Study Abroad FAQs


What does the office of study abroad do? ↓

We advise students through the process of planning a study abroad experience. We help through the process of research, application process, pre-departure orientation, and re-entry. We also serve as a liaison and support while students are on their study abroad program.

We also bring in international students who come to UNC Asheville as exchange students for a semester or a year. Working with admissions and the Director of International Student Services we admit, advise and orient international students and serve as support while they are here on campus.

At what point can students study abroad? ↓

Students must have completed a year on campus before studying abroad and must be on campus their last semester before graduating. UNC Asheville students can study abroad for a semester, an academic year, a summer session, or a short-term session such as Spring Break or a December program. They need to have a minimum GPA of 2.50, however, some programs require a higher GPA such as a 2.75 or a 3.0.

Where can students study abroad? ↓

Students have the possibility to go all over the world. There are several ways that a student can study abroad:

1) Exchange Programs

A. Through UNC Asheville: UNC Asheville has exchange partner agreements with universities in Australia, England, France, Hong Kong, Japan, S. Korea, Spain, The Netherlands and Turkey. Students can study on exchange, which allows students to come here from those universities and UNC Asheville students to study at these particular universities.

B. Through ISEP: Students can study on exchange through our membership in the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP). This offers access to over 200 universities in over 40 countries as possibilities for students to study abroad.

2) Non-Exchange Programs

Sometimes students cannot find what they really want through our exchange options. We allow students to enroll in Non-Exchange Programs as long as they receive credit through an accredited institution and the program is approved through the Study Abroad office.

3) Summer and Short-term Programs

Students can attend study abroad programs that are led by UNC Asheville faculty in the break periods or summer terms. Some students attend other universities’ summer programs and transfer their credits back to UNC Asheville.

How do I apply? ↓

You apply through our online application process.  If you are applying through ISEP or a Non-Exchange program, you will also need to complete their application.

What are the deadlines? ↓

Visit our deadlines page for particular programs. In general, the deadline for studying abroad in spring is mid-October but may be earlier for some programs. Deadlines for fall and summer are mid-February but may be earlier for some programs. All applications for all programs come through the Study Abroad office.

Can I use my financial aid for study abroad? ↓

Yes, you may be able to use your financial aid on approved programs. Students participating in UNC Asheville’s Exchange programs, Non-Exchange programs and Faculty-Led programs may use all types of financial aid for which the student qualifies, including Federal, State, and UNC Asheville grants, scholarships, and/or loans.
Winter Break Faculty-Led programs do not qualify for financial aid use.

Is there other funding available? ↓

UNC Asheville has received generous gifts that are to be used to help students with the cost of studying abroad. The International Experience Grant is a need-based grant available for any international experience of at least one week in duration. Applications are part of the online application system under Financial Aid.  To find out what types of financial aid and Scholarships are available, go to our Financial Aid and Scholarships webpage.

How does my course transfer credit back to UNC Asheville? ↓

Good planning is essential. Students work with their academic adviser to plan the right time to go abroad and the right classes to take. Any course taken abroad taught by a non-UNCA professor will be eligible for transfer credit that will come back as a UNCA equivalent course, departmental elective, or general education/elective course with a specific study abroad grading basis:

  • Passed credit (courses where a “C” or better is earned) will be reflected on the UNCA transcript as a “TR” or study abroad pass and satisfy the approved requirement. The passed credit will not be calculated in your GPA.
  • Failed credit (courses where a “C-” or less is earned) will be reflected on the UNCA transcript with a grade of “NC” or study abroad no credit but will not earn credit.

As part of the online application process, students will complete a Permission to Study Abroad form. Students will talk with their advisor for pre-approval for the courses they wish to take abroad. This form is very important to register students for study abroad placeholder courses (SABR) while they are abroad so students can keep their UNCA student status.

The transferability and level of courses cannot be determined or guaranteed until we receive the completed transcript. Courses required for major competency must be completed at UNC Asheville. Independent study courses completed at other universities are not accepted for transfer credit.

How does a student pay for their study abroad program?

The Study Abroad office works with the Director of Student Accounts to make sure that students are billed correctly.

  • UNC Asheville Exchange participants are charged tuition and fees
  • ISEP Exchange participants are charged tuition, fees, room and board
  • ISEP Direct participants are not charged by UNC Asheville but are charged through ISEP
  • Non-Exchange program participants are not charged by UNC Asheville
  • UNC Asheville faculty-led program participants are charged program fees which includes UNC Asheville summer tuition.

How do students pre-register for the following semester when they are abroad? ↓

The Registrar’s office contacts students by their UNC Asheville email, reminding them to get their RAN from their advisor and pre-register online during their registration period.  If student’s will not have access to the internet during their pre-registration time, the study abroad office can assist the student by registering for them.  The student will email the Study Abroad office,, with the CRN, Name of course and RAN.

Postponing Your Program to a Different Semester ↓

Your UNCA application does not dictate your final location choice or semester abroad and is an internal application, it is not shared with outside providers or universities. If you need to make any changes or corrections to your application such as the term, program provider, or location, please notify the Study Abroad office to help correct your application. Your progress will be saved (including academic recommendations and the application fee). If there are any issues or changes that need to be made, please communicate this information with the Study Abroad office for assistance.

Senior Standing Students ↓

If all student requirements are completed before the study abroad semester begins, you have two options:

  1. Officially graduate as planned and reapply as a non-degree student for the study abroad program.
  2. Delay graduation and have your degree awarded after their return. If you choose this option, you would need to complete the Commencement Participation Form to notify the UNCA Registrar’s office of your plans to attend the graduation ceremony. Be aware that if all your requirements are met, you may not be eligible for financial aid for the study abroad program.