Frequently asked Questions

Why should I study abroad?

Everyone will give different answers to this question. St. Francis students who have studied abroad enthusiastically agree about its advantages. They find class work in a foreign country stimulating and their encounters outside the classroom educational and exciting. They come back with a broader, deeper understanding both of another country and of their own cultural background. Entering St. Francis students should start planning early to enjoy this unique opportunity.

Can I afford to study abroad?

Yes, you can! Generally, all financial aid awards, including loans, grants, and scholarships, are applicable to SIUE approved study abroad programs. Financial aid packages are reevaluated to consider the cost of a specific program, and aid packages may be adjusted (up to the maximum eligibility amount) according to the modified cost of the study abroad program. Students may also be able to receive additional loans (available under the Stafford Student Loan program through private lenders -- banks, savings and loan associations, or credit unions) to help finance their study abroad.

In comparison, how much more does this study abroad program cost than the regular cost of tuition at the University of St. Francis?

The University has worked to keep the cost down and make it more accessible to all of our students.

Consequently, the study abroad program to Italy costs less than a semester with room and board at the University of St. Francis

Are Scholarships Available?

There are a limited number of scholarships. Contact Mary Shaw in Financial Aid, Tower Hall in 320. Phone 815.740.3396

Are there scholarships that cannot be used towards the study abroad program?

You cannot, at this time, use scholarships awarded by the University, for example, athletic scholarships, academic, scholarships, or other financial aid directly granted by the university.

I'm not a University of St. Francis student; can I participate?

Yes, please contact Dr. Bowers (815.740.3853 //

What University requirements will these classes meet?

Depending on what classes a student chooses, the student can meet a variety of general education requirements. For more information contact Dr. Bowers.

Can I study abroad if I haven’t declared my major yet?


Will I graduate on time if I study abroad?

Many students can graduate on schedule if they work with their adviser and take their general education requirements on the Study Abroad Program.

What are the living arrangements?

Students share apartments in the city of Florence as arranged by the program.

Do I need to know a foreign language to study abroad?

No, but all students in the Italian Study Abroad Program are required to take the conversational Italian course while there, so they can be comfortable moving around the Italian countryside.

Am I eligible for Dean's List during the semester I study abroad?


Is there time between classes when I can travel?

Yes, classes are from Monday to Thursday, and students have a three day weekend to travel. There is also a Spring Break, a week where students can travel throughout Europe.

What is the policy on drinking?

There is no drinking age law in Italy.

However, we expect students to be responsible and respect the culture of Italy where `drunkenness' or rudeness are not tolerated. Students will be dismissed from the program and sent home if they do not act responsibly.

Is there a minimum GPA for study abroad?

You need to be a student in good academic standing.

Are there students who really should go abroad and are there some who shouldn't?

While some might argue that every student should study abroad, we realize that is not really the case. Some students find it impossible due to their schedules (athletes or students with multiple majors) and other students who have fragile physical or mental situations should consult with their doctors. Also, students on disciplinary and/or academic probation are not allowed to study abroad.

Are there any special requirements/suggestions for students with chronic medical or psychological problems?

Students should consult with their physicians, psychologists and counselors extensively regarding study abroad plans. They should also self disclose to the program administrators about their circumstances. This will allow the program administrators to appropriately assist the students. Students should also continue their prescribed medications while abroad, which may mean bringing a supply sufficient for the duration of their sojourn.

How do I apply?

Contact Dr. John Bowers (815.740.3853 //, or in person.