Frequently Asked Questions
For more comprehensive answers to the questions below and any other questions you may have, please contact the Study Abroad staff
Where Can I Go?
Over the past ten years, PLNU students have studied in 50 different countries on every continent except Antarctica. FYI: There is actually a program in Antarctica, we just haven't had a student use it yet. Most of the programs we have sent students abroad with are listed here on out website, but students are free to research programs outside of our system to find others that meet our standards for quality and accreditation. Check out our programs.
When Should I Go?
Most students choose to study abroad during their sophomore or junior years. However, we have had many seniors study abroad each year. It is best to plan far ahead, even as a freshman, for your semester or year abroad and work with your advisor to determine the best semester to go. Summer programs are also available.
Will A Semester Abroad Delay My Graduation?
No, with the right planning and advising beforehand, a semester abroad should not delay your graduation. In most cases, a semester abroad can be fit seamlessly into your overall program of study at PLNU. Students typically take a combination of major/minor and general education courses, approved in advance, that fulfill the same requirements as courses take on campus. If a particular program is going to delay graduation, we do out best to make sure students know that beforehand.
Will The Credits Transfer?
Yes, if you attend a program approved by the PLNU Study Abroad Office and the courses you take are pre-approved by your department advisor and/or the SAO. The SAO staff will provide advising so that courses you take abroad will meet PLNU general education, major/minor, or elective credit requirements.
How Much Will It Cost?
It depends on the program. There are semester abroad programs to fit almost any budget. Typically, the cost of a program is tied to the cost of living in a given region. Generally speaking, the overall cost for most programs is roughly equivalent to the cost of attending PLNU. However, there are many semester programs abroad that cost less than a typical semester. We recommend that you check the websites for programs you are interested in to evaluate that cost and talk to a SAO and Student Financial Services advisors to determine the actual cost to you.
Will My Financial Aid Apply?
State and federal financial aid typically applies to study abroad programs. Institutional aid (tuition discounts) such as PLNU grants and scholarships do not apply to programs taken abroad unless study abroad is listed in the catalog as a requirement for your major/minor. However, your semester abroad should not effect your eligibility for such aid upon your return.
Are There Any Extra Costs?
What is included with the cost of each program varies, but tuition, fees, and housing are standard for almost every program. In some cases, meals and transportation are also included. Extra travel and normal day-to-day expenses are extra. PLNU does not charge tuition or housing to students studying abroad. Instead, charges only a $450 study abroad fee for semester long programs and a $250 fee for Summer programs to cover administrative expenses.
Are There Scholarships Available?
Yes there are! Check out our list of scholarships, grants, and loans available to students studying abroad online.
Also, many of the study abroad programs offer financial aid to their students. Check on your study abroad provider's website for more information.
What's The First Step?
For program inquiries, program admission and/or general questions about the Study Abroad program, please email StudyAbroad@pointloma.edu or call the PLNU Study Abroad Office (619) 849-2972. All students are required to attend an information session to begin the process. Sessions are offered Mon-Fri at 4:00pm in the Study Abroad Office.
Can I take passport/visa photos in the Study Abroad Office?
Passport and visa photo services are available by appointment and free of charge only for PLNU students who are preparing to study abroad within the next academic year. These services are also available to PLNU faculty, staff and non-study abroad students by appointment for a fee of $5. The Study Abroad Office does not guarantee that photos will meet the State Dept. requirements and please expect processing times of up to a week. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to set-up an appointment.