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Study Away FAQ

The Office of Global Learning held a Study Away question and answer session on July 7 to address some of the most common questions the office had received since the new program was announced.


What are the benefits of Study Away?
If you can’t get to Ithaca this fall, Study Away provides access to local university facilities, an independent living space, and services, with Cornell programming and community.

Is Study Away mandatory for international students?
No, international students may return to Cornell if they can do so. You may also study remotely without participating in a residential Study Away program.

How is eligibility determined?
Acceptance to the Study Away program is based on eligibility criteria listed on the Study Away page and detailed in the corresponding Cornell Experience page and availability at the requested location. 

Who should I talk to about whether this will work for me?
Talk to your academic advisor to see if Study Away fits your curricular needs, to your program advisor to see whether this will work with your program, and to the Education Abroad advisor assigned to the location of interest.

Do you need any additional information beyond what is on the application?
No, your Cornell records show your progress toward the degree. If you are a first-year, transfer, or graduate student, your admissions application to Cornell is sufficient.

The address in my application is incorrect, but the form won't let me make a change. What do I do? 
Eligibility is not affected by your address. Still, your address must be accurate in the university's system. Update your address in Student Center. The address change will not show in your Study Away application.

I am a graduate student. Can I participate in Study Away?
Graduate or professional students interested in Study Away should be in touch with faculty/staff contacts in their program to determine if Study Away is a good match for their program. Not all Study Away locations can accommodate graduate or professional students. Check for eligibility at each site on the Study Away page.

I am a master’s or PhD research student. Can I apply for a program that indicates eligibility for professional students?
No, research and PhD graduate students can only apply for sites that specify graduate students.

I am a non-professional graduate student; can I apply for a program that only indicates eligibility for professional/undergraduate? 
Students should base their application decisions on eligibility indicated on the Study Away page and corresponding opportunity detail. Please carefully review the requirements for each location. Eligibility criteria were determined in consultation with the partner and other key factors.

Can I apply for Study Away if I am a dual citizen (e.g., China and the U.S.)?
You may apply if you are a dual citizen. You will be able to indicate this citizenship status in your application. You must be physically in the country you wish to study in or be able to travel to that country before the beginning of the fall 2020 semester.

I am a citizen of China but have a long-term residency in a Schengen country. Does this make me eligible for programs in Europe?
If your residency status in the country where you would like to Study Away enables you to study there for the entire length of the semester, you may apply to that program. You must be in residence or able to be in residence before the start of the program.

I don’t have an F-1 or J-1 visa. Can I still participate?
These visas are only necessary for study in the U.S. You will need to obtain a visa before coming to the U.S. to study in spring 2021. Please refer to the International Services page for immigration FAQ and resources.

If I am not selected, can I defer my Cornell enrollment for a semester or a year?
First-year and transfer students need to confirm plans for a gap semester or year with their college. Continuing students may request a personal leave of absence from their college.


Should I apply for more than one location?
No, please select the location that is your top choice and apply only to that program. For students applying to sites in China or Europe, there is a space for you to list one to two back-up sites in case we are not able to place you at your top choice. 

If spaces in my preferred program are full, will my application be considered for another program?
If you list on or more back-up programs in your application, we will consider your eligibility for those sites. If you are eligible to indicate a back-up program but opt not to do so, we will assume that you are not interested in other options.

Which Cornell Health resources will remain available to me?
Cornell Health’s services have specific considerations for students outside of the United States. Please visit the Cornell Health website or call during business hours.

Who is responsible if anything goes wrong at a Study Away site? 
If you have issues with your local conditions, please speak with local staff. If you have questions about academics, consult with your Cornell major or field advisor or program director. If you have questions about the site you are at or program as a whole, contact the Education Abroad advisor assigned to your location.

If I am at a Study Away site, and it shuts down due to coronavirus, how would that affect me?
As in Ithaca, our partners must follow the local government’s public health guidelines. If a location shuts down due to health concerns, you will maintain your full-time status since you registered for a minimum of 12 Cornell credits. A switch to fully remote learning would be smoother than during the spring semester, because this contingency is built into fall planning. All partners have indicated their courses would go online if they were unable to stay open.

(New) Are all Study Away programs complying with the same quarantining and social distancing protocols as Cornell?

The COVID-19 situation varies around the world and the situation remains fluid. There’s isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to response. Each host institution must abide by its own local and national regulations and enforcement mechanisms to support the safety of the community. Just as if students were coming to Ithaca, there is a 100 percent expectation that they comply with the host institution’s pandemic prevention measures and safeguards. At many, if not all sites, for example, students will likely need to prove they’ve tested negative for COVID-19 prior to arriving on campus. There may also be requirements to self-quarantine upon arrival. Masks, social distancing, and frequent hand washing are a given. We are working closely with each of our collaborators on this vital matter and participants will be advised on site-specific requirements well in advance of move-in.

(New) Health systems in many countries are already overburdened due to COVID-19. Is Study Away taking that into consideration?

Safety for student participants is a fundamental priority. However, just as in the U.S. where the situation remains fluid, conditions abroad may change. Study Away sites may be adjusted or canceled in advance or during the program if the health and safety status of the site requires it.


How will I choose my Cornell courses?
Cornell will communicate with students about pre-enrollment dates. Choose your courses in consultation with your college/school advising office. 

Can I access the Cornell Library while I am studying away?
Yes, please refer to Cornell University’s page for online instruction. Also check out Cornell University Library's enhanced online resources.

Why do I have to take a course from the host program? 
Taking one course from the local university is part of the arrangement that makes Study Away work. Taking this class will allow you to immerse yourself in the host university and experience the program as a collaboration, rather than a service. We hope you will make connections that last long after you leave.

Can I get major credit for courses I take at the host program?
Only your college or school can determine how host-enrolled course credit will apply to your Cornell degree. In most cases, this will be elective or distribution credit. In some cases, credit may be approved as major, minor, or concentration credit, subject to college or school policy/approval, but this is not guaranteed.

I hope to take more than 18 credits to stay on track or to graduate early. Can I get approval to do this?
The minimum number of Cornell credits you may enroll in to be eligible for Study Away is 12 credits. The maximum number of credits you may earn for the semester, including the one to two partner program courses you take, is 18 credits. 

What if my Cornell classes conflict with the course schedule at the partner program?
Cornell classroom teaching will offer two primary modalities: 1) all online and 2) in-person, with remote accessibility for students who are off-campus (including outside the U.S.) or in quarantine. Faculty also have the option of a hybrid approach, where some elements of a course are delivered online and others in-person, or where student cohorts take turns participating remotely versus in-person. Students will be provided with information in advance about the modality of each class and can use that information in selecting their courses. Given this, you will want select a host-offered course that does not conflict with your Cornell courses.

If it becomes possible for me to travel to the U.S. during the middle of the semester, can I withdraw from Study Away and take classes in person? 
Committing to a study away program is considered to be a semester-long agreement. Program fees and housing costs are not refunded if a student withdraws. It is unlikely that students will be able to switch to in-person learning after starting a class remotely.

Will my participation in Study Away influence my diploma or certifications? 
You will be a registered Cornell student for the fall 2020 semester. Your particular Study Away will appear on your Cornell transcript. Partner institutions will issue grade reports to Cornell to indicate the course title(s) and grade(s) from local classes, and that becomes part of your transcript. Courses taken at a partner institution will not have Cornell course codes. Study Away students are not eligible for certifications, degrees, or diplomas from the partner institutions based on the course(s) taken at the partner institution. Your Cornell diploma reflects your Cornell degree and does not contain information about semester coursework. 


Will I have any interactions on campus with other Cornellians?
Yes! You will be living with or near other Cornell students, using common study and meeting spaces, and participating in extracurricular activities together.

Can I participate in Study Away as a commuter from home?
The residential component of the Study Away is mandatory. Building a community is a core component of the program.


What is the price of Study Away?
In addition to Cornell tuition and fees, students will pay for room and board at their site and incidentals. 

Does my financial aid carry over to Study Away programs?
Students who currently receive financial aid are eligible to seek funding for Study Away. Upon acceptance and commitment to a Study Away program, a program budget will be finalized for each student. A copy of the budget will be sent to students, via their Cornell email address, and a copy will be forwarded to the Financial Aid Office. The expected family contribution remains the same for the academic year, and financial aid is adjusted based on the higher or lower costs of the Study Away program. Students are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit through the Office of the Bursar.