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Frequently Asked Questions

What is study abroad?

Study abroad is when you take a class or classes outside of your own country. Kirkwood offers short-term programs and semester programs. Short-term programs are usually led by a Kirkwood faculty member and are between one to three weeks in length. Students earn between three and six academic credits. Semester programs are usually four to six months in length. Students take 12-15 credit hours at a foreign institution.

Who can study abroad?

Any current student, alumni, or community member is eligible to study abroad.

I know that I want to go abroad, but I don’t know which program is right for me?

Choosing the right program can be a difficult decision. You may want to ask yourself some questions. 1) Where do I want to go? 2) How long do I want to go? 3) What subject(s) do I want to study? For more information or advising, visit International Programs, 1154 Linn Hall, or call 319-398-5579 to schedule an advising appointment.

What subjects can I study while abroad?

Kirkwood offers programs in liberal arts, business, science, philosophy, humanities, culinary, hospitality, nursing, health, service, and more. Most programs do not require you to be in a particular program area, however, you should be interested in the subject being taught.

Do I have to know a foreign language?

There are many study abroad programs in English speaking countries, and English is widely spoken and taught around the world. While knowing a foreign language opens up more possibilities and will certainly make a student’s time out of the classroom less challenging, lack of foreign language ability should not prevent a student from studying abroad.

Can I volunteer, or do service learning abroad?

Yes, Kirkwood offers several opportunities to volunteer or do service abroad. Students complete projects such as teaching English, working with kids, working in hospitals or health clinics. This year Kirkwood has service programs in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala India and Zambia. 

Where can I study abroad?

 In 2016-2017 Kirkwood offers programs in 15 countries around the world; however, if you have a particular interest in some certain region or country, come talk to the Study Abroad Advisor.  There may be something just right for your interests.

How do I apply?

You can apply online for short-term programs or semester programs.

The website says I need a $500 deposit. What is this for?

A non-refundable $500 deposit is required by the application deadline. The deposit shows International Programs you are committed to studying abroad. We start making payments on important items such as airfare and housing several months before departure. This should be a check or money order made out to Kirkwood Community College. Please mail or drop off your payment to International Programs, 1154 Linn Hall.  This is also your first payment. The rest of your program fees will be due in monthly installments after the acceptance date.

If I am not accepted will my $500 deposit be refunded?

Yes. The deposit is refunded back to your student account  if you are not selected to study abroad. 

What is the application essay question?

An essay (up to two pages) describing the reasons why the particular program fits your personal, academic and professional goals and how you will benefit from participating. This is also your opportunity to share relevant background information that shows off your unique qualities and interests.

What are my chances of being accepted?

Acceptance rates are high for students in good academic standing who choose a study abroad program that match their academic interests and course backgrounds. However, some programs fill quickly so apply early.

When will I find out if I'm accepted?

Students are usually notified if they are accepted within 30 business days of the application deadline. For more specific information about the program you are applying for, consult the program page or ask an advisor in International Programs.

I still have more questions. Where do I go for help?

Contact someone in International Programs today!


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