Preparation Guidelines

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Students should start to plan early for study abroad. The best time to do an academic year study abroad program (fall, spring, or both semesters) is junior year, leaving the last year of registration to complete the advanced courses which can only be taken at the University of Iowa. A summer program, depending on the level, can be profitably undertaken at any time, although some students find that the summer between junior and senior year is the most advantageous with respect to course requirements and course options.

Step 1:  Gather information.  Visit Study Abroad (1111 Old Capitol Centre) to pick up information sheets on programs in Spain and Latin America and to read the student comment binders, or check out the web site (http://international.uiowa.edu/study-abroad).  Talk to the departmental study abroad advisor for the Department of Spanish & Portuguese to get an overview of the programs in which University of Iowa resident credit is awarded.  If you’re thinking about non-UI programs (transfer credit) or want more information on UI programs, talk to one of the study abroad advisers in the Study Abroad office (you can call 335-0353 to set a time).  You should also take advantage of the various information sessions which are held about specific programs; look for notices around Phillips Hall.

Step 2:  Make a decision about what program is best suited to your needs and interests. Step 3:  Go to the Office for Study Abroad and pick up an updated booklet and application form for the program you have chosen. Step 4:  Turn in the completed application form.  For many programs, this will include a section where you indicate the courses you are planning to take, so you should consult either with your regular academic advisor or with the departmental study abroad adviser. Step 5:  Complete the University of Iowa Credit Approval Form (CAF) and get the appropriate signatures:

For courses to be counted toward the Spanish major:  your Spanish academic advisor or the departmental study abroad advisor · for courses to be used for General Education:   the relevant study abroad advisor (according to program) in the Office for Study Abroad · for courses for the International Business Certificate:  Program advisor, Tippie College of Business Administration Undergraduate Program Office · for courses to be counted toward another major:  your academic advisor in that department

If you are participating in a University of Iowa sponsored program, the CAF will be mailed to you.  If you are participating in a non UI-program, you need to go to the Office for Study Abroad to pick up a copy.

Deadlines for application for most fall semester/academic year programs is March 15; for spring semester programs the deadlines range from Sept. 1 to Oct. 15.  For summer programs the deadlines are March 1 or March 15, depending on the particular program.  The following is a recommended timetable:

Recommended timetable

 

Summer | Fall | Academic Year

Spring

Step 1

fall semester (year before)

spring semester (year before)

Step 2

end of fall (or winter break)

over summer vacation

Step 3

end of January

immediately at start of fall

Step 4

March 1-15

Sept 1-Oct 15

Step 5

during early registration for summer/fall

during early registration for spring

 

Deadlines for students participating in ISEP are somewhat different; check with the Office for Study Abroad.

 

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

Financial aid applies toward study abroad during the regular academic year and may (if you have established summer eligibility) also apply toward summer study abroad.   Even if you don’t normally qualify for financial aid, you may qualify the semester or year that you are studying abroad, because of increased costs.

Some guidelines:

1.  If you have already filled out a FAFSA and have received an Award Notification and you are participating in a University of Iowa sponsored program:  get information/forms from the Office for Study Abroad.

2.  If you meet the above conditions and the UI program that you are participating in is a summer program, you need to establish summer eligibility:  see a financial aid counselor in the Office of Student Financial Aid (Calvin Hall) about updating/renewing your FAFSA.  This must be done as soon as possible after January 1 for the upcoming academic year (for summer, this means thinking ahead three semesters in advance!).

3.  If you are not currently receiving financial aid (you have not received an Award Notification) and you want to establish eligibility for a proposed semester/year of study abroad: see a financial aid counselor in the Office of Student Financial Aid about submitting/renewing the FAFSA.  This must be done as soon as possible after January 1 for the upcoming academic year.

Note that there are also low interest loans for educational purposes outside of federal financial aid that you must qualify for through the FAFSA.  Information is available at the Office of Student Financial Aid.

4.  If you have an Award Notification/are receiving financial aid and you are participating in a non-UI sponsored study abroad program:  you need to take the letter of admission to the program and your completed and signed Credit Approval Form to the Office of Student Financial Aid.  

You should also investigate other sources of financial aid specifically designated for study abroad, such as the Presidential Scholarships for Study Abroad (applications generally due March 1 for the following academic year) and the Summer Grants for Study on UI-sponsored Programs in Spanish-speaking Countries.  You can get information about these scholarships and others from the Office for Study Abroad.