For students new to Drexel or to study abroad, this is the place to start! This section addresses important questions about money matters and academic issues. It also uncovers common myths, and will help students weigh their options when considering an international experience. Students should LEARN as much as possible about study abroad before applying to any program.
Frequently Asked Questions
Studying abroad gives students the chance to look at life through a different perspective, and to learn about themselves, their field, and the world. Benefits of study abroad include:
- Academic: Exposure to a different teaching style and approach to your field of study.
- Language: Full immersion increases language acquisition.
- Employability: Demonstrate independence, resourcefulness, and risk taking – attractive qualities to an employer.
- Personal growth: Gain a broader world perspective and understanding of other cultures.
- Future goals: Opens the door to additional study abroad, international career, graduate fellowships.
ALL majors at Drexel can study abroad. Students should still be aware that some programs are available to all majors, while others are designed for specific majors only. Some programs also have foreign language pre-requests. Before choosing a specific program, students should think about how the courses offered abroad will enhance their coursework and affect their anticipated graduation date.
In general, Drexel sponsored programs are available to students with sophomore standing and above. Determining a specific term depends on factors like major, co-op cycle, and language requirement. Planning is critical to make sure all of these pieces fit into place. Some majors have pre-designated terms for study abroad. The students’ academic advisors will help determine the term that best fits in their curriculum sequence.
Seniors are discouraged from studying abroad during their winter or spring terms because they may need to be in Philadelphia to fulfill final graduation requirements.
Freshmen are encouraged to use their summer vacation term to participate in independent language intensive programs abroad in preparation for a full term program later on.
Before researching the study abroad options, students should consider the following:
Academics: What kind of courses do they want to take while abroad? Are they interested in courses in their major or fulfilling minor or elective requirements? Whether students participate in a Drexel sponsored program or an independent study abroad, they must work closely with their academic advisor in order to understand how the courses taken abroad will affect their intended graduation date. Refer to the Courses and Grades section for more details.
Language: Are they interested in improving foreign language skills or learning a new language? If so, look for programs that are either taught or offering courses in the host language. Becoming bi-lingual or even multi-lingual is an invaluable skill as the marketplace becomes more global.
Finances: The study abroad program costs depend on location and duration. If money is the main concern, students should seek programs that are either shorter duration (Prague or Crete for example) or that are located in countries with lower cost of living (Turkey, Hong Kong, or Egypt for example). Is Drexel financial aid an important factor? If not, perhaps an independent study abroad is a good choice. Review the Money Matters and Independent Study Abroad sections for more details.
Academics: For Drexel sponsored programs, students receive Drexel credit for approved courses taken abroad. Independent programs, which must first be pre-approved, will result in transfer credit for courses taken abroad. Often times, students will not be permitted to take their course major requirements for transfer credit.
Financial: The benefit of Drexel sponsored programs is that students’ Drexel tuition and financial aid (including scholarships, grants, loans, Federal Work Study) remain the same. The additional costs are housing, food, airfare, books, and miscellaneous expenses. For independent programs, students pay the outside program directly instead of paying Drexel for their study abroad term. Drexel grants and scholarships do not apply to the outside program, though often federal financial aid and loans can be used. Because the student would not be registered for class at Drexel during the independent study abroad term(s), normally a student’s Drexel tuition for that term(s) would be credited back to their account. For more information, contact Financial Aid or the Bursar’s Office.
Study abroad takes place during a designated class term. Students earn academic credit while taking a range of courses at a foreign institution. This offers the experience of being a student in another country.
Co-op abroad takes place during a designated co-op term. Students work for an international company or organization overseas and earn co-op credit. This exposes students to international work environment and practices.
Several Study+Co-op programs are offered by the Study Abroad Office (such as Singapore, Germany, and Costa Rica), which allow students to spend 9 – 12 months in one country, fulfilling both study and co-op abroad. Refer to the Study Abroad vs. Co-op section for more details.
When students attend Drexel sponsored programs, their Drexel tuition and financial aid remain the same. In addition, students are responsible for costs such as: roundtrip airfare, housing, food, living expenses, local transportation, travel, and entertainment. These costs are higher for some programs and lower for others, depending on the cost of living and location. Calculate the normal on-campus expenses of housing, food, books, living expenses, local transportation, and entertainment in Philadelphia. Then compare those expenses with the expenses overseas, and you will find that the actual net cost of studying abroad is less than expected! For financial aid and scholarship questions, visit the Money Matters page.