Villanova University

Programs and Reviews

The Office of International Studies works with students to help them find the program and location best suited to their academic interests and level of preparation for overseas living. While there is no set list of "approved programs", your study abroad advisor will work with you to determine which program is best for your needs.
The first step for studying abroad at Villanova is to attend a group information session with the Office of International Studies. The schedule for group information sessions can be found on the International Studies website: http://www.villanova.edu/vpaa/intlstudies. Attending a group information session is mandatory for all students interested in going abroad for the year, semester or on a non-Villanova summer program.
After the mandatory group information session, all individual meetings with OIS advisers are scheduled by calling the main office number at 610-519-6412.
Study Abroad Guide:

Choosing a Program:
Sign up for a group information session. The schedule for group information sessions can be found on the International Studies website: http://www.villanova.edu/vpaa/intlstudies/students/planning/sessionsignup.htm.
Complete the Student Information Form and Pre-planning Questionnaire. You can find the forms at: http://www.villanova.edu/vpaa/assets/documents/intlstudies/Student_Info_Form.pdf. Bring the forms with you to the first group information session.
Attend the group information session. Attending a group information session is mandatory for all students interested in going abroad for the year, semester or on a non-Villanova summer program to review basic Villanova study abroad academic and financial policies. (If you are planning to participate in a VU Summer Program, you do not need to attend the group information session. Just contact the faculty member who runs the program for more information.)
Schedule a meeting with a study abroad advisor. At the end of the information session, you will be assigned a study abroad advisor, who will remain your advisor throughout the entire study abroad process. Sign up at the front desk for your first meeting with your advisor. (Note that after the mandatory group information session, all individual meetings with OIS advisers are scheduled by calling the main office number at 610-519-6412.)
First meeting with study abroad advisor. This is where the process becomes more individualized. During the first meeting, you will meet with your advisor to begin and narrow down your options. While some majors have limited choices, many majors at Villanova allow you to study virtually anywhere in the world. Therefore, do some research before coming to the meeting. You should at least have an idea which region of the world you want to study in. In addition, the International Studies Office asks that you have a particular interest you would like to explore while studying abroad, be in to become more fluent in Spanish or to focus on your interest in photography. The particular interest also helps narrow down your search.
Do your homework. After the initial meeting, it is your responsibility to search through Villanova's database of where to study abroad at: http://www.villanova.edu/vpaa/intlstudies/students/planning/findprogram/. While your study abroad advisor will help guide the process, in the end its up to you to find the right program for your needs.
Meet with your advisor again. Schedule another appointment with your advisor to finalize your study abroad options and make sure that your desired program fits all four of the International Office's criteria for study abroad programs:

  • Your study abroad program must be a non-profit organization - almost any overseas university will be a non-profit.
  • Your study abroad program must be linked to a non-US university - no studying at US campuses in exotic locations.
  • Your classes must be taught by non-US professors.
  • Your housing must be integrated into the host country - this could mean a home stay, dorm, or apartment or anything that allows you to live the way students live in that country.

Start the Paperwork Process:
If you do not already have one, apply for a passport. Make sure to apply early on in the process to ensure that you are able to obtain one in time for your departure.
Start your Prior Approval Form. Once you have decided on a specific program, you will work with an OIS staff member to fill out your Prior Approval Form. The Prior Approval Form is used to ensure that you will receive credit for all your classes upon returning to Villanova.
Get your Prior Approval Form signed. Take your Prior Approval Form, along with course descriptions, to any and all appropriate department chairs or faculty members for approval. Once all your courses have been approved, you must have the form signed by the Chair of your department or the Dean of your college to signify approval of your overseas study plan.
Know the deadlines. Fall Break is the deadline for returning your Prior Approval Forms to the Office of International Studies for students planning to study abroad in the Spring. For those going in the Fall or Summer, Spring Break is the deadline.
Submit program application. In most cases, YOU are responsible (not the Office of International Studies) for submitting your program application to your program provider or host institution. Make sure to check online to make sure you submit the necessary forms in time.
Obtain a student visa. In many countries, you will be responsible for obtaining a student visa in order to study abroad. Information will be provided by your program provider. Make sure to start the process early, as it is often a long and difficult process.
Submit pre-departure paperwork to the Office of International Studies. Before you leave the country, you are responsible for submitting pre-departure paperwork to the Office of International Studies, which includes:

  • Copy of your acceptance letter
  • Copy of the picture page of your passport
  • Copy of your visa (if applicable)
  • Copy of your flight itinerary
  • Signed copy of the Release Form (which was distributed during the Pre-Departure Orientation)

Some Last Thoughts:
Attend the Mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation. The Office of International Studies will email you about the exact date about a month or two before the end of the semester.
Contact Residence Life. Make sure to contact the Office of Residence Life (610-519-4154) to cancel on-campus housing for the following semester.
Once abroad, send your official class schedule to your OIS Advisor. Once your classes have been finalized, email a copy of your class schedule to your OIS advisor. Please note that if you enrolled in a class that was NOT on your Prior Approval Form, you must email the appropriate Department Head or Chair in order to gain approval. You can use the Email Course Approval Template as a guide.
Send Transcripts Home. At the end of the semester, request that your program provider send an official transcript to: The Office of International Studies, Middleton Hall, Villanova, PA 19085.