Drake University offers a variety of international study programs on every inhabited continent, with learning opportunities in more than 60 different countries. Interim, summer, semester and yearlong programs are available for students at a reasonable cost.
For certain programs, appropriate language proficiency is required. Different programs may require varying levels of foreign language proficiency, depending on whether study of the local language is sought or academic course work in the target language is intended. For the latter, at least two years at the college level (or the equivalent) is the norm. Programs without a prior language requirement are available in a wide variety of locations. For participation with Exchange Partners, intermediate level of language proficiency is required. Most Partners offer intensive language programs prior to the commencement of regular classes.
Depending on the program and site, a semester or year abroad with a Drake-affiliated program is comparable to the cost of tuition, room and board at Drake for a semester or a year. Financial aid is available for study abroad and the Office of Student Financial Planning reviews each student’s package individually. Drake University grants and scholarships awarded to a student are limited to 50% during the academic year for study abroad and for two semesters only. This applies to Drake affiliated study abroad programs. Drake students participating in a Drake exchange program will pay Drake tuition and fees and receive all of their Drake grant and scholarship award. All other financial aid (i.e., federal grants and loans, outside scholarships) can be awarded as allowable at 100%. Students who receive federal Pell Grants may also be eligible to receive a Supplemental Study Away Scholarship from Drake. These scholarships are awarded automatically to eligible students and do not require a special application process.
Most study abroad destinations are safe or sometimes even safer than the U.S. While some parents and students focus their concerns about study abroad on the cataclysmic- acts of terrorism, violent crime, or natural disasters- the truth is that, just as in the United States, much of a student’s safety abroad depends on his or her exercising mature and responsible behavior and making good decisions. It’s all about maximizing safety abroad, just as at home.
It is the student’s responsibility to obtain course approval from their academic advisor and/or college for courses taken abroad in order to meet Drake requirements. All credits earned through Drake-affiliated study abroad or exchange programs will transfer back to Drake, if you earn a C or better. These credits will be noted on your Drake transcript as transfer credits from the particular institution or program. In all cases, the grades themselves will not be calculated in your Drake grade point average.
In a given year, there are usually between 100 and 150 undergraduate Drake students who participate in a study abroad program. Most students usually go second semester of their second or sophomore year or anytime during their third or junior year. There are many factors to take into account when determining the appropriate time to go abroad, i.e. maturity, courses, cost, on-campus commitments, etc.
Support Services at Drake include • International Center- study abroad coordinator can discuss potential programs, assist with forms, connect students planning to go abroad with students who have gone abroad, and provide essential pre-departure information and materials. • Colleges- the academic support specialists and advisors in your son or daughter’s college are a critical piece in ensuring a successful, academic study abroad. • Counseling Center- offers all currently enrolled Drake students a variety of counseling services. These services are invaluable to students who have concerns regarding their mental and emotional health before going abroad. • Library- Cowles library has recently created a study abroad portal in which students can seek out information about their destination: www.lib.drake.edu/site/subjectPortals/subjectPortal.php?id=167 • Office of Student Financial Planning- Drake’s Office of Student Financial Planning will answer specific questions about financial aid when you have selected your overseas program. The study abroad coordinator does not have access to your student’s financial aid profile.
You should also check with your present insurance carrier. Do they cover you while abroad? How are claims handled and paid? If you decide to purchase additional insurance you should discuss with your family continuation of coverage of your present policy to avoid complications for pre-existing conditions. Most U.S. policies do not include medical evacuation or repatriation of remains. If you are satisfied with your coverage but you wish to also include these benefits, you can get them by purchasing the International Student Identity Card at Student Life in the Olmsted Center at Drake. Please review the range of the International Student ID card benefits at: www.myisic.com
Perhaps one of the hardest, yet most important things you can do is to step back and, for the most part, let the student take responsibility for the many and varied tasks of preparing for the study abroad experience. You should be available and ready to lend your child help, advice, and support, but is critically important that you let him or her take the lead in planning the experience.