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Study Abroad

Study Abroad FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Of course you have questions – everyone does! Here are some of the most common.

Study Abroad as an Engineering Student

Is this program offered to non-Engineering or non-Mizzou students?

Yes, non-engineering and even non-Mizzou students are eligible to participate in our study abroad programs.  Most non-engineering students choose to complete one of the ENGR 3000: Global Leadership courses since they are credited as upper-level humanities or social science courses at the university level.

Non-Mizzou students must first apply to be a non-degree seeking student at the university through Mizzou Admissions.  An application fee is also required to submit an application.

 Are the deadlines important?

Yes, the deadlines are extremely important as they are set to allow us time to guarantee you a seat on the plane, tickets for all activities, and accommodations for you while abroad. These dates are non-negotiable, and it is expected that you will finish your myStudyAbroad and EF documents by the set deadlines.

 What can I expect from the pre-departure classes?

The pre-departure classes meets once a week for six-weeks prior to program departure.  The times and dates for the class cannot be set until after the official deadline since staff need to review all confirmed students’ schedules to find a best time for everyone.  Usually, the classes meet after 4 pm.

Class will cover the history, culture, and engineering practices of your host country(s), as well as leadership strategies and development.  The course will also go over standard travel preparedness for your specific country, along with the mandatory health and safety seminar.

How do I know that I am committed to a program?

Once you have completed your application form, you should receive your official acceptance letter to the programs, along with your MyStudyAbroad account and financial planning spreadsheet from the Study Abroad Office within one week.  Once you have received this letter, your participation in confirmed and a $500 non-refundable deposit will be placed on your student account.

If you find out that you must withdraw from the program after the official registration deadline has passed, you may be responsible for any costs that have been incurred by MU Engineering Study Abroad. This may include: deposits for flight reservations, in-country accommodations, transportation, attraction tickets, as well as any other incurred expenditures based on your anticipated participation on the programs.

Are group flights included?

When you choose to study abroad with the College of Engineering, there are a few different ways the flight arrangements will work.

  1. Group Flight Option: with this option, we will handle all of your flight and logistic information. You will not need to book anything. If you choose to do additional traveling before or after the program, you will be able to modify the booking before it is confirmed in order to accommodate any adjustments you might make from the arranged travel itinerary.
  2. Suggested Flight Option: with this option, you will need to book your own transportation to and from the program location based on a suggested itinerary that will be provided by the Study Abroad Office. However, it is ultimately up to you. Students often prefer this option because it allows them to choose their dates and times in the case of any additional travel before or after program dates.
Study Abroad Financing

How can I finance my program?

Students are encouraged to meet with the Office of Financial Aid in 11 Jesse Hall to talk through program costs and financial expectations for programs.  Due to program timing, some courses may have eligible scholarships and financial aid available, while others may not.

The College of Engineering Study Abroad office also has a number of scholarships all engineering students can apply for.  All applications for scholarships are due no later than 5 pm, December 20, 2019.

How will this be charged/How will I pay?

Charges for your study abroad program are arranged by the College of Engineering Study Abroad office, and all tuition and fees will be charged to your account in the same way that all other courses are charged through MyZou.

Bills are typically generated on or around the 20th of each month and are due the 15th of the following month (or the next Monday if it falls on a weekend). Students have two options for making payments, the first is to pay the balance in full, which will avoid any finance charges, while the second option is to make minimum payments until the full amount is paid.

What does the program fee cover?

The program fee covers all housing, in-country transfers, classroom space, field trips, guest lectures, and any planned meals during the length of your program.  

What if I have to leave the program or withdraw?

If you must withdraw from the program before the official registration deadline, you must let the Study Abroad Office know in writing as soon as possible.  Typically, you will only lose the $500 deposit placed on your account once your acceptance was confirmed.

If you find out that you have to withdraw from the program after the official registration deadline has passed, you will be responsible for any costs that have been incurred by MU Engineering Study Abroad. This may include deposits on flight reservations, in-country accommodations, transportation, attraction tickets, as well as any other incurred expenditures based on your anticipated participation on the programs.

How do I register for the courses I’ve committed to?

Once you commit the Engineering Study Abroad Office will enroll you in the class, so you do not have to do anything to register other than submit your official application to the program. 

How will my course credits transfer?

There is no need to transfer the course credits, because you will be taking Mizzou classes. They are treated the same as if you took the course at Mizzou, and it will show up on your final transcript upon graduation.

If you are a student participating in the programs from outside of Mizzou, you will need to request a transcript for the course be sent to your home university through the Office of the University Registrar in order for the course to be credited at your home institution.

What is the class structure like?

The class structure is set by your professor; however, most are scheduled as follows:

  • Class: Monday-Thursday 9-12 with office hours in the afternoon or evening
  • Exams: Thursday afternoon after morning class and lunch
  • *Homework assigned Monday and collected Thursday

This is just one example of what you can expect. The professor has every right to structure the class as they see fit.  Typically, professors will schedule at least one pre-departure class meeting and go over their course schedule and expectations.

packing for your trip

What should I pack?

Less is more when it comes to packing for study abroad.  Typically, you are sharing an apartment (and closet) space with other students on the program and are dealing with smaller living spaces than you are used to in America.  Also, you’ll want to keep your bags as light as possible, since there won’t be anyone but you to carry them throughout your host country.

Try to bring along clothing that is comfortable and versatile.  You will have access to laundry facilities while abroad, but those machines are usually smaller and slower than what we are used to in the United States and dryers may not be available.  Research the climate and weather conditions for the locations you will be visiting in advance to know what is absolutely essential to bring along and what can be left behind.

Consider what you intend to do while abroad.  Business visits and guest lectures could require more formal attire, while working on service projects abroad may necessitate more flexible and comfortable clothing.  These types of issues will be discussed in detail during the pre-departure course, but a suggested packing list to consider is also available.

Remember that you will also want to bring home lots of souvenirs and gifts.  Make sure you leave room in your suitcase or pack along a collapsible bag that you can check on your flight home.  International shipping is often expensive and slow.

What is the class structure like?

The class structure is set by your professor; however, most are scheduled as follows:

  • Class: Monday-Thursday 9-12 with office hours in the afternoon or evening
  • Exams: Thursday afternoon after morning class and lunch
  • *Homework assigned Monday and collected Thursday

This is just one example of what you can expect. The professor has every right to structure the class as they see fit.  Typically, professors will schedule at least one pre-departure class meeting and go over their course schedule and expectations.

What do we do on the weekends?

Classes are typically only scheduled Monday through Thursday, so once the class is over on Thursday afternoon, you are free to explore your host country through Sunday.  Weekend travel planning seminars are offered by the Study Abroad Office in the spring to show students how to best plan their free weekends or off time.

During the ENGR 3000 course, the entire trip is planned and scheduled. There will be some pre-allocated free time, but you will be spending most of your time exploring the culture and history of the country we are visiting.

Are there planned events on the weekends and evenings?

The technical course you sign up for may have a company tour, a city tour, and/or some cultural activities planned while you are abroad; however, most of these activities are scheduled during the week so the weekends (Thursday afternoons through Sunday) are free for you to plan your own travel wherever you want to go.  Weekend travel planning seminars are offered by the Study Abroad Office in the spring to show students how to best plan their free weekends or off time.

During the ENGR 3000 course, the entire trip is planned and scheduled. There will be some pre-allocated free time, but you will be spending most of your time exploring the culture and history of the country we are visiting.

What is the housing like?

Student housing varies from program to program, but you can expect the following for whichever program you are registered to complete:

  • 2-week non-technical courses: students often travel to multiple cities and therefore will not stay in the same location more than a few nights. These students often stay in hotels with 2-4 students per room. Hotels normally do not have kitchens or laundry facilities; however, most hotels provide a light breakfast and may have laundry services available at cost. Hotels typically have free wi-fi for guests.
  • Technical courses: For these courses, students typically stay in the same city for four weeks. Apartments are provided within a short walking distance to the class space. The apartments will have wi-fi, fully equipped kitchens, and access to laundry machines. Different apartments may house different numbers of students. Typically, students will share bedrooms within the apartment, and there will be bathrooms for every one to two bedrooms.

Should I exchange cash for the local currency once I arrive?

The best way to get local currency is to visit an ATM and withdraw money once you arrive in the country. Bringing American currency and then exchanging it at airport or tourist exchange kiosks typically cost more.

Can I use my credit or debit cards?

Yes. Make sure to inform your bank what countries you will be traveling to, otherwise, they may think it is fraudulent charges and freeze your account. Most places will accept major credit and debit card brands, but expect there to be some foreign transaction fees, unless you have a credit card that exempts these fees. 

What should I do about phone plans?

There are many options for students regarding phone usage abroad.  All apartments and hotels students will be staying in during their official program dates will have access to wi-fi (unless otherwise stated in advance) so calls and texting can be done through apps like Skype, What’s App, or FaceTime in order to cut costs.

However, it is still highly recommended that all students sign up for an international cell phone plan or plan ahead to have phone service while in-country since there may be instances when service is needed outside of wi-fi areas.  Most large national cell phone companies offer international plans at reduced rates that students may sign up for and use only if needed.  Companies like AT&T and Verizon have plans ranging from $10/day for unlimited phone and data usage to $40/month for reduced rates and charges while in international territories.

Other options include purchasing a local SIM card once you arrive in country that can replace your U.S. SIM card or renting a cell phone with an enabled international plan already activated from companies like travelcell.com or cellhire.com.

Are outlets the same as the United States?

No, they are typically not the same in other countries. The United States uses 120 volts with two rectangular prongs. In other countries, they use different voltages and/or prong styles.

There are two devices to help your electronics become compatible with other countries outlets: an adapter and a converter. An adapter connects to your device to alter the physical shape of the prongs. a converter adjusts the voltage from the outlet for your device. Adapters, converters, or 2-in1 adapter-converters can be purchased almost anywhere, including Amazon, Walmart, or Target.

How do you know if you need an adapter or converter? Search online for the voltage and prong style used in the country you plan to visit and compare that to the voltage rating on your devices. 

What should I do if I have to go to the doctor/hospital?

If you require medical assistance while abroad, please following these steps:

  • Identify a participating provider or hospital through your GeoBlue app or on www.geobluestudents.com. You will be able to make an appointment directly through the app or website and start your request for Direct Pay at the same time.
  • After making the appointment, contact GeoBlue with the appointment details and they will start to arrange a guarantee of payment through Direct Pay. This can be done over-the-phone, through e-mail, through your Member Hub online, or via the GeoBlue app.  For optimal service, request Direct Pay 48-hours in advance of your appointment.

Many facilities abroad are able to find providers or translators that can speak English so you can properly communicate your issues to the health care practitioners.  If you are unable to find an English-speaking provider, you can call the number on your GeoBlue health insurance card and they will be able to assist you with translation services.

Do I need a passport, visa, or immunizations before I go?

Each country has different requirements for entry.  The Study Abroad Office will work with you directly to ensure that you have all the proper documentation and health immunizations covered before you leave the United States.

At the very least, all students should apply for their passports as soon as they are confirmed for their program.

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