Planning for study abroad
Q: When should I study abroad?
A: It’s possible to study abroad on a Kenan-Flagler program any time after admission to the Business School. There is no single “right” time, and students may choose from semester, summer, or short-term programs depending on what best fits their interests and needs.
Q: Which program is best or most popular?
A: Each type of program has its advantages. Semester programs offer the best chance to study business in depth overseas, improve your language abilities, and immerse yourself in another culture. Summer study abroad and internship programs allow students to study abroad without missing a semester at UNC. Global Immersion Elective programs fit in around summer internships and give students the opportunity to explore a developing economy.
Q: Which programs are most affordable? Are scholarships available?
A: Semester exchange programs are the most affordable option for in-state students because students pay their regular tuition and fees to UNC. The difference in price from a UNC semester is the cost of living in a foreign country. In places with a low cost of living, as in some Asian countries, studying abroad could actually be less expensive than a semester in Chapel Hill. The Undergraduate Business Program offers merit scholarships for all its study abroad programs, including semester, summer, and short-term options.
Q: What is the Phillips Ambassadors program?
A: The Phillips Ambassadors program is one of the most prestigious scholarship programs at UNC. It involves a substantial financial award for semester or summer study abroad in Asia and a comprehensive program of service and coursework for students to make the most of their experience. Award amounts are up to $5,000 for summer programs and up to $7,500 for semester programs, and 25% of recipients must be business majors. More information can be found on the Phillips Ambassadors website.
Q: What requirements can I meet abroad?
A: All students studying abroad on a Kenan-Flagler program satisfy Experiential Education and Undergraduate Business Global Awareness requirements. Students going on a semester program transfer as many hours towards their degree as they would take at UNC. Shorter programs, including summer study abroad, international internships, and short-term immersions, vary in the amount of credit awarded but all offer business elective credit.
Q: Do I have to speak a foreign language to study abroad?
A: No. With the exception of the programs in France and Spain, students do not need to speak a foreign language to study abroad.
Q: Should I study abroad or do an internship?
A: Our recommendation is to do both. Between admission to the Business School and graduation, there is time to complete an internship and a study abroad program for the semester or summer.
Q: Do you offer international internship programs?
A: We offer international internship programs in Dublin, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Prague, and Singapore through the provider companies EUSA, Dream Careers, and Global Academic Ventures. These programs are eight weeks over the summer and offer students the ability to gain international work experience. Internships completed on these programs are unpaid.
Q: What do employers think about study abroad?
A: Employers value the practical skills students gain through study abroad and the enhanced cultural awareness it provides. Students who study abroad are more adaptable, internationally-savvy, have better intercultural communication skills, and knowledge of how business is conducted in another country.
Q: Can I study abroad on an Arts & Sciences program through the Study Abroad Office?
A: Business majors may choose to go on any UNC approved study abroad program, including those offered in Arts and Sciences. We highly recommend business majors study abroad on a Kenan-Flagler program in order to connect their global experience to their coursework and professional plans and to ensure that they will receive the credit needed for their degree.
Applying for study abroad
Q: What are the deadlines for Undergraduate Business Global programs?
A: The deadline for summer and fall programs is in early February. The deadline for spring programs is in September.
Q: How do I apply to study abroad?
A: Students apply for study abroad through the website. You should search for your program by city or country, and Kenan-Flagler programs are clearly marked.
Q: Can I apply to multiple programs?
A: You should apply to your first choice program, and there will be a question on the application asking for your second and third choices in the event your first choice is unavailable. You cannot start applications for multiple programs.
Q: What materials are needed to apply?
A: The application materials that are needed vary by program but can include an official transcript, recommendation letters, resume, copy of your passport information page, and responses to short essay questions. See instructions on how to apply for a passport.
Q: When will I find out if I’m accepted?
A: Students are normally notified of acceptance within two weeks of applying. From the time of notification, students have ten days to confirm their participation on the program or withdraw their application to study abroad.
Q: Are any programs competitive?
A: It depends on the program and the application cycle whether selection will be competitive. In general, there are spaces available for all applicants to go on a Kenan-Flagler program, and the vast majority of students are selected for their first or second choice program.
Q: Is there a penalty if I apply to study abroad and decide not to go?
A: There is no penalty if you withdraw your application before accepting the study abroad offer. For a withdrawal after you confirm your participation, you will be responsible for the non-refundable study abroad fee and other costs associated with the program, depending on the date of the withdrawal and the refund policy of the program.
Summer or semester exchange
Q: This is all new to me. How do I know what to do before studying abroad?
A: Participants on Kenan-Flagler global programs have a study abroad advisor who is available for appointments, walk-in hours, and by email and phone to help with study abroad questions before departure, while the student is abroad, and after they return from the program. Participants on programs hosted by Kenan-Flagler partner universities also have an exchange advisor at that university. All outgoing Kenan-Flagler students complete an online tutorial outlining the process to study abroad. There is also a required pre-departure orientation session for each program.
Q: Do I need to attend a pre-departure orientation?
A: Yes. Each program will have at least one pre-departure session. The short-term immersion programs usually have 5-6 required sessions for academic preparation and logistical details.
Q: When will I register at my host university?
A: The process for registering at your host university varies by institution. More information will be provided at the time of application to your host university and the exchange coordinator at that university will assist you with the process.
Q: How can I submit my courses to be reviewed for credit? Do you have a list of pre-approved courses?
A: Students seeking credit for business courses taken during study abroad need to submit a request through the course approval request system. In order for requests to be reviewed, students will need to submit the course code, title, credit hours, and syllabus. You may view how previous courses have counted towards business core and elective credit in our approval database.
Q: Can I take courses abroad towards an Area of Emphasis?
A: Students may request for a study abroad course to count towards an Area of Emphasis when submitting their request to receive business elective credit. All Areas of Emphasis allow for one course taken abroad to be used for the emphasis (three of the nine credit hours). For the International Business emphasis, students may take all nine elective hours abroad.
Q: Will my study abroad courses count in my UNC GPA?
A: Participants on a summer or semester program hosted by a Kenan-Flagler partner university will take courses at that university and receive grades according to the grading system of that country. Courses from these programs, which are not taught by UNC Chapel Hill faculty members, will transfer back to UNC on a Pass/Fail basis. Students must receive the equivalent of a C (not C-) or above for Pass credit and for the course not to count in the UNC GPA. Failure to receive the minimum grade will result in an F grade appearing on the UNC transcript which will count in the UNC GPA.
Q: Will I need a student visa?
A: It is the student’s responsibility to research student visa requirements and to obtain a student visa prior to departure, if necessary. Visa requirements vary by country and students should consult the embassy’s website of the country where they are going to find out if a visa is required and how to apply.
Q: When will I be billed for study abroad?
A: For summer and semester programs, you should check the budget sheet for your program to know what charges will be billed by UNC and what you will be responsible for individually. All UNC charges are billed according to the regular billing cycle at the university and will appear on your ConnectCarolina student account. Depending on your program, you may be billed separately by your host university for housing or other program fees and will need to pay them directly according to their payment schedule.
Q: What insurance coverage will I have overseas?
A: All UNC study abroad students are automatically enrolled in comprehensive medical insurance coverage provided by the GeoBlue company. Benefits include 100% coverage for most medical visits with no deductible and medical evacuation and repatriation. Accepted study abroad students can access the full policy brochure through their study abroad homepage. For more information, please see the GeoBlue brochure.
Q: Where will I live abroad?
A: In most cases, accommodation will be provided by your host university in a student residence hall. You can learn more about accommodation options, including costs and how to apply, on the website of your host university.
Q: Will other UNC students be going on my program?
A: Kenan-Flagler semester and summer programs give students the opportunity to study at a top business school overseas with local students from that university and other international students. It depends on the program how many students we send, and it can vary from a single student to more than ten. Our programs are designed to provide students meaningful cultural immersion and increased independence in a foreign environment.
Q: Who should I contact if I have additional questions about my host university?
A: Detailed questions about your host university should be addressed to the exchange coordinator at that university, who is familiar with the academic system, housing, visa, and logistical arrangements for incoming exchange students. Questions about credits and UNC matters should be addressed to your UNC study abroad advisor.
Global Immersion Electives (GIE)
Q: What degree requirements do GIE programs satisfy?
A: Kenan-Flagler short-term immersion programs satisfy the Experiential Education Connection, 5 points towards Inclusive Global Leadership, and three hours of business elective credit.
Q: Are the pre-departure sessions mandatory?
A: Yes. Each GIE program will include 5-6 required pre-departure sessions with the faculty member and administrative lead. These sessions are designed to prepare students academically and culturally for the overseas immersion and are an integral part of the program.
Q: When will I be billed for the GIE?
A: You should check the budget sheet for your GIE program to know what charges will be billed by UNC and what you will be responsible for individually. All UNC charges are billed according to the regular billing cycle at the university and will appear on your ConnectCarolina student account. Charges for summer GIE programs will appear on your UNC student account for the summer.
Q: What costs does the immersion program fee include?
A: The immersion program fee includes tuition, double-occupancy hotel accommodation, transportation to group events in country, logistical arrangements, cultural tours and some group meals.
Q: Does UNC book a group flight?
A: No. UNC does not arrange group flights because it is usually not cost-effective and because of the different departure cities of our students. Participants will be provided with a suggested flight itinerary if they prefer to travel with other students and the UNC administrative lead.
Q:What insurance coverage will I have overseas?
A: Effective August 1, 2017 all UNC study abroad students are automatically enrolled in comprehensive medical insurance coverage provided by the GeoBlue insurance company. Benefits include 100% coverage for most medical visits with no deductible and medical evacuation and repatriation. Accepted study abroad students can access the full policy brochure through their study abroad homepage. For more information, please see the GeoBlue brochure.
Q: I’ve heard the GIE programs are in developing countries. Are these locations safe?
A: The safety of our study abroad students is our top priority. GIE participants travel with a UNC faculty member and one to two administrative leaders, depending on the size of the group. In country, the group is accompanied at all times by a local guide. While incidents may happen anywhere in the world, including Chapel Hill, students can rely on a substantial support system and that all aspects of the program, from activities to hotels and restaurants, are carefully planned in the interest of students’ security and welfare.
Q: Who from UNC will be going with the group?
A: GIE programs are led by a Kenan-Flagler faculty member with expertise in the region and by an administrative leader from among the Undergraduate Business program staff. The required pre-departure meetings allow students the opportunity to connect with the UNC leaders and fellow students prior to departure.
Q: Will I need to apply for a visa for the GIE?
A: Visa requirements vary by country. If a visa is required, information on how to apply and applicable visa fees will be provided to participants.
Q: Can I take part on a GIE after I graduate?
A: No. GIE programs are only open to current students, and after you graduate, you are an alumnus. Seniors eligible to graduate in May can apply for our March immersion, but are not permitted to participate in May immersions, as they occur after commencement.
Q: How do I become a Global Immersion Student Leader?
A: This is an opportunity for students who have already participated on a GIE and who demonstrated great leadership skills to take part in the planning and marketing of a future immersion. Global Immersion Student Leaders are members of the Global Programs Specialists team. There is an application process to become a GIE Student Leader, and one leader is selected for each of the immersions. Student leaders receive a subsidized program fee as financial compensation.
International Exchange Students
Q: How do I apply to come to Kenan-Flagler as an exchange student?
A: Visiting exchange students need to be nominated by their home institution. After the nomination has been received, students should complete the application online and submit the required supporting documentation by the deadline.
Q: What are UNC’s English language requirements? Do I have to take the TOEFL?
A: UNC provides very few support services for students who may have difficulty with the English language. As a result, UNC has strict English proficiency requirements for international students. If your native language is not English or the sole language of instruction at your home institution, you will need to submit a copy of your TOEFL score report with your application materials. The minimum TOEFL score accepted is 100 IBT. UNC will also accept a 7.5 on the IELTS or 5 on the APIEL.
Q: I’m on exchange at UNC through the Arts & Sciences Study Abroad Office. Can I take business courses?
A: If you are an Arts & Sciences exchange student, you should not count on being able to take any business courses at Kenan-Flagler. It may be possible to take a maximum of one business course, but registration in any particular course cannot be guaranteed, prerequisite requirements have to be met, and registration would happen only after you arrive on campus and if space is available in the course.
Q: Where will I live while at UNC?
A: Most visiting exchange students live in a student residence on south campus near the Business School. Students who are on exchange for the entire academic year may opt to live in a private residence called Granville Towers. Exchange students also have the option to find housing off campus, but the Undergraduate Business Program is unable to provide assistance with finding off-campus housing. Information on accommodation options and the application process is available on the Housing Office’s website.
Q: How will I be registered for classes? Will I have an opportunity to change my schedule?
A: Exchange students are pre-registered for classes based on the preferences indicated on the Course Selection Application submitted with your application. You will have an opportunity to adjust your schedule online before you arrive and during the drop/add period at the beginning of the semester. Course syllabi are not provided to students until the first day of class.
Q: What are the academic expectations for students at Kenan-Flagler?
A: Students should expect an environment of active engagement, teamwork, and academic integrity. Class attendance and participation are mandatory and graded. Visiting students often note the heavy workload during the semester, including assignments, a group project, presentation, midterm and final exam for each course. The final exam must be taken on the date scheduled.
Q: Where can I find the academic calendar?
A: The complete academic calendar is found on the Registrar’s website.
Q: How long will it take to receive my acceptance letter and the I-20 form for the student visa?
A: The acceptance letter and I-20 form are typically sent 6-8 weeks after you submit your application materials. These documents are sent by FedEx to the coordinator at your home university.
Q: Which U.S. visa will I apply for?
A: Exchange students at UNC are provided an I-20 form for the F-1 student visa. Instructions on applying for the visa may be found on the State Department’s website.
Q: Do I have to have health insurance coverage while at UNC?
A: All students at UNC, including visiting exchange students, are required to have health insurance. Students are automatically enrolled and billed for insurance coverage provided by BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina (called Student Blue). It is possible to waive the Student Blue coverage if you have comparable existing coverage. More information is available on the Campus Health Services website.
Q: What medical information do I need to submit to the university?
A: UNC requires all new students, including visiting exchange students, to submit a report of medical history and immunization records. If you are missing certain immunizations, you can have them done at Campus Health Services once you reach Chapel Hill. Failure to submit the report of medical history and obtain all of the required immunizations will result in your withdrawal from UNC. Medical information is private and protected by law in the United States. Your records should not be sent to Kenan-Flagler but directly to Campus Health Services, according to the instructions found here.
Q: What student organizations can I join while at UNC?
A: UNC has over 600 student organizations that you can join during your exchange. A complete list is available on the Student Union website. Kenan-Flagler offers business-related clubs for a variety of interests. Many students also take part in sports and recreation activities available through Campus Rec.
Q: Will I be picked up from the airport when I arrive?
A: Kenan-Flagler exchange students receive a peer mentor through the EASE student organization. EASE often arranges airport pick-up’s for visiting exchange students.
Q: Is there a required orientation session before classes begin?
A: Yes. Orientation is required for visiting exchange students. Sessions will address important legal and visa information for international students, academics at UNC, and student life.
Q: Will UNC provide a transcript to my home university?
A: One copy of your official transcript will be provided automatically to your home university after you complete your exchange. To request additional copies for your own records, please follow the instructions on the Registrar’s website.