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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I study overseas?

As American businesses expand overseas, the need for culturally adept employees, those who know about and are able to work across cultural boundaries, is increasing. Rapidly expanding technology and transportation connect all corners of the globe and to remain competitive among your peers from overseas, you need to be able to negotiate within a worldwide context. You can also strengthen your foreign language ability, increase your knowledge of a particular discipline, and enhance your classroom learning with experiential learning. Better still, through an overseas experience, you can gain a more global perspective that may allow you to see the rest of the world with “new eyes.” If you take the time to include overseas study as part of your education, you may also reap the benefits of cross-cultural living within the boundaries of the U.S. Studying abroad may also help you succeed in our exceedingly multicultural American society. Many students describe overseas study as a life-changing experience. It will affect the way you relate to your own culture as well as to the rest of the world.

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What are my opportunities to study overseas while a student at Villanova University?

VU students planning to spend a year or semester abroad have several options:

  • Full-time study (a minimum of 4 courses or equivalent) at an overseas university, college, or language institute. This includes, but is not limited to, four Villanova semester programs located at NUI, Galway, University of Melbourne, University of Urbino, and four elite London universities.
  • Full-time internship plus 3 courses through an approved U.S. program provider. Internships are generally eight hours a day, four days a week for 10 weeks.
  • Full-time service-learning/field work plus 3 courses through an approved U.S. program provider. Service learning/field work projects are usually daily activities with an academic component including a 20-25 page research paper.

VU students planning to spend a summer abroad also have several options:

  • Villanova University faculty members lead international summer programs to over 16 different locations every summer.
  • If students do not find a Villanova international summer program that fits their academic needs, they can also spend the summer overseas through an approved non- Villanova program provider or overseas institution.

VU and non-VU Summer Programs have their own policies and procedures. Specific information is available from

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What if I want to study in a program that is not listed?

If you do not find a program on the VU list of Overseas Program Providers (available on our website) suitable to your interests, you may petition the Office of International Studies (OIS) for approval. The Petition for Overseas Program Approval can be downloaded from our website or obtained directly from the OIS.

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What are the eligibility requirements for overseas study?

  • Villanova requires a minimum GPA of 2.75 to begin the process. Some programs may require a higher average.
  • All undergraduate majors are eligible. A declaration of major must be on file.
  • Full-time status and Sophomore, Junior, or 1st semester Senior standing are required. 2nd semester Seniors may apply only with special permission.
  • Students may not apply for overseas study with any bursar, academic or disciplinary holds on their account.
  • Transfer students must have completed 3 semesters at Villanova prior to participating in an overseas program.

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Do I have to be a language major, or speak another language to study overseas?

No. The opportunities for study abroad are not limited to language majors or those with knowledge of foreign languages. All programs provide language training while some offer courses taught in English even in non-English speaking countries.

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How does academic credit transfer?

Working with a representative of the Office of International Studies, you must complete a Prior Approval Form. The Prior Approval Form designates courses approved by the appropriate faculty for transfer credit.

  • To ensure appropriate credit transfer, it is your responsibility to confirm the final course schedule for each semester abroad with the OIS after registration has been completed at the overseas institution.
  • Villanova University will not accept an overseas transcript that lists three or fewer courses for a semester’s work.
  • Credit for work completed overseas will appear on your Villanova transcript. A minimum grade equivalent to a “C” must be earned in order for credit to transfer.
  • For Fall and Spring semester programs and non-VU Summer programs: in place of a letter grade, the designation “T” will be assigned for all courses in which you receive a grade equivalent to a “C” or higher. For VU Summer programs: Contact the Faculty Program Coordinator for grading information.
  • A maximum of 60 credits are transferable. This includes Advanced Placement, Overseas Study, and summer credits earned at another institution.

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How much will it cost to study abroad?

In 2001, Villanova University adopted a tuition policy governing its semester study abroad programs. Under this policy, you will be billed by Villanova University for the total cost of VU tuition for each semester overseas. Non-Tuition costs such as room and board are not paid to Villanova University, but are instead paid to the overseas university or program in which you enroll. In general, these room and board costs tend to be about the same as they would be at Villanova. Keep in mind, though, that several factors have to be taken into consideration, such as geography, travel, expenses, and fluctuating exchange rates when calculating additional costs. Please note that the above tuition policy does not affect summer study abroad. All summer program fees are paid directly to the program, whether you enroll in a VU Summer program or a non-VU Summer program.

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What are the benefits of this tuition policy?

Students who elect to study abroad on a Villanova approved program remain enrolled at Villanova and therefore have access to privileges such as email, Novasis, and online registration. Most importantly, coursework successfully completed overseas transfers to your Villanova transcript and counts towards graduation. Credit earned abroad is applied towards major, minor and core requirements as approved prior to departure. Charging normal Villanova tuition for overseas study allows us to cover the cost without raising the general tuition, imposing fees, or cutting other programs. It also makes study abroad ‘transparent’ in that you pay the same tuition at home and abroad, allowing you to choose your overseas programs based on academic rather than financial factors.

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Can I use my financial aid?

Yes: because you pay Villanova tuition, you remain a fulltime student, and all financial assistance applies. Whether you have grants or federal aid  that money is credited to your account as if you had stayed at Villanova. In addition, Villanova University academic scholarships are applicable for study abroad semesters except for Tuition Remission, Tuition Exchange and Augustinian Relative Grants.

All eligible students may apply federal, state, and institutional financial aid for a year or semester abroad. Additional financial aid may be available to cover non-tuition costs. For more information contact the Office of Financial Assistance, 610.519.4012.

The full tuition policy, a cost estimate worksheet, and scholarships information for overseas study is available on the Office of International Studies’ website.

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Where can I find out more about overseas study?

All Villanova students considering overseas study are required to attend a group information session. At this mandatory information session, you will receive information on how to research programs that will meet your needs and goals. These meetings are typically held four days a week, twice a day in order to accommodate the busy student schedule. You should make an appointment for your information session by calling 610.519.6412 or stopping by the Office of International Studies on the 2nd floor of Middleton Hall.

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