Parent FAQ


Will credits earned abroad transfer to UMW?
Yes, but students must have their courses pre-approved for transfer credit prior to going abroad AND receive the equivalent of a “C” or better in each course. Students receive paperwork for transfer approval when they visit CIE to plan their education abroad experience.

Will grades earned abroad affect my student’s UMW GPA?
Transfer credits do not count toward a student’s UMW GPA, but if a student participates in a course or international internship for UMW credit then those grades will apply. Students should be aware that graduate schools look at all undergraduate transcripts, including courses taken abroad for transfer credit, when considering candidates for admission.


What type of health and safety information is available to my student?
UMW has made a commitment to ensure that all students receive a standard set of information about health and safety prior to departure. The required Pre-Departure Orientation is designed to provide all of our students with a common set of tools and advice for what to do to remain safe and healthy while overseas.

Parents can support students by encouraging safe behavior and recommending that their sons and daughters follow the advice of the CIE study abroad advisors, the overseas host program or university, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , and US Department of State Travel Advisories.  In addition, CIE’s Pre-Departure Orientation Handout will provide parents with a good idea of the information that students have received.

While studying abroad, as in other settings, parents, guardians, and families play an important role in the health and safety of participants by helping them make decisions and by influencing their behavior overseas.  Parents and families should:

  • Be informed about and involved in the decision of the student to enroll in a particular program.
  • Obtain and carefully evaluate student program materials, as well as related health, safety, and security information.
  • Discuss with the student any of his/her travel plans and activities that may be independent of the study abroad program.
  • Engage the student in a thorough discussion of safety and behavior issues, insurance needs, and emergency procedures related to living abroad.
  • Be responsive to requests from the program sponsor for information regarding the participant.
  • Keep in touch with the student.
  • Be aware that the student, rather than the program, may most appropriately provide some information.

CIE recommends an informative resource for parents regarding study abroad and safety on the Center for Global Education SAFETI Clearinghouse website. Additional information is available via UMW’s international health and medical insurance provider once the student has been enrolled. The US Department of State’s USA Study Abroad website provides additional information for parents.

Is it safe for my student to study abroad?
Established overseas study programs fully recognize their responsibility to provide a secure and unthreatening environment in which your student can live and learn safely. Responsible campuses and programs consult regularly with colleagues around the country who are involved in the administration of study abroad programs, with resident program directors, with responsible officials of foreign host universities, with contacts in the U.S. Department of State, governmental and non-governmental agencies, and with other experts, including faculty who are well-informed on issues and events. It is in no one’s interest to risk student safety or well-being.

UMW does not allow students to study abroad in any country where there is a US Department of State Travel Warning in effect* (Level 3 or 4). Should a travel warning take effect or should a critical incident change the security situation while a student is abroad, UMW’s health and medical insurance provides coverage for evacuation. Evacuation due to medical emergency or natural disaster is also covered.

*Please see special notice on CIE’s homepage regarding travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. The current Department of State warning levels are nuanced to include considerations by the CDC regarding the COVID-19 situation in-country in addition to considerations for crime, political unrest, and terrorism. 

Can my student opt out of UMW international insurance plan?
UMW policy requires all students traveling abroad to be covered by international health insurance. Students may be exempted from purchasing UMW’s international insurance if their study abroad program includes similar coverage. Family health insurance plans do not typically provide the required coverage for items such as emergency extraction for natural disaster or political unrest, repatriation of mortal remains, or travel expenses to bring a family member to a student’s bedside should they be hospitalized overseas. Contact CIE to request complete policy information.


How does the billing process work?
Study abroad costs vary by program, as does the billing process.

  • UMW Faculty-Led ProgramsAll program fees are paid directly to UMW via each program’s webpage, or by check payable to UMW at the Cashier Office on the second floor of Lee Hall.  If the program includes UMW credit(s), the tuition cost are additional and will be billed to the student’s account.
  • UMW Exchange Programs – Students participating in UMW Exchange Programs pay tuition, the education abroad fee, and international health insurance to UMW for the Italy, France, and Germany programs. For the Hong Kong program students pay tuition, board, education abroad fee, and international health insurance fee to UMW. All other programs costs are paid directly to the exchange program/university.
  • UMW Approved ProgramsStudents pay all program fees directly to the foreign university or education abroad provider. The only charges students will see on their UMW account are the education abroad fee ($300 per semester or $20 per week and part there of) and international health insurance if insurance is not included in their program.

When will the UMW education abroad fee and international insurance fee be charged to our student’s UMW account?

  • Fall study abroad programs – Early July
  • Spring study abroad programs – Mid-November (1st cycle) and early January (2nd cycle)
  • Summer study abroad programs – Mid-April (1st cycle) and early May (2nd cycle)

Does financial aid apply toward study abroad programs?
Most federal, state, private grants, loans, and scholarships may be applied to the cost of study abroad.  The student will need to complete the Request for Study Abroad Financial Aid form and should make an appointment with a financial aid for individualized advising. More information

CIE also offers a variety of scholarships specifically for education abroad, as do outside organizations and education abroad providers.

Will the Virginia Prepaid529 tuition program pay benefits to a study abroad program or to universities outside the United States?
Yes, your student’s Virginia Prepaid529 tuition funds may be applied, provided the study abroad program or host university meets one of the following requirements:

1) The host university meets the federal definition of an “Eligible Educational Institution.” Contact the Virginia Prepaid529 office toll free at 1-888-567-0540 or check the listing of eligible schools on the Federal School Code List.  If the host university is eligible, then you can work directly with a Virginia Prepaid529 tuition program representative to have your funds sent directly to the host university.  The payout is the same dollar amount the Virginia Prepaid529 tuition program would pay if the student were attending UMW.

2) The student’s study abroad program is a UMW Approved Program. In this situation, students must notify CIE in order to facilitate the use of Virginia Prepaid529 tuition program funds. The payout is the same dollar amount the Virginia Prepaid529 tuition program would pay if the student were attending UMW.  The difference between what the Virginia Prepaid529 tuition program covers and the study abroad program costs is to be paid by the student directly to the program by their deadlines.

If following Option 2, the Virginia Prepaid529 tuition money will be applied to the student’s UMW student account on or around mid-October (fall term) or mid-March (spring term) provided the student notified CIE in advance. Once the funds are disbursed to the student’s account, it is the student’s responsibility to take these funds and pay their program. We require setting up Direct Deposit through UMW Student Accounts to avoid the delay of mailing a check to you.

*Note: Students with other Virginia529 savings programs, such as invest529 or CollegeAmerica, or any other 529 savings plans, must work directly with the fund manager of their program to learn if their funds can be applied to study abroad program costs and what documentation is needed.

If you have additional questions, feel free to contact the Center for International Education.