[ skip to content ]

Toggle Mobile Menu

Study AbroadFrequently Asked Questions

I am interested in studying abroad. How do I get started?

The first step in the process is to attend one of our information sessions. This session will help to answer your preliminary questions by explaining the study abroad process, and assisting you in how to search through our database to find a program that is both a financial and curricular match. The session will also introduce students to study abroad scholarship options and financial planning.

When are the application deadlines?

Application deadlines are in the middle of the semester before you study abroad. Fall Semester and Academic Year deadlines are in mid-February, Spring semester is in mid-October, Spring Break Faculty-Led programs are in early November, Summer Faculty-Led are in early February, and Summer Affiliated programs are in early March. Please see our calendar for our upcoming deadlines.

What are the eligibility requirements to study abroad?

ODU requires that students have a 2.0 GPA to participate in faculty-led programs, and a 2.5 GPA for exchange and affiliated programs. Some host universities and affiliated programs may have higher GPA requirements, and some faculty-led programs may have prerequisites. Eligibility requirements can be viewed on the brochure page for each program in ODUAbroad.

Can I study abroad with my major?

Students with any major and from any academic college can participate in study abroad. It is best to plan early and meet with your Academic Advisor to determine your remaining degree requirements and the ideal term to study abroad during your plan of study. You'll then meet with a Study Abroad Advisor to discuss your remaining degree requirements and find a program with a curricular match.

What classes can I take?

Students can take classes for their major, minor, concentration, or Option D abroad. Typically, students take upper-level electives within their degree requirements. Students should save their electives for study abroad if possible.

Will I receive credit?

Our study abroad advisors help to identify programs that are curricular matches for each student. For exchange and affiliated programs, it is the student's responsibility to receive approvals for selected courses from each ODU academic department before departure and review their proposed course load with their academic advisor to ensure courses taken abroad will fulfill major, minor, and/or other degree requirements. Students must pass each class at the host university in order to receive credit at ODU. Each pre-approved course that receives a passing grade will appear on the student's ODU transcript as transfer credit (grades for these courses will not appear on the ODU transcript or be calculated into the student's ODU GPA).

Faculty-led programs are ODU courses that take place abroad, so the grade you get in the course would show up on your transcript just as if you took it on campus. Your grade will impact your GPA just like a regular ODU course.

How much does it cost to study abroad?

Costs vary from program to program and are dependent on program type, duration, cost of living in and traveling to the host country, and the currency exchange rate. Sample budgets for each program type will be provided in the information session. Students will receive a more specific budget for their program/s of interest during an individual advising appointment. Exchange programs are of particular interest to students since the cost of tuition is the same as at ODU.

Can I use my financial aid and institutional scholarships to study abroad?

Yes! Students can use ODU scholarships, grants, and loans to pay for study abroad. Other funding sources (i.e. GI Benefits, Prepaid Tuition Plans, outside scholarships, etc.) may also be possible for certain programs. Click here for more information about using financial aid for study abroad.

Are there scholarship/funding opportunities for study abroad?

Yes! Our office gives over $100,000 to students studying abroad each year. See our calendar for application deadlines. We also encourage students to apply for study abroad scholarships through other organizations. Click here for a comprehensive list of funding opportunities.

What about health and safety while studying abroad?

Our students' health and safety is our primary concern. You can find helpful resources for health and safety abroad here. We will also provide a thorough health and safety briefing during students' pre-departure orientation. For any students who are taking medications or have health concerns, our advisors will arrange a time to meet individually and discuss the steps to prepare for a successful study abroad experience.

I have special needs (physical, learning, psychological, medical). Can they be accommodated while abroad?

For students who disclose that they have special needs, our advisors will arrange a time to meet individually and discuss the steps to prepare for a successful study abroad experience. Our advisors will provide assistance in researching the country and program of interest with the help of our insurance provider to determine what accommodations can be made for each student's unique needs.

What resources are available to me in regards to my identity while abroad?

We have a wealth of resources for students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, LGBTQIA+ students, First-Generation students, and students with disabilities available on our website.

Where can I go?

ODU offers programs in approximately 80 countries throughout the world. Students can study in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, or Europe. You can explore over 850 programs on ODUAbroad.

Do I need to know a foreign language?

No! You can take classes in English almost anywhere in the world! It is recommended, however, that you learn the basics of the host country language (i.e. hello, please, thank you, etc.) to be respectful of the culture.

When can I go?

Students can study abroad on semester, academic year, summer, and spring break programs. Students are able to study abroad through a faculty-led program or summer affiliated program as early as their first year at ODU, as long as they meet the program's eligibility requirements. For semester-length and academic year programs, ODU requires that students have a GPA that reflects a full year at ODU before submitting an application to study abroad (transfer students are required to have a GPA that reflects a full semester). Students will submit their study abroad application in the middle of the semester before they study abroad. Please see our calendar for upcoming deadlines. Some programs are also available to graduate students. Students will work with their academic advisors to determine the best time for them to study abroad.

I’m a freshman. Can I study abroad?

Students are able to participate in a study abroad program as early as their freshman year through a faculty-led program or summer affiliated program as long as they meet the program's eligibility requirements. For semester-length and academic year programs, ODU requires that students have a GPA that reflects a full year at ODU before submitting an application to study abroad.

I transferred to ODU. Is study abroad still an option for me?

Transfer students are able to participate in a study abroad program as early as their first year at ODU through a faculty-led program or summer affiliated program as long as they meet the program's eligibility requirements. For semester-length and academic year programs, ODU requires that transfer students have a GPA that reflects a full semester at ODU before submitting an application to study abroad.

I am an international student. Can I study abroad?

Yes! You will need to work with an international student advisor to ensure all your immigration documents are up-to-date before you travel. You may also have special visa requirements depending on the destination country. Speak with your study abroad advisor for assistance with navigating the visa process.

I am a distance learner. Can I study abroad?

Yes! Our advisors will coordinate appointments with you over the phone or video chat.