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Student FAQs

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You can go to any of 20 international programs we offer. We have short term study abroad programs offered for the spring and summer of 2018. Locations include Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.
Our study abroad programs offer a range of courses that may fit into your general requirements, major, or satisfy elective requirements. For a complete list of courses offered on your campus, go to the members page. Find your institution and click on the “programs offered at your institution” link for a spreadsheet listing courses and programs you can choose from at your school. Course information is also available on each country program web page. A brief description of the course and the syllabus are included under the academics section. Please be aware that the name of the course may be different at your institution. Contact TnCIS if you have any questions.
Any student in good standing (this includes academic and disciplinary matters) and registered at a member institution is eligible to study on a TnCIS program. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have a minimum GPA of 2.0. Students must have also completed a minimum of 12 college level credit hours (not including developmental credit hours) by the start of their study abroad program.
Applications are available online and are due in two cycles - Early (December) and Regular (February). Students who apply by the early deadline in December will receive acceptance into their program by mid-December. S/he will also receive a $100 discount off the program fee due in March. Students who apply by the regular deadline in February will not receive the $100 discount and may be wait listed in programs with limited capacity as stated on the program pages. Applications received after the February deadline will be considered on a space available basis. A complete application consists of:
  1. The completed on line application
  2. The nonrefundable application fee of $100 (paid to the cashier at your home institution)
  3. An official transcript sent to TnCIS by the registrar at your institution
  4. The online recommendation form
All students pay fees at their home institution. You will need to go to your Business Office, Bursar or Cashier's window to pay your $100 application fee and full program fee. If you have questions about how payments work on your campus, please contact the TnCIS campus representative for your institution listed on our members page.
TnCIS study abroad programs offer a variety of living accommodations. Please look on the individual program pages of the TnCIS website under Accommodations for details on which living arrangements are planned for your program of interest. Below are various accommodation arrangements through TnCIS:
  1. Host Family: Students may live with a host family, which is particularly desirable for foreign language study programs. By living with a host family, students are able to interact with native speakers of the language on a regular basis. This gives them ample opportunity to practice and expand the language instruction they receive in the classroom. They are also better exposed to the culture of the country.
     
  2. Hostel/Hotel: Several programs use a hostel or hotel in the program country for living arrangements. A hostel is just another word for a “small hotel” typically not belonging to a chain. This option is quite practical due to the ease of arrangements, location of the hotel, and the accessibility to amenities such as restaurants, laundry and internet. In this type of program, students are often given one or more roommates depending on the size of the accommodations and the policies of the hostel/hotel. The group also typically has access to other shared living space.
     
  3. Dormitory: In some programs, TnCIS has access to dormitory facilities of other colleges or universities. This living arrangement is typically like any college or university dormitory in the US. Students live in a room with at least one roommate and have other shared living space. A cafeteria or restaurants are also located near by for meals.
Yes. Limited health insurance is included in the program fee of all TnCIS summer study abroad programs. Students are given ID cards for the insurance at the airport on the day of departure. Coverage is comprehensive but most doctors and clinics abroad require payment upfront (at the time of service). Students should budget and have access to additional funds (cash) to be used for a medical emergency. In the case of serious illness and/or hospitalization, TnCIS will work with the insurance company on the student's behalf to make arrangements for payment whenever possible. Reimbursement of any cash payments made for medical care abroad should be submitted via claim forms available from TnCIS or the insurance website. Submission of reimbursement claims are the responsibility of the student. Click here for details on coverage. 
It is recommended that you carry your own personal health insurance either through family, work or your school. Should you have complications from a medical emergency experienced abroad, the program insurance will not cover you after you return to the US. Stateside insurance is always recommended.
TnCIS recommends that all students research the health and safety conditions reported by the CDC for the program country they will visit. Please go to www.cdc.gov/travel for information. Every person traveling abroad must make a decision about vaccinations s/he may need based on their own personal health and medical history. You should also consult with your personal physician before making any decision about vaccinations. You can learn more about recommended vaccines through your local health department and their international travel clinic. You can go online and do a search for your county health department to find a resource near you. It is recommended that you research this information well in advance of your travel plans since many vaccines require a minimum time period to become effective.
TnCIS does not provide any travel insurance coverage but you can purchase it on your own. There are several different travel insurance options available through private insurance companies that can provide financial protection for multiple scenarios. These insurance policies can cover trip cancellation prior to departure, baggage, medical, dental, emergency evacuation, 24 hour traveler assistance, baggage delay, travel delay, and accidental death during your travel dates. Some students and their parents feel this type of insurance is valuable while others choose not to seek additional insurance. This is a choice you should research to determine if you desire such a policy. Some policies do not cover study abroad. Be sure to ask specifically if the coverage will include cancellation policies, ticket reimbursement, clinic or hospital fees, etc. related to a study abroad program. You can begin your research at http://www.insuremytrip.com/plans/index.html for more information.
Yes. Federal and State financial aid can cover some of the cost of approved study abroad programs. You will need to meet with your financial aid advisor to discuss your financial aid profile. Many TBR institutions also offer partial or fully funded scholarships for study abroad. Your institutional representative will be able to advise you on how to apply for any available funds at your school. See the Financial Aid page for more information.
The costs not covered in the total program fee include but are not limited to the following: passport, visitor’s visa, textbooks, some meals and personal spending money.
Current information on how to obtain a passport and its fees can be found at http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html.
Most program countries do not require a visitor’s visa. The only countries that currently require students apply for a visa prior to departure are Brazil and India. If your program country requires a visa, you will be sent explicit instructions on how to obtain a visitor’s visa and the cost involved. DO NOT apply for a visa before receiving directions from your program director at the mandatory student orientation.
The question of personal spending money will be discussed in your program orientation. The amount needed for personal spending money is difficult to estimate due to the variety of spending habits and needs among our students. Some students may be able to get by on as little as $500 and others will need $1500 - $2000. Think about your spending habits and make a budget you can afford and have available by the time you leave for your program.
No. All of our programs are taught by faculty within the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) system and are, therefore, taught in English. Programs offering foreign language courses may be taught by TBR or local foreign faculty. These courses will, of course, be in the target language and count towards foreign language credit. While foreign language skills might make it easier to function abroad, it is not necessary for most of our programs.
You need to submit an application to any of the member institutions through their general admissions process. You can go to a member institution website by clicking on the school listed on the members page. Additionally, you should apply online to the program of your choice by the deadline. If you are currently at another university or college, don't forget to check with your academic adviser and financial aid office to make sure credit will transfer back and that any aid you are eligible for is applied to the program. Contact the TnCIS office if you have questions or need assistance.
Students attending an institution that does not offer a program you are interested in may consider registering through another TnCIS member institution. Students will need to go through the application process at the other institution, be accepted and then register for the course through that institution. Please consider that you will likely not have financial aid or scholarships available to you in this case. You will also need to verify whether or not course credit will transfer back to your primary institution. Contact the TnCIS office if you have more questions about this arrangement.
While safety can never be guaranteed (whether in Tennessee or overseas), TnCIS follows all Department of State directives and watches for travel advisories to all countries where study abroad programs are located. Our faculty and staff have received appropriate information and training to help assure the safety of our students and follow all security and reporting measures to the best of their ability. In the event of unforeseen problems escalating in any country where a program is planned or currently in progress, your safety will be our first priority and measures will be taken to postpone or cancel a program when necessary. You should also consider having a parent, guardian or other family member obtain a valid passport in the event that you need someone to travel to be with you in the case of a medical emergency. Program fees would be refunded to the fullest extent possible in these situations.
Some U.S. air carriers have announced new or newly-enforced policies that apply to what they call "passengers of size" or "passengers requiring extra space." If an airline determines that you are a passenger of size and applies its policy, you may be required to purchase an extra seat to accommodate your need for extra room. To determine if you might fall into this category, please review the information at the airline policy links provided below. Because TnCIS purchases tickets in advance as a group, if you are considered a passenger of size or a passenger requiring extra space, you will be required to pay the additional ticket cost by the program fee payment deadline in March. If any refund is processed by the airline, TnCIS will notify you following the completion of your air travel. This may take up to 6 weeks after your return to the US. It is the participant's responsibility to inform TnCIS of their space needs by email (tncis@pstcc.edu) by the February application fee deadline. Failure to notify TnCIS of your seating needs may result in a last minute requirement by the airline to have the passenger pay for an additional seat or possibly denial of boarding with the group. The participant is responsible for any additional cost by the airline or TnCIS for unexpected travel costs. Additionally, any lost time on the program will not be reimbursed by TnCIS.