Provider Programs

PROGRAM EXPLORATION

Since there are a lot of provider programs available out there, students wishing to participate on an independent or provider program should look at the following recommended programs first, to see if there is a program that fits your needs. 

(Note: TAMU-CC will be moving towards an approved providers list, so there may be restrictions as to which provider programs students can utilize in the future.)

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PROVIDER PROGRAM APPLICATION PROCEDURES

  1. Students set-up appointment with Study Abroad Advisor to discuss their program selection
  2. Students submit a "Study Abroad Application Form," personal statement, and unofficial transcripts to the Office of International Education to be conditionally acceptance into their program
    • Students will need to complete follow-up procedures with the Office of International Education
  3. Students will ALSO need to complete the application procedures for their specific provider program in order to be OFFICIALLY accepted into their program. 
    • Providers have their own application procedures and requirements, so students should research the process with their provider.
    • Providers will work with the student and their intended host university, for official admissions into the program. Failure to complete application materials for the provider may result in a student's inability to participate in the program. 
    • Providers will require students to obtain approval for their study abroad program from their home university. Students should be working with the TAMU-CC Office of International Education to complete study abroad approval or disciplinary verification forms for their provider program. 
  4. Once students have been OFFICIALLY accepted into their program by the provider (or Host university), students will need to submit a copy of their acceptance letter to the Office of International Education. 

 


Notes/Reminders: 

Financing & Scholarships: 

Students currently receiving financial aid may be able to apply their financial aid towards an independent/provider program. Students should work with the Financial Aid Office to discuss eligibility as well as additional aid. Students should make sure their FAFSA is up to date, and, also, have information about what their overall program costs (program fees + out-of-pocket expenses) will be.

Students utilizing Veteran's benefits may have more limitations when it comes to independent/provider programs. State benefits may only apply towards tuition fees assessed by TAMU-CC. In this instance, provider programs would not fit the criteria since the tuition fees are being assessed by the provider and being paid to a foreign institution.

There are a lot of study abroad scholarships available to students; however, depending on the provider, location, and length of the program, scholarship eligibility will vary. Students should check with their provider programs to see if there are any specific scholarships available through the provider, or host university. 

Students can also apply for the TAMU-CC Study Abroad Scholarship as well. The application cycle for this scholarship is open on a term-by-term basis, so students should apply according to the term they plan to study abroad; for example, students who plan to study abroad for Fall 2018, should apply by the May 1, 2018 application deadline. The TAMU-CC Scholarship application is online and can be found on the TAMU-CC scholarship website

Housing and Meals: 

Housing accommodations will vary based on which program and location students are applying to. Many institutions overseas do not own their own on-campus housing, so they may utilize housing providers to supply accommodations for students. Accommodations can range from student dormitories to shared apartments, or even homestay options. Students should research housing accommodations as well, as this may affect a student's program selection or overall program fees. Homestay options may not be available with every program or location. It is more common to find homestay options available in programs to Spanish-speaking destinations. 

Most universities overseas do not have meal plans for students; however, they will have dining options available for students. Students may be able to select housing/accommodations that are "self-catering" which means they come with a shared kitchen or cooking space; thus, allowing students to purchase groceries and cook their own meals. Most homestay options, though a bit more expensive, should include most, if not all meals for students. 

Courses and Credits: 

All courses and credits earned on an independent/provider program will be considered transfer credit since the credits are being awarded through a different institution. Courses and credits will transfer back to TAMU-CC; however, not all of the courses and credits are guaranteed to transfer back as a specific TAMU-CC course. Depending on the course and how comparable it is to the TAMU-CC course offerings, academic departments may choose to approve the credit for transfer as a specific TAMU-CC course or as an upper/lower level elective. Not all courses may count directly towards a student's degree program; however, the transfer credits will count towards a student's overall degree/program credit load. 

Students participating in an independent/provider program will be required to complete a Study Abroad Course Approval form. The form requires students to obtain transfer credit approval from the Academic Department which corresponds with the courses students are intending to take while abroad. (Example is given, students taking a History course overseas wishing to transfer the course back as a History course will need to obtain transfer approval from the Chair of the History Department.) Keep in mind that these approvals and any course equivalencies are tentative. Official credit transfers will occur AFTER the students' study abroad program has been completed and transcripts have been received and fully evaluated by the TAMU-CC Office of Admissions. 

Transcripts Issued by a Host University/Foreign vs. Transcripts Issued by a U.S. School of Record

Students who are participating in an independent/provider program will also need to pay close attention to whom is issuing the official program transcript from their study abroad program. Independent/Provider programs will utilize two options: 1) Transcript issued from the host university/foreign institution, or 2) Transcript issued by a U.S. School of Record

In instances where the provider program or foreign institution is not able to issue courses and credits for students, provider programs will partner with a U.S. School of Record (U.S. institution) to provide the courses and credits for their program. 

If a student participates on a provider program that allows students to select either a transcript from the host institution/foreign institution, or a U.S. School of Record, students should select the U.S. School of Record option. Often times, requesting that the transcripts be issued from a U.S. School of Record as this will make it easier for the TAMU-CC Office of Admissions to transfer the credits back to TAMU-CC since the courses and credits would have already been evaluated and translated to a U.S. institution. Keep in mind that utilizing the U.S. School of Record option may cost more for a student's program as these institutions may require a transcript fee. 

If a student participates in a provider program that only provides transcripts from the host university/foreign institution, the student MUST obtain a foreign credit evaluation for their study abroad transcripts AFTER their study abroad program is completed. This is a requirement set forth by the TAMU-CC Office of Admissions. The Office of Admissions will not transfer courses/credits from foreign institutions without an official credit evaluation. Transfer evaluations must be from one of the approved evaluation agencies designated by the TAMU-CC Office of Admissions. To see a current list of evaluation companies, visit: Approved Evaluation Agencies List

Program Costs: 

Program costs for provider programs will vary based on which program selection, location, length of the program, and amenities included in the program. Generally, program costs for provider programs are more expensive when compared to exchange or faculty-led programs; however, students will find that provider programs may include more services and amenities.

Most provider program fees should include tuition, airport reception, some excursionsinsurance, and access to staff both in the U.S. and on-site. Some provider programs may include other amenities such as a cell phone rental or give students the opportunity to add a service learning or internship component to their regular study abroad program.  

Airfare is generally NOT included in the provider program fees in order to allow students the flexibility to select their own travel dates and preferred airline carriers. Some programs may offer students the option to select group flights if the provider is utilizing a group flight service provider. If group flights are available, the provider program will notify students of this option once students have been officially admitted to their program.

Students SHOULD NOT book airfare until they have been officially accepted into their program and have been provided with arrival/departure dates. Students utilizing airport reception/pick-up services offered through their provider program or host university will need to arrive during specific dates/times in order to utilize these services.

Visa/Passport Information: 

All students will need a valid passport book in order to exit/enter their intended country of study. Passports must remain valid for at least 6 months after their program end date, in order to be considered valid. Students should apply for a passport, or renew their passport, as soon as they can. Passports usually take 4-8 weeks to be processed and returned to students.

Keep in mind that valid passports may allow students to enter/exit a country, but it does not guarantee the student's ability to stay in a country for a long-term stay. Most students who will be studying abroad for more than 90 days are required to apply for a student/study visa PRIOR to their program departure. Visas help immigration officials identify a travelers purpose for being in that country. 

Most countries will not require a visa for programs that are less than 90 days in length; however, this varies based on the student's country of citizenship. U.S. passport holders will find that they may not require a visa for short-term programs. Passport holders from other countries may be required to apply for an entry visa, or Schengen visa if the short-term travel is to European countries that are part of the Schengen countries list. 

Students should check with the Consulate General Office (for the country they wish to travel to), to see if they will require a visa for their program. 

Students generally apply for visas at least 3 months prior to their departure date, depending on their country. Students will NOT be able to apply a visa until they have been officially accepted by their provider program or host university. Many times, students will have to submit their visa applications in person at a designated Consulate Office (Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, or Austin) which will require a visa appointment. Students should plan accordingly.