Study Abroad FAQs

Q: When can I study abroad?
A:  Students who have completed three semesters of college-level study are eligible to apply. For the El Salvador Program, students must be juniors or seniors at the time of study abroad.  If you are a transfer student, you must have at least one semester of grades from Canisius in order to apply to study abroad.

Q: What does my G.P.A have to be to apply for study abroad?
A:  A cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale is required for the following programs:

  • Antwerp, Belgium
  • Berlin, Germany 
  • Lille, France (2.5 for business courses, 2.75 for arts and science courses)
  • Strasbourg, France 
  • Oviedo, Spain
  • Dortmund, Germany
  • Eichstätt, Germany

A cumulative GPA of 2.75 or on a 4.0 scale is required for the following programs:

  • San Salvador, El Salvador
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Antwerp, Belgium

A cumulative GPA of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale is required for the following programs:

  • Beijing, China
  • Florence, Italy
  • Rome, Italy
  • Lima, Peru
  • Madrid, Spain

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required for the following programs:

  • Galway, Ireland
  • London, England 
  • Queensland, Australia
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Porto Alegre, Brazil 

Q: Do any of the study abroad programs have a language requirement?
A:  Yes, the programs in Spain, Germany, France, Peru, and El Salvador do require some prior knowledge of the language. The level required can vary greatly from program to program. Please see our Office for more details on the specific program you are interested in.

Q: How can I find out more about a study abroad program that interests me?
A:
Early each semester the International Partnerships and Study Abroad Office holds information sessions for each study abroad program. Students can get information, ask questions, and hear from students who have returned from studying abroad.  Students can also find information on each of our programs by clicking on the study abroad locations tab, or stopping by the International Partnerships and Study Abroad Office at any time to ask questions and get information.  Our office is located in 014 Horan O’Donnel, 716-888-2145.  For general information email stabroad@canisius.edu

Q: Do many Canisius students study abroad?
A:  According to the Institute of International Education annual Open Doors Report, between 1-2% of all U.S. students in higher education studied abroad in 2011.  Canisius sends a similar proportion (2-3%) of students overseas depending on the year.  The number of students studying overseas has risen steadily each year.  More students from Canisius are choosing to study abroad each year to develop their language skills, gain an edge on their resume, and explore the world.  For more information on national study abroad statistics visit http://www.iie.org/Research-and-Publications/Open-Doors/Data/US-Study-Abroad

Q: How do I apply for study abroad?
A: Applications for our study abroad programs are available on our website.  Applications must be typed on a computer and handed into our office in Horan O'Donnell 014. Applications require a printed copy of your week at a glance schedule and a study abroad essay.  A copy of your official academic transcript will be obtained by our office.  Two faculty references are also required which may be filled out online.

Q: When are the applications due?
A: Applications for the Spring Semester are due by: October 1.
    Applications for the Fall Semester are due by: March 1.

Q: Who accepts or denies the applicant?
A: A selection committee, made up of associate deans, administrators, and faculty members reviews all applications. Students are typically notified of acceptance or denial within two weeks after the application deadline.

Q: How does the selection committee make acceptance decisions?
A:  The selection committee takes into account your grades, academic standing, and level of involvement on campus.  Faculty references are also a key component in the decision making process.  Your study abroad statement will also be read by the selection committee including the Dean of Students and the Office of Residence Life.  Please take your time and thoughtfully respond to the questions in the application.  An interview is required for programs in London and Spain.  If your program does not require an interview and you have specific personal concerns, please stop by the International Partnerships and Study Abroad Office to discuss these with an advisor.

Q: What happens after I’m accepted?
A: Once you are accepted it is important to check your Canisius email and your Angel account frequently.  You should be regularly communicating with the International Partnerships and Study Abroad Office.  We will help you get started on applying for the appropriate visa.  If you do not have a passport, you should apply now.

Q: What are my options if I’m not accepted?
A:  If you were not accepted for a particular program you may choose to apply to a different program, or wait a semester and reapply.  If you have specific concerns which may effect your eligibility, please make an appointment with the Director of Study Abroad, Esther Northman (northman@canisius.edu)

Q: What will the classes be like?
A:  Students should expect a difference in the way classes are structured, taught and how assignments are graded.  It will be important for students to speak with their professors if they feel unsure about the assignment or how it will be graded. Students can prepare themselves for this transition by speaking with returned study abroad students about their experiences.

Q:  I’m a first-year student, are there classes I should wait to take while I’m studying abroad?
A:  If you are planning on studying abroad in the future, it can be beneficial to wait to take certain classes.  Save free electives, since they are typically easy to complete while abroad.  Core classes for breadth of knowledge and course disciplinary knowledge and skills may also be fulfilled abroad, depending on the program.  Meet with the Department Chair for your major to plan for your study abroad experience.  Please refer to your specific program to ensure which classes are offered during your semester. 

Q: Will my credits transfer?
A:  Every student planning on studying abroad will meet with his/her associate dean and department chair before they select the classes they will be taking. This will give both the student and his/her dean an opportunity to discuss how each course will be applied to their requirements upon their return to Canisius.

Q: What types of housing options will I have when I study abroad?
A: Each program offers different types of housing options.  Typically the arrangements can include home stay, residence hall living, or an apartment style complex.  Students will have the opportunity to learn more about housing options at information sessions and once they have been acceptance into their program.

Q: Are computers available overseas?
A:  Students are expected to bring their personal laptops to use while abroad.  Access to computer labs, internet cafes, and libraries will vary by program.  Be sure to attend an info session on the program you are interested in to learn more specific details from program alumni.  This information will also be covered during the pre-departure session for each program.

Q: Can I bring my cell phone with me overseas?
A: You are free to set up international calling on your cell phone before you leave the country, if you wish.  Remember not all cell phones can be used internationally.  Contact your cell phone provider to determine the cost and regulations for calling from abroad.  Pay as you go plans are typically available overseas and easily accessible in most cities.  International calling cards are also available for purchase abroad, or can be purchased before you leave.  Skype is also a convenient and free method for communicating with family over the internet.  Remember to attend the pre-departure session on your specific program to receive more details and advice from alumni.   

Q: How much does a semester abroad cost?
A: Tuition is the same as a regular semester at Canisius: $15,990.  Any financial aid awards you receive will also apply to study abroad (scholarships, loans, TAP, PELL grants, etc.) with the exception of your resident scholarship.  In addition, housing costs are less expensive than Canisius Housing at most study abroad locations.  Additional costs vary by location.  Please visit the link to your program for more specific costs.  The cost of your travel visa, books, airfare, and personal spending also vary by location. 

Q: What is included in the study abroad fee?
A: The study abroad fee is a flat $500 charge for all international locations.  This fee covers the administrative costs of going abroad.  This fee is also in place of the Technology Fee, College Fee, Student Tax, and Wellness Fee which undergraduates pay each semester on campus.  The total cost in fees for a semester on campus is $625.

Q: How do I get money when I’m overseas?
A: It is recommended you exchange around $50-$200 in cash before you leave the U.S.  Check into your bank to inform them you are travelling abroad.  This will ensure a security hold will not be placed on your account.  Also verify your pin number will work abroad.  ATMs accepting Visa and Mastercard are typically accessible in most cities overseas.  ATMs are the cheapest and most accessible way to obtain cash.  It is important to find out if international or currency conversion fees apply through your bank.

Q: How much money am I going to spend abroad?
A: How much money you spend will vary greatly depending on the country where you are studying abroad, currency fluctuation, and the amount of traveling and shopping you plan on doing.  On average, students budget approximately between $2,500 and $7,000 for their personal expenses. 

Q: Do I book my own flight?
A: The International Partnerships and Study Abroad Office works closely with a local travel agency to arrange for students participating in the same study abroad program to fly together.  Students traveling to London or Olviedo will fly with a Canisius Professor to their host destination.  Per Canisius policy for all students, faculty, and administrators, the use of the travel agent is required, to provide support and minimize hardships throughout your journey.  The cost of airfare is not included in the study abroad fee.

Q: Will I have the opportunity to travel while I am studying abroad?
A: Traveling while studying abroad is completely up to the individual student.  Former study abroad students advise to plan early and make arrangements for travel early in the semester.

Q: Will friends/family be able to visit me abroad?
A: Yes, friends and family are welcome to visit you while you are abroad.  However, it is recommended that family not visit while school is in session.  If you are in a homestay program, you should talk with your host family before inviting anyone to stay with you.  Homestay families are not required to provide housing to visitors.  Where you reside abroad your guests will be subject to the regulations set forth by your residence hall while visiting.

Q: Will I be safe while I am studying abroad?
A: We advise students to use the same safety precautions that they would in any city in the United States. We also encourage students to check the United States State Department website at http://travel.state.gov/ for the most up-to-date travel advice and advisories.  General safety precautions are also outlined for students at the Pre-Departure Orientation sessions for each individual program.

Q: Will I need health insurance while I am abroad?
A: If you are participating in the Australia or El Salvador programs, study abroad insurance is included in your program costs. Students participating in all other programs are required to purchase HTH Worldwide study abroad insurance.  You will receive information about this in your acceptance packet.  This insurance is study abroad-specific and provides the best possible coverage for any illness or injury situation that may arise when you are abroad.  It also covers emergency evacuation and repatriation.  The cost of this insurance is approximately $45.00 per month.