Off-Campus Study Policies

Please read these policies carefully as you consider your off-campus study options.

Academic Policies

Student Eligibility

  • Applicants for off-campus study should be in good academic standing at Gustavus. A minimum GPA of 2.75 is required for participation in off-campus study. Some programs require an even higher standard.
  • Sophomore, junior or senior class standing is normally required in order to participate in a semester or year-long program. 
  • Students on academic or disciplinary probation are not allowed to participate in off-campus study programs. If a student is on probation at the time of application, the student may receive a conditional acceptance. However, a student who is not removed from probation before their program begins will not be accepted into the program. Students will be responsible for unrecoverable fees incurred at that time.
  • A student's Gustavus billing account must be in good standing in order to participate in off-campus study.
  • Gustavus students on off-campus programs cannot offer housing accommodations, meals or participation in classes and/or field trips to non-participants without the approval of the Program Supervisor. Any costs connected to these visits will be borne by the visitor(s).

Application Process

  • Students must complete an application and receive approval for the study program from the Center for International and Cultural Education. Extensions of stay and change of programs must have the College's approval.
  • Applications must be submitted by March 1 for fall semester, spring semester, and academic year programs. Applications for off-campus January Interim courses may be submitted between April and mid-September prior to the January Interim.

Academic Prerequisites

Some off-campus study courses have a prerequisite. Students who are enrolled in a course that is a prerequisite for off-campus study must satisfactorily complete that prerequisite in order to participate in the off-campus study. If the student does not satisfactorily complete the required prerequisite course, he/she is responsible for all cancellation penalties related to the program.

Credit and Grades

  • Students studying off-campus for either a semester or year must be registered as full-time Gustavus students.
  • Students normally complete the same number of credits in an off-campus study program as they would at Gustavus. Before making a commitment to an off-campus study program, Gustavus students need to consider their major, minor and general education requirements to ensure that their participation in off-campus study will not hinder their progress toward graduation.
  • Credit earned by the student on approved programs will normally transfer as credit toward graduation, and may fulfill major/minor requirements subject to departmental approval. (An exception is made when courses are worth fewer than three semester credits at a foreign university. Contact the Study Abroad Advisor for specific information on each programs' credits.) One successful semester of study abroad in a non-European country satisfies a Non-Western culture requirement (NWEST). Credit may be applied toward other area requirements only with the prior approval of the Registrar.
  • In order for a student to receive credit for their off-campus study experience, they need to achieve a grade of at least a C- in each course they wish to receive credit for. A grade of D+ or below does not transfer back to Gustavus. Additional policies apply. Grades earned on a study abroad program appear on the Gustavus transcript but are not figured into the GPA unless the course/program was instructed by a Gustavus faculty member.
  • Students do not receive transfer credit if they make their own arrangements to participate in a program approved by Gustavus. If a student is to receive academic credit, application and registration must take place through Gustavus Adolphus College.

Finance and Cancellation Policies

Program Fees and Billing

  • All students will be charged their appropriate Gustavus Adolphus tuition for the term of the approved program. In addition, the student will be charged a program fee which generally includes the host provider tuition, room and board, and any other required cost at the host institution. However, depending on the program, students may pay their room and/or their board direct on-site, as well as other costs. Except in rare cases, the program fee or tuition charge does not cover the cost of transportation (airfare) to the program site. Students are encouraged to consult the Study Abroad Advisor to discuss estimated costs for each program.
  • A non-refundable application fee of $50 must be submitted with the Gustavus application.
  • Specific programs may also require an application fee which is non-refundable.
  • Specific program deposits must be paid to the Center for International and Cultural Education at the time of acceptance to a program. This deposit is applied to the cost of a program.
  • Application fees and program deposits cannot be covered by financial aid awards; they must be paid directly to the College by the participant.
  • The balance of payment is due according to billings sent by the Student Accounts Office.

Cancellation and Refunds

  • Cancellations of application for semester and year-long programs must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Center for International and Cultural Education.
  • Students will always forfeit their application fees. Beyond that, all non-recoverable charges will be assessed to the student at the time of cancellation.
  • Gustavus students who withdraw from both the program and the College are subject to the above fees plus the non-refundable college deposits.
  • Students or their families may wish to purchase 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
  • 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 Gustavus program before commencement of the program, all monies paid to Gustavus prior to that time will be refunded.
  • 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.
  • 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., all monies paid to Gustavus prior to that time will be refunded.

Financial Aid

A cost estimate sheet is provided to each student approved for off-campus study. Financial aid applies toward Gustavus approved programs, with the exception of work-study award for the term they will be abroad, and certain scholarships that require a student’s participation on-campus (e.g. some music and theatre scholarships). Students are reminded that they are not allowed to earn the full year work-study award if they are off-campus during one term. Students applying for a non-approved Gustavus program may retain their Federal Aid but are ineligible for Gustavus restricted and unrestricted scholarships or loans. Students may file an amended FAFSA application based on additional costs of an off-campus study program.


A variety of scholarships are available for off-campus study through outside agencies.  Please see the Scholarship Handout available at the Center for International and Cultural Education. The Study Abroad Advisor will assist students seeking additional financial support for an off-campus study program.

Health and Safety Policies

Medical Insurance

Students who study internationally will be covered under the College's insurance with EIIA/AIG. There is no cost to the student for this coverage. This insurance provides secondary coverage for international emergencies and accidents as well as other benefits. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Students are only covered for the official duration of the program and are not covered if they travel pre- or post-program. Students are required to maintain their U.S. based health insurance for the duration of their time abroad.

Health Concerns and Medical Withdrawal

  • 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 room and board charges. The student must submit a physician's statement to CICE along with a request for the return of funds.

State Department Travel Warnings

Students who have been granted approval to study off-campus will not be allowed to begin a program in a country or area considered to be unsafe by the U.S. Department of State. 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 the Center for International and Cultural Education to make alternative plans. In cases where such a Public Announcement or Travel Warning is issued while a program is in progress, a decision to cancel a student's approval to study off campus may be made based on the advice of the U.S. Department of State.

Risk Management

Any off-campus program may involve risk. It is the responsibility of students and providers to take whatever steps are necessary to minimize those risks. Every effort is made to protect the health and safety of students on off-campus studies programs but Gustavus Adolphus College, the Center for International and Cultural Education, or members of the Gustavus faculty or administrative staff cannot guarantee a risk-free environment or accept responsibility for accidents or illnesses on a study abroad program. When an emergency arises, the CICE staff follows an Emergency Management Plan that is quite comprehensive. Students can help avoid emergencies by observing the following guidelines:

  • Operation of Motor Vehicles. It is strongly recommended that students do not operate a motor vehicle in another country. Traffic laws and regulations differ from those in the U.S. In some countries, an international driver's license is required. If an accident occurs, you may find yourself responsible for all damages and costs. You must therefore assume responsibility for your own safety.
  • Independent Travel. Many students make arrangements to remain on site and/or travel rather than return directly to the U.S. at the end of a program. Gustavus responsibility for students on off-campus programs ends at the time the group flight departs to return to the U.S. or at the scheduled end of a domestic program. Students assume full responsibility at that time.

More information on safety can be learned by reading the Statement on Safety: Domestic Off-Campus Programs or the Statement on Safety: International Off-Campus Programs.

Gustavus Alcohol and Drug Policy

Visitors in countries abroad are particularly vulnerable when it concerns violations—intentional or unintentional—of local rules and regulations concerning alcohol and, in particular, drugs. The process of law and punishment is far more arbitrary than within the United States and more often than not may lead to prolonged imprisonment under substandard conditions. Consequently, it is of utmost importance for the welfare of the individual that extreme caution and prudence be applied when it concerns these matters. In the United States, all federal and state laws govern the use of illegal drugs and alcohol.
The use, purchase, or sale of illegal drugs (hallucinogens, narcotics, stimulants, or depressants) is a critical issue. Any student who uses, buys, or sells illegal drugs will be expelled from the program and immediately returned to their home at his/her own expense. One violation will be cause for removal from the program. Separation from the program will result in loss of academic credit. The cost of legal advice, fines, and return travel must be borne by the violator. Providing alcohol to persons under the legal drinking age is illegal and against Gustavus policy. Transporting quantities of alcohol to program sites with the intent of sharing the alcohol with members of the group is considered to be irresponsible use of alcohol.

Student Responsibilities

When a student accepts a place on a Gustavus 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:

  • 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. The Faculty Director on Gustavus led programs will inform students of the appropriate attire, norms and behavior in each site, and it is the responsibility of each student to adhere to these requirements.
  • Cooperate with schedules for travel, movement at airports, and other areas concerning travel logistics.
  • Attend all classes and other scheduled activities.
  • Observe the College's policy on drugs and alcohol.
  • Be responsible for all information contained in CICE materials, especially where fees and program details are concerned.
  • Attend all orientation meetings and/or appointments (unless considerable distance prevents them from doing so).
  • 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.