Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

1. How do I match a study abroad program to my academic & career objectives?

While in College, students have to make many crucial choices – what to Major and Minor in, what other skills to acquire, and how to build their résumés. Employers seek specialist expertise, but they also seek many personality attributes. Most employers will tell you that they seek cheerful, reliable, adaptable colleagues who can work in teams with people from many diverse backgrounds. Equally, if you decide to become an entrepreneur starting your own business, you will quickly learn how important it is to be adaptable, cheerful, persuasive and able to relate to people from many different backgrounds.

Study Abroad is a wonderful opportunity to learn "adaptability" and to build teamwork and human relations skills. It is also the best way to acquire the "global awareness" that is so vital to business, government and entrepreneurship in the 21st century. There is no substitute for the real world experience gained through traveling, adapting to new challenges and opportunities, and making new friends.

When you consider possible study abroad programs and discuss options with one of our Program Coordinators, think about how the program will contribute to your major, minor, and general education requirements, and what skills you will be able to add to your résumé as a result of the experience. The credits you earn while studying abroad will carry you closer to graduation. UAlbany's partners include some of the world’s top universities, and each partner university has a different range of specializations. By aligning your study abroad program with your academic and career goals you will get the most out of your overseas experience.

2. Where can I go?

The University at Albany sponsors over 120 programs in 30+ countries. In addition, through the State University of New York system, UAlbany students can participate in over 300 programs in more than 50 different countries.

Each program has its unique features. Whether you want classes taught in English or want to enroll in university courses with native students; whether you want to spend a year, semester, or summer; whether you want to improve your current language abilities or take courses in business, history or art; whatever your desires, we can find a program for you.

The most important thing is to make your choice wisely and be sure the program you pick meets your needs. See a complete list of UAlbany sponsored programs here.

3. When can I go?

There are study abroad options for all students. Freshman students can go on 3-week wintersession programs, or on summer programs at the end of their first year. Most programs allow sophomores to attend, and by the time you are a junior or senior, there will be many choices available to you. A few programs are even open to graduate students and offer graduate credit.

We have academic year, fall semester, spring semester, spring break, wintersession, and summer programs. With proper planning, you can study abroad whenever you are ready! It is best to start planning your study abroad experience early in the semester before you would like to study abroad. For example, if you want to study abroad in the Fall semester, you should start your application in January when you return to campus and if you would like to study abroad in the Spring semester you should start your application in early September. If you would like to study abroad on one of the shorter programs (Wintersession, spring break, summer) pay specific attention to application deadlines. Some programs have early deadlines so make sure to know when the application deadline is for your program!

4. Do I have to speak another language?

No! Some of our programs are in English-speaking countries, or in universities in other countries that do all their teaching in English. Opportunities are available to study abroad, taking university courses in any subject, taught in English.

If you want to learn a foreign language or do advanced study in a foreign language you are already learning, an appropriate program and university is also available. Language learning is usually much faster when you can do coursework while living in an environment where the language you are learning is the native language. If you are already at an advanced level in the language of your choice, there are many opportunities to take the same courses as local native students take; in a class mixing local and international students.

There is a program for every level of language ability, and there are opportunities to take both courses taught in English and courses in a foreign language. Look at the language requirements for each program and make your final decision based on your own abilities and needs.

5. How much does it cost?

Costs vary depending on the site you choose. We make every attempt to keep costs as low as possible. Many of our programs are comparable in cost to spending a semester or year at the University at Albany after you consider all of the fees associated such as the cost of your dorm room or apartment, meal plan, etc.

Please note that there are costs associated with your study abroad program that are above and beyond the tuition costs at UAlbany—like passport, visa, and roundtrip airfare. Several variables are considered in calculating final costs, including the cost of living in the host country, the tuition of the sponsoring university, and the services that are built into each program. When comparing programs, and before you make a final decision, make sure you understand what the bottom line includes and what exactly you are paying for. Your study abroad program should be a good financial fit for you as well as a good academic fit. With the large number of programs offered by UAlbany there is a program that will work both for your academic needs and for your financial needs.

6. Can I use my financial aid?

UAlbany students participating on a SUNY program are eligible for regular financial aid when studying abroad. Depending on the costs of the program you choose, you might even be eligible for an increase in financial aid. If you are not receiving financial aid now, you could be eligible. Please check with your financial aid office for details. 

7. Where will I live?

Each program has different housing options, including homestays, dormitories, hotels, or off-campus apartments. Each option offers a distinct level of cultural immersion and independence. Consider which of the options is most attractive to you while you are making a decision about which program to go on.

8. How important is my GPA?

All students must be in good academic standing to be eligible for study abroad. Some of the sponsoring universities are more competitive and require higher GPAs than others. Depending on the program you want, you could need as high as a 3.5 minimum. However, we look at the whole student when assessing an application. Recommendations and interviews also play an important role in the decision-making process. Students should discuss any concerns with one of our study abroad advising staff.

9. How are credits and grades recorded?

Students participating on a UAlbany program receive an official University at Albany transcript that list all courses taken overseas by title, number of credits awarded, and letter grades received. Your grades for overseas work will not be figured into your cumulative GPA at UAlbany. Grades earned on any SUNY program will appear on an official Transcript Supplement that becomes a permanent part of your official academic record. With departmental approval, courses can count in your major or minor. With approval by the General Education Committee, courses can also meet Gen Ed requirements.

There are three types of programs available to University at Albany students:

  • University at Albany programs sponsored by us.
  • SUNY programs sponsored by other SUNY campuses.
  • Non-SUNY programs sponsored by colleges and universities outside of the SUNY system.

UAlbany students attending any program administered by a four-year SUNY college or university will earn credit toward their degree at UAlbany. UAlbany students participating on a non-SUNY program will receive transfer credit. Non-UAlbany students should check with their home campus for details.

10. How do I start?

Start now with careful research and planning. If you already know what you want, that's great. But if you don't, it could take a while to find a program that fits your needs. There are hundreds to choose from! Once you have selected a program, you have to go through the application process, which can take some time. Come visit us at the Office of International Education in the Science Library on the Uptown Campus, or if you aren’t in Albany, contact us by e-mail or phone. We can get you started and answer any questions you have. Once you find the perfect program, we can help guide you through the application process as well.