STUDY ABROAD AND EXCHANGE PROGRAM FOR BENEDICT STUDENTS1
Study Abroad and Exchange for BC students General Requirements
- Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better. (Please note that some universities abroad may have their own GPA requirements.)
- Have a minimum of two semesters of full-time study at Benedict.
- Be a full-time student in the semester of travel abroad
- Take and pass the Cultural Perspectives on International Travel course prior to traveling abroad. There are only two grades you can get on this course (A=pass or F=fail), if you fail the course you will not be allowed to travel abroad. The course is offered at the OIP as a one-credit hour block course and it runs during both school semesters.
- Have a valid passport with expiration date of at least six months beyond the end of the study abroad or exchange program duration.Fill out the OIP Study Abroad Application Form (SAAF). Students under 18 must have SAAF signed by parent(s)/legal guardian(s).
Study Abroad Application and Deadlines:
All students interested in the Benedict College Study Abroad Program and Exchange Program must fill out an OIP Application for Study Abroad (ASA). The form can be found online at or at the OIP office located at 2318 Haskell Avenue. There are no fees associated with the application. Students must specify the semester they wish to travel and country(ies) of interest.
February 15, for fall semester
September 15, for spring semester and summer programs
Benedict College International Partners for Study Abroad and Exchange Programs
The OIP has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) for exchange of faculty, students, and administrators with the following universities abroad: Universidad Tecnológica del Chocó, in Colombia; the University of Ghana, in Ghana; Yibin University in China; the University of Zululand, in Kwa-Zulu Natal; South Africa, Al Akhawayn University, in Morocco, Universidade de Fortaleza, in Brazil; Yalova University, in Turkey; Universidad del Pacifico, Colombia; Universidad de la Guajira, Colombia; and Kaduna State University, in Nigeria, and African Methodist Episcopal University, in Monrovia, Liberia. For specific information about any of the above programs, please contact the OIP.
Study Abroad Tuition, Room and Board
Non-Parity Exchange program (NPEPs) and Parity Exchange program ( PEPs) study abroad programs. NPEPs are designed to give BC students the opportunity to study in college and university settings where Benedict does not have an active parity exchange program (PEP). The cost of the NPEPs is based on the international university cost for providing room and board, and books, to Benedict students while they are in the international host country. Unlike the PEPs, where no funds are transferred between BC and the international institutions, under NPEPs, Benedict will have to transfer funds from the students account to the international host institution.
In order to receive proper credit for courses taken abroad, before applying for a NPEP program students must notify the Office of International Programs, the Financial Aid Director, the Director of Financial Services and must consult with their School Dean and Program Advisor about their travel plans. In addition once a NPEP is approved Benedict College Housing Directors must be notified in order to secure housing facilities upon return.
Study Abroad Process
Students must obtain a Study Abroad Course Approval Form (SAECAF), available at , or at the OIP.
Students must plan and select their courses in consultation with their academic advisors, the Chair, the Dean, and the Director of the OIP. Links to the courses offered at international institutions can be found at the OIP website, , or the student may conduct an independent search on the host institution’s website.
Upon selection of courses, the SAECAF must be signed by the student’s Advisor, the School Dean, the Director of Financial Services, the Office of Financial Aid, the Director of International Programs and the Director of the Office of Registrars. The original SAECAF remains with the Office of Student Records for course registration. All courses selected must conform to the student’s program of study, and must be taken for academic credit transferable to Benedict College.
Note: Students who complete a semester of full-time study abroad (minimum 12 credit hours) will graduate with a Country Specific Minor in International Studies.
Study Abroad Course Load
An international full academic exchange semester/year program should consist of a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 15 academic credits per semester. Shorter terms are offered for specific programs, such as language, summer, and cultural programs.
Class attendance for study abroad students is regulated by the foreign institution, and students must follow procedures as specified by the host institutions’ regulations. Additionally, students must remain enrolled in their program of study at the host institution for the duration of the entire semester, and must take all required exams.
Grade Transferring and Recording
A special code has been developed by the Office of Management Information Systems (MIS) to record midterm and final grades in students’ records in cases where the host institution’s midterm schedules do not coincide with those of Benedict College. Immediately upon semester completion, the host institution will forward the students’ official final grades to the Office of Student Records for final recording in the students’ transcripts.
Note: It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the host institution forwards the transcripts to the Registrar’s Office at Benedict College. Students are also advised to bring original transcripts upon their return to the College. The transcripts must be in a sealed envelope and must bear the signature of the respective host institution authority on the back flap of the sealed envelope.
Documents Required for Study Abroad Travel
1. Letter of Admission from the International Host Institution
Upon selection and approval of courses, the OIP will send the host institution the biographical information of the student, the Consortium/Contractual Agreement Form for financial aid recording purposes, and the course selection information to the institution abroad in order to request a letter of admission that will be used to satisfy one of the visa requirements. The letter of admission must state that the host institution will provide the student with room and board, local transportation, as well as tuition cost(s). In some countries, additional forms must accompany the letter of admission. In China, for example, a JW202 form signed and sealed by the Regional Minister of Education must accompany the admissions letter for visa purposes. The OIP will request the additional forms from the host institution when required.
2. General Assumption of Risk Form2 (GSRF)
All students must read and sign the Assumption of Risk and General Release Form before traveling abroad. The form can be picked up from the OIP. The student will receive a copy of the form, and a copy will be kept at the OIP. If the student is a minor, this form must be read and signed by the student’s parent(s)/legal guardian(s).
All students and faculty applying for a passport for the first time must do so in person at the main Postal Office located on Assembly and Taylor Streets. Passport renewals can be done by mail by the applicant. Expedited services for both situations are available. Additional passport information and applications may be found at , or you may contact the National Passport Information Center (NPIC) toll-free number at 1-877-487-2778, email , or the OIP for more information. It is recommended that all students apply for a passport during their first semester of study at Benedict.
Some countries require that visitors entering as tourists, workers, or students, in addition to showing their passport, also show a document giving special permission before entering that country. This special permission is called a Visa. For travel from the United States to another country as a student, a student visa must be requested by the student. The student most request the visa from the country of destination’s consular offices in the United States. Students must consult with the OIP for countries requiring a visa, or they can visit . If a visa is needed to enter a particular country, the student must comply with all visa requirements including paying visa processing fees. The issuance of a visa does not guarantee entrance into a country. A visa is a permit to enter the airport of a country and request permission to remain in that country for a particular length of time. Therefore, permission to enter and duration of stay are up to the Immigration Officer at the port of entry of the country for the the visa is requested. Permits to obtain visas are issued by embassies or consular offices. There are no embassies or consular offices in Columbia, South Carolina. Study abroad/exchange participants may consult the internet to find the closest embassies and consular offices in order to apply for a visa. Additionally, there are agencies that will process visas for a fee. International students are eligible to participate in study abroad programs provided their passports, visas, and F-1 or J1 status are current, and provided they comply with the study above requirements.
5. Medical Insurance
The Department of State (DOS) requires that all study abroad students obtain full medical coverage for the entire duration of their study abroad period, and there are NO exemptions to this rule. The policy must include worldwide 24/7 medical and emergency care, including the cost of security evacuation, and repatriation. The DOS maintains a list of travel insurance companies to choose from. For more information, you can visit: . In addition, students may contact insurance companies listed on the OIP website, which comply with all DOS study abroad insurance requirements. The cost of the insurance may vary according to the student’s age, and length of stay abroad.
6. Consortium/Contractual Agreement Form (CCAF)
The Consortium/Contractual Agreement form is completed by the study abroad host institution, and it specifies the cost of a semester of study. The form is required by the Benedict College Office of Financial Aid in order to determine the student’s financial aid eligibility. After signing and completing information on the cost of tuition, room and board, local transportation, personal expenses, and books, the form is returned to the OIP. The OIP will keep a copy of the form in the student’s file and will forward the original to the Director of Financial Aid for completion of the student’s financial aid eligibility.
Financial Aid is available for study abroad. Students must consult with the Office of Financial Aid for more information. It is the responsibility of traveling students to check with the financial aid office for term bills, and financial aid application deadlines for the next academic semester/year.
Study Abroad/Exchange Evaluation /Assessment Form
Upon return, students will be asked to fill out an evaluation form describing their semester abroad experience. The comments can be shared with prospective study abroad students, and can be used for assessing and improving the study abroad program.
1 Study Abroad requirements for international students enrolled at Benedict College are the same as for US students, except for Visa requirements. For country-specific Visa requirements, please contact the OIP directly, or visit.
2 The OIP does not sponsor travel to countries with Department of State travel alerts. Students must go to to view countries with travel alerts.