Steps to Study Abroad
The Financial Aid Office of University of the Incarnate Word is committed to UIW’s institutional globalization goals. Decisions concerning financial assistance awards to support international study are made by the Office of Financial Aid, not by the Office of Study Abroad.
Assistance is provided in the Office of Study Abroad as students document their financial needs and prepare a budget preliminary to their discussions with the Office of Financial Aid, but the student is solely responsible for accurate estimates and supporting documentation for the financial aid needed and requested for the international study period.
Students are advised to take this process very seriously and to take responsibility for the requests made to the Office of Financial Aid. Following is a list of the most frequently asked questions and answers about financial assistance to support international study.
- How do I apply for study abroad financial assistance?
- If I am interested in becoming an Exchange Student, where do I register for classes?
- Can my financial aid be used for study abroad if I am not an Exchange Student?
- What are eligible costs under both Exchange Student status and Study Abroad status?
- When do I have access to the eligible financial aid funds?
- Does the student receive an advance of cash to pay for the costs associated with international study?
- What is my responsibility in this process?
- Where do I start with the planning process?
Students are required to have a completed financial assistance file in order to receive funds. Completing the file can take several weeks. A complete file includes:
- A current FAFSA form,
- Student Information Form,
- Any other documentation requested by the OFA to meet federal eligibility requirements, and semester attendance deadlines.
- The completed UIW Consortium Agreement. This form verifies that a student is taking degree-seeking courses. It requires host school information, course information, cost of attendance figures, advisor signatures and semester attendance dates. It is required if students are studying at an international host university that is not a sister school to UIW and that is approved by the Office of Study Abroad. It is not required if students are studying out of the country with a UIW class, traveling to an international site with the class and faculty member, and have an IP grade in place during the international study period.
Students who are planning to attend a sister school should register for classes through the UIW Office of Study Abroad before they leave the U.S. Because the student is registered at UIW while studying as an Exchange Student, the student is awarded all State, Federal and Institutional funds that he or she would be eligible to receive if otherwise on the UIW campus.
Students who do not attend a sister school are not enrolled at UIW. This means that the student is not an Exchange Student, but is, instead, participating in a Study Abroad Program. Students who use financial aid to cover charges at a Study Abroad Institution are eligible for Pell grant and/or loan assistance.
Whether a student is an Exchange Student or not, he or she can still use financial aid to cover documented direct educational costs that include tuition, housing, meals, transportation, fees, books and supplies on that international campus.
The Office of Financial Assistance will arrange with the Business Office to secure payment for the student’s trip. It is important that any deposits, fees, airfare and personal items required for purchase before the trip are clearly defined. To the maximum extent possible, fees and expenses may be paid directly to the international host university or other organizations involved in the international travel activity, such as a travel agent or tour company, by UIW.
Does the student receive an advance of cash to pay for the costs associated with international study?
The student should be prepared to cover these costs and receive reimbursement after the aid is received at UIW.
Students should keep documents in a separate folder for the trip. Start planning early. Plan ahead. Pay attention to details. Complete all required paperwork. Keep a copy of all documents. Keep records of names, email addresses and telephone numbers of people whom you have visited with on campus during your planning. Keep specific UIW offices informed of relevant details and changes in international travel or study plans. Questions at all times may be addressed to the Office of Study Abroad.
First, make an appointment with the Study Abroad Coordinator at the International Conference Center at 805-5709 or email@example.com. Make an appointment in the Financial Aid Office with your existing financial aid advisor. Decide your goals for international study. See Study Aboard and International for extensive study abroad information.