WELCOME TO THE INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS OFFICE AND UNION’S STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS Our mission is to help students enrich their understanding of diverse cultures and thrive academically while gaining new perspectives about themselves. At Union, your international experience isn’t a side journey; it’s a key part of your education. Whether you’re exploring the marine ecology of Australia, delving into engineering courses at Czech Technical University or using the temples and tombs of ancient Greece as a living laboratory, you’ll find that your overseas studies will be among your most memorable college experiences. We know you have many questions about studying in another country. Where will you go? How can you make your application as strong as possible? And how can you get the most from your time away? Our office will help you navigate every step of the process. You’ll find answers to many of your questions in this brochure and on our website, at www.union.edu/international. Please feel free to contact me directly, as well. I look forward to working with
you as you plan your global studies.
Lara Atkins D I R E C T O R , I N T E R N AT I O N A L P R O G R A M S
WHERE IN THE WORLD More than 60 percent of Union students go on terms or mini-terms, one of the highest percentages among U.S. liberal arts colleges. Union offers more than 45 programs in nearly 40 countries on 6 continents. There are currently 27 full terms abroad. Three-week mini-terms are offered during winter and summer breaks. These vary from year to year and include several domestic terms. Non-Union and Independent Study Abroad programs, geared toward juniors and seniors, are offered winter and spring terms.
“UNION IS COMMITTED TO CULTIVATING GLOBAL CONNECTEDNESS TO CONTRIBUTE TO AN INCREASINGLY DIVRSE, GLOBAL AND TECHNOLOGICALLY COMPLEX SOCIETY. AS AN INSTITUTION WHOSE CORE MISSION IS TO PREPARE STUDENTS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY, WE’RE CONTINUALLY INCREASING THE BREADTH AND DEPTH OF OUR GLOBAL EXPERIENCES, MAKING THEM CHALLENGING AND EXCITING.” Therese McCarty 2
The Stephen J. and Diane K. Ciesinski Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs
www.union.edu/international “MY TERM ABROAD IN SHANGHAI WAS TRULY A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE. AS A DUAL CLASSICS AND ASIAN STUDIES MAJOR, I CHALLENGED MYSELF ACADEMICALLY WHILE IMMERSED IN A CULTURE AND WAY OF LIFE DRASTICALLY DIFFERENT FROM MY OWN. MY CLASSMATES AND PROFESSORS REALLY BONDED, AS TOGETHER WE EXPLORED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL WORLD POWERS AND GAINED NEW PERSPECTIVES.” Alex Lieberman-Cribbin (pictured above, standing, second from left)
FAQs How competitive are the programs? In general, our international programs are highly competitive. Attendance at informational meetings is essential. These are announced in advance. To increase your chances of being accepted, it is advantageous to apply to more than one program. You may apply to as many winter and spring programs as you wish, and a maximum of two fall programs.
How are students selected? Selection criteria include an essay, GPA, faculty recommendations, course of study, certification by the Dean of Students and the faculty selection committee’s assessment of your ability to adapt to the program’s social and academic environment. In addition, the selection committee seeks a group of students with varied academic and intellectual backgrounds and interests. We urge you to talk to your academic advisor and the International Programs Office staff to choose programs appropriate to your interests.
Can students go on a mini-term and a term abroad? Yes, you may apply and be selected for both. However, because our mission is to send as many students as possible, students can participate in only one term-long study abroad program. Eligible students can go on as many mini-terms as they would like.
What kinds of opportunities are there? There are programs that focus on classroom study, field study, internships and service learning, or some combination of these.
“I’M DEFINITELY MORE INDEPENDENT BECAUSE OF MY TIME IN RENNES. I GOT ACQUAINTED WITH MANY ASPECTS OF FRENCH CULTURE: CINEMA, HISTORY, POLITICS, LANGUAGE. PRACTICING MY FRENCH WAS ESSENTIAL, AND AS TIME WENT ON, I COULD SEE HOW MUCH I IMPROVED. ALSO, LIFE IN RENNES IS RELAXED COMPARED TO HOW AMERICANS LIVE, AND I TOOK TIME TO APPRECIATE THIS DIFFERENCE." Stefanie Charles (pictured above) 4
What is the difference between a term abroad and an exchange? There are several significant differences. A Union faculty member accompanies students on a term abroad, while a staff member at the host institution oversees our exchange students. A term abroad program also includes group excursions. Participants in an exchange are not subject to a term abroad surcharge. In some programs (specifically Antwerp, Belgium, and Lille, France), students are responsible for paying room and board directly in that country.
Do I need to speak a foreign language to go abroad? While a few programs with immersive language experience do have language requirements, many do not, and the majority of our terms offer classes in English.
Are all credits from my term abroad transferrable? In each program, three courses count toward the graduation requirement of 36 courses. All terms abroad and exchanges satisfy the General Education “Other Cultures” requirement. Some courses with departmental designations also count toward departmental requirements. For information about policies regarding applicable charges for fourth courses, refer to “Academic Policies, Fourth Courses” in the Academic Register. In most cases, with advance planning, careful selection of the program and consultation with an academic advisor, students can study abroad, meet their academic requirements and graduate on time.
Where will I live? Accommodations include host families’ homes, dormitories, apartments and,
while on group excursions, hotels, motels, hostels or campsites.
APPLICATION DEADLINES You must apply for international programs two terms in advance: TERM
Spring term abroad
3rd week of fall term (mid-September)
Fall term abroad
3rd week of winter term (mid-January)
Winter term abroad
3rd week of spring term (mid-April)
3rd week of spring term (mid-April)
3rd week of winter term (mid-January)
Independent study program
5th week of winter term (early February)
3rd week of spring term (mid-April)
Unless otherwise noted, all applications, essays and unofficial transcripts are due by 5 p.m. on the third Friday of the appropriate month in the International Office, Third Floor, Old Chapel. Up-to-date information may be obtained there, as well. OR GO TO: www.union.edu/international/apply
â€œONE OF THE REAL STRENGTHS OF OUR PROGRAMS IS THAT STUDENTS ARE TYPICALLY ACCOMPANIED BY A UNION PROFESSOR WITH EXTENSIVE KNOWLEDGE OR RESEARCH INTERESTS IN THE HOST COUNTRY. WE USUALLY TEACH ONE COURSE AND LEAD INTENSIVE EXCURSIONS. IT IS REWARDING TO SEE STUDENTS LEARN THE VALUE OF INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCES AND FORM LIFE-CHANGING CONNECTIONS WITH PEOPLE AND CULTURES THAT MAKE THEIR UNION EDUCATION TRULY GLOBAL." 6
Charles Batson Associate Professor of French
FINANCING A TERM ABROAD How much does it cost to study abroad? In general, studying abroad costs more than studying on campus, and you should plan accordingly. The base cost of a full term abroad is one-third of Union's comprehensive fee. The College charges an additional fee for each faculty-led term abroad to fully cover tuition, room, board and group excursions. The fee for a mini-term includes tuition, room, board and excursions. In both cases, you are responsible for arranging and paying for your round-trip airline travel to your destination, passport fees and visa fees (if necessary). The College does not arrange group travel. Financial aid, scholarships, planned savings and/or gifts from relatives can enable most students to afford some kind of study abroad. Students should also plan to take additional money for their own travel and purchases. Be realistic about your budget, spending and living habits, which vary greatly among students. Students who withdraw from a program should contact the International Programs Office for guidelines regarding their financial responsibility. Fluctuations in other currencies can also dramatically affect the total cost of studying in another country.
Is financial aid available? With the exception of work-study, all financial aid a student receives on campus applies to full term abroad programs. Students may be eligible for additional aid, usually in the form of loans, to cover some added costs of international study, such as transportation for both full and mini-terms. Students should take their program budget to the Office of Financial Aid. Scholarships are available to Union students for term abroad programs. Each year the International Programs Office awards need-based grants for study abroad. The typical need-based award is $1,000. In addition, there is some support offered for domestic mini-terms. THE WILLIAM CADY STONE STUDY ABROAD FELLOWSHIP ENABLES ONE JUNIOR TO STUDY
ABROAD FOR A FULL YEAR AT AN ACCREDITED INSTITUTION OF HIS OR HER CHOICE.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO What forms are required to go abroad? There are several forms students and their families must sign and return to the International Programs Office by the deadline given at the first orientation meeting of each program. Among these is a Participant’s Agreement, a legal document that must be signed by the student and parents in front of a Notary Public. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT: www.union.edu/international/outbound/paperwork
What about medical coverage while I’m abroad? You must have medical coverage while abroad. This can be insurance purchased from Union or from a specialized study abroad insurance provider. Some parental plans also include overseas coverage (be sure to verify). All students also must purchase an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) from the International Programs Office. This card provides supplemental medical insurance. Check with your health care provider to see about needed vaccinations and health precautions.
What about my passport? If you don’t have a passport at the time of application, apply for one immediately. The passport must be valid for six months after the end of the program. If you also need a visa, you should start this process as soon as possible, too. Be sure to give your family a copy of all documents—passport, visa, travel itinerary and accommodations — before you leave.
EXPAND YOUR WORLD VIEW >> LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE
>> CHALLENGE YOURSELF
>> GAIN MARKETABLE SKILLS
>> CONNECT WITH THE WORLD
CONTACT US International Programs Old Chapel, Third Floor Union College Schenectady NY 12308 (518) 388-6002 8
PHOTO CREDITS COVER: Full page photo: Mumbai, India (by Sloane Sheldons ’11). Inset (left to right): Students in Vietnam; a view of San Miniato al Monte in Florence, Italy (by Lia D'Ambrosio ’12); Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa (by Jasmine Roth ’14); Julie Lichtblau ’10 in Rajasthan, India (by Aaron Glosser ’12) INSIDE FRONT COVER: Prague, Czech Republic: A view of the Lennon Wall (by Stephanie Libous ’12) PAGE 1: Top: Liz Lehmann ’12 in the people’s square of Chongqing, China (by Mandy Pace ’12) Inset: Lara Atkins, International programs director; students in Egypt PAGE 2: Inset (from left): Victoria, Australia, a view of the 12 Apostles rock stacks (by Brandon McArdle ’09); Osaka, Japan (by Kseniya Zhuzha ’11) PAGE 3: Full page photo: Shanghai, China. Inset: Bellbird Lookout, Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia (by Benjamin Carlson ’12) PAGE 4: Inset: Stefanie Charles ’12 in Rennes, France (by Yulia Vinogradova) PAGE 5: Inset: Streetscape in Quimper, France (by Katharine Smidt ’10); Allison Cuozzo in the Louvre, Paris, France (by Sandra Wimer). Below: Parety, Brazil (by Leland Garivaltis ’11) PAGE 6: Full page photo: The Alcazar, Seville, Spain (by Anne Woodward ’11). Inset: Bruges, Belgium (by Paul Gobron ’11); Walking in the Mekong Delta region, Vietnam (by Martin Benjamin) PAGE 7: Inset: Santorini, Greece. Below: The summit of the Pap mountain in Glencoe, Scotland (by Danielle Ayers ’12) PAGE 8: Inset: Nuernberg, Germany (by Michelle Ricci Bell); York Minster Cathedral at sunset, York, England (by Katherine Morris ’11) INSIDE BACK COVER: On the pocket: A flower market in Hanoi, Vietnam (by Buy Duy Thanh Mai ’12) Inset: The sky’s the limit in Heron Island, Australia (by Amanda Bucci ’09)
BACK COVER: Biking in the Aran Islands, Galway, Ireland (by Lisa Vallee '10)