Frequently Asked Questions


  Information Before Applying:

Why should I study abroad?

Studying abroad provides a unique academic and cultural experience that will expand your worldview and, quite possibly, contribute to your future professional development by positively impacting your academic and career path. Our own Valencia College study abroad students frequently identify that studying abroad aided them in choosing their career goals and clarifying their future aspirations. In addition, recruiters and admission officers frequently look for candidates who have intercultural/global competencies and experience in international education. Studying abroad connects these key elements, which, in turn, can make your skills more marketable in the future.

What types of Study Abroad programs are offered?*

At Valencia College, you can choose from three study abroad experiences: short-term, semester, and exchange.

1) Short-Term: Valencia College offers short-term study abroad programs, which are academic and run anywhere from 8 days to 17 days.  These programs are run by Valencia College faculty members and offer Valencia College credit.

2) Semester: Valencia College does not directly offer semester abroad programs; however, we can offer support as you work with other institutions or third-party study abroad providers.

3) Exchange: There are limited opportunities at Valencia College for exchange.  Please contact the SAGE Office for additional details.

*A note on International Internships - All internships are supported by ValenciaCollege's Internship and Workforce Services Office.  If you're looking to complete an international internship, you will need to contact their office and apply through the Navigator application system.  The SAGE scholarship can still help to support your travel expenses, if funding is available.

How do I plan my study abroad?

We recommend you begin by identifying whether you are interested in short-term study abroad, semester study abroad, or exchange and view the online resources we have for these options.

If interested in short-term study abroad, please view information on both scholarship and program availability.

If interested in semester abroad, please see our semester abroad webpage and consider the timeframe for going abroad, destination, courses, and price. The SAGE Office can walk you through this process.

When should I start planning to study abroad?

Short-Term: You can begin to consider studying abroad for the next spring or summer term during our application cycle. Application cycles run from August to February.

Semester: Please note that this is a very lengthy and detailed process, which ideally should begin at least a year in advance.

What are the steps for studying abroad?

Short-Term: Begin by reviewing our scholarship information and browsing which programs are collecting applications. After you have narrowed down your program selection, we encourage you to see your advisor to be aware of how the study abroad course fits in with your academic pathway. The final step is to apply online via the program’s webpage.

Semester: The semester abroad process is quite involved. To begin, we ask that you review all information and supporting documents on our semester abroad webpage. We then ask that you call the SAGE Office so that we can further explain details and timelines.

Where can I find study abroad program information?

Short-Term: Please visit our program webpage to see available programs. You can also find more information about our programs by contacting the SAGE Office or connecting with a Study Abroad Advisor.

Semester: Valencia College does not directly offer semester abroad programs. As such, you will need to work with a third-party provider or external institution. Please see the list of recommended providers on our semester abroad webpage.  The SAGE Office can help you select a program that best fits your needs.

When do applications open for new program cycles?

Short-Term: Applications open for the new program cycle during the first week of August.

Semester: This varies by provider and institution. Please contact the SAGE Office for more information.

What are the deadlines?

Short-Term: The deadlines vary by term. Please see our application and payment deadlines per program here.

Semester: Deadlines can only be ascertained by selecting a program and provider. Please note that semester timelines are well in advance and we ask that you start this process early.

Can I apply to multiple programs in one year?

Short-Term: While you can apply to multiple programs, you can only receive one SAGE scholarship from the Study Abroad Office per year. Therefore, we find that most students narrow down their selection to one program.

Can I do an internship on a study abroad program?

Short-Term: Yes, this is possible and has been done before. Please contact the SAGE Office for more information.

Semester: Yes, this is possible.  However, students are often asked to choose between either a traditional semester abroad expereince or an internship abroad.  Please contact the SAGE Office for more details.

How do I know which study abroad program is right for me?

Short-Term: It is important to consider course, destination, dates, and price.

Semester: It is vitally important to consider how course credits will transfer back to Valencia. It is HIGHLY recommended you choose a program where credits are issued by a U.S. accredited institution abroad or school of record.  Additionally, it is important to consider destination, dates, timeframe for all documents/payments, and price.

How long will I be abroad?

Short-Term: When participating in a Valencia short-term study abroad program, you will be abroad anywhere from eight to seventeen days. Length depends on term and specific program. Please see our available programs for more information.

Semester: Semester abroad programs vary in duration. Typically, students go on a semester abroad program for three months; however, semester abroad can be as short as a month and as long as a year.

Do I need to have prior experience in international travel?

Short-Term: No, all students are very welcome! We have many students traveling on short-term programs who have never gone abroad before.

Semester: For semester abroad, we recommend that you first go on a short-term program in order to experience international education and being away from home. This, however, is not required. Any student can participate in semester abroad.

Do I need a passport?

Yes, you absolutely must have a passport to study abroad. You can apply for a program before you have a valid passport, however, by the deadlines listed online, you must have a valid passport in hand in order to be eligible for the trip. In addition, please be aware that passports that expire before, during, or up to six months after the trip will need to be renewed.

Do I need a Visa?

Short-Term: This depends on your nationality and the countries you will be visiting. Please contact the SAGE Office for more information.

Semester: Most likley, yes.  However, if you choose a short semester program, you may be able to enter without a visa.

I am first year student. Can I study abroad?

Short-Term: Yes, as long as you satisfy eligibility requirements, you can study abroad. We have many first year students who participate in our short-term study programs each year. Please be aware, however, that some of our study abroad courses have prerequisites. As a first year student, it is possible that you have not yet satisfied all prerequisites.

Semester: Due to timelines for semester abroad, it is unlikely that you will participate in semester abroad as a first year student. More than likely, you will begin the process for semester abroad during your first year and actually go abroad during your second year.  Please note, we do not recommend you participate in semester abroad the semester directly before graduation.  Time is needed to accept your incoming transcript and apply credit for courses taken abroad.  This process could potentially delay your graduation.

I am a transient student. Can I study abroad?

Short-Term: Yes, as long as you satisfy eligibility requirements, you can study abroad. However, please be aware that you will not qualify for any scholarships offered through the SAGE Office.

I am a personal interest student. Can I study abroad?

Short-Term: Yes, as long as you satisfy eligibility requirements, you can study abroad. However, please be aware that you will not qualify for any scholarships offered through the SAGE Office.

I am a Dual Enrollment student. Can I study abroad?

No, please be aware that the Dual Enrollment Office has a policy in place that does not allow for Dual Enrollment students to participate in study abroad. You may apply for a study abroad program as a Dual Enrollment student, but you must be fully instated as a degree-seeking student by the time your study abroad classes start.

I am a DACA student. Can I study abroad?

While we generally do not recommend DACA students participate in our study abroad programs, we do look at each situation on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the SAGE Office for more information.

I am graduating soon. Can I still study abroad?

Short-Term: You are still eligible to study abroad if your desired trip is in the consecutive semester after graduation. In other words, if you are graduating in fall, then your study abroad program would need to be in spring and if you are graduating in spring, then your study abroad program would need to be over the summer. Please note that you may not have access to financial aid/loans if going on a study abroad program after you graduate.

Semester Abroad: Contact the SAGE Office to discuss.  Studying abroad for a semester is a lengthy process, this includes the preparation before, the time spent abroad, and the time needed to receive transcripts.

Are study abroad courses academic?

Short-Term: Yes, Valencia College short-term study abroad courses are academic. They can potentially count towards your degree just as any other Valencia College course would. Study Abroad courses are mixed-mode and have assignments, homework, projects, etc. You will be assigned a grade at the end of the term. If you have questions about how a study abroad course will fit in your academic pathway, please see your advisor.

Are there prerequisites for study abroad?

Short-Term: Some of our study abroad programs do have prerequisites. Prerequisites are listed on each program webpages. Based off application/payment timelines, it may still be possible to apply for a program and then subsequently added to a waitlist for students with unfulfilled prerequisites. Please call the SAGE Office for more information.

Will I have additional class meetings before and after a trip abroad?

Short-Term: Yes, you will have additional class meetings before and after your trip abroad. These meetings vary based on program. Please be advised that you are required to go to the SAGE Orientation and all class meetings. Attendance is factored into your final grade and scholarship eligibility. If you would like to see meeting dates/times in advance, please check your program's webpages.

What happens when I take other classes during the term of travel?

Short-Term: If you are going on a short-term program over spring break, the travel will not interfere with other classes as the group will travel when the college is closed. If you are going on a short-term program over summer, we advise you to put your other classes in the opposite term so the travel will not interfere. In other words, if you are going on a Summer A program, put your other classes in Summer B. If this is not possible, you will need to make accommodations with the professors of your other classes. We cannot guarantee that accommodations will be granted for you. This decision rests solely with the professors of your other classes.

Semester: You will not be able to take other classes at Valencia College while on a semester abroad.

How will lodging look while abroad?

Short-Term: Depending on the program you applied to, lodging can look very different. While most of our programs are booked into hotels or hostels, Valencia College study abroad utilizes hotels, hostels, apartments, and homestays. If homestays are being used for a program, this will be evident on the program webpage. Please be advised that students will share rooms (doubles, triples, or quads) by same gender. At Valencia College we are committed to making sure every student has the best experience possible. If you have questions/concerns about lodging, please contact the SAGE Office.

Semester: This varies by program and destination.  Most semester programs offer apartments or homestays.  Some programs may house students in dorms on campus.

How will credit be awarded for study abroad?
Short-Term: Our short-term programs are Valencia College courses.  You will earn credit just as you do for any of your other classes.

Semester: This can only be determined once you select a program and your classes.  The SAGE Office will not be able to evaluate or guarantee credit.  Review of credits will be done by an academic advisor in conjunction with any other appropriate departmental designees.  It is very important that you choose a program that issues U.S. credits.  Attempting to bring back foreign credits is not advised. 

What is International Service Learning (SLS 2940)?

International Service Learning is a special short-term study abroad course in which students engage in experiential learning by performing meaningful service that addresses global issues. International Service Learning is designed to present opportunities to deepen cultural understanding while building connections with a broader international community. Service projects vary based on program, professor, and destination. Please see our program webpages for more details on each SLS 2940 service project.

Study Abroad Requirements:

What are the eligibility requirements necessary to study abroad?

Short-Term: You must be 18-years-old by time of travel, have a minimum institutional GPA of 2.5 at time of application, meet course requirements, and have no disciplinary or academic holds.

Semester: This varies by provider and institution. Please contact the SAGE Office for more information.

After I submit my application, what are the next steps?

Short-Term: After an application is submitted, the professor(s) for the program review content and determine the quality of the application based on the responses and supplemental essays. If the professor(s) accepts the application, the application is redirected to the SAGE Office for eligibility review. Once these steps are complete, you will receive email notification on the application status from the SAGE Office. Students are advised not to make their Application Fee payment until they have received this notification from the SAGE Office.

Semester Abroad: Do not submit an application to a semester abroad program without speaking to the SAGE Office first.

If I meet program eligibility requirements, am I guaranteed acceptance into a program?

Short-Term: No, acceptance into our short-term programs is based on a first come, first paid basis. In order to reserve your spot in a program, you must first pay the $250 Application Fee to your nearest Business Office. Note: The Business Office will not accept the Application Fee payment until you receive formal eligibility notification from the SAGE Office.

What is the minimum age to go on a study abroad trip?

You must be eighteen years old by time of travel in order to go on a study abroad program.  The age requirement includes short-term, semester abroad, and exchange programs.

Scholarship Information:

What are the SAGE Scholarship eligibility requirements?

Short-Term: You must be eligible for short-term study abroad, be a degree-seeking student, have completed twelve college level credits by time of travel, and have completed at least one semester with Valencia College within the last year. You can only receive one SAGE Scholarship per year. There is no additional application for the SAGE Scholarship; simply apply to your desired program online. See our scholarship page for more details.

Semester: Typical semester abroad scholarships range from $500-$3,500 and are awarded based on merit and need. You will be required to apply for the semester abroad scholarship separately. Further requirements are to have a minimum 2.0 institutional GPA, provide proof of program acceptance, and fulfill certain obligations upon return back to Valencia. See our semester webpage for more details.

What is the SAGE Scholarship amount that eligible students can receive?

Short-Term: The scholarship amount varies by program and can fluctuate every year. Please see the program webpages. for exact scholarship information.

Semester: Scholarships typically range from $500-$3,500. The award amount, determined through the application process, is based on merit and need.  Please note - semester abroad scholarships are not guaranteed.  Depending on the budget for the year and how many students are traveling, it is possible that SAGE does not have funds to give.

I qualified for a Contingent Scholarship. What does this mean?

Short-Term: If you do not yet have twelve college level credits, you will be placed on a Contingent Scholarship status. This means that the scholarship will be placed in your account on a tentative basis. Provided you finish twelve college level credits by time of travel, you will be awarded the full amount. If you are Contingent and do not earn twelve college level credits by time of travel, your scholarship will be de-authorized and you will be responsible for paying the full program amount.

Financial Information:

How much am I paying out of pocket for study abroad?

Short-Term: There are three payments for short-term study abroad: 1) Application Fee, 2) Deposit, and 3) Final Balance. Please refer to your program’s webpage for more information on costs associated with your program.

Semester: There are many factors that go into determining the true cost of a semester abroad program, including tution, fees, housing, meals, flights, insurance, etc.  As such, it's not possible to calculate a range until after you have chosen you specific program and destination.  The SAGE Office has a budgeting form to help you with this process.

Can I use my Financial Aid to pay for Study Abroad?

Short-Term: Yes, it is possible for full-time Valencia students who are eligible for federal financial aid to use these funds towards study abroad. Based on a student’s personal situation, please be advised that award amounts vary. Also, please note that financial aid cannot be used towards the application fee or deposit payment. Financial aid can only be applied towards the final payment/tuition in Atlas.

Semester: Recent changes in federal law have made it possible for students to use some or all of their federal financial aid for semester abroad so long as the program awards transferable academic credit towards your program of study. Conversations about financial aid will occur with SAGE, your advisor, and the Financial Aid Office after you have selected a study abroad provider and program.

Are there external ways to fund my travel?

Short-Term: For short-term study abroad, it is possible to fund your program partially through Federal PELL, SEOG, loans, Florida Prepaid and Bright Futures. In addition, if your study abroad program is abroad fourteen days or more, you could be eligible for the Gilman International Scholarship.

Semester: Depending on which program provider you choose and how your credits transfer back to Valencia College, it is possible to fund your semester abroad partially through Federal PELL and loans. In addition, you could be eligible for the Gilman International Scholarship or a Boren Award.  Please be advised, there are MANY scholarship opportunities for semester abroad.  We have numerous external scholarships listed on our semester abroad webpage.

Does the Application Fee payment go towards my balance?

Short-Term: The application fee payment does go towards your total balance owed. In other words, it is subtracted out of the program price and is not an extra fee on top of the total program price.

Semester: Application fee policies vary by institution, provider, and program.

Is the Application Fee refundable?

Short-Term: NO! Please note that all fees paid into study abroad are non-refundable. You must be 100% certain at time of application payment that you are going on your chosen trip.

Semester: Typically not; however, this can vary by provider.

Is tuition included when I pay the trip?

Short-Term: While the tuition is not included in the program fee advertised online, it will be added in your Atlas account and encompassed as part of the final payment. Please note, if you pay out of state tuition, you will be charged this rate for study abroad as well.

Semester: Tuition is included in your semester abroad fees.  It is likely, however, that flights and meals are not included in semester abroad fees.

Does the SAGE Office charge a processing fee?

Short-Term: No, the SAGE Office does not collect a processing fee. All fees paid into study abroad go directly towards program costs.

Semester: The SAGE Office does not handle expenses for semester abroad.  All payments must be made directly to the program provider or host institution.

What additional expenses should I expect while studying abroad?

Short-Term: Additional expenses vary by program. Usually our programs include flights, accommodations, some meals, ground transportation, tour entrances, and health insurance. Typically, we ask students to bring an additional $300-$500 converted to local currency for additional meals, souvenirs, and unanticipated/emergency expenses.

Semester: Semester abroad extra expenses vary by program and location.  Extra required expenses can include housing, meals, health insurance, excursions, etc.

General Information:

Can I visit the Study Abroad Office?

Yes, you certainly can. Please be advised, however, that we meet students by appointment only. Please call 407-582-3188 to set up an appointment.  Typically, most students request an online appointment via Zoom, but we are happy to speak with you in person.

I have questions about short-term study abroad, semester study abroad, eligibility, payments, deadlines, scholarships, passports, etc. Whom should I contact?

Please contact the SAGE Office at 407-582-3188 or We monitor the office phone and email during normal business hours.

I have questions about the program itinerary, course content, or specific questions about my study abroad grade. Whom should I contact?

Please contact your study abroad professor.

I have questions about how a specific study abroad course will fit into my academic pathway and count towards my graduation. Whom should I contact?

Please contact your primary advisor or the study abroad advisor assigned to your campus.

I have questions about my financial aid or other incoming loans/awards. Whom should I contact?

Please contact the Financial Aid Office.