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Study Abroad

International Programs

It is easier than you think.

As a participant in this program, you will open yourself to a world of new possibilities. Our office is here to help you discover the many options that will enhance your educational experiences. Through partnerships with other institutions around the world, we develop a myriad of exchange opportunities. We provide support to international exchange students who have chosen to study at ECSU. Broaden your perspectives. Join us as we open doors to new adventures for exchange students here at this university and for ECSU students ready to meet different cultures outside the United States. Traveling abroad for a year, a semester or even a few weeks during the summer is one way students can pursue their academic goals while developing real life skills that will help them throughout their careers and have the time of their lives while doing it. ECSU offers an array of international options through the UNCEP.

Why should you study or work abroad?

Students who study abroad return home not only with memories that will last their entire lives, but also with many of the skills and experiences today's employers demand. There is no doubt that learning to make their way in countries they've never visited, overcoming communication barriers and honing their language skills, as well as adapting to the expectations of new cultures, prepare students for what they will face in the working world.

As ECSU's International Programs Director, "I know from personal experience, first as a student in France and Italy, and then as an educator (in Senegal, France, Italy, Canada, USA), that work or study abroad has many lasting benefits. In my own case, I learned to better appreciate other views of the world, I became more self-reliant and confident in my ability to be on my own, I became a better problem-solver, and I made some lifelong friends!"

The experience of studying abroad allows students to develop a broader perspective of the world. It helps them become well-rounded and objective thinkers. We live in a very diverse world, knowledge gained while studying abroad will be an asset to you no matter what your plans are for the future, stated Tom Cole, U.S. Representative, Oklahoma.

Study abroad will help you to:

  1. Learn about yourself.
  2. Learn a language.
  3. Provide the opportunity to travel.
  4. Get to know another culture first-hand.
  5. Develop skills and give you experiences a classroom setting will never provide
  6. Make friends around the world.
  7. Expand your worldview.
  8. Break out of your academic routine.
  9. Enhance employment opportunities.
  10. Enhance the value of your degree

Passport Information

You must have a passport to leave from and return to the United States. Apply now for a passport if you do not have one, or renew your passport if it has expired. If you already have a passport make sure that it is valid six months beyond your stay abroad. Do this now, as the process can take several weeks.

If you are applying for a passport for the first time, you must apply in person. You can apply for or renew your passport at over 4,500 passport acceptance facilities nationwide that include many federal, state and probate courts, many post offices, some libraries and a number of county and municipal offices. These designated facilities are very convenient because they are located near your home. We recommend that you start by contacting the largest post office or courthouse in your area. You can find information on the web about how to obtain a US passport at: Passport Services and Information Â»
If you need your passport urgently, you are advised to go to one of the passport agencies listed below in person. Note: you will probably need an appointment, so we advise you to call ahead.

Before You Go

You should keep in mind that you might experience a great deal of difficulty in trying to take care of academic formalities at your home campus once you are overseas. You should handle certain matters before you go. Examples are:

Taking-and passing-all English and mathematics proficiency exams required by your campus

  • Arranging an independent study project
  • Changing or adding a major or minor
  • Filing a petition for course substitutions or waivers
  • Clearing up any incomplete coursework
  • If you plan to graduate during or at the conclusion of your year abroad, your graduation may depend on the planning you do before you depart! Critical items to consider are:
  • Having a graduation evaluation done; some campuses require this before applying to graduate
  • Filing an application to graduate
  • Applying for graduate admission to your campus if you graduate mid-year
  • Completing proficiency examinations in math or English that are required for graduation
  • Knowing that grades will reach your campus some time in the summer or even later; you should apply for summer rather than spring

Health Insurance

ECSU policy requires that all study abroad students be insured. Therefore, Accident and Sickness Insurance cover all IP participants for ECSU Students Studying Abroad, included in your IP program costs.

This insurance is only valid outside the US and is considered an "excess" policy. This means that if you have other insurance coverage with another company outside of IP (e.g. through your parents), then you must file the claim with the other company first, then with the IP insurance carrier. Carefully study the policy exclusions and limitations provided in the brochure in the packet. This policy does not cover pre-existing conditions, nor does it cover all medicines or drugs prescribed for outpatient treatment. You may need to maintain your current insurance policy or purchase a new policy that will provide coverage. The policy includes a major medical provision with a deductible, and an accidental death benefit. We should also mention that many of the host countries require students to purchase local coverage, which provides students with additional coverage.

Please note that the ECSU policy requires that you pay for medical services up-front, and subsequently file a claim form for reimbursement. If you have a large medical expense, such as hospitalization, OIP is prepared to lend you the funds to cover your expenses until the insurance carriers reimburse you.

The required insurance goes into effect the day before you are asked to arrive overseas and remains in effect as long as you are enrolled in classes with IP. No insurance premium refund is given once you depart the US for your study center. If you withdraw or are disenrolled from IP prior to the end of the academic year, you forfeit participation in the health and accident insurance plan effective on the date of withdrawal as established by OIP. Although the health insurance coverage has proven adequate for most IP participants, it is not a comprehensive policy. You should carry your insurance card with you at all times.

Learn more about the UNC Exchange Program

The UNC Exchange Program was authorized by the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina (UNC) in 1997 as the official system-wide student exchange program of the 16-campuses of UNC. Its purpose is to establish and facilitate the regular exchange of students between UNC institutions and overseas institutions, which have entered into agreement with UNCEP for the same purpose. These exchanges are multi-institutional in nature and intent, and are meant to be complementary to bilateral exchange agreements made by the individual campuses.

In achieving this purpose, UNCEP offers affordable, high quality, semester, yearlong, and outgoing summer study abroad programs to students of the UNC system and students of participating university systems abroad. Exchange opportunities are now available in over 42 countries worldwide in practically all-academic disciplines.

UNCEP has agreements with the following overseas system exchange partners:

  • Germany: State of Baden-Wuerttemberg (1996)
  • Finland: Consortium Universities of Finland (1998)
  • Mexico: Monterrey Tech System (1999)
  • International Student Exchange Program: System-wide agreement (1999)
  • Australia: States of New South Wales/ACT (2000)
  • Denmark/Sweden: Ëœresund University Consortium (2001)
  • Uruguay: Montevideo participating universities (2007)
  • Canada:  Quebec Province, CREPUQ (2008)
  • Brazil: Curitiba, Parana participating universities (2009)
  • Australia: Victoria/Tasmania pilot agreement (2011)
  • China: Fudan University (2011)


UNCEP Governance
FAQ'S for Students


INCLEMENT WEATHER ALERT: All ECSU classes and events beginning at 5 p.m. or later are cancelled for February 26, 2015