Winthrop University
212 Dinkins Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733
(803) 323-3451
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Academic Year: October 2
Summer: March 1
Fall: October 2
Spring: March 1
NSE: February 1
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Students Abroad

Study Abroad Handbook

Contact Information

  • Study Abroad Office    803.323.3451    
  • The International Center    803.323.2133
  • Records and Registration     803.323.2194
  • Residence Life     803.323.2223
  • College of Arts and Sciences     803.323.2183
  • College of Business Administration     803.323.2186
  • College of Education    803.323.2151
  • College of Visual/Performing Arts     803.323.2323
  • Winthrop University Police (in case of after hours emergency)     803.323.3333

Staying in Touch

  • Post Office:  Sending and receiving mail can take a week or more and is expensive if the item sent is larger a postcard or letter.  Know that everyone back home will love to receive a postcard or a letter from you even if it does arrive a month or more later!
    To receive mail, have it sent to your overseas residence.  If this is not possible or you are traveling, some banks and credit card companies handle mail for customers at their overseas branches.  In most countries, General Delivery (Poste Restante) services at post offices will hold mail for you.  U.S. embassies/consulates do not handle private mail.
  • Internet:  You, as a Winthrop student, will be able to access your email accounts through the Winthrop website.  Most programs will have computer labs and most have WIFI in student residences.  Almost all cities in the world now have internet cafes at reasonable prices.  Using the internet will be the most cost-effective way to stay in touch with your family and friends.
  • Skype: One popular method of communication is Skype. Skype is a downloadable computer program that allows you to talk to other people via the internet. You will need a computer, internet access, and some type of microphone and headphones. Calling computer-to-computer is free (so encourage your family and friends to get Skype, too!), but calling from computer-to-phone is also possible and very inexpensive. See for more information.

How to Call the USA from Abroad

To make an international call to the U.S., dial first 001 + area code + local number. Before you make a call, remember there may be a big time difference between local times.

Technological advancements are currently being made in the area of intercontinental cell phones.  Most US cell phones WILL work in other countries, but your plan may be very expensive to maintain.  Check with your provider for specific information.  Many students purchase cell phones at their study abroad locations and use SIM cards.  If you choose to do this, you will be responsible for paying for your phone, plan and cards.

Dealing with Culture Shock and Homesickness

Everyone who lives abroad encounters ways of doing, organizing, perceiving or valuing things different from one’s own. This can initially be exciting and novel, but can also end up feeling overwhelming.  This is all part of cultural adjustment, or “culture shock”. There are distinct phases of adjustment which virtually everyone who lives abroad goes through.  Knowing that this is normal and temporary is key to making the most of your experience.
The phases most people experience are:
• Initial Euphoria, or the “Honeymoon” phase
• Irritability (the Culture Shock phase)
• Gradual Adjustment
• Adaptation and Biculturalism
• Re-Entry Phase
It is important that you realize that all phases are a natural part of adapting to a new culture.  Take a breath, write in your journal, or talk to your friends or program administrators before calling home or acting on any feelings of frustration you may have.  Remember, culture shock is natural and temporary.

Credit transfer policies

Your transfer credits cannot be posted until the Study Abroad Office receives your official transcript, diploma or other official certificate from your host institution and you have on file the Approval to Transfer Credit Form.  The host institution should send your transcript, diploma or other official certificate to Winthrop University.  At the end of your semester abroad, before you return home, request that your program send all such documents to:
     Study Abroad Coordinator
     The International Center of Winthrop University
     218 Dinkins Hall
     Rock Hill, SC 29733 USA
You will receive academic credit for the courses that you pass with a C- or higher grade. Your Winthrop GPA prior to studying abroad will be the same as after studying abroad. Study abroad grades count towards your cumulative GPA, honors designation at graduation, and financial aid eligibility.

If the courses that you had pre-approved are unavailable when you arrive at your host institution, and you choose new courses, contact your student services coordinator and your advisor with your new course selections.  Provide them with course descriptions or syllabi so that they have the information they need to approve the new courses.  Failure to do so means risking the chance to receive credit for the new courses.  Once the courses have been approved, inform the Study Abroad Office of your new course selections.

How to register for classes from abroad

Use Winthrop’s website to know registration dates and times.  Contact your advisor a week or so before it is time for you to register. Decide together on your courses, and remember to ask your advisor to remove your advising flag once registration begins.  The Study Abroad Office can help you if you encounter problems.

How to request on-campus housing from abroad

To avoid housing problems upon return to Winthrop, pre-arrange your room assignment prior to studying abroad.  If you forget to do this, contact the Office of Residence Life with your request.

CISI Health Insurance information

The CISI World Class Coverage Plan for Winthrop University study abroad participants provides medical coverage all over the world.  If you purchased CISI insurance before you departed and have lost your card or need further information about the policy, contact the Study Abroad Office.

Winthrop University Winthrop University International Center