Can I work while I’m abroad?
This depends on the flexibility of your Visa. Check with the consulate of your host country to be sure.
Where will I live?
Housing options vary according to the programme. Typically, students choose between dormitories, shared apartments or home stays with local families. When studying in a non-English speaking country, the best way to learn the language is to stay with a host family.
How long can I study abroad?
Host students can elect to study abroad for one semester or one year. Many of our partner institutions also offer summer programmes, which last anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks. You must keep in mind that if you want to finish your Vesalius bachelor’s degree in 3 years, you should first consult with your Academic Advisor and select courses that will count towards your major requirements, your major electives and sometimes towards your core requirements.
Can I study a foreign language while abroad?
Definitely! Studying abroad is a great time to learn a new language or become more fluent in one you are already studying. Although many of our partner institutions are located in the United States where courses are taught in English, most have extensive foreign language programmes. We also have a number of partner schools located in countries where English is not the spoken language and where you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the language of the country, such as Spanish, Korean, Japanese, French and Turkish. In these locations, there are also language-intensive programmes available for interested students.
Do I have to speak a foreign language to study abroad?
Not usually. The majority of our programmes allow you to take courses in English, either in English-speaking countries or in specially-designed programmes in other countries. However, Vesalius College does offer many options for students who wish to take some or all of their courses in another language, such as Spanish, Korean, Japanese or French.
Am I academically eligible to study abroad?
To be eligible for Study Abroad, Vesalius students must be in the fourth or fifth semester of their degree programme and have a good academic standing. Students must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.7 or higher. A 3.0 minimum GPA is required for Kansai Gaidai University in Japan.
If I study abroad, will I still graduate on time?
You should. We work hard to make sure that taking part in one of our programmes will not delay your graduation. Prior to selecting your Study Abroad courses, you should obtain syllabi for the courses you wish to take, and then consult with your Academic Advisor and the Registrar during your class selection to be sure that the classes you take abroad match your Vesalius curriculum requirements. With reasonable planning, any Vesalius student can have a great international experience and still graduate on time.
Will my classes transfer back to Vesalius?
If you study with a partner institution, your credits and grades will automatically be transferred back to your Vesalius transcript. Whether or not your classes qualify as major requirements, major electives or free electives will be determined by your Academic Advisor and the Registrar, both of whom you should consult soon after your decision to study abroad. If you decide to study at an institution that is not a Vesalius partner, you must first secure course selection approval from your Advisor and the Registrar and confirmation that credits earned abroad will transfer to your Vesalius transcript. Upon returning to Vesalius College, you will receive transfer credit for approved courses in which you earned a grade of ‘C’ or above. However, the grades earned at non-partner institutions will not be included in your cumulative Vesalius GPA. Please note that, if after your arrival at your host university, you find that your pre-selected course schedule must be modified, you must submit syllabi for alternate courses to both the Vesalius College Registrar and to your Academic Advisor to be sure that you will receive credit for these courses.
Are scholarships available for studying abroad?
Yes. Some are specific to certain majors, countries or study abroad programmes; others are open to a wide range of study abroad participants. Some are posted on the websites of the individual study abroad programmes; others are special scholarship agreements between Vesalius College and the partner institution. Please check with the Study Abroad Department for more information.
Is there financial aid available for studying abroad?
No. Vesalius College does not offer financial aid to outgoing Study Abroad or exchange students.
Is it expensive to study abroad?
That depends. Studying abroad can be as inexpensive or as expensive as you make it. Factors to consider are programme type, housing and, especially, the cost of living in the place where you will study. Probably the single biggest factor that will affect your costs is how much independent travel you do on weekends and breaks.
Are there any special safety concerns I should be aware of?
You should always use your best judgment when in a foreign country, just as you would at home. The following basic safety guidelines should be observed:
- Be aware of local laws and act in a responsible manner.
- Do not leave your bags or belongings unattended at any time.
- When you travel, use a security pouch to carry your passport, credit cards and travellers’ cheques.
- Be aware of your surroundings and know your way around.
- Do not handle or display large amounts of money openly.
- Be inconspicuous in dress and demeanour; try to blend in.
- Try speaking the local language, even with other Study Abroad students.
- Avoid consuming large amounts of alcohol that will impair your judgment.
- Never use, handle or distribute controlled or illegal substances; the punishments in some countries can be very severe.
- Do not hitchhike. We also recommend students do NOT drive while abroad.
- Use the same precautions for HIV/AIDS/STDs and unwanted pregnancy overseas as you would at home. Be aware that the quality of some contraceptives in some counties is unreliable. Act responsibly!
- Always try to travel in small groups.
- Be careful how late you come home at night.
- Know where to find the nearest embassy/consulate of your country of origin.
- Be wary of people who seem overly friendly or interested in you.
- Observe local traffic laws – in some countries they drive on the left side of the road.