Study Abroad Student FAQ's

Q. Do I have to pay MVC tuition in addition to the fees for my semester abroad?

A. No, you pay tuition to the company or university providing the program. Study Abroad providers sometimes refer to tuition as the “academic fee” or “instruction fee.”

Q. Can any of my financial aid be applied to my expenses for my semester abroad?

A. Yes. State and federal aid, such as a Pell Grant or Stafford Loan, will be applied to your expenses. MVC scholarships will NOT be applied because they are tuition discounts rather than scholarships. To see how much financial aid you can get, figure out the cost of attendance for the semester and meet with Mr. Mayfield, Director of Financial Aid, 831-4176.

Q. What is the “cost of attendance”?

A. It is the amount of money you must pay to attend. It includes transportation, tuition, program fees, housing, meals, books, and personal expenses. In short, everything. Add up those figures and have them ready when you meet with Mr. Mayfield. You should also bring the catalogs or other information to show him where you got those figures. You are invited to meet with the Study Abroad Coordinator for help in calculating the cost of attendance before your meeting with Mr. Mayfield.

Q. What kind of housing is offered for Study Abroad?

A. It varies according to the program. You may live in a student dorm, share an apartment with other students, or stay in a home with a local family. Read the information provided carefully. Keep in mind that wherever you live, you are unlikely to have a telephone or a computer in your room.

Q. Will my cell phone work in the country I’m going to?

A. It may, but you need to find out what the rates are for calling back to the U.S. One Valley student unknowingly ran up a $900 phone bill by using his cell phone in Europe to call friends and family back home. Some Study Abroad program providers give students cell phones to use while they are abroad. Find out in advance if it can be used for calls back to the United States. A calling card is usually a more cost-efficient option.

Q. Will I need a passport?

A. Yes, and, depending on where you go, you may also need a visa. For information on American passports, see the State Department’s website:

Q. Is it safe to go abroad?

A. Because of dangerous conditions in certain countries, the United States Department of State periodically issues travel warnings and prohibits American citizens from traveling to those affected countries. Your Study Abroad program provider should be aware of those warnings, but you should also check them yourself. Some countries are risky for travel but may not be on the warning list. You will find information on those countries, as well as the “Avian Flu Fact Sheet,” travel tips, and excellent health and safety information at the State Department’s website:

Q. What if something bad happens while I’m abroad?

A. Crimes, medical problems, and other difficulties – such as natural disasters, fires, and acts of terrorism – can occur overseas just as they do here. Your program provider should have emergency plans in place, including an evacuation plan and local contact information. Most program providers require or strongly suggest that you have medical insurance to cover you during your stay abroad. We think medical insurance is a must. If something bad does happen, in most cases, your program provider’s contact person should be the first place you look for help.

Q. What if I get there and decide I don’t like it. Can I come home?

A. Sure, you can always come home, but you won’t get your money back. Think carefully about whether you really want to go. Make this decision before you pay a deposit.