Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Simmons University philosophy on study abroad?
Simmons University believes that study abroad is an important component of the collegiate experience and one that resonates with our core value: "cross[ing] boundaries to create opportunities." Study abroad enables students to increase language proficiencies, hone intercultural competencies and friendships, and prepare for an increasingly interconnected world. Moreover, study abroad cultivates those intangible qualities so rooted in the Simmons ethos: self-reflection, independence, and empowerment.
How do students select a program?
Students are encouraged to start researching by reviewing our list of approved programs. As a next step, students may visit the Center for Global Education (CGE) to review brochures and catalogue literature to find a program that aligns with their academic, professional, and personal goals. Interested students should also schedule an advising appointment with the CGE Staff to discuss their goals, options, and next steps. It is each student's responsibility to make sure that the courses they plan to take abroad satisfy requirements toward their degree at Simmons. Most students take a combination of PLAN and major/minor courses while abroad, and work with their advisor closely to ensure that their academic needs will be met on their program of choice.
How do Simmons students pay for study abroad?
Simmons University follows a home school tuition policy. This means that participating students pay Simmons tuition (nursing or non-nursing as defined by the student's major), housing, and Simmons pays the study abroad program. The only exception is the summer, when students pay the study abroad program directly for all fees. For those approved semester programs that include meals, the Simmons board (i.e. meal plan) rate will also be assessed on the student's invoice.
This approach makes the study abroad experience more easily available to all students, regardless of financial position. Financial aid is provided to a majority of students at Simmons to ensure that ability to pay does not limit their educational opportunities. Because we see the study abroad experience as an integral part of the connected learning experience here at Simmons, we believe that the same principle should apply to studying abroad. Simmons University follows this model in the spirit of equity and basic fairness, making it possible for studying abroad to be part of each student's experience.
What about financial aid?
All financial aid (except work-study) transfers. In other words, students receive the same financial aid, including Simmons grants, federal and state aid, they would have received, had they been on campus full time. The only exception is for summer programs, where financial aid is not available.
What about airfare and other additional costs (including the Study Abroad Fee and Deposit)?
Students are responsible for application fees, housing deposits, airfare, costs associated with passports and visas, additional insurance that programs might require and other incidental expenses. For more information regarding additional expenses for a particular program, please email us.
Students accepted to participate in a Simmons semester study abroad program are assessed a $750 study abroad deposit to confirm their intent to study abroad in the following semester. This deposit contributes to the $1,250 Study Abroad Administrative Fee. Students participating on Fall semester abroad programs are required to submit the deposit, via AARC, by May 31; the deposit is refundable if the student elects to withdraw from the Fall semester abroad program before July 15.
Every student receives services covered by the Study Abroad Administrative Fee, such as advising on study abroad programs, advising on details related to the host institution and country, assistance with program application procedures, faculty review of courses, pre-departure resource tools, pre-departure orientation, use of office resources, transcript processing, re-entry events, and 24/7 emergency action protocol. The Study Abroad Fee also includes a comprehensive GEO Blue Travel Health Insurance policy for the duration of the semester.
Are there scholarships available for study abroad?
Yes! Simmons is proud to offer a robust portfolio of Simmons-only study abroad scholarships proffered by our generous donors and alumnae/i. Students can apply to these Simmons-only scholarships when they begin a Simmons online study abroad application. Many of our approved programs offer their own program-specific scholarships which we encourage students to review. Some external scholarships include:
- The Gilman scholarship is awarded by the U.S. Department of State for study abroad candidates that receive a Pell Grant.
- The Boren award is open to study abroad applicants looking to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests.
Please email us for a list of other outside scholarships for which students may be eligible.
Where can Simmons students go?
The list of approved semester abroad programs provides opportunities in over 20 countries. In the past our students have been to Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, S. Korea, Rwanda, Spain, Switzerland and many other countries. The approved program list has been heavily vetted by Simmons University and our partner institutions include the following: curricular alignment with all Simmons majors, geographic diversity in support of our mission of diversity and inclusivity, and support staff on-site with robust health and safety procedures.
On some of our approved programs, even students who satisfy all eligibility criteria may be asked to study abroad on an alternate program, depending on their first choice selection. Because of this, we encourage students to consider both a first and second choice program when applying.
Students that elect to partake in a program not included on the approved list are required to go through a formal Petition process reviewed by the Simmons Education Abroad Council. Please note that the Education Abroad Council reserves the right to approve or deny submitted Petitions.
For how many semesters can Simmons students study abroad?
Under the Home School Tuition policy, students can study abroad for up to one academic semester on a Simmons approved program. Simmons Kotzen scholars can elect to study abroad for up to one academic year.
What is the difference between a Simmons Travel Course and a semester abroad?
Simmons Travel Courses are embedded semester courses with a short-term travel component that are entirely run by Simmons faculty and the CGE. Travel Courses typically take place in the spring semester where the bulk of the course is taught abroad either during Spring Break or after final exams conclude. Most Travel Courses go abroad between 2 and 4 weeks. Please review our upcoming Travel Courses and application deadlines. Students who may not have the time in their academic calendar to pursue a semester abroad, or who may not want to commit to a semester-long program, often find a Travel Course to be a better fit.
Students studying for a semester abroad on a Simmon approved program take a leave of absence from the college and enroll in an overseas university or study abroad provider program for the duration of a full semester that largely mirrors the Fall/Spring semester calendar at Simmons. Students can apply all Simmons scholarship and financial aid to pay for the semester and all classes and grades will transfer back to Simmons upon the successful completion of the program.
What are the requirements for study abroad?
Students applying for study abroad should have at least a 3.0 GPA, be in good academic standing, and should not be under disciplinary action as specified by the Dean of Students, Residence Life, and Registrar during the application stages and prior to departure. They will also need to meet the requirements of the specific program to which they are applying (some programs or universities have minimum GPA requirements that differ from Simmons, for example).
Simmons policy stipulates that second semester sophomore year is the earliest opportunity an undergraduate student can pursue a semester abroad. Students looking to go abroad for their final undergraduate semester must receive permission from the CGE and Registrar.
Is it necessary to know a second language to study abroad?
No. Most programs offer classes in English where we encourage students to enroll in a language course for immersion purposes. If a student wants to increase fluency in another language, there are programs which specialize in language instruction, and typically offer "home stay" accommodation so that students can become immersed in the culture and language of their host country.
Can students do internships abroad?
Yes! Participating in an internship in another country is highly recommended – it provides a unique opportunity to become immersed in the host community, will add valuable skills and marketability to a resumé, and will count for academic credit that often can apply to a student’s major/minor. In this age of globalization, having work experience in a different country is invaluable.
Can students study abroad in the summer?
Yes. Please consult the CGE Study Abroad Opportunities page which includes a a drop down menu with recommended summer abroad programs. Summer study abroad participants are assessed a Study Abroad Administrative Fee of $470 which covers transcripting services, pre-departure/re-entry events, as well as 24/7 emergency action protocol. The summer study abroad application can be accessed here and the application deadline for all summer programs is March 15. Please note, however, that students pay the overseas program directly during the summer term where it can be challenging to receive financial aid for the summer. The CGE recommends summer candidates reach out to Student Financial Services (SFS) to inquire about aid options. The CGE is happy to announce that summer study abroad applicants who are earning academic are eligible for Simmons Study Abroad Scholarships, for which you can apply when completing the Simmons online application.
Do grades earned abroad transfer back to Simmons?
The current Simmons policy stipulates that all credits received on approved semester abroad programs will transfer to Simmons. The semester abroad grades are received on a "Pass/Fail" basis. In other words, the semester abroad grades will appear on the Simmons transcript upon successful completion of the program but will not impact the student’s cumulative Simmons GPA.
Will courses taken abroad meet requirements for graduation at Simmons?
Yes, as long as the courses have been pre-approved by the student’s faculty advisor or the Registrar for transfer and the program on which the student participates is an approved Simmons program. Courses taken abroad can meet the requirements for majors & minors, count as electives, and fulfill many of the required Key Content Areas (KCAs) as part of the Simmons PLAN.
What are the application deadlines and how do I apply?
Students can begin an application by going to the Study Abroad Opportunities page. The Simmons application deadline are as follows:
- Fall semester study abroad (and Summer): March 15
- Spring semester study abroad (including Travel Courses): October 15
What is the cancelation policy if I withdraw from a study abroad program?
For Fall semester abroad, the $750 deposit assessed on the student account is due by May 31. This deposit can be accessed and paid via AARC. This $750 deposit is refundable if the student notifies the Simmons CGE before July 15 that they have elected to withdraw their placement. The deposit becomes non-refundable after July 15. Once a student has submitted an application directly to the host program, those cancelation policies must also be accepted. If for any reason a student is no longer able to study abroad after committing to the provider/program, it is the student's responsibility to pay any financial penalties incurred in the withdrawal.