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Center for Global Education
Center for Global Education

Study Abroad FAQs

Why should I study abroad?

There are many personal and professional reasons to study abroad. Most past participants have said that studying abroad helped them focus their academic and career goals, taught them about living and working with people of different cultures, and even taught them more about themselves. Study abroad provides an opportunity to develop your leadership skills and gain new skills. Studying abroad also enhances your preparation for living in a culturally diverse social environment and working in a global marketplace.

Who can help me decide whether study abroad is for me?

  • The Center for Global Education's Study Abroad Advisor Calie Florek, an experienced professional in the field of international education.
  • Faculty members, many of whom have extensive international experience and advised other students on reasons to take some of your courses in a foreign environment.
  • 3rd Party Provider and university representatives, who can point out the particular features of the programs they offer.
  • Butler students who have returned from study abroad.

Where do I begin my search for a study abroad program?

Please check out our Steps to Study Abroad webpage to see what your steps to study abroad are. There are six important steps, the first of which is to attend a general Study Abroad Information Session.

What is the difference between a Faculty-Led program, an Exchange program, and a 3rd Party Provider program?

The Center for Global Education (CGE) offers three types of programs for our students to study abroad on. Each type of program has it's own merits and we offer all three types of programs, because each student is ready for different levels of support and independence:

  • Faculty-Led programs are offered for Butler University students and led by Butler University faculty-members, who serve as professors, as well as resident directors to guide their program. This type of program is collaborative, as students spend a large portion of the program with the other members of their cohort. The CGE offers two semester-long Faculty-Led programs, including the fall Butler Semester in Spain program and the spring Global Adventures in the Liberal Arts (GALA) program. In addition to our semester-long offerings, faculty members also run their own winter break, spring break, and summer Faculty-Led programs.
  • Exchanges provide an opportunity for a limited number of Butler students to enjoy an independent, full-immersion experience by attending selected partner universities abroad while students from those universities attend Butler on a one-for-one basis. Some of these Exchanges have been developed by Butler; others are available through the International Student Exchange Programs (ISEP).
  • The approved 3rd Party Provider programs are administered by respected professional organizations or other colleges and universities. All provide a wide range of student services and give careful attention to safety and security issues. These programs represent a broad range of geographic regions. Educational opportunities may be classroom based or experiential, including internships, service learning, research, and student teaching.

What is ISEP?

The International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) is a worldwide network for international education, consisting of over 250 member institutions. Through ISEP, you have access to over 100 study sites in Africa, Asia, Canada, Europe, Latin America, and the South Pacific for a full academic year, semester, or summer. Through ISEP, you can study in English or in a foreign language. It is best to research ISEP's extensive list of exchange opportunities through their website to get detailed information about each member institution's structure and course offerings.

When can I study abroad?

Students can study abroad during the sophomore, junior, or senior year for a semester or for the entire academic year. There may be some residency requirements that seniors need to fulfill, so all seniors should check with their academic advisors for details. There are also hundreds of opportunities for summer study abroad that can be researched online at studyabroad.com or iiepassport.org.

Butler University's faculty members also offer summer faculty-led programs each year that are listed on the List of Approved Programs under "Butler Faculty-led Programs—Summer"

When should I apply to study abroad?

Every program has its own deadline. You typically start applying for your program one semester prior to departure. You should always confirm directly with the Center for Global Education (CGE) or the 3rd Party Provider to make sure you are applying by the deadline. Typical deadlines are:

  • Faculty-Led
    • Butler Semester in Spain - February 1 for the following fall semester
    • GALA - mid-March to early April for the following spring semester
  • Butler Exchange
    • February 15 for the following fall semester
    • September 15 for the following spring semester
  • ISEP Exchange (while the ISEP deadline listed on their website may be later, the CGE has the following internal deadlines)
    • February 8 for the following fall semester
    • August 25 for the following spring semester
  • 3rd Party Providers
    • Varies! Check on each program's individual page for program-specific deadlines.

How do I apply for my study abroad program?

You can find program type-specific application instructions on our How to Apply to Study Abroad webpage. 

Can I use my financial aid while abroad?

Yes, but there are restrictions on the type of aid you can use while abroad. Regardless of the type of program you choose, you will continue to pay Butler University tuition for the semester you are abroad (instead of the cost of the program listed on their website). Your federal, state, and outside scholarships/grants/loans will continue to apply to all types of programs, as allowed. In regard to your Butler institutional scholarships and grants:

  • If you choose to study on a 3rd Party Provider program, then 50% of your Butler financial aid will apply toward the cost of tuition (only for that semester).
  • If you select a reciprocal Exchange through Butler or ISEP, then 100% of your Butler financial aid will apply toward the cost of tuition.
  • If you select a semester-long Faculty-Led program (GALA or Butler Semester in Spain), then 100% of your Butler financial aid will apply toward the cost of tuition.

 

If you have questions as to how a certain type of study abroad program will affect your financial aid for that semester, please reach out to Financial Aid directly.

Can I fulfill my GHS requirement by studying abroad?

Students who study abroad for a semester, academic year, or summer and successfully complete a minimum of 9 credit hours while abroad are eligible to waive one semester of the GHS requirement. This waiver does not grant the student 3 credit hours, but does take care of the requirement.

How do I get credit for my courses abroad?

First, you must participate on a program that is approved by Butler University. Second, you will need to complete a Course Approval Form, included in the Center for Global Education's study abroad pre-departure paperwork. The Course Approval Form requires you to obtain signatures from various department chairs and offices on campus, including your academic advisor who will help you get your coursework approved before the start of your study abroad program. Once you submit this form to the Center for Global Education (CGE), a copy will go to Registration and Records (R&R) to be reviewed again once your overseas transcript arrives upon completion of the program. R&R, along with the CGE, will evaluate your overseas transcript and post the credit to your Butler transcript. Students must pass courses with a grade of 'C-' or better in order to receive credit. Students may also take a Pass/Fail course, but it cannot fulfill Core or major requirements.

Where should I have my overseas transcript sent?

An official unopened transcript should be sent directly to the Center for Global Education:

Butler University Center for Global Education
Jordan Hall, room 138
4600 Sunset Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46208
USA

How long does it take to obtain a passport?

Ordinarily, you should receive your passport within 6 weeks. For detailed information regarding application procedures, commonly asked questions or emergency situations regarding passports, please visit the U.S. Department of State's website.