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 programs are open to juniors and seniors, and sophomores (starting fall 2019).

If your cumulative GPA falls below 2.5 in the term(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.

 2. When do North Central students usually go abroad?

Programs are available primarily for the fall term, but other terms, including winter/spring and summer, are possible.

 3. I’m an athlete and my sport season is fall. What are my options?

While it is easier to study abroad fall term due to our academic calendar, winter/spring and summer programs abroad are possible. Make an appointment to meet with a study abroad advisor to discuss which of our programs abroad can host students for the winter/spring semester. Many times, our student athletes are able to play their sport abroad or, at the very least, continue their personal training during the off season.

**Please note that starting fall 2019, the College is moving to a two semester system. Students will have the opportunity to participate on semester long programs in the fall and spring.

4. When is the deadline for applications to study abroad?

January 31st is the deadline for all fall programs. If you are interested in a winter/spring or summer program, please contact a study abroad advisor.

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 study abroad are diverse enough to meet the needs of virtually any undergraduate's course of study. Study 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, electives, or general education requirements.  Studying abroad also fulfills the ACR requirement of an Intercultural Seminar. 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?

Study abroad at North Central College is very affordable. Students who enroll in in any of our direct enrollment, or group programs are charged only college tuition plus a $4,000 program fee, which covers housing abroad. Students studying abroad through exchange programs pay college tuition and housing costs 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. A variety of scholarships are available, including one made possible through the Wallace N. Rasmussen Foundation. 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 your academic advisor may allow you to progress toward your academic degree while earning practical experience in the field.  We develop these internships in consultation with your academic advisor, and the placement offerings facilitated by the host institution.  Internships provide work experience in a realistic environment. Please refer to our updated education abroad brochure to see which of our programs offer internships.

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)
  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 term, a summer, a year? If you are in a non-NCC program, how will it fit with NCC's three-term calendar?
  5. What parts of your degree program might study abroad fulfill? General education requirements, major or minor requirements? The All-College-Requirement (ACR), Intercultural Seminar, and the Interdisciplinary Requirement may both be fulfilled by participating in an approved study abroad program.
  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 will 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? Family Home Stay, Dorm, 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 programs offered through North Central College.