Frequently Asked Questions - Application Process

Expand All
  • Where can I find more information about a specific study abroad program?

    Each of the University of Richmond’s study abroad programs has its own brochure page in GatewayAbroad, where you read about academics, housing, eligibility requirements, dates, and costs specific to a program.

  • Is there an application fee?

    There is no fee to apply to a semester- or year-long UR study abroad program.

  • What are the eligibility requirements for semester study abroad?

    Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university to study abroad. When reviewing applications for approval, disciplinary records will be taken into consideration and students must be cleared by the Dean’s office to study abroad. Students on conduct probation will not be able to study abroad if they are on conduct probation that does not expire prior to the start date of the semester abroad program.

    Each program has specific eligibility requirements, which can be found on the program’s brochure page. To find information about specific programs, please go to and click on Programs to find information about each program.

  • What is the most important aspect of the study abroad application that my student should focus on?

    We strive to consider a student’s application wholistically. Academic preparation and goals as well as suitability for the specific study abroad program are very important. Students should carefully consider and describe how the program abroad supports and extends their academic program.

  • How are students placed into study abroad programs?

    We ask students to list up to three (3) program options as part of the application. Our goal is to match the student as carefully as we can to the program that suits them best academically. However, some programs have limited space and sometimes students don’t meet the eligibility requirements for the programs on their list. In such cases, IE staff will discuss options with the student that will meet his/her academic goals and give the student time to consider these options with their academic advisor before making a selection.

    We also check to make sure that students are in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university to study abroad. Students will not be able to study abroad if they are on conduct probation that does not expire prior to the start date of the semester abroad program.

  • Will my student need to obtain a student visa prior to departure?

    Yes, in some cases—depending on the student’s citizenship—a student visa will be required. In most cases, the student will need to apply for the visa directly either in person or via mail prior to departure. More information is available on the program’s brochure page in GatewayAbroad.

  • Can my student go on a study abroad program that is not affiliated with Richmond?

    It is possible but extremely uncommon for students to be approved to take part in non-Richmond semester abroad programs. It is much easier for students to be approved to take part in non-Richmond summer abroad programs. The procedures for non-Richmond study abroad are explained here.

    Please note that it is not possible to withdraw from Richmond, take part in a non-Richmond semester abroad program, and then transfer credit back to Richmond from that program.

    Also, Richmond students may not study at Richmond exchange or affiliate programs and transfer credit back to the University without having been accepted into the program through the Office of International Education.

  • What information is provided to me once my student is approved to go abroad?

    If your student has signed the FERPA release and has given International Education (IE) permission to share general study abroad information, IE will send an email to you with basic information about semester study abroad as per the email address provided by the student in his/her study abroad application. If no email address is provided, IE will mail a letter to the student’s home address.

    Beyond this general email/letter, no information about study abroad is sent directly to the parent(s)/guardian(s). Contact is made only if there is a critical situation regarding the health and safety of the student. FERPA is a law that all employees at Richmond must follow.

    If a parent/guardian contacts IE by phone or email, IE staff may answer general questions about the program abroad, but cannot discuss specific academic or other issues pertaining to a particular student. The only exception is if the student has waived their FERPA rights by signing the FERPA release described above.

    Since students are over 18, we expect them to be responsible for sharing information about their study abroad program with their parent(s)/guardian(s). We suggest you ask your student to share this information and coach them on asking questions of IE staff on their own behalf when they are confused, have doubts or any other problem. Please note that the majority of the information and instructions are provided to your student in the “Learning Content” section of his/her online study abroad application on GatewayAbroad, and/or via emails sent from members of the IE study abroad team. Therefore, we recommend that you sit down with your student and have him/her sign into GatewayAbroad to review this information together.

    Once accepted, your student will receive information from the host program abroad in various forms at various times. Some universities send a packet of information, some have this information on their web page while others have an intranet system that requires a user name and password, which is sent to the student once he/she has been officially accepted to the program. It is important that students read everything carefully and adhere to all deadlines.

    IE also provides all approved students with a “Vital Documents” packet containing a "Study Abroad Information for Your Family" sheet, which includes contact information to IE staff, program/institution abroad, U.S. consulate abroad, the insurance company, as well as additional useful information and links. We encourage all students to give their informational sheets to their parents/guardians.

  • When will I be contacted by the International Education office about my student’s study abroad program?

    While we respond to emails and calls from parents/guardians as per the above, we do not initiate contact unless there is a critical health or safety incident abroad. IE staff are accessible to assist after-hours in life-threatening emergencies - Campus Police will contact IE staff as required. Additionally, staff in the international offices at our partner universities abroad are also available to assist students when they have a problem or question. Although FERPA does not pertain to universities abroad, it is highly unusual and often not culturally acceptable for parents/guardians to call and intervene on a student’s behalf as the student is considered to be a legal adult.