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Policies on Study Abroad

Eligibility Requirements for Study Abroad
  • Minimum age – 18 at time of participation
  • Students must be in good academic standing with a minimum 2.0 overall GPA.
    • Some programs may require higher GPA standards.
  • Students must be in good standing with student conduct.
  • Students must hold degree-seeking status at Georgia College and have completed at least one semester prior to participation.
    • Students wishing to participate in a semester or year-long program must also meet the first year residency requirement prior to participation.
  • On GC programs that allow transient students, students must hold fully-matriculated degree-seeking status at an accredited institution of higher learning and be eligible for transient admission to Georgia College.
  • Some GC led programs allow enrichment student participation, for example alumni or students pursuing continuing education units. These students must hold an undergraduate degree and otherwise be eligible for admission as a Post-Baccalaureate Non-Degree Seeking student.

Behavioral and Academic Policies on Study Abroad
While on your study abroad program, you are an ambassador of the United States, Georgia, and Georgia College & State University. As such, you are expected to behave with utmost integrity, which involves not only following the rules of your host institution, but also the laws of the host country as well as GCSU rules. Please carefully review the Honor Code, the Student Code of Conduct and Student Rights and Responsibilities for more information on the expectations the university has regarding your behavior. For information regarding the local laws of the country and community you will be visiting, please contact the Embassy for free information.

Whether you are on a faculty led program or a semester exchange, you will be enrolled in courses for GCSU credit. These courses will be displayed on your transcript with full grades and academic information. If the courses in which you will be enrolled are not directly offered through GCSU (i.e. semester exchange or collaborative study abroad programs), you will need to secure approval for each course through your adviser, department chair, and the department chair of the course you plan to take. If you are unable to enroll in the courses for which you have secured prior approval, you need to communicate with your adviser regarding the courses you will need to take, and your adviser can approve via email (copying the International Education Center). All grades must be finalized by the end of the next academic semester or grades will be changed to an “F”.
While on semester or year-long exchange, you must be a full-time student, which means enrolling in the equivalent of 12 credit hours or more. We understand that taking courses in another country, especially another language, can be extremely challenging, and that not everyone will be successful all of the time. Regardless, these grades will count towards your GPA and you should, therefore, do the best you are able. Seek assistance from professors, tutoring centers and native students in the courses with which you are struggling.

Health and Safety Abroad - Department of State Travel Advisories

The Georgia College & State University International Education Center constantly monitors the status of health and safety in countries where Georgia College students study and perform service and where faculty conduct or present research, including gathering information and advice from partners and colleagues in these countries and monitoring US Department of State Travel Advisories.

The US Department of State issues a Travel Advisory for each nation. This advisory ranks the risk level on a scale of 1 – 4 with one being “exercise normal precautions,” two “exercise increased caution,” three “reconsider travel,” and four “do not travel.” Each nation may have an overall rating of 1, 2, or 3, but region-specific ratings of “do not travel.” These travel advisories are updated at the time of any incident that should cause a change, which could be natural disaster, health risk, crime, terrorism, civil unrest, time-limited event, or other. Additionally, these advisories are reviewed by the Department of State periodically.

Georgia College and its International Center take travel advisories seriously. Georgia College led programs to any nation issued a level four advisory will not be approved, nor will operations of a program in a “do not travel” region within a nation of a lower overall rating. Students wishing to travel to a level four advisory nation through an independent organization must gather additional information and advice from governmental agencies (e.g., the U.S. State Department, the British Home Office, and the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and submit a petition for approval.

When a student pursues study in a level four destination, they must submit the petition to the International Education Center with the required documentation. At that time, the International Education Center will contact other organizations related to students’ programs abroad – e.g., the Institute of International Education (that manages the Gilman Scholarship) or a study abroad program provider regarding their policies and procedures, which may impact decisions made. All information is discussed with an administrative team including the Assistant Vice President of International Education, Provost and University General Counsel to determine the best course of action for the university to take to protect students and to continue to foster academic learning abroad.

Based upon the advice of the International Education Center, the decision whether to approve a student’s program abroad is made by the Office of Academic Affairs. If the decision is to not approve the program in a specific country, students will be informed of the decision and International Education Center staff will support the student in any necessary appeals processes to secure refunds.

If the decision is to approve the program, certain additional safety measures may be required. Students will be advised of both the potential dangers and the additional safety measures and asked to indicate in writing whether or not they want to continue to pursue their study abroad program. The International Education Center will continue to monitor health and safety on the ground in all countries where it sends students.