Study Abroad Policies & Procedures

Policies & Procedures for Fairfield Students

Admission Policies

Study Abroad is intended to build upon and enhance students’ educational experiences. For this reason, program choices will be carefully reviewed with each student to ensure a good fit between academics and destination.


  • Fairfield University administers its own programs in Florence, Italy; Galway, Ireland; London, England; Managua, Nicaragua; Aix-en-Provence, France; Brisbane and Sydney, Australia and Barcelona and Madrid, Spain. Fairfield University also has a variety of approved programs through other institutions and providers. Please consult with a study abroad advisor or visit the study abroad website for the complete list of approved programs. In order to receive academic credit, students must both apply through the Office of Study Abroad and participate in an approved program.
  • All students must apply for approval to study abroad through the Fairfield University Office of Study Abroad. Once approved, students will be advised on the steps needed to receive acceptance through the host provider or institution.
  • All applications will be considered, but students may not always receive approval for their desired program. Admissions decisions are made in collaboration with the host institution and are based on a variety of factors the first of which is academic compatibility. While we will make every reasonable effort to place students with their preferred program we ask that studnets indicate alternate programs that also meet theirneeds and interests.
  • Students must be in good standing with the Dean of Students at the time of application and program start date. Students with unresolved code of conduct issues may not be approved for study abroad; such applications will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • An overall GPA of 2.8 is required to study abroad for all programs at the time of application and program start date, including short-term and summer. Certain programs have their own criteria and may require higher GPAs. 




  • The normal course load for a study abroad student is five courses per semester, equivalent to 14 to 19 credit hours.
  • Students participating on semester long programs must abide by the requirements for full-time enrollment established by the host institution/partner program.
  • Students must be academically engaged in courses at a minimum of 4 days per week
  • Students wishing to engage in coursework other than that offered by the host institution or program, including online courses,  may only do so with the explicit approval of the Fairfield University Office of Study Abroad and only if the request is the only option that permits the student to maintain their degree completion trajectory while studying abroad.                              
  • Students studying in a non-English speaking country for a semester or more must take one course on local language and culture while abroad. Students with advanced language skills may choose to take a content course taught in the local language to satisfy the language and culture course requirement.
  • Credits for studying abroad will only be granted for academic work successfully completed at approved international programs. All coursework must receive pre-approval (coordinated through the Office of Study Abroad). Only pre-approved courses, taken at an approved program location, will be transcripted and accepted into a student's curriculum.
  • All academic coursework completed at a Fairfield University-administered programs (Florence, Italy; Galway, Ireland; Managua, Nicaragua; Aix-en-Provence, France; Brisbane, Australia; Sydney, Australia; Madrid, Spain; Barcelona, Spain and London, England) is considered Fairfield University resident credit, and the grades are calculated into the student's grade point average.
  • Students participating in affiliated or exchange programs earn transfer credit (with pre-approval of coursework), meaning that grades earned will not appear on your Fairfield transcript. Students must earn a C or better for credit to transfer.
  • Drop-add requests will be approved for compelling academic reasons only as determined by Fairfield University in consultation with your host University/program. Reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate drop-add requests. Requests made for courses that are not approved, alternates that do not fit the prescribed schedule, or to reduce class days will not be approved.
  • Fairfield University’s top priority is ensuring that students are enrolled in the courses they need to progress academically. As some courses have required Field Learning and as all students are required to be academically engaged 4 days per week, some course schedules may include Friday classes or weekend excursions.
  • All requests will be processed.  Approval is not guaranteed.
    • As a reminder, to merit a Fairfield University degree, at least 60 credits must be taken at Fairfield. This includes the last 30 semester credits immediately preceding graduation that must be earned at Fairfield University.

For academic grievances, the normal procedure for informal resolution as specified in the catalog is modified as follows.  Students must first file a written appeal with the instructor, followed by a written appeal to the program if the first level appeal does not resolve the matter.  If the second step also fails to resolve the matter, students have the option of filing a third step grievance through the Director of Study Abroad.  After conversation with the instructor of record and/or program, the Director will inform the student whether or not the grade shall be changed by the instructor of record.  If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome, the Director will inform the student of the right to initiate formal review procedures.  However, if the overseas institution does not offer an appeal process, or does not provide a response to the appeal, participants will be unable to file a formal grievance of their grades.



The non-refundable deposit of $1,000.00 will indicate commitment to a Study Abroad Program and can be received up to the applicable deadline. Once the deposit is paid, the student is committed to the program. Should the student decide to withdraw from the program after the $1,000.00 is received, the deposit is unrecoverable and the additional refund monies are assessed on a case by case basis. The non-refundable deposit is applied to the semester tuition while abroad and will be reflected in the final invoice. The deposits are due on the following dates:

  • Spring Programs
    • September 15
  • Fall and Year Programs
    • March 1
  •  Students who study abroad through Fairfield University for a semester on an approved program are charged regular Fairfield tuition. Housing and meal charges will vary by location.  
  • All Fairfield scholarships and aid, including federal funds, can be used towards study abroad expenses for one semester with the exceptions of athletic scholarships, tuition remission, FACHEX, tuition exchange and work-study monies.  With the approval of the Director of Study Abroad, Modern Language, International Business, and International Studies majors may use Fairfield University financial aid for two semesters abroad for select programs.
  • Fees and billing for short term programs vary. Please visit the program specific website for information.

Withdrawal and Cancellation Policy

If for any reason students must cancel their participation in the program, the following cancellation fee will apply:

  • The non-refundable deposit of $1,000.00 will indicate commitment to a Study Abroad Program and can be received up to the applicable deadline. Once the deposit is paid, the student is committed to the program. Should the student decide to withdraw from the program after the $1,000.00 is received, the deposit is unrecoverable and the additional refund monies are assessed on a case by case basis.
  • The cancellation fee will be determined by the Fairfield University Office of Study Abroad after a review is conducted of the non-refundable expenses that have already been incurred on the students’ behalf. These direct non-refundable expenses will begin to incur after the deposit deadline; they may include tuition, housing, and orientation fees. The cancellation fee may be as high as $12,000 or more.
    • Withdrawal from a study abroad program after the start date must be done with approval from Fairfield University. Early withdrawal from any program could cause the student to forfeit all courses, grades, transcripts, and program fees.
    • If a student requests a withdrawal for medical reasons the medical reason must be verified by our medical insurance provider prior to departure from the program for support and benefits to apply.  If the student does not comply with the medical verification and withdraws from the program without approval no credit or transcript will be awarded and no program fees will be refunded.
    • If a student requests a withdrawal for personal reasons Fairfield University will require verification and may request additional documentation in order to approve the withdrawal.  If a student does not comply with the request for verification and withdraws from the program without approval no credit or transcript will be awarded and no program fees will be refunded.
    • Fairfield University is not required to approve withdrawal requests.  If Fairfield University authorizes a withdrawal, a meeting will be required of the student upon their return to the states to discuss whether or not any course work is recoverable and how to proceed.
    • Fairfield University cannot guarantee the completion of all courses interrupted by an early return.  All requests will be handled on a case by case basis.
    • Approval of withdrawal does not imply or guarantee that any courses, grades, or transcripts will be awarded or that any program fees will be refunded.


Code of Conduct

  • While studying abroad, Fairfield University academic and student conduct policies remain in effect.  Participants are expected to follow and adhere to these policies as enumerated in the Undergraduate Catalog and Student Handbook.  From time to time deviations from these published documents may be required due to differences in local law, practice, or custom abroad. The link to the student code of conduct can be found here:
  • Students who violate the code of conduct while abroad will be required to meet with staff from the Dean of Students Office by phone or skype to address the violation.
  • Infraction will become part of their student record and serious violations may result in the dismissal of the student from the program.
  • If a student is dismissed due to code of conduct violations no credit or transcript will be awarded and no program fees will be refunded.
  • Students are also required to adhere to all local laws.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) provides for the confidentiality of student educational records at Fairfield University.  Fairfield University may not disclose information in a student’s educational records to anyone without the permission of the student, unless disclosure is permitted by an exception set forth in FERPA, 20 U.S.C.A., Sec. 1232 et seq. By completing and signing the attached form, you the student are granting permission to Fairfield University officials to disclose and/or discuss the information authorized by the student on their FERPA Release form. Students are not required to submit a FERPA form; it is the student's discretion to decide whether or not they want to provide Fairfield University with this information.



Students who choose to complete the FERPA Release Form, must complete the FERPA Release questionnaire in their StudioAbroad application following approval to study abroad.  For students who elect not to complete the FERPA Release Form, Fairfield University and the Office of Study Abroad will be unable to relay certain information to parents or guardians. In cases of emergency abroad, including hospitalization and student status during national emergencies, Fairfield University and the Office of Study Abroad may release necessary information to parents or guardians.


Questions regarding FERPA and the procedures followed by Fairfield University to comply with FERPA may be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students. Information about FERPA can be found online at


Accessibility Support Policy

The Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act do not apply to foreign institutions. Though many of our partners will do their best to accommodate for student’s needs, please know that there are times when accommodations cannot always be made.

We invite all students to self-disclose to the Office of Study Abroad and to your home university before or during the application process so that the Office of Study Abroad may work with the student to identify the programs and services that best meet their individual needs and provide them with comparable services while abroad. Students who wish to disclose should first identify themselves to their home institution to discuss their individual needs and to request their paperwork to be forwarded the Office of Study Abroad at Fairfield University. Each home university has their own policies and procedures for students to follow. The student should then request a meeting or call with the Office of Study Abroad to discuss their needs and complete their program selection. The Office of Study Abroad will work closely with the student, their home institution and with the institution overseas to see if accommodations can be met and to assist with the application completion.

Students who determine to self-disclose after the deposit deadline, are advised that not all hosting partners are able to accommodate all disabilities. Should a student make the choice to self-disclose after the deposit deadline, the Office of Study Abroad will work with all parties and make every effort to accommodate the students’ needs but cannot guarantee that the host institution will be able to meet those needs. In this event, the host institution may withdraw their acceptance of the student. The cancellation policy will still be applicable in this situation. If the Office of Study Abroad is not able to find an alternate program that is still accepting applications and which meets the students’ academic and disability needs the student will be withdrawn from study abroad or advised to study abroad in the following term, where applicable.  

Students who choose not to self-disclose, risk the ability to receive disability support while abroad and may be dismissed from the program at the discretion of the host university if the institution determines that they are unable to provide the required support services and that those services are deemed to be essential to the student’s ability to successfully complete the program. The withdrawal policy will still be applicable in this situation.


Housing Policy

  • All students participating on a Fairfield University approved or administered program are required to be housed in Fairfield University approved or administered housing.
  • All students must abide by their program specific housing rules and regulations discussed on-site during orientation. Failure to follow these rules and regulations can result in code of conduct discipline up to including expulsion from the program.
  • Only students who participate on a Fairfield program can be placed in Fairfield University Program housing.
  • All types of damage caused to any student residence or its furnishings are the responsibility of the students assigned to that residence, and repair costs will be billed accordingly. Damage that occurs in common areas of student residences (e.g., hallways, common bathrooms, backyards, etc.) will be divided and shared among all residents of that particular residence hall, floor, or block.
  • Students living off campus, including students on study abroad programs, are expected to be considerate of their neighbors and the community at large. They should monitor noise levels within and projecting from their homes, and if they host guests or parties, they should arrange for the quiet and appropriate arrival and departure of their guests.
  • The standards of conduct will be violated by behavior off campus that results in a neighborhood disturbance. A neighborhood disturbance may occur at the site of a social gathering at an off-campus residence (e.g., loud music or conversation levels) or through activity on the part of those arriving at or leaving a social gathering at an off-campus residence (e.g., littering, property damage, fighting, obscene or disruptive behavior, noise disturbances, etc.).


Health and Safety Policy

Please be aware of the following safety requirements while you are studying abroad:


International Insurance Policy

Fairfield University provides all students studying abroad with international medical and emergency insurance coverage for the dates of their study abroad program. Federal law requires all students to maintain domestic year round coverage in the U.S. even while the student is studying abroad. This means, students should remain enrolled on the policy of their parent or guardian,  or in Gallagher Student Health Insurance through Fairfield University (or on their home universities domestic coverage plan) while on their program abroad.

Students enrolled in all Center Program, except IAU, Provence, France, will be automatically enrolled in CISI Health Insurance from the start date to the end date of your study abroad program. This insurance program is included in the program fee, and there is no additional cost. This coverage does not replace your primary insurance but does provide extensive medical and emergency coverage.

Click here to view detailed information regarding your Fairfield University coverage with CISI.  The student's Studio Abroad account will have complete details on international insurance.  Click here for an additional resource.


Booking Flights

As part of the International Travel Policy, Fairfield University requires all students book their round trip flights through this STA travel portal/link.

For all Fairfield Center programs, students must fly into the designated airport, on the designated program start date and within the specified arrival times. There are no exceptions to this policy. Should students plan to travel prior to the start of the program, they must arrange their travel so as to arrive at the designated airport, on the designated program start date and within the specified arrival time. Early or late arrivals are not approved.  Click here for an additional resource.


International Cell Phone Policy

  • The Office of Study Abroad requires all students to have a cell phone with an international call and data plan (must be able to use off of Wi-Fi).
  • Students are required to register their international cell phone number on their Fairfield University study abroad application and with their host institution within 2 days of arrival to their program.
  • Failure to have a working cell phone abroad with a data plan will result in first a warning then dismissal from the program.

 Click here for an additional resource.


Credit Card Policy

  • The Office of Study Abroad requires that all students studying abroad must have access to a credit card during their time abroad. This requirement is for safety purposes and is especially essential in cases of emergency.
    • Credit cards may be in the name of a parent or guardian as long as the student is authorized to use the card. Please note that host countries often have similar requirements for students studying abroad; be sure to check specific consulate requirements for more details.

Click here for an additional resource.  


Banking Abroad

Many study abroad locations require that students have their own bank account not attached to their parent or guaridan. Click here for an additional resource.


Passports and Visa’s

All students studying abroad are required to have a passport that is valid for at least six months after their program end date. Some countries may require students to apply for a visa. A visa is a document issued by the host country that allows a student to enter, leave and/or stay in a specific country for a designated amount of time. Click here for an additional resource.


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