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Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between exchange programs vs direct programs?

Exchange Programs

  • Northwest tuition
  • Housing and meals paid abroad

Direct Programs

  • All fees (tuition, housing and meals) are paid to the institution abroad

If I study abroad, will I graduate on time?

Yes, as long as you enroll in classes that will count toward your major or minor at Northwest. This is easy to do, since so many programs are offered which cater to the majors and minors available here.

What do I need to be eligible to apply to study abroad?

You must be enrolled as a Northwest student. You must have finished at least one year of college. You must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher (some programs require 2.75 or 3.0). You must be willing to have fun, keep and open mind, and learn about the world.

What is studying abroad going to cost me?

There are different programs and payment types vary. Most programs offered are about the equivalent price to Northwest. You will pay tuition to Northwest, and housing abroad. Other programs are exactly the same as Northwest, in which you pay tuition, room, and board to Northwest just like you were living here on campus. The other programs offered are a direct fee paid to the program abroad.

What if I can't afford to go?

Most financial aid you receive now will count toward your institution abroad. We will draw you up a budget, fit to your needs to help you receive loans from the financial aid office here or personal loans elsewhere. Also, scholarships are available. Before you decide you can't afford it, check out your options! Actually some programs are even less expensive than it is to attend Northwest, so keep looking even if you think you cannot afford it! It is affordable!

How long do the programs last?

Most programs last for a semester, not one year, although that is an option as well. There are several programs during the summer that last for only 4-6 weeks if you feel you couldn't spend an entire semester abroad. There are also Faculty-Led programs which can range from 1 week to 3 weeks.

Where can I study abroad?

We offer several different programs, which include over 40 countries to choose from. You will decide where to study abroad based on your major, region you want to travel to, and language you want to learn if you choose to. Remember, you can take courses in English almost everywhere!

What if I don't speak another language?

We have programs in countries all over the world which offer courses in English. Yes, even if the native language in that country is NOT English! Actually, you will find that being a native English speaker in these classes will give you an advantage over other Exchange students.

What's so great about an international experience?

Studying abroad can benefit you in so many ways! Not only will you become a more culturally diverse individual, your experience will prepare you to become a citizen of the world. Future employers look for characteristics of a global citizen to help make a difference in the workplace. Don't ask yourself whether or not to study abroad. Ask yourself when and where to go, and how you are going to use your experience in the future!

When is the best time to study abroad?

We suggest that you study abroad as a sophomore or junior, however, you are still capable to study abroad as a senior. We suggest this because you have more opportunities in finding programs abroad. Also, at this point in your college career, you will have less courses completed and therefore it will be easier to find more courses abroad and expands your options.

Where would I live if I studied abroad?

It depends on which university you attend and in what country. You could live in a dorm, residence hall, apartment, house, or with a host family. You could have a private room or share a room. Each situation varies depending on which university you choose.

When should I start investigating about study abroad?

We suggest that you start inquiring about studying abroad about 1 semester to 1 year prior to the time you want to go abroad. For example, if you wish to study abroad in the spring, you should visit us at the end of your current spring semester or the beginning of the fall semester. We don't suggest you get too much detailed information too far in advance (i.e. 2.5 years prior) since program information does change.

I want to study abroad! How do I start?

Contact us and make an appointment! You can email us at or fill out an inquiry form found on the webpage. You can stop by the International Involvement Center, which is located in room 108 of the B.D. Owens Library.

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