Center for International and Cultural Education

Italian coastal townThe following are the key study away policies. Additional details are included in policy documents that you will sign as part of the study away application process. In most cases, you will also be working with an external partner that employs its own set of policies and, in such cases, both sets of policies apply.

General Policies

  1. Class standing. Generally speaking, participation in study away programs is open to students in sophomore standing or higher by the time of departure. In practice, this means that most students may study away as early as the summer after their first year at Gustavus. Exceptions: (a) First-year students may participate in faculty-led programs in the J-Term, spring semester, or embedded spring break options, at the discretion of the faculty director. (b) Some programs, such as full-time internships and certain exchange programs, require junior standing.
  2. Probation. Students who are on academic probation and/or conduct probation may not participate in study away programs until the probation status is cleared.
  3. Cleared account. Students with outstanding bills due to the College may not be registered for study away participation until their accounts are cleared.
  4. Exchange students may only participate in short-term faculty-led opportunities that take place during their exchange period at Gustavus. For example, year-long exchange students may participate in a faculty-led J-Term course, and spring semester exchange students may participate in an embedded spring break program. Exchange students will have to pay the same program fees as any participating student.
  5. Academic eligibility. Generally speaking, students must have at least a 2.50 GPA at the time of application for study away participation. Some individual programs require a higher minimum GPA.
  6. Prerequisites. Some programs have specific prerequisities for participation, such as having completed a minimum course level in a target language. We try to minimize the number of prerequisites whenever possible, so most programs do not have prerequisites. Individual courses taught on site, however, may have their own prerequisites (example: an advanced chemistry course will require prior completion of certain lower-level courses in the field, just like on campus).
  7. Nonsponsored programs. The College sponsors well over 400 programs in order to meet as many needs as possible. As a rule, students selecting programs that are not sponsored by Gustavus will not be enrolled at the College during the relevant term(s) and will not have access to financial aid through Gustavus. Such course work may not be transferred to Gustavus. In the case of a semester program, students would have to withdraw from the College and, if later wishing to return, apply for readmission. (Students who do so may be subject to new graduation requirements in effect at the time of readmission.) Note that it may be possible to petition for approval of a nonsponsored program in your individual case. See your CICE advisor to discuss any plans regarding a nonsponsored program.

Courses and Grades

  1. GPA and Gustavus courses. When students participate in Gustavus-administered study away programs and a Gustavus faculty member is responsible for grading the course work, the course counts as a Gustavus course, the the grade(s) are included in calculating your GPA.
  2. GPA and non-Gustavus courses. When students participate in programs offered by partner colleges/universities or organizations, the course work is transferred to Gustavus and the grades, while listed on the Gustavus transcript, are not included in calculating the GPA.
  3. Meeting requirements. Courses taken during any study away program may be applicable toward completion of Gustavus degree requirements. For non-Gustavus programs, your courses will be evaluated before you leave on the program. Major/minor applicability is up to departmental advisors. Applicability toward general degree requirements is determined by the Registrar. To meet a degree requirement, a course must be awarded at least 0.75 Gustavus course credits (or 3 US semester credits). Courses that are less than 0.75 Gustavus course credits will still be transferrable but may not satisfy requirements.
  4. No credit for "backtracking." Courses must not be a repeat of previous coursework or more elementary than previous coursework.
  5. Timing. Credit transfer from partner programs and international institutions can take a much longer time than usual grade reporting – sometimes six or even nine months beyond the period of participation. Students who wish to study away as seniors should keep this timing in mind. You can study away in your final semester, but graduation will not be "official" until your grades and credits are posted. The delay also can complicate progression through sequential course work, so it's good to talk about these issues with your advisors and the Registrar in advance.

Key Financial Policies

  1. Application fee. All participants will pay an application fee, and the College is unable to waive this fee as it pays for and maintains the online applicant system. Applications are not considered complete or screened until the application fee has been paid.
  2. Deposits. Once accepted, most participants will also pay either one or two deposits to Gustavus. The deposits help the College to begin making financial commitments on your behalf. There are speciifc refund policies regarding deposits, and these are given in detail in the initial application. The initial deposit is usually due within two weeks of acceptance. J-Term Gustavus programs have a second deposit due on June 30 prior to participation.
  3. Balance. The balance of costs are due on: (a) the usual Gustavus tuition due date for semester programs; (b) October 31 for J-Term programs; or (c) April 30 for Gustavus-operated summer programs. Any fees due to an external partner, landlord, etc. will have their own, unique deadlines.
  4. External programs. Generally speaking, students in semester programs will pay to Gustavus their Gustavus tuition and also a program fee that includes program-specific costs (and sometimes also on-site housing and/or some or all meals) for the study away site. Gustavus pays many semester costs directly to our program partners. Depending on the program model, some costs may be paid directly on site (e.g., where the housing is in apartments, students may buy food and make their own meals and may even in some sites pay rent directly to a landlord/-lady). All programs have a budget sheet in the Gustavus website that shows estimates for what will be paid to Gustavus, and what will be spent out-of-pocket. Students enrolled in non-Gustavus programs during J-Term and summer will usually pay all costs apart from Gustavus fees directly to the program partner organization and/or on-site; Gustavus does not handle billing internally in these cases.
  5. Payment procedures. Application fees and deposits are paid diurectly to CICE via an online credit card payment form or a check or money order. Balance payments are billed through the regular Gustavus student billing account and should not be paid to CICE directly.
  6. Full policy disclosure in application. Applicants will be asked to sign a more detailed iteration of the relevant financial policies while completing the initial application.

Safety and Security

  1. TSC. The Gustavus Travel Safety Committee (TSC) has the authority to restrict College-sponsored travel to any locations it deems to be currently unsuitable for College-sponsored activities. The TSC uses an intuitive red-yellow-green system to indicate current restrictions.
  2. Safety provision. The College and its partners make every effort to enhance student safety, but there is no such thing as a 100% safe location (even at your home or on campus). We try to approximate this same relative level of safety as much as possible. Both Gustavus staff members and College partners' staff members follow established protocols in addressing any safety or security issues that may arise.
  3. Insurance. The College maintains an insurance policy that covers participants for emergency medical procedures needed during the program period as well as any political or disaster evacuation (subject to restrictions set by the insurance providers). You are also expected to maintain your personal health insurance, and you are encouraged to consider more comprehensive medical coverage and also any coverage you would like for your personal valuables. The College's policy does not cover possessions and includes only minimal coverage for trip interruption or cancellation (and cancellation coverage excludes your own decision to withdraw from the program after committing to participate).
  4. Program discontinuation. The College reserves the sole right to determine when and if it is necessary to terminate a program in the event of changing crcusmtances of a political nature or a natural disaster, or for any other reasons. In such instances, every effort wil be made to help students complete the relevant course work, whenever possible. Any evacuations will be either to return home or to the "nearest safe harbor," as determined by insurance policies.

Student Responsibilities

  1. Application. Students are responsible for completing all components of the Gusvatus study away application and, where applicable, any partner applications as well. Staff members are happy to assist with any questions.
  2. Immigration clearance. While CICE staff members and/or partner program staff members may assist you as you complete applications for entry visas for your destination countries, students are ultimately responsible for completing the visa application process and following up on any missing items. Gustavus Adolphus College is not responsible for any outcome of the processes of immigration services in any country.
  3. Individual travel. While some programs include group travel, in many cases, students are responsible for booking their own travel accommodations and traveling to their study site(s) on their own. CICE and/or the program partner organization may provide some advice and will answer questions. Allowing for individual travel whenever possible leaves students free to choose lowest-cost options (group flights usually are not the lowest-cost option), to use discounts such as family member airline miles or student rates, and to travel elsewhere before and/or after the program dates as immigration rules allow.
  4. Medications and medical needs. While the College's insurance partners may provide some advice about traveling abroad with prescription medications and other necessary health-related items, it is ultimately the student's responsibility to ensure that you comply with local rules and only take allowable medications. This planning sometimes involves discussions with doctors here at home about switching to alternative medications prior to departure.

Student Conduct

  1. Conduct rules apply. During study away participation, all Gustavus student conduct rules apply, including drug and alcohol policies. When students are of legal drinking age in the jurisdiction of residence, alcohol consumption itself is not a conduct code violation, but drinking to the point of impairment that puts yourself, others, and/or the program at risk constitutes a violation. Similarly, rules against possesing weapons on campus also apply in all study away settings.
  2. Gustavus authority. The College and its personnel maintain the authority to determine when there has been a violation of the College's conduct rules and to impose appropriate sanctions up to and including expulsion from a program when such is warranted. Students who are expelled from a program will bear the financial and academic responsibility for the necessary departure. Note, too, that any student visas become immediately invalidated once your student status is suspended, so you would need to return to the United States once expelled. Expulsion is a rare consequence but can be necessary when your conduct puts you, others, or the program at risk. In addition, if program partners find it necessary to impose conduct sanctions, you may also face separate sanctions at Gustavus, either during your program or upon your return to the College. The College's decisions about sanctions (and expulsion) are separate from, and in addition to, any sanctions imposed by program partners.


  1. Privacy. Gustavus complies with FERPA, the privacy act that protects certain personal information for students. Applicants are asked to sign a FERPA release that specifically allows for release of your academic record and Gustavus student conduct record to program-related parties with a reasonable need to know. Otherwise, your data is protected. This means, among other things, that we cannot discuss your performance in your program or "how you are doing" with your family members or others apart from College and program staff members with a reasonable need to know in order to fulfill their duties of supporting you.
  2. Medical privacy. Gustavus also complies with HIPAA and acts to ensure your privacy regarding medical data. Only data needed for the purposes of helping you ensure safe program participation is requested. The application process requires, in the post-acceptance phase, a visit with a medical practitioner at the Gustavus Health Service, your regular physician, or a travel clinic. But the items discussed there are not shared with College personnel (outside of the Health Service). You are of course free to share with us any data related to concerns that you would like assistance in addressing.
  3. Title IX and the Clery Act. Gustavus also complies with Title IX and with the Clery Act, taking steps to enhance students safety in relation to gender- and sex-related crimes and other crimes. We also report any incidents as per the requirements of these laws. Reporting to government agencies is handled centrally by the College's desiganted officials and does not include individually identifiable information. All College personnel connected to study away programs, including faculty members who lead programs, are by law mandatory reporters and cannot keep a reported incident confidential. For confidential support, please contact a counselor in the Counseling Center, a staff member in the Health Service, or a College chaplain.
  4. State of Minnesota Reporting. Gustavus also complies with the law of Minnesota and reports any known hospitalizations or other major student health incidents that occur during international study away programs. For this reason, returnees are asked to complete a relevant survey. Again, no personally identifiable information is reported. We report the facts about the incident itself (nature of medical issue, type of hospitalization, dates, location, type of study away program, and outcomes).