. 

     

    Hamline deadlines can be found on our website.

    Should I apply to multiple programs (back up options?)

    Students do not normally need to worry about program acceptance rates and back up options. Generally, if you complete the applications on time, and have the minimum requirements it is rare to not get your first choice of program (ISEP has some exceptions). Most program applications will have additional application fees when submitting applications for review. Please do not feel you need to pay several of these fees to different programs. 


    If you are concerned about placement options and your requirements for a program, do not hesitate to connect with the GEC.

    I’ve been approved by Hamline, now what?

    Congrats! You are half way through the application process! While you have been approved by Hamline, you still need to be approved by your specific program. Make sure that if you have a second application that you also meet the deadlines for that and gain approval from the program itself. 

     

    Faculty-led programs are the exception. Once you have been approved by Hamline, you are officially in the program. 


    Once you are officially in the program with Hamline and any other program group (ISA, HECUA, etc), you can start to prepare for the program. The GEC will send you an email with next steps, but you can also check out the To Do Checklist on the GEC’s website. 


    There may be a few more items in your Hamline application, so check it often.

  • Costs & Fin Aid Related

    Am I charged double tuition for study away programs?

    No! Students are not double charged for tuition with away programs. Each type of program has different cost rules, but you will NEVER be charged tuition at Hamline AND then for the program. 

     

    Exchange programs remain very similar to your costs here at Hamline with tuition, a meal plan, housing, and a few fees charged to your student account. Program providers and faculty led programs will have a cost that includes “tuition” for that program.

    Does my financial aid follow me and help pay for my study away program?

    Students are able to bring their federal and state eligibility with them no matter the program. 

     

    Outside scholarships (for example Coca Cola Scholars, Rotary Club, etc) should also follow you - please check with the scholarship program to be sure. 


    Hamline scholarships and grants are guaranteed on Exchange programs, but not on program providers or direct enroll options.

     

    Financial aid will follow normal rules of eligibility and deadlines. The only exception is that federal, state and Hamline work-study funds will not be usable for an off campus term.

    Does the number of credits on my program impact my financial aid?

    Yes. In order to be eligible for your federal and state aid, students are required to be enrolled in a full time course load. This means 12 credits for federal, 15 for most state grant recipients. If you are taking anything less than full time, your aid package will be adjusted down to match the number of credits.

     

    In summer, students need to be enrolled in at least a half time (6 credits) course load in order to be eligible for any federal financial aid. 

     

    Feel free to connect with the Financial Aid Office  if you have any questions.

    Can I work while on a study away program?

    Working while away will depend on the program you are a part of and your ability to secure needed work permits in given locations. 

    Most programs do not allow paid work. Most internships are also often unpaid.

     

    The GEC cannot assist with work visas or paperwork for working in abroad locations. For study away programs, work study funds (federal, state, and Hamline) will also not be usable.

    Does the GEC offer any help finding a subletter/ending housing contracts for my time away?

    The GEC cannot provide assistance with finding a subletter. Students are encouraged to use social media platforms like Facebook Marketplace, or others to post the sublet option. Please check with your lease to ensure this is a possibility. 

     

    For on-campus housing, the GEC may be able to provide a letter to the housing officials to confirm a study away term that can release students from that term’s housing. Please connect with the housing staff at Hamline once you are accepted into an away program to start that process.

  • Pre-Departure

    Where can I learn about health and safety issues in the places I intend to travel?

    All students will receive pre-departure information. Those going on faculty led programming, will also have meetings prior to the group departure with the faculty to better familiarize itself with the location. 

     

    The US Department of State’s travel page and study abroad pages are great locations for diving deeper into the topics of country specific information.


    Hamline also has a Health and Safety page for more general information

    Where can I get the immunizations needed for travel?

    Hamline does not have a travel clinic on campus, but Counseling and Wellness Services are able to discuss some travel matters when it comes to medicines and mental health plans. 

    Students should make an appointment at a Travel Clinic- the MN Department of Health has provided this document with a list of most travel clinics in the area. 


    Also connect with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organizations (WHO) webpages to see what vaccines are needed. 


    The GEC also recommends checking with your regular doctor before any travel to get updates on more routine vaccinations and discuss services while away.

    How do I get a passport/renew an old passport?

    For all things passport related, the US State Department has a web page with forms, and details on local places to apply for a passport.

     

    If you do not and have never had a passport, you will need to apply for one. You can complete the form and take it to a passport office or authorized USPS location.

     

    If you had a child passport and are now over 18, you will need to apply for a new passport. 

     

    If you need to renew a passport, you can do so via the mail. 


    If you need the passport by a specific date, there are expedited services available in most cases. This will cost more money for processing. Minneapolis also has a passport agency office that can print same-day passports, again at an additional cost.

    Do I need a VISA?

    Some programs due to their length (semester or year) or location may need extra paperwork. Entry/Exit Visa depend on the agreements and rules between your home country (country of citizenship) and that country. 

     

    Generally with a US passport, students are allowed to do short term programs under a “tourist” classification for most of Europe, South & Central America, and some part of Asia. Some countries will ask you to register before you go, but not charge anything for a permit/visa. While other countries like China require a purchased visa to enter, no matter the time you stay there. 

     

    Students are responsible for obtaining any entry/exit visas for their program. The GEC can offer basic support, but cannot give official advice on how to complete paperwork as rules often change annually. Your program or host institution will provide you with paperwork to begin the process should you need one. 

     

    For more information on Visa requirements, The US State Department has a travel website with information on immunizations, health and safety issues, as well as visa requirements:  


    International students going abroad again should consult with their home consulate to learn more about travel restrictions. Also, check with the GEC to ensure your entry back in the US isn’t impacted by your travel.

    How do I get a visa?

    If your program requires a visa there will be paperwork that the officials of the program will provide you (letter of invitation, living address in the country, etc). Please read all emails from your program officials carefully! 

     

    Some visas require you to travel to the nearest consulate to submit your passport and paperwork. Others let you do this via mail services or offer e-visa options. It depends on the country and their rules. 

     

    The US Department of State’s International Travel page will help with locating your consulate and their website for contact information. 

     

    In some cases you can pay a company to process the visa application and documents on your behalf. These will cost you money on top of any visa fees required, but can save you some time and hassle. 

    Swift Passport 

    G3 Visas 

    TraVisa 

    VisaHQ

    How long does it take to get a Visa?

    Normally, you can’t apply for a visa until you are 90 days away from your program’s start date, but every country has its own rules. Be sure to do the research or ask your program’s advisor for more details. 

     

    Do not put off processing your visa documents- expediting visa applications can cost extra money.

    Can I get my Visa via mail/online?

    Some countries allow students and other visitors to apply for visas online or send documents to a consulate. Check the nearest consulate’s website for directions on HOW to submit your paperwork. Please note that you may have to appear in person to drop off and/or pick up your passport with the visa.

    What if I don’t get a visa or overstay a visa?

    If you do not have the proper entry permission, you can get turned away at the airport before departing the US or upon arrival at your destination. You risk not being refunded for your program costs because of failure to receive the proper visa permissions. 

     

    Do NOT overstay your visa. You could risk being detained at the border or not allowed back into a country ever again. This is a serious matter and can result in fines or even jail time in other countries.

    Where is my transcript?

    After your program has ended, and your final grades have been recorded, the program SHOULD send official transcripts to the GEC. This can take some time. On average it takes around 3-6 weeks for your host institution/program to mail them. Once the GEC receives them, they are sent directly to the Registrar for processing. 

     

    If you are still waiting and it has been past 6 weeks since the end of your program, please connect with the program advisor and the GEC.

    I don’t see my Hamline Letters/Major/Minor coursework on my Hamline transcript. What now?

    Most study away credits will appear towards the top of your Hamline transcript. While they might look like block credits, they should have the designation as major/minor coursework equivalents and/or Hamline Letters if you have gotten them approved. 

     

    Check with your faculty advisor for the major/minor coursework items and the Registrar for the Hamline Letters (if you have petitioned for a specific letter). The GEC can also help if you need us to assist. 

     

    Faculty-Led is the exception to this, as faculty have applied for letters and gotten courses approved prior to the program. If you see a discrepancy, please contact the Registrar and the GEC.

  • Away & Return from Away

    Where is my transcript?

    After your program has ended, and your final grades have been recorded, the program SHOULD send official transcripts to the GEC. This can take some time. On average it takes around 3-6 weeks for your host institution/program to mail them. Once the GEC receives them, they are sent directly to the Registrar for processing. 

     

    If you are still waiting and it has been past 6 weeks since the end of your program, please connect with the program advisor and the GEC.

    I don’t see my Hamline Letters/Major/Minor coursework on my Hamline transcript. What now?

    Most study away credits will appear towards the top of your Hamline transcript. While they might look like block credits, they should have the designation as major/minor coursework equivalents and/or Hamline Letters if you have gotten them approved. 

     

    Check with your faculty advisor for the major/minor coursework items and the Registrar for the Hamline Letters (if you have petitioned for a specific letter). The GEC can also help if you need us to assist. 

     

    Faculty-Led is the exception to this, as faculty have applied for letters and gotten courses approved prior to the program. If you see a discrepancy, please contact the Registrar and the GEC.