Skip to main content

Getting Started

Policies and Procedures

In order to be approved and receive academic credit for study abroad, all students must first complete an online application. Below are the criteria by which applications are reviewed:

  • Students must be in good standing academically and financially (no holds) and cannot be on disciplinary probation.
  • Students must have completed at least one semester (12 credits or more).
  • Preference will be given to students who participate in a UHD-approved program or provider.
  • UHD undergraduates must select locations that are not under US Department of State Travel Warning. Regions that are not specifically listed in the travel warning will be considered.

Course Credit and Grading

  • Courses taken abroad must be taken for a grade.
  • Students need to meet with an academic advisor as early as possible to ensure that the credits taken abroad will fulfill degree requirements.
  • Courses taught by UHD faculty count for UHD credit and grades will factor into the UHD GPA.
  • Courses taken abroad that are not taught by UHD faculty will count for transfer credit but will not be factored into the UHD GPA. Students must earn a grade of D to get transfer credit.
  • Students must complete a course approval form for all non-UHD programs. Failure to do so can result in no credit or financial aid being awarded. It's important to begin this step as early as possible, as it can take up to two months to obtain the necessary signatures.
  • Transcripts from study abroad programs should be sent to the following address:
Impact Learning Office
University of Houston-Downtown
1 Main Street, Suite S417
Houston, TX 77002

Proof of Insurance

  • Students on UHD faculty-led programs receive medical and emergency evacuation coverage during the program dates. This insurance coverage is limited and we highly recommend that students have additional major medical coverage. Students will need to pay for medical expenses out-of-pocket and file a claim for reimbursement upon return home.

  • Students who study abroad on all other programs must have medical insurance. Some program providers include this coverage in the program price, while others charge a supplemental fee. Students are not required to purchase additional coverage if they already have coverage that is valid while abroad; however, we recommend that all students purchase an ISIC card to ensure that they have emergency evacuation coverage.

  • Students are required to pay for all medical expenses while abroad.

Passports and Visas

You must have a passport to study abroad. Processing time can be up to 6-8 weeks during busy times, so be sure to apply for a passport as soon as you make the decision to study abroad. Most semester-long programs will require a visa, which you can only obtain after receiving your passport. Your program provider or host institution will provide the documentation that you need to obtain a visa. The visa processing time for some countries can take up to 8 weeks. Students who are not US citizens should research visa requirements and processing times early to allow enough time to obtain a visa. DACA students who wish to study abroad should consult with an immigration attorney to obtain Advance Parole, which takes several months.

Financial Matters

Meet with the Financial Aid office to determine whether or not your aid will be applicable toward your study abroad program. In order for aid to transfer you will need the following documentation:

  • A consortium agreement completed by your program provider. This form is available on the international programs website and is not necessary for UHD faculty-led programs.
  • Application for financial aid. Students who wish to study abroad in the summer will need a separate application.
  • Completed and signed course approval form.
  • Completed and signed degree evaluation.
  • Upon completion of study abroad experience, you must submit a copy of your transcript to the Financial Aid and Study Abroad office.

You will pay UHD for faculty-led and exchange programs. Students who study on provider programs will be billed directly by the provider.

Students who withdraw from programs after paying a deposit are subject to the program provider's refund policies. The UHD study abroad application fee is non-refundable.

UHD offers travel awards to offset the cost of studying abroad. Students can apply for the travel award if they meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum 2.5 GPA (3.0 for graduate students)
  • Students must have taken at least 30 university credits, 12 of which must be taken at UHD
  • Credits earned abroad must count toward the degree

These requirements are reviewed annually and are subject to change prior to the beginning of each academic year.