Education Abroad: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What are the eligibility requirements to study abroad?

Preference is given to applicants with a GPA of 3.0 or higher; all applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 minimum at the time of application. All semester-long programs are open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

If your cumulative GPA falls below 2.5 in the semester(s) prior to studying abroad, but after your acceptance, or you are put on academic probation, North Central College and/or our partner institution/program abroad has the right to withdraw you from the program at your expense. Students will be responsible for any cancellation fees incurred by the College as a result of this cancellation.

Please be aware that some of our partner institutions have a higher cumulative GPA requirement than what our office requires. Our partners have the ability to decline your application.

 2. When do North Central students usually go abroad?

Programs are offered during the fall semester, spring semester, and entire academic year. Starting in May 2022, North Central will offer Cardinal Destination Courses Abroad (CDCA), where students take a spring semester course and have a linked international travel component during May Term.

 3. I’m an athlete, what are my options?

You have several options! You can study abroad for a semester during the off season, staying in shape abroad while using the host university's facilities. You can talk to your coach about taking that semester off of your sport. Many of our partner institutions also offer students the ability to play their sport abroad, so while you won't be participating on your North Central team, you can still play the sport you love overseas. Lastly, if it works with your season, you could also do a short-term program by taking a Cardinal Destination Course Abroad (CDCA) which includes an international travel component during May Term.

4. When is the deadline for applications to participate in an education abroad program?

November 10th is the deadline for all fall semester and yearlong programs. April 10th is the deadline for all spring semester programs.

5. Do I need to speak another language?

No. While we do have language programs available in a number of different countries, the opportunities for education abroad are diverse enough to meet the needs of virtually any undergraduate's course of study. Education abroad is not limited to language majors or those with knowledge of foreign languages; North Central College has a number of programs providing language training introduction classes, as well as programs taught in English in many countries.

6. Can I study abroad and still graduate in four years?

Yes. The Center for Global Education offers programs abroad for each and every academic program. Credits taken abroad can be applied to your major, minor, elective, or general education requirements. Talk to your academic advisor to identify what courses, if any, must be taken at North Central. 

7. How much will it cost me to go abroad?

Education abroad at North Central College is very affordable. Students who enroll in in any of our direct enrollment or group programs are charged NC tuition plus a $4,000 program fee, which covers housing abroad. Students studying abroad through exchange programs pay NC tuition and housing costs directly to the host institution. Most housing fees fall into the range of $2,500 - $3,500. The only extra expenses are that of a plane ticket, and personal cost of living expenses, which includes meals for most programs, travel, transportation, etc.

8. Do I get to keep my financial aid when I go abroad?

Most North Central College-based financial aid can be applied to North Central College programs. Click here for more information on financial aid and scholarships.

 9. What kind of housing is available when abroad?

Students stay in a number of different types of accommodations based on what program they choose. A few of these housing options are residence halls, guest houses, on-campus or off-campus apartments, and homestays.

10. Can I do an internship abroad?

Yes. Academic internships, with prior approval from the relevant discipline department chair, may allow you to progress toward your academic degree while earning practical experience in your field.

11. Can I study abroad more than once?

Absolutely! With the right planning, students can go abroad a number of times and still graduate on time.

12. Why should I study abroad?

Living and studying in another country provides opportunities that are unique to the college experience. The culture and social interactions obtained through living abroad affect an individual's academic and personal growth in ways impossible to duplicate at home. While the responsibilities are great, students who meet these challenges return as more self-confident, mature, well-rounded individuals, with changes in cultural attitudes, heightened critical-thinking skills, and clearer perceptions of the world.

North Central College has a firm commitment to ensuring that the college community develops knowledge and appreciation of cultural differences in both domestic and international settings. For students, an education at North Central includes a global dimension gained through proficiency-based language learning, course work, internships, person-to-person contacts, study abroad, travel, and exchange programs.

When deciding whether or not to study abroad, and what program is right for you, consider the following:

  1. Why do you want to study abroad? What are your "public" reasons, versus your "private or personal" reasons for going abroad?
  2. When do you want to study abroad? What would be the best timing for your study abroad experience? (Fall, Spring, Sophomore, Junior, Senior Year)
  3. Where do you think you want to go? What languages have you studied, or do you want to study? Is there a particular region or culture that interests you most or are you more focused on a particular academic discipline?
  4. How long do you want to be abroad? A month, a semester, a year?
  5. What parts of your degree program might education abroad fulfill? General education requirements, major, minor, or degree requirements?
  6. Do you have any cost restraints? All NCC-sponsored programs are eligible for federal, state, and NCC institutional aid. If you are selecting a non-NCC program (SIROL), you may still be eligible for federal aid, but your NCC and State aid may not be used to pay another institution. Students on tuition remission or faculty exchange programs will have additional considerations.
  7. What kind of living arrangements would you prefer? Living with a family, in a dorm, in an apartment?
  8. What kind of setting would you prefer? Large city, village, countryside?

After considering your reasons for studying abroad, you should select the program that is right for you. Check out the various types of education abroad programs offered through North Central College.