Frequently Asked Questions
I am an ECSU student and am interested in studying abroad (not in India with MAC-CAE) for a semester to earn credits for an ECSU degree program? What are my options?
ECSU is a member of UNCEP, which stands for University of North Carolina Exchange Program. It was authorized by the UNC Board of Governors in 1997 as the official system-wide student exchange program of the sixteen campuses of UNC. As a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, ECSU students are eligible to participate.
What does UNCEP do?
UNCEP facilitates the regular exchange of students between UNC institutions and certain overseas institutions that 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, year-long, 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.
What is an exchange through UNCEP?
In most exchange cases, ECSU students, like other UNC students, are directly enrolled in an overseas university, taking courses and sitting for exams with regularly enrolled students. Generally, tuition and fees are paid to your home institution while room and board are paid to your host institution. In return, an international student takes your place at a UNC institution.
Who is eligible?
Full-time undergraduate and graduate students in good academic standing (at least a 2.75 GPA) at any UNC system public campus may apply. Exchanges can take place at any level, from sophomore to graduate.
Where can I study?
The list of overseas institutions changes, as new arrangements are made and as older arrangements end. At the moment, ECSU students can study abroad at the following countries/institutions. These are subject to change.
I want to study in China, for example. Can I study at ANY university in China through UNCEP? If I want to study in Australia, can I go to ANY Australian university?
No. UNCEP partners with only certain universities, not just any university . Note that the list is always subject to change.
How long is an exchange through UNCEP?
An exchange can last for a full academic year, full calendar year, or one semester.
Will I receive credit?
Yes! With prior planning with your academic advisor (the one in your major, not the Director of International Programs), credit earned abroad will be applied toward your degree. Also, most academic departments will grant credit for study abroad. Early approval from your advisor regarding credit transfer will reduce later worries.
How much does it cost?
You can participate for about the same cost as a semester or year at ECSU. For UNCEP programs, your tuition/fees will be the same as you pay at home. The estimated costs for room, meals, and other expenses can be found on the ECSU website.
I am heavily reliant on federal financial aid and realize that sometimes the process can be complicated and frustrating. What can I do to make sure this process runs smoothly?
Complete your application for federal financial aid EARLY (in particular, your FAFSA application), ESPECIALLY because the academic calendars can differ greatly. Fall Semester, for example, starts in July in some countries.
After you get accepted and know for sure where you are going, let Ms. Tracie Hunter know IN WRITING what your costs will probably be for room and board. The Office of International Programs will help you obtain that information.
That information is important for ECSU to know because Ms. Hunter will need to justify why YOUR costs are different from those of other ECSU students.
Do I have to pay for my travel to the university abroad?
Yes. Just like students are responsible for their travel costs when they leave home to come to Elizabeth City, students are responsible for their travel costs when they spend their semester/year abroad. Book travel early-that usually helps lower costs.
Do I have to speak a foreign language?
It depends where you want to study. Many opportunities are available in English-speaking countries. There are some programs in non-English speaking countries that offer instruction in English.
Do I need a passport and how do I get one?
The City of Elizabeth City used to process passports, but no longer does so. The closest facility is in Camden County, from the Clerk of Superior Court. The address is 117 NC-343 N, Camden, NC 27921. Another option is online. See here.
How can you apply?
You can find out more about UNCEP by contacting the Office of International Programs or by visiting online at uncap.org. Application and instructions are available online too.
Is it hard to apply?
Not if you start early. Applying does require filling out many forms: (1) UNCEP Outgoing Nomination Form, which needs to be signed by the Director of International Programs; (2) UNCEP Study Plan Forms, which need to be completed with your academic adviser in your major; (3) at least one, preferably two, letters of reference. If you are planning on studying in a nation in which English is not a frequently used language, you also need to complete the UNCEP Outgoing Language Proficiency Report.
Also required for all applicants is a statement of purpose, a photocopy of identification, and official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. You also will eventually need a passport.
Are there deadlines?
Yes. If you want to study abroad starting in a fall semester, the paperwork should be completed by February 15. If you want to study abroad starting in a spring semester, the paperwork should be completed by September 15.
Is applying free?
No (few things are). There is an application fee of $150 that goes directly to UNCEP to cover the costs of having an office dedicated only to helping students study abroad. The office is located in Greensboro, NC. The address is 327 McIver Building, P.O. Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402.
Why are students encouraged to choose more than one study site destination?
Some destinations and some campuses are more competitive than others (especially Australia). This helps the host country or program to place you based on your preferences and theirs.
Can ECSU students apply through ISEP to study abroad?
No. For the moment, ECSU is part of UNCEP, not ISEP.
Can ECSU students apply through Globalinks to study abroad?
No. For the moment, ECSU is part of UNCEP, not Globalinks.
What is MAC-CAE?
See the tab "Special Program in India"
Are there other ways to fund my study-abroad experience if I am not interested in MAC-CAE or UNCEP?
Highly competitive scholarships do exist and students are welcome to apply. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. This Program is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to study and participate in internship programs abroad . Applicants must be applying to or have been accepted into a study abroad program or internship. Internships must run at least four weeks (28 calendar days) in one country. Students cannot apply if they plan to study abroad at nations or parts of nations that are on the U.S. Department of State's Travel Warning List.
For more information regarding the Gilman Scholarship, please click here.
Undergraduates can also apply for a Boren Scholarship, an initiative of the National Security Education Program. This is designed to provide study in less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Areas that are not underrepresented, including the countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, are not included.
Boren Scholars get to experience extensive linguistic and cultural immersion, and many often pursue careers in national security. In exchange for funding, Boren Scholars commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation. Scholars can receive up to $10,000 for a semester and $20,000 for a full academic year; preference is given to applicants proposing a full-year academic study. There are summer programs for STEM students that include up to $8,000.
For more information regarding the Boren Scholarship, please click here.