Study Away Policies

Policies for Student Participation

  • Applicants for off-campus study should have an overall minimum GPA of 2.5 when submitting an application. Some programs require an even higher standard.
  • Students may not participate in an off-campus study program while on academic or disciplinary probation, or who have an open student conduct case.
  • The student’s account in the Warrior Hub must be paid in full or receive special clearance as a part of the application process.
  • Semester or academic year study overseas should include study of native language where appropriate. Students must be registered as full-time students.
  • In general, students should have sophomore, juniors, or senior standing to apply for semester study away. Students of any year at WSU may enroll in Travel Study courses. However, some courses may have pre-requisites or require a certain year standing due to the nature of that particular program.
  • Applications for semester, academic year, or faculty-led programs must be submitted by the deadlines posted by International Programs (hereafter IP). Late applications may be considered in unusual circumstances, but only with special approval of IP.
  • The student must complete an online application and receive approval for participation in the program from IP&S prior to applying to an external program.
  • Students may only study away for a semester or year on WSU-approved off campus programs, which are updated annually and listed on the IP webpage. Requests to apply to a non-approved program may be directed to IP but will only be approved if the petitioner demonstrates a valid academic rationale for the request and it is supported by the student’s academic major advisor.
  • Orientation takes place prior to a student’s departure for the program. This orientation is mandatory and, if not completed, will result in a loss of WSU approval to study away.

Student Responsibilities

When a student accepts a place on a WSU approved program, they agree to support the policies and procedures set down to help ensure the success of the program. Students have a responsibility to make off- campus learning the best possible personal and academic experience.

Students are expected to:

  • Observe University policies, including those related to drugs and alcohol. Violations may result in disciplinary action during off-campus study or upon your return to campus.
  • Conduct themselves in a responsible and mature manner at all times. This includes being sensitive to cultural dress, norms and behavior in the sites visited.
  • Cooperate with schedules for travel, movement at airports, and other areas concerning travel logistics. Attend all classes and other scheduled activities.
  • Be responsible for all information contained in International Programs materials, especially where fees and program details are concerned.
  • Return all required forms and materials by the deadlines. Attend all orientation meetings and/or appointments.
  • Pay all fees and personal expenses incurred while studying abroad.
  • Arrange for and complete all academic work within the allotted time abroad. Respect the reasonable wishes of their hosts when living in a private home.
  • Obey laws, police regulations, and practices of the host country. Diplomatic representatives and U.S. laws will be able to offer little or no help to a student arrested and/or convicted of drug-related or other crimes.

Program supervisors have the full authority to act on behalf of Winona State University faculty and administration in any matter concerning the academic program, travel procedures, or student personnel. Should it be decided that a student must be separated from the program because of violation of rules, disruptive behavior, or conduct which could bring the program disrepute, that decision will be final. Separation from the program will also result in loss of academic credit.

Policies on Credits and Grades

  • Credit earned by the student on approved programs will normally transfer as credit toward graduation, and may fulfill major/minor requirements subject to academic departmental approval. This approval should be sought by the student prior to departure.
  • Students on semester programs normally complete the same number of courses on an off-campus program as they would on the home campus.
  • All approved study away programs coursework transfers back to WSU and is calculated in the transfer GPA.
  • Courses completed on semester or academic year programs may not be taken for pass/no credit (P/NC) unless that is the only grading option available for the course. Any student taking a course on a P/NC basis must notify IP prior to taking the course. In all other cases, students on semester or academic year programs must register only for letter grades and may not use the P/NC option. Letter grades cannot be switched to the P/NC option.
  • Transfer credit is awarded only after receipt of an official transcript from the host institution.
  • Courses must not be a repeat of previous coursework or at a lower academic level than previous coursework, with rare exceptions and prior approval.
  • Courses must be appropriate for a University curriculum (e.g., no intermediate algebra or remedial classes).
  • Occasionally a WSU student leaves WSU in order to enroll in another institution’s off-campus study program. Students should be aware that if they choose to enroll in a program in a country for which the U.S. State Department has issued a Travel Warning, WSU will not accept any transfer credit from the non-WSU off-campus study program. WSU students who have not attended the University for one semester or more (summer excluded) are classified as "returning" students. Returning students must complete the Intent to Return form. 
  • Students who leave WSU to enroll in a program that is not on the WSU approved program list may transfer credits subject to approval by the Registrar and the major department. WSU financial aid does not apply for students who leave WSU to participate in a non-WSU sponsored off-campus study program. WSU students who have not attended the University for one semester or more (summer excluded) are classified as "returning" students. Returning students must complete the Intent to Return form
  • Participation in any of the approved off-campus study programs is available to all qualified students who indicate in writing their agreement to comply with the policies and procedures of the University and the IP&S office. This required document is accessible in the student’s account on TerraDotta.

Financial Aid

Financial aid, with the exception of student employment, applies towards WSU approved programs. Students taking a leave of absence and applying for a non-approved WSU program may retain their Federal Aid but are ineligible for WSU restricted and unrestricted scholarships or loans. Students may file an amended FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application based on additional costs of an off-campus study program.

Policies on Program Fees and Billing – Semester/Academic Year Programs 

  • Students pay WSU tuition plus, in most cases other than institutional exchanges, a Program Fee that may include host costs for tuition, room and meal plan on site (when relevant). For exact costs of WSU-approved programs, the student should meet with staff in the International Programs office.
  • A non-refundable application fee is required when submitting the WSU application. Specific programs may also require an application fee which is non-refundable.
  • Specific program deposits must be paid to the IP&S office at the time of acceptance into the program. This deposit is applied to the cost of the program. In some cases this deposit is nonrefundable.
  • Application fees and program deposits cannot be covered by financial aid awards; they must be paid directly to WSU by the participant because these are due in advance of the usual disbursement of aid secured for the purpose of study abroad.
  • Financial aid, with the exception of student employment, applies towards WSU approved programs. Students who choose to withdraw from WSU in order to apply to a non-approved WSU program may retain their Federal Aid but are ineligible for WSU restricted and unrestricted scholarships or loans. Students may file an amended FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application based on additional costs of an off-campus study program. 

Policies on Program Fees and Billing – Travel Study Programs 

  • Travel Study program fees are charged in addition to regular WSU tuition. The fees listed are estimates (based on minimum and maximum number of students for the program) and include round-trip transportation from Minneapolis (except where indicated), prorated instructor(s) expenses, normally breakfast and at least one other meal per day, airport transfers, visas (where required for U.S. citizens), medical insurance for international programs, planned excursions, entrance fees and tickets for scheduled group events, any other relevant fees, and accommodations, primarily in double or triple rooms in hotels, pensions, university dorms, hostels, or family homes. Private bathrooms are rarely provided. Roommate assignments are of the same gender.
  • A non-refundable application fee is required with the application. Within one week of a student’s acceptance into the program, a $500 deposit confirming participation is due . This deposit is applied to the program costs. Students are billed the full program cost via the Student Accounts office per usual. The student must pay all tuition, fees, and travel expenses no later than 90 days prior to departure. Students are responsible for these costs even if they choose not to participate.
  • Application fees and program deposits cannot be covered by financial aid awards; they must be paid directly to the University by the participant because these are due in advance of the usual disbursement of aid secured for the purpose of study abroad.
  • Surplus funds from a Travel Study program must be returned to the University and will be reimbursed to student participants on a pro rata basis once all costs have been reconciled with the Business Office.
  • Financial aid, with the exception of student employment, applies towards WSU-approved programs. Students taking a leave of absence and applying for a non-approved WSU program may retain their Federal Aid but are ineligible for WSU restricted and unrestricted scholarships or loans. Students may file an amended FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application based on additional costs of an off-campus study program. 

Cancellation Policies and Refunds – Semester/Academic Year Programs

  • Student-initiated cancellations of application for semester or academic year programs must be submitted in writing to the IP&S office. If not received in writing, the student will be responsible for the full cost of the program. Third party program providers may have additional cancellation policies to which students are subject.
  • WSU administration reserves the right to cancel a program at any time.
  • WSU students who withdraw from both the program and the University are subject to the above fees plus any unrecoverable payments that have already been expended on their behalf.
  • Should an unavoidable event such as epidemic, civil unrest, threat of terrorist activity, or other unforeseen occurrence result in the cancellation of an entire session of a WSU program before commencement of the program, all recoverable costs paid by WSU on behalf of the student prior to that time will be refunded. Students will always forfeit their application fees but any program deposits paid to WSU will be refunded. The University will make a good faith effort to reimburse students in the event the University cancels a program, but cannot guarantee 100% reimbursement. This policy also applies to cancellation related to medical pandemics such as influenza.
  • Should an unavoidable event such as epidemic, civil unrest, threat of terrorist activity, or other unforeseen occurrence result in removal of students from the program site after the program has commenced, every effort will be made to ensure program continuity at a safe location. This policy also applies to circumstances that may arise because of pandemics such as influenza.
  • Should a State Department Travel Warning be issued for a country after students have been accepted into the program in that country and before they leave the U.S., and the University decides to cancel the program, all recoverable costs paid by WSU on behalf of the student prior to that time will be refunded. Students will always forfeit their application fees but any program deposits paid to WSU will be refunded. The University will make a good faith effort to reimburse students in the event the University cancels a program, but cannot guarantee 100% reimbursement.
  • Students or their families are strongly encouraged to consider travel cancellation insurance. The IP&S office works hard to recover expenses that have already been paid on behalf of the student, but we cannot guarantee our providers will reimburse us. We do not endorse any particular travel insurance coverage, but quote comparisons can be found at the InsureMyTrip website. Review closely what the cancellation insurance includes and what it does not include. Cancellation insurance must be purchased immediately after acceptance into the program for the insurance to be effective.

Cancellation and Refund Policy – Travel Study Programs

  • WSU administration reserves the right to cancel a program at any time.
  • WSU students who withdraw from both the Travel Study program and the University are subject to the usual fees plus any unrecoverable payments that have already been expended on their behalf.
  • The estimated program cost range is based on minimum and maximum number of students who may be accepted into the program (the max/min numbers are determined by faculty instructors based on the program content, destination, and planned program activities). Program costs are the most accurate estimates possible. However, since these fees are based on the best information available at the time program information is posted each year, these costs are subject to change due to a variety of factors including currency exchange rates, fuel surcharges, added airline taxes, and the final number of students enrolled in the program. Students will not have an option to cancel their participation in the program due to an adjustment in cost.
  • If a student is not accepted to the program, the $500 deposit will be credited to the student account.
  • Students who have been accepted into a Travel Study program and have paid the deposit, but decide not to participate after the deadline set by the International Programs office, will forfeit the deposit and will be responsible for all unrecoverable payments made on their behalf. It is important that students understand that once an application for a Travel Study program is submitted and the faculty leader has accepted the applicant into the program, a financial commitment has been made. It is recommended that PRIOR to submitting the application students speak to the faculty member leading the program for which they are applying in order to be as knowledgeable as possible about the program itinerary and requirements. This policy also applies to cancellation due to medical issues.
  • If a program is cancelled by IS&P due to under-enrollment, students may apply the $500 deposit toward the cost of another Travel Study program which is still accepting applicants, or they may choose to have their $500 program deposit refunded.
  • Should an unavoidable event such as epidemic, civil unrest, threat of terrorist activity, or other unforeseen occurrence result in the cancellation of an entire session of a WSU program before commencement of the program, all recoverable costs paid by WSU on behalf of the student prior to that time will be refunded. Students will always forfeit their application fees but any program deposits paid to WSU will be refunded. The University will make a good faith effort to reimburse students in the event the University cancels a program, but cannot guarantee 100% reimbursement. This policy also applies to cancellation related to medical pandemics such as influenza.
  • Should an unavoidable event such as epidemic, civil unrest, threat of terrorist activity, or other unforeseen occurrence result in removal of students from the program site after the program has commenced, every effort will be made to ensure program continuity at a safe location. This policy also applies to circumstances that may arise because of pandemics such as influenza.
  • Should a State Department Travel Warning be issued for a country after students have been accepted into the program in that country and before they leave the U.S., and the University decides to cancel the program, all recoverable costs paid by WSU on behalf of the student prior to that time will be refunded. Students will always forfeit their application fees but any program deposits paid to WSU will be refunded. The University ensures a good faith effort to reimburse students in the event the University cancels a program, but cannot guarantee 100% reimbursement.
  • Student and their families are strongly encouraged to consider travel cancellation insurance. The IP&S office works hard to recover expenses that have already been paid on behalf of the student, but we cannot guarantee our providers will reimburse us. We do not endorse any particular travel insurance coverage, but quote comparisons can be found at the InsureMyTrip website. Review closely what the cancellation insurance includes and what it does not include. Cancellation insurance must be purchased immediately after acceptance into the program for the insurance to be effective.

Policy on State Department Travel Warnings

  • Students who have been granted approval to study off-campus for a semester will be allowed to study in a country under a U.S. Department of State travel warning only in rare exceptions and additional application procedures will apply. Exceptions must be approved by the AVP of IP&S, in consultation with the appropriate campus committees and the Provost’s office.
  • Should such a Public Announcement or Travel Warning advising individuals to defer travel to the region come into effect prior to the beginning of a program, students will need to work with International Programs to make alternate plans.
  • If a Travel Warning is issued for a country during the time a WSU student is in that country, the IP&S will work with the appropriate sources to determine the best course of action to reduce risk.
  • No Travel Study programs will be conducted in a country under a U.S. State Department Travel Warning. 

Medical Preparation and Insurance

  • Students on semester or academic year study away are required to maintain their U.S. based health insurance for the duration of their time abroad.
  • Students and accompanying faculty members on WSU-run Travel Study programs, and students participating in other semester and year-long off-campus study programs who choose to add this coverage, are covered under Winona State University’s insurance with HTH Worldwide. This insurance will serve as primary health insurance in the host country and will provide medical benefits for injury and sickness. Prescription drugs are covered at 100%.
  • Some programs require inoculations. The details regarding what regions require certain inoculations can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Many programs require students to have a physical examination no more than six months prior to the departure date. This is required for students' health and safety.
  • Some prescribed U.S. medications may not be legal in some countries (for instance, Adderall, a common U.S. prescription for ADD, may not be brought into Japan). Information on traveling with medication is available on Terra Dotta and it is the individual’s responsibility to review this material.

Health Concerns and Medical Withdrawal

  • All students complete a health questionnaire as part of their application process. It is to a student's advantage to provide information about current or past medical problems of which the Instructor or program site administrator should be aware. In cases of illness of a student, the Program Supervisor will consult with local medical authorities regarding hospitalization and treatment. In emergency situations, the Program Supervisor will authorize surgery, but in non-emergency situations will only order surgery upon receipt of parental authority. If, in the judgment of local medical staff, serious illness warrants return to the student's home, the Program Supervisor will make the necessary arrangements for such return and advance funds for return travel if needed.
  • In the case of medical withdrawal, the student will receive a refund of recoverable charges. The student must submit a physician's statement to International Programs along with a request for the return of funds.
  • Students or their families may wish to consider travel cancellation insurance. Our office works very hard to recover expenses that have already been paid on behalf of the student, but we cannot guarantee our providers will reimburse us. We do not endorse any particular travel insurance coverage, but quote comparisons can be found at the InsureMyTrip website. Make sure to determine exactly what the insurance you select includes and what it does not include. For more on travel insurance and the best policy for the trip go to Travel Insurance Review, Inc. 

Alcohol and Drugs

Violations of WSU policy regarding alcohol or illegal drugs, or the Minnesota State Board of Trustees Code of Conduct policy, or of additional safety policies established by the program leader or on-site staff of the off-campus program, will be addressed in one or more of the following ways:
  • Restricted or supervised involvement in subsequent activities during the program period.
  • Dismissal from the program (the violator will travel home at his/her expense). Underage or illegal use of alcohol or other drugs are grounds for such dismissal.
  • Financial restitution for damaged property.
  • University judicial proceedings upon return to campus.