» Semester Abroad Information for Families

Students have the opportunity to study abroad for a semester or academic year on approximately 100 programs in over 40 countries. Two semesters before going abroad, students must attend a Global First Steps information session to learn about the process to study abroad and how to search for a program. Next, they can open an application and will have an individual advising appointment. Applications are due two semesters prior to going abroad. All students must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA, sophomore standing at the time of going abroad, and be free of any Disciplinary Holds in order to be eligible.

Find out information below and read about tips to support your student on the left side menu.

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Programs and Credits

All program information is available on the Global Gateway, the application online portal. On the Global Gateway you can search for a program by recommended major, location, financial aid applicability, or a number of other features. 

Chapman students receive Chapman credit and grades for their semester or academic year abroad. Students must remain in full-time status (12-18 U.S. credits) while abroad. Students will have the ability to request Chapman credit for all courses taken abroad before they depart.

Cost & Financial Aid


While abroad, students remain enrolled at Chapman University and pay their regular Chapman tuition, room, (sometimes) board, and $500 study abroad fee through the Chapman University Student Business Services. 

  • All program charges (except items such as application fees, optional meal plans, and optional excursions) are billed to Chapman, and therefore any fees noted in individual program catalogs are not relevant to your student. Chapman fees include many services provided by the host program or institution, such as comprehensive health insurance, in-country orientation, cultural activities, field trips, etc.
  • Students are held to the program provider/host institution's refund policies if they do withdraw from their program after accepted.
  • Airfare, housing deposits, baggage insurance, administrative fees, textbooks, course fees, passport fees, visa fees and personal expenses are the responsibility of the student.
  • Study Abroad Budget Worksheets are available to help you and your student plan the cost of a semester abroad.
  • Students and families can also download the Ultimate Student Guide to Financing Your Life Abroad to learn how to budget and save up for study abroad, using forms of payment while abroad, handling money emergencies and scams abroad, and budgeting for cell phone use abroad.

Financial Aid

  • Because students remain enrolled at Chapman while abroad and are paying Chapman fees, financial aid can be applied to the program and is processed internally. However, programs have two classifications as to which type of aid can be applied:
    • All Current Aid Programs: Chapman students can utilize their entire financial aid package, including federal, state, and institutional funding (with the exception of work/study).
    • Federal/State Aid Only Programs: Chapman students can utilize only their federal and state financial aid to the program (with the exception of work/study). Students can use federal/state aid toward all semester and academic year programs. If a student receives Chapman aid and participates on a Federal/State Aid Only Program, Chapman aid is re-instated the semester they return to Chapman.
  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) announced new guidance for the accepted uses of student veteran benefits for study abroad with an effective implementation date of August 1, 2020. Tuition benefits for exchange programs will no longer be approved after July 31, 2020 because the students home institution does not own the credit. Tuition benefits are not applicable when a third party provider owns and teaches the course(s). These program types will not be approved for VA benefit use. Disclaimer: It is the student's responsibility to understand their eligibility to use the GI Bill and coordinate the application of funds. Any amounts payable are reduced if the student is not eligible at the 100% payment tier. The VA cannot pay any fees specific to studying abroad unless the student is required to study abroad as part of their academic program. This includes Chapman's $500 Study Abroad Fee billed to students during regular billing for the semester abroad. See Post-9/11 GI Bill – Study Abroad Program Information.
  • Students are welcome to apply for study abroad scholarships outside of Chapman. If a student receives an outside scholarship, they must work directly with the scholarship provider directly for the timing and payment method. Note that the scholarship cannot be sent to Chapman and applied toward the Chapman bill.

Pre-Departure Information

The Center for Global Education holds an optional Family Pre-Departure Meeting the semester before students go abroad. This is typically held for one hour in the evening. Parents and families may attend to learn information such as finances, expectations, safety, health, culture shock, and tips for parents. This is a general presentation for all parents of study abroad students, not about specific program details. Students will be sent a PDF version of the presentation they can share with their family. 

Students accepted to study abroad receive extensive pre-departure and on-site orientations. Students attend a mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation the semester before they study abroad which covers general information, including a health and safety video coordinated by the Dean of Students office. They will receive a Pre-Departure Handbook at this time to read and take abroad with them. In addition, they must take an assessment to ensure that they understand the material. Part of the orientation consists of information related to health and safety issues, simple precautions they may take while away, and more details on handling issues of security, safety, illness, injury, and emergencies. Your student can share this information with you.

In addition, many representatives from our program providers will host optional program-specific meetings at Chapman. Students will be notified of these optional meetings by email.

Once a student arrives on-site at their program location, they will receive an orientation to acclimate them to their general surroundings and give them practical information.

Health and Safety

Parents or guardians’ concern for the safety and well-being of their student abroad is natural and shared by Chapman University. Students need to take precautions abroad just like they would at home. 

The U.S. Department of State has instituted a Travel Advisory for every country in the world by which they rate and communicate health and safety conditions in countries or specific regions of countries. These Travel Advisories include four levels of safety and security risk:

  1. Exercise normal precautions
  2. Exercise increased caution
  3. Reconsider travel
  4. Do not travel

Many countries that have an overall Travel Advisory rating of 1 or 2 have certain regions within that country with a higher advisory level, either indicated by regional numeric ratings or text such as “Reconsider Travel” (Level 3)  or “Do Not Travel” (Level 4).  If a country or region within a country is a Level 4, no student will be permitted to travel to that area.

The CGE carefully monitors the economic and political situations of the host countries via announcements issued by the U.S. Department of State and communication with program providers and/or host institutions. The university has protocols in place for dealing with emergencies, natural disasters, illness, events or situations that may affect individuals or groups.

Students attend a pre-departure orientation and watch a health and safety orientation video prior to going abroad and will learn about health and safety issues. In addition, once they arrive they will also receive a health and safety orientation for the specific location.

All students who participate in an international program are covered by ACE International Travel Assistance Insurance. ACE provides (a) medical benefits, (b) emergency medical evacuation services, (c) an accidental death & dismemberment benefit, and (d) miscellaneous assistance services associated with foreign travel. A convenient, online enrollment form can be found at Chapman ACE Insurance. In addition, students are required to maintain domestic insurance while abroad. This can be independent insurance, coverage under a parent's plan or the Chapman University Wellness Plan.

Please refer to the Health and Safety student webpage for more information on how your student can stay healthy and safe while abroad and what you can do to support them. Health and safety information can also be found in the student handbook, which is distributed at the Pre-Departure Orientation to students.

Disabilities and Mental Health Abroad

Chapman University encourages all students to partake in study abroad. Students with disabilities or mental health issues are encouraged to disclose this information to the Center for Global Education early in the study abroad process. The American Disabilities Act is not applicable overseas and certain accommodations may not be met when a student studies abroad. For example, extended test time accommodations in the U.S. may be different. However if students disclose early, we can work with them and our study abroad programs to determine before they depart the types of services that will be available.

Similarly, mental health perspectives, medications, and counseling availability may not be at the same level abroad that a student receives in the U.S. For example, certain medications at home may be illegal abroad. The Center for Global Education can facilitate a conversation with our partners abroad and work with your student to determine the best fit program and location. Please visit Diversity and Access Resources for more information. Students are welcome to make a "mental health checkup" appointment at Chapman's Student Psychological Counseling Services if they would like to speak in confidentiality with a mental health professional regarding any concerns they may have before departure.

Student Visas

A student visa is a permit that allows study in the issuing region for an established period of time. Most students studying in their host country for more than 90 days are required to obtain a student visa. The CGE provides a Students Abroad Visa Guide that includes helpful tips, a visa FAQ, and consulate contact information for updated visa requirements. Each country has different rules and it is students' responsibility to know and understand these rules. Plan early: some visa applications can take up to 4 months to process! A passport valid for at least six months from the program end date is needed prior to applying for a visa.

Due to the fluidity of government immigration policies, the Center for Global Education is unable to provide individual advising on visa requirements for individual countries. This guide is not a substitute for consulate requirements, so it is important that students refer to their host country’s consulate as the final authority on all visa matters. It is ultimately the responsibility of the student to obtain a visa prior to departure.

If the visa application requires a notary, the Chapman Student Business Services offers free notary services for students. Contact (714) 997-6529 for an appointment. Note: California Notaries are not permitted to certify a copy of a vital record, such as a birth certificate and passport.

For country-specific information, visit travel.state.gov.

Returning Home

Students are going to experience a huge personal growth in the semester they are abroad. While they are excited to share their experiences back home, students often find returning home to be difficult. This is known as reverse culture shock.

Study abroad alumni are encouraged to attend the Lessons from Abroad Conference held every year in the Los Angeles and throughout the U.S. This is a unique opportunity for Chapman students who have participated in both short and long-term academic abroad programs. The conference features workshops on how to articulate the study abroad experience to potential employers and how to work or study abroad after graduation. Students will also have the opportunity to network with professionals in internationally-focused jobs.

In addition, the Center for Global Education and Career & Professional Development host the workshop, "Branding Your International Experience" every semester for students to learn how to articulate their experience abroad in job interviews.

A note on transcripts: Chapman will receive a student's overseas transcript within 2-4 months of the program conclusion. Chapman will then update the student's transcript with grades and credits earned from abroad.

Who to Contact

If your student has questions regarding the study abroad program, including pre-departure information or withdrawing from a program, the student must contact the Center for Global Education at (714) 997-6830 or globaled@chapman.edu.

In an emergency-only outside of regular University business hours, please contact Chapman University Public Safety: (714) 997-6763. They will be in contact with our staff.

If your student has questions regarding billing or financial aid, it is best to contact those specific offices directly. Please visit Student Business Services and Financial Aid websites for specific contact information.

For questions regarding housing while abroad, provider applications, visas, arrival information, and other program details, please contact the program provider/host institutions directly.