Steps to Follow in Arranging a Study Abroad Program Through Georgia Highlands College
The procedure below is designed to ensure that students will be fully informed of the sequence of steps involved in planning a successful study abroad experience.
1. Decide what type of program interests you.
Examine your own goals for study abroad. To help in this process, answer the following questions. There are no "right" or "wrong" answers!
®Why do you want to go abroad? ®Where do you want to go? Why?®When do you want to go? ®Howlong would you like to stay?®How will study abroad fit with your academic program?®Do you want to study in a foreign language?®Do you know a second language well enough to take coursework taught in that language?®What degree of cultural immersion are you ready for?®Do you want to attend classes with students from Georgia, from other American states, or from the host country?®Is your family supportive of your decision to study abroad?
2. Meet with the Study Abroad Coordinator to review program options and to obtain the necessary application.
The meeting will help you answer the above questions as you begin to a self-searching process to narrow your options. Once you decide on a program, a completed study abroad application must be filed with Georgia Highlands College, even for programs sponsored by other institutions.
3. If you need financial aid, expect to spend at least one month doing research.
Many programs are available, and all have specific requirements. It is wise to apply to several sources for financial help. Check with the Financial Aid Office and review those financial assistance links found on the Georgia Highlands College Study Abroad home page (www.highlands.edu/studyabroad)
4. Meet with your academic advisor.
Discuss how study abroad will fit in your academic curriculum.
5. Meet with the Study Abroad Coordinator to discuss your study abroad choice(s).
The Coordinator will review course offerings of the host institution.Obtain a Course Equivalency Form which must be signed by your advisor or your division chair in order for you to get credit at GHC for the classes you plan to take in a study abroad program.
6. Meet with your academic advisor again.
Be sure to bring a copy of course descriptions for your advisor’s review. Once you get his/her approval of the courses as being acceptable for GHC credit at, ask your advisor to sign the Course Equivalency Form.
7. Register in the Registrar’s Office for the approved study abroad courses.
The Coordinator will help you with this procedure. You will not receive any scholarship awards or financial aid until you have actually registered for courses at Georgia Highlands College and have submitted a signed Course Equivalency Form.
8. Apply to the study abroad or exchange program well in advance of the deadline.
The application always requires a deposit and possibly other items, such as photos and your passport number. The Study Abroad Coordinator can help you with completion of the application form, if needed.
9. Apply for study abroad scholarships/financial aid before the deadlines.
Be prepared to spend at leastone month researching the Web for available scholarships. Many scholarships are available particularly for students who plan to spend one or more semesters in a study abroad program. The Hope scholarship can be used for study abroad, and there are Regents Scholarships available as well.
10. Obtain a passport and visa (if necessary).
Information on the nearest place to get a passport application is available at: http://www.iafdb.travel.state.gov
11. Attend the required orientations: one for your specific study abroad program and second, the study abroad orientation given at GHC.
12. Submit a signed Georgia Highlands College Waiver of Liability to the Study Abroad Coordinator.
These forms are available from the Coordinator.
13. Make arrangements for adequate health insurance coverage.
Make certain that your study abroad program includes the required comprehensive accident and health insurance for illness and injury, medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains. If the program does not already include the required insurance, you can obtain insurance information from the Coordinator.
14. Prepare for departure.
The Coordinator will work with you to make preparations for the study abroad experience. The required orientation before you depart will cover issues such as international travel, culture shock, cross-cultural communication, and academic differences.
When it comes to studying abroad you can never do too much planning ahead. Of course the first step in the process is to make a commitment to devote the time required to thoroughly researching several programs to determine which one is right for you. Most degrees require that a certain number of courses related toward your major or minor be taken at the university from which you will receive your degree. Keep that in mind when researching course offerings. You may consider taking core curriculum and elective courses when studying abroad to avoid any problem that may occur later in your college career should you decide to change majors. Spend sometime discussing these issues with your advisor to determine which courses would best suit your degree needs.
Use the internet to research various programs and requirements. Once you decide on a specific program discuss any questions you may have with a campus representative. Be specific and ask about costs, credits, transcripts, flights and any other questions that you may have. Also, ask your representative to put you in contact with a former participant of the program so that you can hear first hand about their experiences. If the program fits your needs then you should meet with your academic advisor to discuss your plans. Discuss your courses and your graduation requirements and any other questions you may have regarding your study abroad credits.
Now that you have decided on a program and have approval of your advisor then you must begin the process of filling out the proper forms. Be sure to make an appointment with the financial aid office to discuss the Hope Scholarship. You are now well on your way to the experience of a lifetime. Keep in touch with representatives of the program and make sure your passport is up-to-date.