Winthrop University
212 Dinkins Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733
(803) 323-3451
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Academic Year: October 2
Summer: March 1
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Services of the International Center

The Study Abroad staff of the International Center seek to connect students with opportunities for international engagement. We provide one-on-one advising to students on study abroad options, offer guidance through the application process, provide pre-departure orientation, ongoing support to students while abroad, and a re-entry workshop upon return.

Why Study Abroad?

Many people wonder why you should study abroad. Besides being an exciting and eye-opening experience for students, study abroad will enhance a student's academic insights, clarify career aspirations, significantly advance language skills, and will certainly set them apart from most of their peers in the job market. 100% of Winthrop students who study abroad also report increased independence, self confidence, and global awareness as a result of their international experience. 

The Impact on Graduation

A common misperception is that study abroad will extend a student's graduation. In reality, with advanced planning most students can spend a semester or academic year abroad and still graduate on time. Students should talk to their academic advisor and the study abroad office early on to identify the ideal time and program for them.

For a variety of reasons (family or work commitments, for example), a short-term program may work better for some students. Short-term programs last from one week to two months and are offered during spring break, Maymester (the break between Spring and Summer sessions) and summer and can be done any time in the academic career.


Many people assume that study abroad is expensive or requires taking on additional debt. For most semester-long Winthrop exchange and partner programs, students pay Winthrop tuition, room and board, plus a participation fee (currently $325).

In most cases, students can use their scholarships and financial aid toward semester-long programs. We also encourage students to apply for additional scholarships and talk to the Financial Aid Office about other financing options.

Students are responsible for their own airfare, passport, student visa and spending money, but can generally save enough money with a summer job to pay for these. In the end, many students don't spend much more money than they do in a semester on campus, but will graduate with international experience and increased competitiveness in the job market. It is a great investment in themselves and their future!


Typically, students study abroad during their sophomore or junior years.  Freshmen are not allowed to participate in semester study abroad programs but can go on short term programs.  We also advise students against study abroad in the semester before they graduate due to the time it takes for transcript processing.

We encourage students to begin thinking about study abroad from their freshman year, letting their academic advisor know they wish to study abroad and visiting the International Center to begin learning about different programs.

But even late planners can study abroad! At a minimum, students need to apply to study abroad early the semester BEFORE they want to go abroad. The deadline for Spring study is October 1st and the deadline for Fall study is March 1st. The deadline for summer study abroad is April 15th. Students participating in a short-term program led by a Winthrop faculty member generally need to apply and register for the course the semester before the course runs.

Before They Leave

Here are the things your student will have to remember to do before leaving for their Study Abroad experience:

  • Study Abroad Program - Keep in contact with the International Center about your study abroad program.  Let us know any changes regarding your intent to study abroad, admission, study, living arrangements, etc.
  • Passport - Apply for a passport.  If you already have one, check that your passport is valid for 6 months after your return.  Bring a copy of the info page to the Study Abroad Office.
  • Student Visa - Know if you need a visa, the status of your visa application and inform the Study Abroad Office when you receive your visa from the host government.
  • Advisor - Meet with your advisor to determine the courses you will take abroad and the courses you will take at Winthrop following your study abroad semester.  This ensures the transfer of credit process and makes your registration process while you are abroad much simpler.  You will register for your returning semester while you are abroad through Wingspan just as you do on campus.
  • Approval to Transfer Credit Form - Complete the form with your advisor and get it signed by the appropriate faculty/staff in your department and college.  Bring the yellow copy to the Study Abroad Office before you leave for the semester.
  • Off-campus Financial Aid Request Form - If you are receiving financial aid, complete this form and bring it to the Study Abroad Office before you leave for the semester.  Set up direct deposit so any refund will go into your bank account.
  • Winthrop Residence Life - If you live on-campus, visit 237 DiGiorgio Center and complete the form that releases you from your housing contract and let them know that you will be studying abroad next semester.  Also, if you plan to stay on campus after your return, pick up a housing contract and roommate request form.
  • Cashiers Office - Clear debts from your account and VALIDATE YOUR SCHEDULE for your study abroad semester!
  • Change of Address Form - Complete the form at the Winthrop Post Office so that correspondence from Winthrop will be mailed to your home address.  Also consider making address changes for credit card statements, phone bills, utility bills, bank statements, membership charges, magazine subscriptions, etc. Do this several weeks before departure!
  • Itinerary - Leave a copy of your travel plans with the Study Abroad Office before you go home for the semester.
  • Medical Check-up - Get a clean bill of health.  Have complete physical, dental and eye checkups before you depart.  Get any necessary immunizations.  Purchase enough personal medications for the time you are abroad.  Keep all medical info on a card so that you have it if necessary.
  • Packing - Airlines have strict baggage and weight restrictions. Always know (call the airlines or get the information from their websites) before you pack!!! Excess baggage may be refused or be subject to fees.
    • Bring as little as possible.
    • Bring things that you can leave behind to make room for what you buy abroad.
    • Bring a backpack (handy for school and weekend jaunts).
    • Bring clothing appropriate for your host country climate and what you will be doing.
    • Bring comfy shoes, but no more than 3 pairs.

Health Insurance

All students must have sufficient health insurance coverage while abroad.  Check if the study abroad program provides insurance or if your current medical coverage is valid outside the U.S.  Questions to ask your insurance company are:

  • Does the policy cover me for all the countries I want to visit?
  • What illnesses/injuries are covered?
  • Is medical evacuation and repatriation covered? (in case you become seriously ill and need to return home)
  • What are the pre-admission requirements for receiving treatment abroad?
  • Am I covered for injuries sustained from terrorism, acts of war, high risk activities (such as skydiving or bungee jumping), personal foolishness?
  • How do I pay?  How do I get reimbursed?  What kind of financial and medical documentation will be required for reimbursement, and is such documentation readily available in the countries where I will be living and traveling?
  • Does the insurance company require claims to be submitted in U.S. dollars?

If your current policy doesn’t provide adequate coverage, Winthrop study abroad participants may purchase the CISI World Class Coverage Plan for only $40 per month. With this plan, students are able to receive medical attention all over the world. For information on this policy, contact the Study Abroad Office.

While They Are Abroad

Shortly after arriving in a foreign country, many people find the novelty wears of and they experience culture shock.  They may feel homesick, lonely, or like they don't fit in. The best thing to do is to encourage your student to become active in their new surroundings and to try new things.  Usually once the student gets into the swing of things, homesickness subsides and they really begin to get the most out of their time abroad.

Should a student encounter a problem while abroad, the first call seeking help should be made by the student to the appropriate resource person on-site.  They are best positioned by both geography and experience to assist.

Winthrop University Winthrop University International Center