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For Parents

 

Greetings Parents,

The Trinity Study Abroad Office would like to provide you with a little extra information which may be spread throughout our website. Typically, these are the areas that have been of most interest to families as they make their study abroad decisions.  As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at: studyabroad@trinity.edu and we will be sure to get right back to you.
We ask parents to read over the Study Abroad FAQs we have for students as well.

What to hear what other parents have to say about Study Abroad?  View the Parent to Parent Advice page here.

Joe Jaeger
Trinity University Student Joe Jaeger '09 at the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

HEALTH & SAFETY

Safety is always a concern, and no place is 100% safe, of course. In order for Trinity to approve any program or foreign institution, there must be sufficient staff, training, experience, and resources on-site to assist students in an emergency no matter how unexpected or unlikely.

Trinity Study Abroad follows the guidance by the U.S. Department of State, CDC and OSAC (Overseas, Security Advisory Council) when it comes to approving programs for our students.  Locations by the U.S. Department of State at Level 1 and 2 are generally safe for students.  Locations under a Level 3 travel advisor require permission by Trinity Study Abroad and the Office of Risk Management.  Level 4 locations are never permitted. Students abroad will be required to return to their home country immediately if their host country is elevated to Level 4.

Trinity University provides students who study abroad with an international travel insurance policy which covers: emergency medical, evacuation, lost/ stolen baggage, trip cancellation and interruption resulting from a serious accident/ sickness and much more. Additionally, study abroad providers have their own medical/ travel insurance coverage for students.

Risks Abroad
The most common crime abroad is theft. The most common causes of injury or death abroad are traffic accidents and anything related to alcohol or drugs. The same is often true for many campuses in the United States, including Trinity.

The dangers are similar, but students need to learn how to prepare for and respond to safety issues in a new cultural context. This includes learning the local 911 equivalent, understanding common sense safety precautions local to the country, and cultural norms.

 We devote a great deal of attention to these issues in our orientation sessions and materials. We know that families add their own good advice to our words of caution. Programs and institutions abroad also address these issues in a more site-specific context within their own pre-departure materials and on-site orientations.

Finally, we also expect students to prepare themselves by learning as much as possible about the culture they are entering (language, laws, customs, local issues, manners, etc.) and by taking full advantage of the advice and preparation available to them.

ACADEMICS

Fitting Study Abroad into Academics
After health & safety, academics is our top priority as we advise students who plan to study abroad. During the advising appointment, Study Abroad Advisors and students conduct a degree audit, will discuss degree requirements, and talk about how study abroad will fit the student’s academic needs, personal interest and professional goals. Academic departments and faculty advisors also help students understand how study abroad credit can be applied to majors, minors and the Pathways curriculum.

All credit abroad can be approved for Pathways, major(s), minor(s), or as general electives to graduate. A class does not always have to match a Trinity class in order to be approved. Often, it only needs to meet the intent of the requirement and generally satisfy the standards of the University.
 
Credit Transfer
Students abroad with an Approved Program Provider for a semester remain full-time Trinity students. Upon receipt of an official transcript or grade report for the work completed abroad, the Study Abroad office will review and process the transcript. After the review is completed, the Registrar’s Office will post each course title, grade, and credit to the student's Trinity record. Grades earned abroad are not factored into a student’s GPA, but graduate and professional schools may recalculate the GPA to include all grades, including transfer credit. All classes, with the corresponding grades listed, will be posted to the Trinity transcript to include failing grades. Courses are only posted after the student has completed a post study abroad program evaluation.

Classes completed in a Trinity Study Abroad Program (or faculty-led) are just like any other Trinity  courses.  These courses are factored into a student’s GPA.

Students are expected to maintain a full-time registration abroad (minimum 12 hours).  The Study Abroad Office has a policy that all students abroad should take between 14 and 16 hours).  Ideally, students should take 15 hours, which will keep the student on track for graduation and allow the students the time to explore their host country.  Students who wish to drop below 14 hours need permission from their Academic Advisor before consent will be given.

Guidelines
  • Students must earn at least a C- or better in the course.
  • Students cannot take a course you have already taken.
  • Courses must be appropriate to a Trinity degree. In other words, it must be a course that could possibly be taught here at Trinity. For example, “German Art from 1911 to 1912” which is not offered at Trinity, but we have an Art Department that could possibly teach it. Whereas a course on “Tourism of Ireland” would not work, since we do not have a Tourism Department. Courses do not need to match, but must be possible. We have an Art Department so any Art course abroad is possible and the same goes for other Departments.
  • All courses and grades will appear on a Trinity Transcript, but will not be factored into the student’s GPA.
  • Courses taken abroad cannot be for Pass/Fail.
Academic Support while Abroad
Studying abroad has its unique challenges, especially if the student is taking classes in a foreign language. Our amazing study abroad providers are all equipped to provide academic assistance as needed. Whether students need language assistance or guidance as they adjust to a different teaching method, providers and host institutions are there to help.

FINANCES

Financing study abroad is one of the most important aspects of the experience, and it can also be one of the most stressful. However, it does not need to be! We encourage families to start planning early to take full advantage of financial opportunities available.

Home School Tuition Policy for Semester Study Abroad
All Trinity students who are studying abroad on an approved program will be responsible for paying the costs associated with attending Trinity for that semester. When a student enrolls in an approved program from the Study Abroad Partner List, the program will bill Trinity directly. The following charges will appear on the billing statement issued by Trinity to the student:
  1. Trinity Tuition and Mandatory Fees
  2. Room (at the Double Occupancy Rate)
  3. Board (at the Junior/Senior Meal Plan Rate)
  4. Student Health Insurance (Can be waived with proof of personal health insurance)
  5. Tuition Refund Plan (waivers may be submitted online before the end of add/drop)
 
Home School Tuition Infographic
HST Infographic
(Click image to enlarge)

Students and their families should also budget for out-of-pocket expenses such as round-trip airfare, passport and/or visa fees, elective program costs (e.g., optional excursions), required immunizations (if applicable), books, cellular phone service, independent travel, miscellaneous program fees, as well as personal expenses.

Institutional, federal and state financial aid can be applied to study abroad costs when students participate in Trinity University Semester Abroad programs or approved programs on Trinity’s Study Abroad Partner List. During their undergraduate years, an individual student is eligible to use their institutional aid award to enable participation in two approved semesters or year long abroad program.

While studying abroad, students are subject to the University’s withdrawal policies and guidelines. A student who withdraws from a study abroad program is obligated to inform in writing the Center for International Engagement in a timely manner.

Trinity Study Abroad Programs in Summer
Trinity currently offers students a variety of international programs that take place during the summer semester. A program fee will be charged to students who enroll in these courses that is equivalent to tuition. In most cases, this program fee includes all costs associated with students’ participation, including round-trip airfare, lodging, board, an international cell phone, in-country travel, and instructional costs. Students and their families should also budget for incidental out-of-pocket expenses that may be associated with participation, such as passport and/or visa fees, required immunizations (if applicable), as well as personal expenses. Students with demonstrated financial need may apply to the Center for International Engagement for a Grant and Fellowship to be applied toward summer tuition expenses.

Trinity “Beyond the Classroom” Courses
Trinity currently offers a variety of courses that include a short-term international experience. These are known as “Beyond the Classroom” courses. These courses include instruction during the fall or spring semester as well as a travel component that takes place during the semester and/or within three weeks of the start or end of a semester.

A course fee will be assessed to address the costs associated with participating in the international component. It will be noted whether the course fee includes the cost of round-trip airfare. Students and their families should also budget for incidental out-of-pocket expenses that may be associated with participation, such as passport and/or visa fees, required immunizations (if applicable), as well as personal expenses. Students with demonstrated financial need may apply to the Center for International Engagement for a CIE Participation Grant to be applied toward “Beyond the Classroom” course fees.

During their undergraduate years, an individual student is eligible to receive one CIE Participation Grant to enable participation in a “Beyond the Classroom” course or a Trinity Summer Abroad program. Grants will be awarded based on demonstrated financial need and may only be used for programs operated by Trinity University. We encourage students and families to visit Trinity’s Grants and Fellowships page, which includes funding opportunities from Trinity and from outside sources.

While studying abroad, students are subject to the University’s withdrawal policies and guidelines. A student who withdraws from a “Beyond the Classroom” course or Trinity Summer Abroad program is obligated to inform the Center for International Engagement in writing in a timely manner.

More information on Trinity’s Study Abroad Financial Policies can be found here.

Cross-cultural Competence

“Cross-cultural competence refers to your ability to understand people from different cultures and engage with them effectively. And not just people from the one culture that you’ve studied for years. Having cross-cultural competence means you can be effective in your interactions with people from most any culture.

Being able to communicate and work with people across cultures is becoming more important all the time. People are traveling, reaching out, and mixing with different others like never before. They do it for fun, but they also do it for work. In all cases, success requires developing a relationship. And doing this means bridging a cultural divide.

Cross-cultural competence helps you develop the mutual understanding and human relationships that are necessary for achieving your professional goals.” - by Louise Rasmussen

Source: https://www.globalcognition.org/cross-cultural-competence/

Trinity Study Abroad shares in this philosophy.  We want students to learn as much as they can while abroad.  Not just in the classroom, but from their interactions with locals, through travel and exploration in their host country.  The more students discover their world, the more they grow eventually becoming the leaders of tomorrow.

Career Development
“Studying abroad has a positive impact on the development of a range of skills needed to thrive in today’s interconnected world, with 60 percent or more reporting positive skill gains in 14 of the 15 career skills surveyed, and significant gains in 11 of the 15 skills surveyed. The top five skills, with more than 70 percent of respondents saying their study abroad experience contributed to a significant degree of improvement, were: intercultural skills, curiosity, flexibility/adaptability, confidence, and self-awareness. In addition, more than 50 percent noted significant gains in interpersonal and problem solving skills. The only skill that was not significantly developed or improved by studying abroad was technical or software skills, with respondents largely noting that these skills were mostly developed through the academic programs on their home campus and were not a focus of their study abroad programs.”

- IIE Study Shows That Studying Abroad Has a Direct Impact on Skills Needed for Career Success,
Source: https://www.iie.org/employability (Download the full report)

Mental Health Support
We understand that study abroad can be both an exciting and stressful experience. Being away from the familiarity of campus, adjusting to a new language, culture, and teaching style can provoke a lot of anxiety and homesickness. We make sure to provide students with information to mentally prepare for these changes during our pre-departure orientations. Although students may not avoid the potential stress of a semester abroad, they can be aware of the resources available to them.

Trinity Study Abroad Guarantee
Trinity University will guarantee that we will do everything to ensure the health and safety of our students who study abroad.  The health and safety of our students is our top priority. Trinity students are covered by the EIIA International Travel Insurance Coverage at no additional cost.  This coverage gives parents the peace of mind in knowing that they will not have unforeseen expenses or more importantly the worry that their student will not be cared for while abroad.