International Program FAQs
Do I have to be a language major, or speak another language to study abroad?
No. The opportunity to study abroad is not limited to language majors or those with knowledge of foreign languages. Some programs provide language training or offer some courses in English, even in countries where English is not the primary language. Our goal is to find the program that meets your academic and personal goals.
Can I study abroad with my major?
Some majors allow for more scheduling flexibility than others, which may simplify or complicate scheduling time abroad. However, through careful planning and consultation with your academic advisor, every student can participate in a semester abroad, a Maymester, a spring-break trip, or a summer program. If you’re concerned about schedule conflicts that might arise, come in early to speak to the OIP staff and to see what options are available in your area of study.
Is there a minimum GPA for study abroad?
PC's policy states that students who wish to study abroad for a semester must have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Many programs, however, require that students have a higher GPA. Pay close attention to the specifications of the programs that interest you. Maymester requirements also vary by program. Interested students should speak to their program's contact to ensure that they meet the minimum requirements.
Are freshmen allowed to study abroad?
Freshman are allowed to participate in Maymester programs; however, you need to have reached at least sophomore status to spend a semester abroad. While most student choose to study abroad in their junior year, some decide to do so as sophomores or even seniors if it better fits their personal and academic needs.
How does academic credit transfer?
See our Academics Matter page for more information.
How much is this going to cost?
PC Maymesters vary by destination and program. With the exception of work study, your financial aid can almost always apply to your semester abroad experience, making it very affordable to study abroad. (Athletic and Music scholarship recipients will need to obtain permission to use their scholarship funds for study abroad.) There are other costs that you need to consider such as travel costs, insurance and student visa fees, which vary significantly depending on the destination. Check with the OIP staff for more information on programs costs, procedure, and outside study abroad scholarship information.
If I study abroad, will I have to take an additional semester to make up courses?
One of the great benefits of the way Presbyterian College’s study abroad program works is that students receive full academic credit for all courses taken while abroad. Maymesters are PC courses, so they don't need to be transferred. Students planning to study abroad for a semester must fill out our Transient Form, which is used BEFORE departure to get courses pre-approved, so that students don’t fall behind. Again, planning is key. For more information please visit the Academic Matters page.
Will there be someone at my study abroad site to help me get started?
Absolutely! Every semester abroad program approved by PC has contacts for you in the host country, whom you'll meet during orientation and who can assist you with any issues that may arise. Make use of these people if you run into barriers or simply have questions. Also, remember that the OIP staff at PC will be in contact with you throughout your study abroad experience. Feel free to contact our staff at any time if run into difficulties or just want to share a bit of your adventure.
If I go to the same site as my friend, can we live together?
In some cases the answer is yes, in others it is no. It depends on the program and the type of housing that is available (dorm, apartment, home-stay, etc). It is important to note that the study abroad experience is a highly personal one in which you and your friend will need space to discover new dimensions of yourselves and process your experiences, so it isn't always advisable to live together. However, if this is an important factor to you, be sure to check into the housing options available. Please note that some of the best friendships and insight into your host culture can come in the form of a roommate or family from the region in which you are studying.
What if I can’t find a PC-approved program that meets my needs?
A petition process is available to those who are unable to find an already-approved program that suits their particular needs. It's a lengthy process, so the petition application must be submitted a year in advance of the semester the petitioner plans to spend abroad. Petitions are first reviewed by the Director of International Programs who conducts further inquiries to ensure that the program is credible and will be both safe and beneficial to our students. The Director will also ask the petitioner to come in for a consultation to ensure that the student has not neglected approved programs that may suit the petitioner or to gain further information pertaining to the program. The petition then goes to the Faculty International Studies Committee who will decide whether to approve or disapprove the program.
Where can I find out more about study abroad?
Contact the OIP staff, extension 3777 (864/938-3777 from off-campus), attend a Study Abroad 101 session before the application deadline, or drop by the International Office and Study Abroad Research Library located in Brown Commons.