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
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.