FAQs for Temple Students
I want to study abroad, but I’m not sure where I want to go.
That’s ok! The first step for all Temple students interested in study abroad is to attend Foundations, the general information session that covers all of the basics of study abroad. There, you will learn about how to choose a program, beginning the application, opportunities abroad, financing and scholarships. Also, you can look at our School/College Program Guide handouts for programs relevant to the coursework you plan on taking on while abroad. Finally, you can also set up an appointment with a study abroad advisor who will help you narrow down what programs to apply for – but you must attend Foundations and meet with your academic advisor first before doing so.
How far in advance do I have to get a new passport?
You will be required to have your passport by the application deadline, as you will be required to submit passport information when completing the visa process. Obtaining or renewing a passport can take up to eight weeks with regular processing or up to three weeks with expedited processing for an additional fee. Keep in mind that most countries require your passport to be valid for at least six months beyond your scheduled departure from that country. United States citizens can obtain a passport application and view procedures on the State Department’s travel website.
If you’re a freshman or first-year transfer student at Temple and have never applied for a passport, make sure to apply for Temple’s Passport Scholarship to help cover the cost of your passport fees.
I’m a Science/Engineering/Math/Pre-med/etc. major; can I study abroad?
Yes! We know it can be difficult for students with strict requirements, but it is not impossible. In our School/College Program Guide handouts we include programs that offer courses in every major, or options for you if you want to take electives or GenEds abroad. Make sure to also meet with your academic advisor to come up with a semester-by-semester plan that includes study abroad, whether it's for a semester or summer. Check out our Advising page for tips on speaking with your academic advisor.
I’m not interested in Rome, Japan or Spain; can I go to a different country?
Of course! If you are not interested in Temple's programs in these locations, you can look at Faculty-led Summer Programs, External or Exchange Programs.
I’m a transfer student; can I study abroad?
Yes, it is possible, but you must meet with your academic advisor before applying for a program. This is especially important if you are looking at an External or Exchange Program, since there may be issues with the amount of transfer credits students can bring back to Temple. However, Temple programs all count as Temple credit, so there should be no credit issues for students who want to go to Rome, Tokyo, Oviedo or any of the Faculty-led Summer Programs.
Do I have to know the host language before going abroad?
It depends on the program. Some programs are language intensive (Temple in Spain, Temple’s Germany exchanges, Temple Summer in France, Temple Summer in Germany) and do have prerequisites for language study. However, if you want to go to these countries but do not have the prerequisites, you are welcome to take a look at External Programs that do not have language requirements. Please note that Temple Rome, Temple Japan, other Faculty-led Summer Programs and other Exchange Programs do not have the same language requirements.
I’m an international student; can I study abroad?
Yes, you can – as long as you study outside of your home country (e.g. a student who is from China cannot participate on our Chinese Exchange Programs). As an international student, you may have requirements for your U.S. visa and other international visas, so you should see a study abroad advisor to clarify your requirements.
Where will I live while abroad?
Students have several options when it comes to housing abroad, depending on the program. For example, several Faculty-led Summer Programs require students to stay in arranged residences, while the Temple in Spain program requires its students to live in homestays. For the Temple Rome and Temple Japan programs, students have the option to choose from dormitory/residence living, homestays, and independent housing.
I’ve been accepted, what are my next steps before I leave?
Once you are accepted into the program, you will be provided with information regarding dates and deadlines, course registration, arrival instructions, visa information, housing information, and a program manual that includes any other information that you may need for your time abroad. Our office also hosts a pre-departure orientation on Temple University’s main campus. If you have a scheduling conflict on the designated date and time for the pre-departure orientation, don't worry! We also host an online orientation for those unable to make our in-person orientation.
FAQs for Non-Temple Students
Will my credits transfer and how do I obtain my official transcript from Temple?
It is vital to discuss your academic plans, course selection, and applicability of financial aid and transfer of credits with your home institution prior to your departure. Credits earned on Temple University Study Abroad programs are recorded on standard Temple University transcripts and may be readily transferred to other institutions.
The Education Abroad office arranges to have an official transcript sent to non-Temple students' home institutions free of charge. You must sign the transcript release authorization on the Home College Approval Form of the application. Additional transcripts are available from the Temple University Registrar.
Non-Temple students also receive a Temple University login username during the application process; this provides access to their academic history and grades on TUportal, the University’s central student information system.
I’ve been accepted, what are my next steps before I leave?
Once you are accepted into the program, you will be provided with information regarding dates and deadlines, course registration, arrival instructions, visa information, housing information, and a program manual that includes any other information that you may need for your time abroad. Our office also hosts a pre-departure orientation on Temple University’s main campus. If your home institution is close by, you are more than welcome to come to the in-person orientation, but don’t worry! We also host an online orientation for those unable to make our in-person orientation. Additionally, when there is a large number of students from a non-Temple institution participating on a Temple program, an Education Abroad staff will travel to your home institution to host a pre-departure orientation.
What are the costs for my program?
We’ll post a confirmed cost sheet on your Program Home Page by early April for summer I programs and by late April for summer II programs. If you’re looking to get a general sense of what to expect, you can see preliminary cost estimates in the “Cost” section of your program’s information online. For fall programs, confirmed cost sheets will be posted over the summer in the event of tuition adjustments made by Temple University. Students participating on external programs can find costs on each provider’s website.
I’ve committed to my program and paid the program deposit. When will my next payments be due?
Housing Deposit: If you plan to live in Temple-arranged housing, which includes homestays, then you will submit a $200 non-refundable housing deposit by the date indicated on your Dates and Deadlines sheet (posted upon your acceptance).
Please keep in mind that Temple makes a commitment to housing partners abroad on behalf of students immediately after the housing deposit/housing request deadline. By submitting the housing request for Temple-arranged housing, you are committing to paying the full housing cost, even if you withdraw from the program or decide to change your housing request. If you withdraw from the program or from Temple-arranged housing after the housing request deadline, a refund for the full housing cost may not be possible. Please see our Payment and Refund Policies for more details.
- Airfare: Students usually purchase their airfare well in advance of the program start date (after the program is officially confirmed). One option for booking your travel is STA Travel, a student travel agency used by many previous participants. STA offers a payment plan for some ticket options that allow travelers to pay a deposit upon purchase of the ticket and pay for the rest of the cost in the future. Consult their website for more information.
- Visa: Some programs require that U.S. citizens apply for and obtain a visa as much as ten weeks in advance of departure for the program. Also, if you are not a U.S. citizen, you may be required to obtain a visa for countries you are traveling to and/or through. Those visas may have associated costs, so you’ll need to research your visa process while you’re applying for the program or immediately after being accepted.
- Immunizations: The Centers for Disease Control recommends that travelers obtain immunizations before traveling to some countries. If your destination has CDC recommended immunizations, you should plan to obtain them at least four to six weeks before going abroad. Immunizations recommended specifically for international travel are usually not covered by health insurance plans, so you’ll need to budget accordingly. We’ll provide you with more details if you’re accepted, but you can start your research now by visiting the Centers for Disease Control website.
- Books/Supplies: Some programs require you to purchase books and supplies before you depart; for other programs you will purchase books once you arrive. Some programs include course materials with the program fee (only if specified within the program fee description).
- International Travel Items: If you haven’t traveled to your destination before, you should also budget some money to purchase any travel items that are necessary for your location. Some examples might include an adapter and/or converter, a security pouch to hold your money and important documents, etc.
On-Site Out-of-Pocket Expenses:
Estimated costs for these expenses are listed as “non-billable items” in the “Cost” section of your program’s information online. Here are some examples of on-site out-of-pocket expenses:
- Meals: Meal plans are not available at our overseas campuses/programs. If you are a Temple student with a meal plan, you should request from Student Housing that the charge be removed for the semester you will study abroad. If you live in a dorm or apartment, you will purchase and/or cook your own meals for the semester. We recommend you budget accordingly for meals in Italy and Japan (refer to your program cost sheet for estimated costs). Students in homestays (Italy, Japan, and Spain) will be provided some meals by their host family (three meals per day for Spain), and thus can budget less for meals. The cost of meals can vary greatly depending on where you eat. Just as it does here at home, eating in restaurants abroad can really add up. If you plan to eat a lot of meals out when you’re abroad, be sure to check in with the on-site staff for tips about affordable options close to your classes or housing.
- Personal expenses: Think about your current lifestyle and what you like to spend money on—books, clothes, gifts, outings, etc. You’ll most likely be spending money on those things while you’re abroad, too. The location of your program will certainly have an impact on how much to budget for this category, as well as how much you plan to travel locally within your host city. If you’re looking forward to seeing as many museums or art shows or concerts as you can while you’re abroad, for example, you’ll want to budget for admissions fees and local transportation.
- Travel outside of program city: These costs can really add up, so make travel plans carefully. Travel may be one of your priorities for your term abroad, but don’t rule out the option of sticking around to explore your host city—you’ll save money and really get to know your host city in a way that students who do a lot of traveling won’t.
- For semester programs, Temple students may use their financial aid as they normally would on main campus. If you receive financial aid for the summer, this aid can be applied to summer programs. If you have specific questions regarding your financial aid package, please consult with Student Financial Services. It may be possible to have your financial aid increased for the semester you plan to study abroad if you meet specific criteria. If you have been accepted to the program, we recommend you take a copy of your acceptance letter to SFS, and ask that they reevaluate your financial aid package. Temple students participating on external programs in most cases can use their financial aid to pay for their programs by completing a Consortium Agreement (available upon approval by Temple).
- Non-Temple students must find out from their home institutions what financial aid they may use for study abroad, and what the processes are for using aid to attend a Temple program. Your home institution must be willing to transfer your aid to Temple if you wish to use financial aid for your program. Visit our Financial Aid page for more information.
What kinds of financial aid is available in the summer? How do I apply for summer financial aid?
Each college or university has its own policies regarding what kinds of aid are available, so if you’re a non-Temple student, be sure to check in with your home school to discuss what aid is available this summer. In many cases, financial aid guidelines limit the types of aid available to students who are taking fewer than six credits during the summer. For Temple students, below is a basic breakdown of the aid that may be available, but you should double check with Student Financial Services to talk about the kinds of aid that are available to you this summer.
Federal Aid: Generally, only Pell Grants and Direct Loans are available for summer, and only if you have unused eligibility from fall and spring semesters.
State Aid: A summer session counts toward the maximum number of semesters for which a student might be eligible. You can check your eligibility with SFS and apply online at www.pheaa.org.
Institutional Aid: There may be some very limited aid available from Temple University, determined on an individual basis.
Private Alternative Loans: If you’re not eligible for other kinds of aid or need additional funds, you have the option of applying for a private alternative loan. You can find information about alternative loans using a basic internet search.
Other Resources: Other funding sources might include Veteran’s Benefits or Tuition Remission. If you’re eligible for either benefit, contact the appropriate offices for more information about these options (let us know if you’re not sure where to go).
Can I use my financial aid to cover the cost of my flight?
Generally, no. Because financial aid and scholarships are disbursed after the beginning of the program, you must be prepared to purchase pre-departure items out-of-pocket. These might include items such as airfare, immunizations as recommended or required for your program, etc.
In some cases, yes. At Temple Rome there are limited work study positions (for Temple students only), but beyond that, it is not possible to work in Italy while studying on a student visa. Temple Japan offers part-time student worker positions on campus to all students, but again, space is limited. Part-time work and paid internships in Japan may be possible on a student visa, but in most cases will require fluency in Japanese/Spanish. There are also restrictions on the types of work that students can do in Japan.
Please see the scholarship resources document or the Scholarships page of our website, which outline several scholarships available to students who are looking to study abroad. Many scholarships have early application deadlines, so we recommend starting your scholarship research as early as possible.
Because deposits are essential for us to administer our programs successfully, it is difficult for us to give extensions on the program deposit deadline. Under extremely rare extenuating circumstances, brief extensions may be considered; students must contact Education Abroad to request consideration. Be aware that in most cases, you will not be notified about scholarship decisions until after you are required to fully commit financially to your program.
Fundraise: These websites have some great resources and tips about fundraising for study abroad:
These websites are examples of tools you can use to fundraise online:
Save: Set priorities. Try to put aside as much of your paycheck as possible and deposit the funds into a separate study abroad account. Decide what percent of your paycheck you’re going to save each week or month, and pay yourself for studying abroad as soon as you get your paycheck. Past students have also suggested:
- working longer hours or getting an additional part-time job
- doing without “extras” like concert tickets, club outings, and new clothes (use the mantra “I’d rather go abroad!”)
- saving on gas and public transportation costs by walking or riding a bike whenever possible
- packing lunch and cooking dinner at home instead of eating at restaurants—this is good practice for saving money abroad too
Do what you can to set as much money aside as you can before you go—you’ll thank yourself when you’re abroad!