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Eligibility

POLICIES AND ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR NIU STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS

The following are the eligibility requirements governing student participation in NIU study abroad programs.

MINIMUM AGE
The Study Abroad Office does not permit applicants under the age of 18 or high school students to participate in study abroad programs.

CLASS STANDING
To participate in any NIU study abroad program, students must have sophomore standing at the time of participation in a study abroad program. 

Students applying for international internships, exchange programs, and some cosponsored study abroad programs must have attained junior or senior standing at the time for which they are applying to go abroad.  Students who wish to apply for one of these programs before they have  attained junior or senior status will be advised on a case-by-case basis.

Freshmen students, with the appropriate academic background, may apply for some summer programs if they reach sophomore standing by the time the summer program begins. 

GPA
To apply to an NIU study abroad program, students must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 or 3.00, depending on the requirements of specific programs

Some specific NIU Administered and Cosponsored study abroad programs may have a lower GPA requirement.  Students should check minimum GPA program requirements in those programs before they apply.

PROGRAM SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS
Some study abroad programs have requirements in addition to class standing and minimum CUM GPA. 

These requirements may include: a minimum level of proficiency in a foreign language, specific course pre-requisites, a minimum GPA in a specified major, or consent of an NIU academic department and faculty adviser.

Certain NIU cosponsored study abroad programs require a minimum foreign language proficiency in order for the student to be accepted.

Students who intend to participate in an academic year or semester study abroad program that requires the equivalent of five or six semesters of previous foreign language background, must complete the minimum language requirement during the semester immediately preceding the desired program.

Students who intend to participate in an academic year or semester study abroad program in a location where all the courses are taught in a foreign language, must meet the minimum language proficiency requirements of that program.

Students who take an intensive elementary level language course prior to an NIU cosponsored summer program may be accepted conditionally, pending their performance in the course and approval of an appropriate foreign language instructor.

RETROACTIVE STUDY ABROAD CREDIT
The NIU Study Abroad Office will not retroactively award credit for courses that were not pre-approved by an NIU academic department prior to departure or for courses taken as part of a non-approved study abroad program.  All study abroad credit must be secured in advance by the student.

FULL TIME ENROLLMENT WHILE STUDYING ABROAD
Students must be enrolled full-time while participating in an NIU study abroad program.

Undergraduate Fall and Spring Semesters: 12 or more semester hours
Summer:  3 or more semester hours*
Graduate  Fall and Spring: 9 or more semester hours
Summer: 3 or more semester hours*

*Three semester hours is considered half time for summer enrollment and is the minimum number of hours required for students to be eligible for financial aid and loans.  Study abroad students are strongly encouraged to be enrolled full-time (6 or more hours) for the summer term; however, enrollment and course availability can vary by program.

STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM PARTICIPATION
In order to be accepted into a study abroad program, students must agree to participate in the entire program (all class sessions and program-related activities of the study abroad program) and satisfy all NIU undergraduate and graduate admission and course requirements.

ACADEMIC BACKGROUND
Students must be in good academic standing at the time of application.  Students who are on academic probation are not eligible to participate.

DISCIPLINARY BACKGROUND
Students who are currently on disciplinary probation and who wish to submit an application for a study abroad program that will take place after their probation ends should be advised that applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct. 

Students who are on disciplinary probation during the semester or term in which they wish to study abroad are not eligible for participation in an NIU study abroad program.

The Study Abroad Office collaborates with the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct to review the disciplinary records of all NIU students applying to the programs, and reserves the right to deny acceptance to students who have problematic disciplinary histories.

ENCUMBRANCES
Encumbrances placed on a student=s records by NIU; e.g., by the Graduate School, Undergraduate Admissions, Bursar=s Office, Accounts Receivable, Registration and Records, Health Services, Parking Services, NIU Libraries, etc., must be cleared before a student can be granted admission to any study abroad program.

REQUIRED NIU HEALTH INSURANCE
Enrollment in the NIU Medical Insurance Plan for Students is required for participation in all NIU study abroad programs.

MINIMUM ATTENDANCE AT NIU FOR TRANSFER STUDENTS
Students who transfer to Northern Illinois University must have successfully completed at least two full semesters at NIU before they are eligible to participate in a study abroad program.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
In order to be eligible for participation in an NIU study abroad program applicants must currently be enrolled in a recognized U.S. university or at an American institution abroad, or they must possess a degree from a U.S. or American institution abroad.  In order to be eligible for an NIU study abroad program, non-immigrant applicants must be currently enrolled in and maintaining valid immigration status at a recognized U.S. university.  Students in F-1 status will need to complete an immigration transfer to NIU if they are not already enrolled here.

NON-TRADITIONAL STUDENTS
Depending on the program, it is feasible that eligible applicants may also include NIU faculty, staff, and persons not currently enrolled in a college or university.  Quite often programs attract participants that are practicing professionals or pursuing an advanced degree in an area related to the program.  Questions relating to eligibility and admission requirements should be directed to the NIU Study Abroad Office (SAO).  Applicants must, however, participate in the entire program and satisfy NIU undergraduate or graduate admission and course requirements.  

ACCOMPANYING SPOUSE OR RELATIVE
Accompanying spouses or relatives may participate in a study abroad program if they: 
1) enroll for academic credit;
2) participate in all scheduled activities, and
3) pay the full program cost.