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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Can I Go?

Over the past fifteen years, PLNU students have studied in over 50 different countries on every continent except Antarctica. Check out our programs.

When Should I Go?

Most students choose to study abroad during their sophomore or junior years.  However, we have had many seniors study abroad each year.  It is best to plan far ahead, even as a freshman, for your semester or year abroad and work with your advisor to determine the best semester to go. Summer programs are also available.

*Freshman are not permitted to study abroad during their first two semesters at PLNU, but can begin to participate in study abroad programs beginning the summer after their freshman year

What's The First Step?

For program inquiries, program admission and/or general questions about studying abroad, please email or call the PLNU Office of Global Studies (619) 849-3178.  All students are required to attend an information session to begin the process.  Sessions are offered Mon-Fri at 4:00pm in the Office of Global Studies.

Is there a minimum GPA to study abroad through PLNU? 

Yes, the minimum cumulative GPA to study abroad is 2.75.  At PLNU, we see studying abroad as an opportunity for both personal and academic growth.  The transition to living and studying in another country is rewarding and worthwhile, but not always easy.  We want our students to be properly prepared for their time abroad, and maintaining a good GPA is one sign that students will take their international education seriously.  Students who are on academic or disciplinary probation are not eligible to participate in study abroad programs.

Will A Semester Abroad Delay My Graduation?

No, with the right planning and advising beforehand, a semester abroad should not delay your graduation.  In most cases, a semester abroad can be fit seamlessly into your overall program of study at PLNU.  Students typically take a combination of major/minor and general education courses, approved in advance, that fulfill the same requirements as courses take on campus. If a particular program is going to delay graduation, we do out best to make sure students know that beforehand.

Will The Credits Transfer?

Yes, if you attend a program approved by the PLNU Office of Global Studies and the courses you take are pre-approved by your department advisor and/or the OGS.  The OGS staff will provide advising so that courses you take abroad will meet PLNU general education, major/minor, or elective credit requirements.

How many credits can I take while studying abroad?

Students studying abroad through the PLNU Office of Global Studies will be limited to a maximum of 16 semester units in sessions of 15 weeks or more and to corresponding unit maximum ratios in sessions of other lengths. (Note: Approx. 1 unit per experience week)

Can I take an PLNU online course while abroad?

On a case by case basis as part of their Global Studies application process, students may seek approval to include one PLNU online class of 4 units or fewer within the 16 semester unit maximum.

How do grades transfer back from studies abroad/off-campus domestic study?

All grades earned from PLNU approved study abroad and off-campus domestic programs will appear on your academic record. 

Grades earned through OGS faculty-led, OGS-designated partner programs and OGS off-campus domestic programs will be included in the PLNU GPA calculation.
The OGS-designated partner programs are currently as follows:
  • James Cook University (Australia)
  • Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador)
  • National University of Ireland, Galway (Ireland)
  • Kansai Gaidai University (Japan)
  • University of Otago (New Zealand)
  • University of Canterbury (New Zealand)
  • University of Salamanca (Spain)
  • University of the Western Cape (South Africa)
  • Korean Nazarene University (South Korea)
  • SIAS International University (China)
Grades earned through OGS-designated affiliate or non-OGS programs are neutral and, as such, NOT included in the PLNU GPA calculation.

How Much Will It Cost?

Most of our study abroad programs are comparable in cost to a semester at PLNU (excluding travel to and from the destination and some meals).

SEMESTER PROGRAMS: You will pay PLNU  semester tuition and housing costs. Meal prices will vary depending on the program. Some programs may have an additional surcharge. 

SUMMER PROGRAMS: You will pay your individual program costs. Your program will bill PLNU for your program costs, PLNU will pay your bill for you and apply that cost to your PLNU student account.

As part of the study abroad application process, all students will meet with their Student Financial Services Advisor to go over program costs and financial aid specifics. 

Will My Financial Aid Apply?

For approved partner and affiliate programs, federal and state grants and loans, along  with PLNU institutional scholarships and grants may be used to pay program costs. For PLNU faculty-led programs, federal and state grants and loans may be used; the amount of PLNU institutional scholarships and grants that may be used varies by program. 

Are There Any Extra Costs?

What is included with the cost of each program varies, but tuition, fees, and housing are standard for almost every program.  In some cases, meals are also included.  Extra travel and normal day-to-day expenses are extra. 

SUMMER PROGRAMS: PLNU charges a $300 fee for summer programs.

Are There Scholarships Available?

Yes there are!  Check out our list of scholarships, grants, and loans available to students studying abroad online. Also, many of the study abroad programs offer financial aid to their students.  Check on your study abroad provider's website for more information. 

Can I take passport/visa photos in the Office of Global Studies?

Due to new photo regulations, Passport and visa photo services are no longer available within the Office of Global Studies. Photos can be taken at local pharmacies and photo centers nearby campus. For specific recommendations, please contact the Office of Global Studies.


For more comprehensive answers to the questions above and any other questions you may have, please contact the OGS staff!