The Basics

What is the role of the Center for International Studies?

The Providence College Center for International Studies (CIS) works with study abroad students, exchange students, and degree-seeking international students.

For study abroad students, the CIS offers support before, during, and after the study abroad experience. We are your first point-of-contact in the study abroad process and we grant College approval for students to study abroad. We provide information sessions, programming, and in-person advising on program selection, the application process, study abroad costs, course selection, and more!

When can I study abroad?

You may study abroad during the academic year or the summer. Students can spend a semester or year abroad during Junior year or the fall semester abroad during Senior year (although some majors may not be able to study abroad Senior Fall due to course requirements). Students also may study abroad any summer after Freshman year.  In order to balance the number of students intending to study abroad across the academic year, the College reserves the right to restrict the numbers of students approved to study abroad in any one semester.

Are there any majors that won’t allow me to study abroad?

No!  All majors can study abroad.  Some majors may have less flexibility than others, but with a little planning you can study abroad, regardless of your major.  Start planning especially early if you have a major in any of the STEM fields!

Where can I study abroad?

Providence College currently recognizes over 350 programs in more than 50 countries, where you can study a vast array of subjects. View the complete list of study abroad programs!

Some majors are required to select a program from their major-recognized list, while some majors are strongly encouraged to select a program from their major recognized list. See the major-approved program lists to find out more.

PC observes U.S. State Department Travel Warnings and CDC Travel Health Warnings with respect to all PC short-term study abroad and service programs. For semester study abroad, PC will not approve students going on programs that take place in countries for which a U.S. State Department Travel Warning or CDC Travel Health Warning has been issued. To read more about PC’s Travel and Study Abroad Safety Policy, click here.

Do I have to be fluent in a foreign language to study abroad?

Some programs have a language requirement, but there are many programs in non-English speaking countries where students with no language background can take courses in English. Students typically are required to take at least three credits of the host country’s language while abroad. Be sure to check your program’s eligibility requirements before applying.

What is a study abroad program provider and what do they do?

A study abroad program provider is an organization that administers all aspects of the in-country study abroad experience. Most of the PC Recognized Programs are offered through program providers.

Your provider will assist you with program-specific details, including your housing selection, course registration, visa application, on-site orientation, and transcript evaluation.

Do I need a passport to study abroad?

Yes, you will need to have a passport that is valid for at least six months after the end date of your study abroad program. If you do not have a valid passport, then you should apply for or renew your passport as soon as possible. Visit the U.S. Department of State website for more information on obtaining a passport.

Do I need a visa to study abroad?

It depends! Most semester and academic year study abroad students need to apply in advance for a visa in order to legally live and study in their host country. However, some countries do not require a visa for American students, while in other countries your visa is obtained during entry or post-arrival. Your program will provide you with details on the visa requirements for your country.

Will my cell phone work abroad?

If you plan to use your U.S. cell phone while abroad, determine what type of functionality you would like to have. One option is to only use Wi-Fi abroad. Applications such as WhatsApp, Skype, and Google Hangouts will all work with a Wi-Fi connection. You will need to learn how to turn off your mobile network on your device so that you will only use Wi-Fi. It is important to note that Wi-Fi may not be as fast, reliable, or available as you are accustomed to in the U.S.

Another option is to purchase an international plan with your cell phone carrier before you leave. International plans vary in cost and coverage, but generally allow you to use text messaging, data, and calling at a fixed rate. You should speak with your cell phone carrier about the types of international plans they offer. This option will likely be the most expensive.

Or, you may wish to consider buying an inexpensive pay-as-you-go cell phone once you arrive in your host country. In most countries there is no charge to receive texts or phone calls – not even those coming from the U.S.! Purchasing a basic pay-as-you-go phone once you arrive in country and using your U.S. smartphone exclusively on Wi-Fi will almost always be the most cost-effective option. In some cases, your provider will even offer a basic in-country phone to you free of charge, and you only pay for the texts/calls you make.

What is my status at PC when I study abroad?

You remain registered as a full-time student at Providence College while on study abroad.

Can’t I just take a leave of absence and get transfer credit when I come back from studying abroad?

No. The only way students can receive PC academic credit for study abroad during the academic year is if they receive official Providence College approval by applying through the Center for International Studies. No academic credit is approved or awarded otherwise. In addition, if a student were to take courses on a study abroad program while on a PC leave of absence, he or she would lose his or her status as a fully enrolled PC student and must apply for re-admission through the Dean of Undergraduate & Graduate Studies.

How can I meet with a study abroad advisor?

You may schedule a study abroad advising appointment by calling 401-865-2114, or you may visit the office (Harkins 215) during designated walk-in advising hours (students are seen on a first-come, first-served basis).

Students with a major in the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Professional Studies will meet with Denise Miller. Students with a major in the School of Business will meet with Grace Cleary.