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Petersburg, VA 23806
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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Studying Abroad

1. Why Should I study abroad?
Studying abroad is a great way to internationalize your educational experience while earning academic credits toward your degree program. Further, studying abroad prepares you for the highly competitive global work environment that you will encounter as a VSU graduate.

Click here for 10 reasons why African American students should consider studying abroad.

2. Who can study abroad?
Students who have completed one year of academic study (30 semester hours) may be approved if they have a 2.5 GPA and a clean Judicial Affairs record. Graduate students must have a 3.0 GPA.
3. When can I study abroad?
Students may study abroad abroad at any time except during their freshman year or the semester in which they plan to graduate. Students may not study abroad after they graduate.
4. Where can I study abroad?
Students may study abroad anywhere outside the U.S. and its territories that is not listed on the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory List.
5. Can I use my VSU financial aid to fund my study abroad experience?
Yes. Students should check with the Office of Student Financial Aid to determine how much of their financial aid award is available. While most federal aid may be used, some institutional aid may not be transferrable. Financial aid may not be used to fund travel (ex. airfare) but generally will cover academic expenses (ex. tuition and fees, room and board, etc.).
6. What other kind of funding is available?
Scholarship aid is often provided by study abroad program providers, non-profit organizations, federal programs and academic departments that have grants. The Office for International Education awards scholarships through the Dr. George H. Bennett Endowment. Students also do their own fundraising through family, friends, churches, etc.
7. What kinds of programs are available?
Students may participate in a traditional study abroad program (enrolled in classes at the host university), internships in the major, service learning and volunteer programs, field research with the professor, and teach abroad programs.
8. How long can I study abroad?
Students can participate in a short term program (2 to 8 weeks), a semester program or an academic year.
9. What if I do not want to travel alone?
Students may participate in a VSU faculty led program or they may find other students who are interested in travelling at the same time. You are never alone. You will usually find other American students participating in the same program when you get abroad. Sometimes students make Facebook contact before departure and become acquainted with other students participating in the same program abroad.
10. How do I get started?
First, if you do not have a U.S. Passport, then apply for one right away. Second, talk to your academic advisor and your family. Third, contact the Office for International Education to schedule an advising appointment to get more information about program options and other resources.

11. What if I don't have a Passport?
There are a few options for you to utilize in order to apply for your Passport. 1. Apply at any local U.S. Postal Office. 2. Register for an appointment during our Passport Day Event. (held in the Fall Semester). 3. If you are Pell Grant eligible, you could utilize your aid to pay for the cost of your Passport.

Virginia State University Dr. George H. Bennett Office for International Education