Study Abroad Policies

Table of Contents

 12. TRAVEL ADVISORY POLICY

Eligibility Requirements

1. To demonstrate academic achievement:

a. Students must meet all program-specific requirements (including minimum GPA, class standing, course pre-requisites, language pre-requisites, etc.). Please note: if a student’s cumulative GPA is below 2.5 the application will not be considered.

b. Students must be in good academic standing (not on any type of academic sanction) at time of application and until time of departure.

c. Students with cumulative GPA lower than 3.0 may apply but must demonstrate, in an additional application essay, that they have made significant progress towards achieving overall academic excellence.

d. Students applying to attend two different programs (one fall and one spring) must be aware that permission to study in two different programs during one academic year will be granted only in exceptional cases as justified by compelling academic goals. Students must submit an additional application essay that explains their reasons for applying to two programs, identify one preferred program, and identify how they will navigate the visa processes for both programs in a timely manner.

2. To demonstrate strong stability, responsibility, independence, and maturity:

a. Students must be in good conduct standing at time of application and until time of departure

i. Students on Conduct Probation Level II (CP II) are not allowed to represent Puget Sound, and no waivers are permitted. Students may not apply for study abroad, nor may they participate in a study abroad program while on CP II.
ii. Students on Conduct Probation Level I (CP I) are not allowed to represent Puget Sound, unless they obtain a waiver for specific purposes. A student wanting to apply to study abroad may petition for a waiver by following the process outlined by the Dean of Students Office. If a waiver is granted, the International Education Committee may consider the student’s application to study abroad.

b. Students must have no financial holds at time of application and until time of departure

c. Students must have appropriate class standing at the time of application:

i. Current first year students: may apply for Summer term (if earned at least 7 units during first year). Note: Current first year students may apply for Spring term in compelling and specific circumstances but will not be given priority
ii. Current second year students: may apply for Summer, Fall, and Spring terms
iii. Current third year students: may apply for Summer, Fall, and Spring terms
iv. Transfer students must complete one year in residence before studying abroad

d. Students must be on campus the semester when applying (spring) and the semester before studying abroad (fall or spring)

e. Students must submit a completed Puget Sound application by the deadline for an approved Study Abroad program. Completed applications include additional essays required if:

i. A student’s GPA is below 3.0
ii. A student is applying to more than one semester program in an academic year
Puget Sound does not permit students to apply for study abroad credit retroactively.

f. Students must, once approved by Puget Sound to study abroad, complete the program-specific application by the deadline set by Puget Sound

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General Information about the Study Abroad Application Process

Study abroad at Puget Sound includes a competitive application process.

Students must be approved by Puget Sound in order to study abroad. To seek approval students must submit a Puget Sound Application to Study Abroad by the Puget Sound application deadline.

Puget Sound has one application deadline in January and is for the following summer, fall and spring semesters.

It is important to note that study abroad operates within budgetary and enrollment parameters set by the University of Puget Sound; as a result there may be a limit to the number of students who can be approved each semester to study abroad. Simply submitting an application does not guarantee the University of Puget Sound’s approval to study abroad.

The Puget Sound Application process is a 2-step process

  1. Puget Sound Study Abroad Application - Students must complete a Puget Sound Study Abroad Application by the deadline and be approved to study abroad by the International Education Committee
  2. Program Specific Application - Students must complete their program specific application and be accepted by their specific program

Selection Criteria

The following selection criteria will be used:

1. Continued adherence to all eligibility criteria

2.Priority will be given to

a. Majors that require study abroad 
b. Puget Sound sponsored programs (Oaxaca, Granada, Dijon)
c. Language immersion programs

3. Priority will be given to current third year students (at the time of application) who have not previously studied abroad, then current second year students, then current first year students.

4. Priority will be given to students who provide, in their response to the application essay prompt, a strong and detailed academic rationale for their study abroad plan and provide strong evidence of possessing the appropriate maturity, stability, flexibility, independence, and openness to be successful abroad.

5. Priority will be given to students with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Students with a cumulative GPA lower than 3.0 may be approved if they successfully demonstrate, in an additional application essay, that they have made significant progress towards achieving overall academic excellence.

6. Students may be limited to a single program (semester or year). Students may only be approved for two different programs in a single academic year if they successfully convey, in an additional essay, compelling academic goals that can only be met by participating in two different programs and they provide evidence that they can complete the visa processes for both programs in a timely manner.

The final decision regarding acceptance rests with the Director of International Programs and the International Education Committee.

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Student Code of Conduct Abroad

All Puget Sound students sign a student agreement before studying abroad. Students must abide by the student agreement. Violation of the student agreement will result in removal from the program.

Consistent with the educational objectives of these programs, student participants are expected to exhibit sensitivity to the host culture, to respect and observe local rules and laws, and to conduct themselves in ways that demonstrate a high regard for the intellectual and cultural experience in which they are engaged.  The University of Puget Sound or its agent reserves the right to dismiss any participant for reasons of unacceptable personal behavior or inadequate academic participation.  Such dismissal will be without refund, return transportation will be at the student’s expense, and the student’s parent/guardian may be informed of the student’s dismissal.

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Study Abroad Credit 

Classes are reviewed on a case by case basis by the Transfer Evaluator in the Registrar’s Office.

All Puget Sound students complete a Course Evaluation Form as part of their Puget Sound application to study abroad. The Course Evaluation Form is then reviewed by the Transfer Evaluator to determine how the courses taken abroad will apply towards their graduation progress. Official credit decisions are made by the Transfer Evaluator in the Registrar's Office. Faculty advisors can give students quality academic and vocational advice, but final credit determinations for a study abroad course will be provided in writing from the Transfer Evaluator. 

Students are encouraged to talk to their faculty advisor and can meet with the Transfer Evaluator if they have further questions.

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Study Abroad Programs

To receive academic credit, students must select a program from the approved program list and participate in the program through the University of Puget Sound. 

If a student feels the current approved program list does not offer a program that meets the student’s academic needs/goals, the student may petition the International Education Committee to have a new program added the approved program list.  Petitions are due October 1st, the year prior to participation in the study abroad program.  The Petition Form is available on the Study Abroad Forms webpage.

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Pre-Departure Orientations

Prior to studying abroad, all Puget Sound students must attend a pre-departure session and submit all required forms and documents.

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Program Specific Application Procedures

After approval by Puget Sound, all students must attend an application meeting and apply to their specific program by the deadline set by Puget Sound. Failure to submit your program specific application by the Puget Sound deadline may result in revoking your approval to study abroad.

Students can only apply to the program in which they were approved to study abroad by the International Education Committee.

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Student Housing While Abroad

All Puget Sound students, on any program, must stay in program-approved housing. Students are not permitted to find their own accommodations or independent housing while abroad even if this is permitted by the program. Some programs allow students to seek their own accommodations outside of the housing provided by the study abroad program either at the beginning of the program or after completing some portion of the program. This is not permitted for Puget Sound students.

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Study Abroad Program Extensions

Students wanting to extend their study abroad program must request approval for an extension in writing and have the extension request reviewed by the International Education Committee. Requests for an extension will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

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Travel Advisory Policy

The Office of International Programs is delighted that you are planning to study abroad and we want to let you know that the vast majority of study abroad programs take place without incident. From time to time, however, world events beyond our control call into question the wisdom of supporting particular study abroad programs. Please note that the University of Puget Sound reserves the right to cancel or withdraw approval of a program at any time if it involves risk to students traveling to that country or those countries. Typically the university will cancel or withdraw approval of a program in areas for which there are travel advisories of level three or four, issued by the US State Department (DOS) or the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). See the Travel Abroad Policy for High-Risk Areas for detailed information.