LINDSEY BRAY: Hello, Cornell families. My name is Lindsey Bray. I am the Director of Parent and Family Programs here at Cornell University. My office serves as a central resource for Cornell parents and families. We offer a variety of events and services, including our brand new Cornell Family Conversation Series.
Thank you so much for joining us live or watching the recording later. If you have questions during the session, please feel free to use the Q&A function to submit those. We will do our best to answer all of them during our time here today. We will also be including links in the chat for resources that we mention. If you are watching this later, they will also be included in the description.
So again, welcome. Today's topic for our Cornell Family Conversation is education abroad. We will discuss the programs and services offered by the Office of Global Learning that can help your student understand the possibilities of studying abroad, what resources are available to help before and after, and how it can impact their education and future career.
So with us today, we have Emily Dougherty, a Senior Education Abroad Advisor in the Office of Global Learning. She joined Cornell in early 2023 and has worked in higher education for over eight years, assisting students with education abroad. Emily's undergraduate study abroad experiences included a semester in the Netherlands and a summer program in Western Canada. Emily, thank you so much for joining us today.
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Thanks for the invitation. Thank you all for joining us as well.
LINDSEY BRAY: So to get us started today, could you provide us with a little bit of an overview of what Education Abroad is at Cornell?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Absolutely. So Education Abroad is part of the Office of Global Learning. We, the Education Abroad office, are the central office for study abroad here at Cornell. But each college has an academic advisor or two that works with students for study abroad credit review. So this means that study abroad program options can vary between college.
We also work with outgoing students who participate in semester and year-long programs, as well as with students who participate in faculty-led programs over the summer, winter, and spring break. We do collaborate with all of our Cornell colleges, and students who meet with our office first about program options can be guided then to their college to talk more specifically about how study abroad fits with their path to graduation. And students who might meet with their college first can then be directed to us, but it's not a requirement that students meet with both offices.
Our advising primarily includes program details, application process, and timeline, and then pre-departure prep. And then the academic advising and course review is completed through that college. So trying to give that overall connection to where your students might be going or who they might be talking to.
And then a quick aside is our student-- or our office also supports our incoming students who are here at Cornell on exchange. And we coordinate an event that links those incoming students to our outgoing Cornell students as well.
LINDSEY BRAY: That is fantastic. So to give our parents a bit of an overview, so who can study abroad? Does the study abroad work for all majors? How can our-- how does that work for our students?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yeah, all Cornell students are eligible to study abroad, and that does include all of our majors. Based on overall academic progress, students will be typically studying abroad during their junior fall or spring or their senior fall term. While all of those majors are eligible to study abroad, some may have specific courses or terms that might align better for a study abroad experience, so we encourage students to discuss their interest in going abroad with their academic advisor to determine that best time frame, because it might be a specific term over another one.
LINDSEY BRAY: So for parents sometimes, study abroad may seem like this different experience as part of their student's studying experience. But what are really the benefits of studying abroad for a student as they move through their academic career?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Excellent question. So some of the key benefits that we find with study abroad is aligning with the building of soft skills. Those can include self-awareness, adaptability, competence, problem solving, or cultural awareness. We also find that students have the benefit of gaining proficiency in another language if they're interested in that area. They get out of their comfort zone. They make new friends. And becoming independent is a big piece of it as well.
And then students might also network with professors. They might have access to unique courses that align with their future career goals or personal goals. And then they also might visit a destination that's personally meaningful to them, and those could absolutely be benefits considered with that study abroad experience.
LINDSEY BRAY: So to the benefits towards their education-- and you mentioned-- you mentioned career and professionals-- what have you seen have been some of the benefits that students have had in their future career going on a study abroad?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yes. Definitely some alignments. We do find that aligning career goals to the study abroad experience is highly dependent on how motivated a student might be to seek out additional opportunities while they're abroad.
The soft skills that I kind of referenced, those can come through just going abroad as a whole, but it's not necessarily from one specific event they might pursue. But from my personal experience, my first job out of college, I was able to use my study abroad stories and the things that I did or the skills that I gained from the overall experience in a lot of my interviews.
But there's also specific things that students can pursue. So they might look at an internship while they're abroad, volunteering in their local community, or sometimes there's co-curricular opportunities. There might be an additional lecture or different volunteering or student organization that they can join that might align with their career goals that they can also use both for those skills as well as for interviews in the future.
LINDSEY BRAY: That's a wonderful way to holistically look at that experience that they would get from studying abroad. For a lot of our parents sometimes there's questions around, what are the options in terms of length? So sometimes a whole semester seems like a really long time, but are there different options when it comes for students to study abroad at Cornell?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yes. So my specific advising role, I do work with students who are going on full semesters. So we have that fall or spring term. We do have some students participate in full academic year experiences abroad. But we also offer short-term options. We have a colleague in our office who specifically focuses in that area.
So those short-term programs are typically faculty-led, and they can range in time abroad from eight days to six weeks. And that would be course-related travel during the winter kind of time frame over Spring Break or during the summer term. So we do offer a variety of time lengths, but I would say most students are going on those full semesters, but we're building those short-term options.
LINDSEY BRAY: So that's a fantastic opportunity for students who maybe can't dedicate an entire semester and want to take a shorter one. So that's fantastic. So when should-- or excuse me. And speaking of going to a different country, obviously, not all of-- not all of them may speak the same language. So what might a student need in terms of language skills? Do they have to speak another language other than English? What are the options that are available for students?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Another great question. We get that frequently, both from families as well as from students. So previous language study is not a requirement to study abroad through Cornell. Students who study abroad in countries where English is not an official language will be required to take a host language course while they're there, but that's very beneficial. It allows students the opportunity to connect with their host community in a more intentional way.
But colleges do also set requirements for the programs that they approve. So one of those requirements may involve previous language study. So in particular, students in the College of Arts and Sciences should check with their college on those language requirements so that they're prepared to go abroad on their group program and they give themselves enough time to get that kind of potential proficiency.
LINDSEY BRAY: That's a great point. That's great information for making sure that students are connecting with their college throughout all of this process to make sure they're prepared. So in speaking of that, when should students start to think about study abroad and those opportunities?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Might be a little cheesy, but I like to say it's never too early to think about studying abroad. We do encourage students to plan ahead to accommodate those potential language requirements. There might also be prerequisite coursework they need to take. Or there might be, like I mentioned earlier, a specific semester that works really well for a study abroad within their academic plan, so they'll want to know which one that is.
And what works for one college or major might not work for another. So students should meet with their college advisors as well as the study abroad office, our office, to discuss their options, rather than just talk with their friends about what works with their friends.
But I know staying study abroad, I talk about it early, isn't the most helpful advice. But ideally, students would be having this discussion with their advising team their sophomore year. They can absolutely have that as their first year. But definitely by sophomore year, we do work with juniors who are starting their study abroad journey. So if your students are junior this year, they can absolutely still reach out, but definitely earlier gives the smoothest journey forward, I would say.
LINDSEY BRAY: Yeah. Earlier the better when it comes to most of these things as we plan for that full four years or more that students have with us. So once a student's decided or they're exploring the options that are available to them, what are some of the resources that are available to assist students as they're preparing to study abroad?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yeah. Our website-- which, we are getting a refresh this summer, so stay tuned for that. We're really excited about it. But the website's absolutely one resource. We outline key details aligning with academics, finances, health and safety, and then our application process on there.
But our office is also another resource, and that's a shameless plug for coming out to talk to us. But we offer appointment-based advising in person or through Zoom during the entire year. So we're here over the summer as well.
And then we also offer drop-in advising in our office a couple times a week when classes are in session. So we're trying to be available when students might need us to have those conversations.
And then outside of our website and our office, students can also connect back with their college to talk about their academic progress. And then moving forward, we're hoping to find better and additional ways for our prospective study abroad students to connect with some past participants as well.
LINDSEY BRAY: That's fantas-- that's a great resource for students to get that really one-on-one experience with other students who have actually done this before.
EMILY DOUGHERTY: I would say that's probably one of the top questions that we get during any part of the pre-going abroad process. So we're working on it.
LINDSEY BRAY: Oh, that's fantastic. So parents are always concerned about the money factor. Can you talk a little bit about if there are scholarships that are available for students, maybe kind of what those options might be?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Mm-hmm. Yes. There are several different options for scholarships for study abroad. Those categories can range from national scholarships. They might be program-specific. There might be Cornell-specific scholarships as well.
So students and families can visit the Scholarships page that's on our website. There might also be additional scholarship information on each prospective program's page on the Experience Cornell platform. So that's one place where students-- families can also check it out. But there's different experiential learning and different opportunities for students to search through Experience Cornell. You'll find all the study abroad options there. And there can be scholarship resources outlined in those areas.
Examples of a few external scholarships that are national include the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, and then there's also the Fund for Education Abroad. So just to give a couple examples of things that you might keep an eye out on.
LINDSEY BRAY: That's great that there are extra resources for students. So in addition to scholarships, how does financial aid that a student may already have while they are at Cornell apply to a study abroad experience and helping to fund that?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Financial aid will apply to all approved semester and year-long programs. And our office prepares an estimated student budget based on the total estimated cost of their attendance while they're on that approved program. And then we will submit it to the Office of Financial Aid on their behalf.
Financial aid then uses that budget to see that total cost of the experience and can repackage financial aid for the term that the student's abroad, whether that's the one semester or the full academic year. And what's included in that estimated budget is program tuition, housing, meals, airfare, local transportation, books, personal expenses. So we're looking at the entire cost of attendance, not just specific pieces that might kind of come to mind when you first think about traveling abroad.
And then I also want to note as well, financial aid awards are adjusted in line with those costs. So they might be higher and they might be lower. But family and student contribution will remain the same as if you were-- your student is still on campus, regardless of that estimated cost of attendance. So that's an important point as well.
LINDSEY BRAY: That is very helpful. We have a question in the chat as well about, does it cost extra to go study abroad? So would you-- so the financial aid can assist and kind of work with that.
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yes. Yes, absolutely.
LINDSEY BRAY: Great. Yes. So in terms of studying abroad, what are the deadlines that students really need to be aware of that maybe a parent might need to nudge their student if they're interested and know about?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yeah. There are a few deadlines, but I would say the first one, first and foremost, would be the application through Cornell for study abroad. So we consider the application process to have two parts. Your student would apply through Cornell, through the Experience Cornell page. That would be for approval. And then your student will eventually apply to the host program for admission.
So the deadlines for the Cornell process are typically the semester-- they're due-- typically due the semester before your student would be going abroad. So this means semester applications for spring would be due in August or September. And for fall or academic year, those would be due in February or March, that term beforehand.
Short-term program applications are also due the term before the program would be going abroad, and those also have a deposit deadline that's 10 days from acceptance. So important thing to note there.
Quick note, though, thinking about the semesters. Oxford and Cambridge are on a different application cycle, and so those applications have their own special deadline, which is in November of the sophomore year. So if your student is interested in either Oxford or Cambridge, that's a very important note. There's not wiggle room for that.
But outside of our application, the Cornell application deadline, other things to keep in mind would be the host institution's application. There might be commitment deadlines for the program, accommodation deadlines for applying for accommodation abroad. But our office is here to help students with that process so that they're not out there floating on their own, unsure what steps to take. So your student can absolutely still connect with our office, as well as our host institution will have timelines and guides for that process too.
LINDSEY BRAY: OK. And so there is a question in the chat about those deadlines related to those shorter break trips. Would some of those also apply, or is that a little bit different?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: The deadlines for the shorter-- the shorter term programs like the winter ones and the Spring Break, those also commonly have deadlines that are the semester before they'd be going abroad. So for example, students who are going abroad this summer for some of those short terms, those deadlines were earlier this year in February.
So students don't need to commit super far in advance, but they do-- those deadlines are very important. We want to make sure that the program has students to run, and we know how many students are going for the different on-site logistics pieces. So hopefully, that answered that question. But with our new and improved websites this summer, we will have that be very obvious on it. So again, I'm really excited about that.
LINDSEY BRAY: That is always helpful to know in terms of-- that those are similar, but a little bit different. And so each of them, just students paying attention a little bit to that. So in terms of when a student is actually studying abroad, what resources does your office, does Cornell offer to those students who are studying abroad in that space?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Mm-hmm. Yeah, so students will continue to be both academically and administratively supported by Cornell. So that's with faculty, staff, or any systems that they might be using or be interested in using while they're abroad. There's definitely time zone things to consider if they're trying to connect with somebody live, but they can absolutely reach out to our office as well as their academic advisors or their services. And they can also maintain access to the library system or anything that might need a Cornell NetID to be logging into.
And then in addition to Cornell as that resource, the host institution's another great option to connect with. They will always be offering an on-site orientation that either connects students to the overall institution or usually has some sort of special visiting student orientation to make sure they're keeping their special student population in mind, because the needs might be different because they're there for a short amount of time or are new to the country, things like that.
And then the host institutions often have other services that are available to students while they're visiting such as disability accommodations, health services, academic assistance, and things like that that would be not necessarily the equivalent to what Cornell offers, but is something in addition to. And then further short-term programs, the faculty would be on site with the students during that time frame, so they can also serve as that resource.
LINDSEY BRAY: OK. Great to know in terms of those resources. So we do have a couple of questions in the chat around housing. And so what-- so how is housing arranged for our study abroad students, and how is that facilitated?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yeah. So all semester-based programs will have accommodation that students can apply to through their host institution. They are eligible to seek independent housing if they want to, but the accommodation that's through the host institution is vetted by the host institution and will have other university students within it.
The accommodation styles may be like a residence hall, or I would say a lot of the times they're apartment-style where they might have their own room, but they're sharing the common space with their roommates. They might have a shared kitchen within that space, or it might be a kitchen that's shared with their whole floor.
They also would have options-- oftentimes with the language acquisition programs, home stays might be a third option. So home stays is where your student would be living with a community member. Could be a single person, could be a family. There's a lot of free vetting for the home stays, and students will have the opportunity to include preferences as far as-- or things like allergies. That's an important part of living in somebody's home.
But those can be really great options for that language acquisition because you're practicing that when you're home. You're eating dinner with your host family, so you have that integration into the local community.
And then something we also encourage to be thinking of in advance when it comes to accommodation is what's happening here in Ithaca. So your student will want to coordinate their accommodation accordingly, because oftentimes it can be challenging for off-campus students, particularly with the junior year, to find somebody to sublet their apartments while they might be taking that semester abroad. But students who continue to live on campus will not have difficulty arranging that single-semester option.
LINDSEY BRAY: That's a great point about on-campus living versus off-campus living and how that is handled in terms of they won't have-- they will not have to deal with that if they're living on campus, but would have to work with friends or others in the area to sublet that apartment or housing for that semester.
One of the questions we also had-- and I think this goes to our discussion about resources as well is, in terms of health insurance or existing-- often, do students need to buy an extra health insurance plan? How does that work, or what options are available?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yeah. All students are required to register through the International Travel Registry through Cornell. And through that, they're automatically enrolled into the International SOS insurance policy. We have quite a bit of information on our website, so I can make sure I actually send that along. I don't think that's one I had pre-sent over.
But that allows students to have emergency insurance so if there's something that comes up that is an emergency or unexpected, that is a full coverage for that. Doesn't have a deductible. So that's a really great benefit for students.
And then students can also continue to use their Cornell student insurance that can cover them as part of their study abroad experience. And if students are not using their Cornell insurance and they're going through maybe one of your insurance policies, highly recommend checking in with your policy to see if it is eligible to be used abroad or what kind of restrictions there might be for that. So we do have some information on our website with the Health and Safety page, and then we also have Cornell's overall Global Operations Travel Safety page as well.
LINDSEY BRAY: OK. Good to on that one. Always important for our families. So as we kind of look back to-- so once a student has-- they've studied abroad, they've come back, how did the credit work on a student's transcript when they're coming back and as they're thinking about that?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yes. So that's a big part of how we collaborate with colleges, which I'm a huge fan of. It's really nice to have multiple people involved in this because then you have that specialized background information. So depending on your student's major and the college that they are a part of, courses taken abroad can count as major, minor, distributional, or elective credits.
This process is outlined within their course approval form, which they do before they go abroad and can be adjusted while they're abroad if need be. Our office can assist students in navigating what that looks like when they're collaborating with their college. But how credits are received is then college-specific.
So the transcript itself, the Cornell transcript will indicate the study abroad institution they attended, the courses they took, the credits they earned, and the grades they received in that original version. So this means grades will appear exactly as recorded from the host institution. But those grades will not be factored into the Cornell GPA. So they'll be visible to see what your student took, what they earned, but they won't be part of that Cornell GPA, what they overall will graduate with.
LINDSEY BRAY: OK. Great to know how that kind of comes over. And you kind of mentioned this before, but I think this is really important for many of our parents as they're talking with their students. But how closely do students really need to work with their advisor in their college before they decide what they want to do or start looking at what their options are?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yeah, we highly recommend that students connect with their advisor in advance. Some colleges might have a mandatory meeting. Others you might be able to do this through the course approval form or email conversation. But that course approval form I mentioned is a key piece.
So the form will require students who are applying for a program to review courses from the host institution, and then they'll actually submit those courses for review by their college. So in that sense, it can be helpful to check in in advance to say, hi. This is where I'm going. This is what I'm interested in doing. Every one of those colleges has a form that the student might fill out, and those are linked within the application so students can actually review them in advance and see what might be involved.
But each college has a study abroad contact. So our office, as I mentioned earlier, is kind of the overall kind of central education abroad office for Cornell. And then each college has an advisor who focuses or specializes in study abroad advising. So there might actually be multiple advisors your student would meet with.
The purpose isn't to confuse the process. The purpose is to make sure the appropriate person is reviewing and approving courses. So oftentimes, they might-- your student might meet with their major advisor to talk about those major specific requirements.
And then the study abroad advisor in the college could be a different person, and they're going to review the overall plan to say, OK. This makes sense. You've got the appropriate approval from your major. I've got the appropriate approval with knowing how study abroad works for the college. This sounds good. You're good to go. You're good to move forward with your application. So oftentimes, that's how we end up working with students maybe first and kind of referring them to their college or vice versa, because we're all communicating behind the scenes so that we make sure nobody gets lost in the shuffle or we can continue to clarify processes as need be.
LINDSEY BRAY: That's really good to know in terms of reiterating that need to be a little closer and understand the whole process along the way. So we've gotten a few questions in the chat as well about studying abroad as a senior. Is that possible? Or is it possible to study abroad after their senior year? How does that work for those students who may be a little farther along in their academic journey?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yeah. So students can absolutely study abroad during the fall semester of their senior year. That's fairly common. If it comes to their spring semester, like their final semester at Cornell, that is something they would need to petition to their college for approval. Some colleges are like, yes, go ahead. Move forward with it. Others will have a conversation. So that's definitely something that they would need to discuss with their college, and then we're here to help them with that application if it does move forward.
When it comes to post-graduation study abroad, students can absolutely do that on their own. Once a student's graduated from Cornell, they're not eligible to participate in Cornell-specific programming. So the short-term options wouldn't be viable like the summer after they graduate.
So sometimes a senior might be able to consider a winter term or that Spring Break if they're wanting that international experience, but they really can't push to go abroad for a whole semester based on what classes are available, things like that. So they're absolutely eligible to participate in an independent experience post-graduation. Some students might pursue a graduate degree abroad, or they might take a gap year and do their own independent travel.
LINDSEY BRAY: Great. So that's really good to know as parents are helping their students plan. Another question kind of along those lines is, how selective are the programs that students might be studying abroad? You mentioned Oxford and Cambridge. How did that work as part of the process for a student if they're doing that maybe semester-long program?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yeah, that's a great question. So Oxford and Cambridge are definitely kind of the more competitive programs. But on our websites, on the Experience Cornell page for each of the study abroad programs, there'll be a section for requirements. And so that will include the minimum GPA that's required and possibly any additional considerations. There might be special prerequisites for certain majors if it's open to anybody from Cornell. There might be certain requirements for language acquisition, things like that.
So when it comes to the competitive nature, what we like to tell students is if you meet the requirements of the program, you're moving forward in the application process. The ultimate decision is always with the host institution to accept our students, but the host institution is looking at our office as that first layer of review. So they're saying, all right, if you've reviewed the student and you're moving them forward, we are very happy to review their application.
If there's any concern about capacity or competitiveness, we'll have a note about that on the Experience Cornell page. Sometimes that doesn't have to do with the program's requirements. It might do with popularity of the program and the number of spaces that Cornell actually has to send abroad.
So we try to be very clear about that on the program pages, but I would say as far as the Oxford and Cambridge, there's definitely a lot that the student needs to do in advance and to review in advance, so we have additional specialized advising for students there. So hopefully that answered the question in full, but your student can absolutely reach out to our office if they want to talk a little bit more about the specific program they might have in mind and if they're nervous or anxious about what acceptance might look like.
LINDSEY BRAY: OK. That's good to know in terms of how that selection process works for our students. So one other-- so one of the questions as well is, so as families are-- they're learning this, they're understanding the process and helping their student along the way, what are kind of ways that families can support their student before and even during the study abroad experience?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yeah. I love that question. One thing that I encourage families to do is to be excited for their student for this opportunity. That excitement can actually make a big impact, because we will have students often make comments during our advising appointments and will say like, oh, my family's really excited about this. They're encouraging this. They told me maybe I should consider looking into this. So that can make a very big impact.
Another thing as far as the during abroad, while they're abroad the time frame is to set up a communication plan. So you can do this in advance of before your student goes abroad. But it can be a really helpful way to show your student support because it can outline how often you might want to be or your preference to be in touch with them, how many times a week or how many times a month or a day. It also will help your student share how often they might want to be in touch with you.
And then as well as what platform you might be reaching out. Is it a messaging app? Is it a video app? Is it email? Sky's the limit as far as what that preference might look like. But this really helps students and families know when you can expect to be in touch, so you can know if something's unusual or you can know if something might be maybe a bit more pressing.
Or you know-- it's like, oh, I should be concerned. It's been a few days. And they're living their life abroad. They're fine. We said we'd catch up on Friday or something like that.
As part of our new website launch, our refresh website, we actually will have a page called For Families, and we'll include a few recommendations as far as what a communication strategy might look like. So that's something to look forward to as well.
LINDSEY BRAY: That's great. That's fantastic. So in terms of-- we have a few questions around finances as well. And I think you mentioned a few of these. And some of these we may have to-- we are happy to provide contact information and we can follow up if we need to as well.
But one of the questions is around that financial aid space and getting those estimated budget calculations. Is there something that students need to do in particular, or when do families usually expect that?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: That's a great one. We actually have the estimated budget right now on each of the Experience Cornell pages. So there's a menu that will have-- I'm trying to think off the top of my head. There's an Academics tab. There's a Resources tab. There's a Cost tab.
So every one of the programs will have an outlined estimated budget for this upcoming year, and we will be updating those over the summer with the next two years tuitions to reflect any kind of major changes and what the cost of attendance might look like. That's the general estimate.
When it comes to students' individualized budgets, we have an incredible team here in our office that works on a budget for each student who is going abroad. So right now for students who are going abroad in the fall, that will come after our commitment deadline. And then students will receive that budget some point right after the-- right at the end of the semester, at beginning of summer.
So those will be sent to students. They can be sent to parents if students have given permission and shared that contact information with our office. And then they're also sent to financial aid so that financial aid can use those in the of a case of a filter, can use those as their packaging aid over the summer for the next year.
So that's kind of the two options there. There's the general one on the website you can absolutely use right now to see what the cost of attendance looks like. And then the individualized budget comes out through the application commitment phase.
LINDSEY BRAY: Perfect. And then just to clarify, so when students are studying abroad, the financial portion runs through Cornell like it would with-- does it run through Cornell like it would as a normal semester? Are they getting the regular bill and things like that when it comes to that?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yeah, that's a great clarifying question. Thank you. Their tuition is billed the same. So students who are going abroad for semester experiences, year-long experiences are billed through their same Cornell tuition, through Cornell. So that will be charged the same way through their bursar bill.
The rest of their experience is typically kind of charged directly from the accommodation, or they might be paying for their meals on their own. So any financial aid that the student is receiving will be disbursed at the regular timeline, which, I believe, is 10 days before the semester starts. It can be used towards that tuition. And then if there's additional aid remaining, that would be refunded to the student directly, so then they can use that financial aid to be paying for those charges that are addressed outside of the Cornell bursar bill.
LINDSEY BRAY: OK. Good to know. And normally most financial aid applies in the same way to the bill, so anything that they're getting currently would also apply, correct?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yes.
LINDSEY BRAY: OK. Perfect. And then-- so other question that we had too was-- which, I love this question. It is around-- so if a student is studying abroad and their family happens to also be traveling there too, are there any rules? Are there anything that they need to do? Are they happy-- or can they visit as well?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: I love that. Yeah, that's a great question. They're absolutely more than welcome to visit. I would say that that's very-- I don't know about common, but very normal and regular in a sense that a family might go visit their student. I would highly recommend checking in advance what their academic calendar might look like so you don't inadvertently show up during exam week or when there might be something really big happening in their academic life.
But that can be a really great opportunity, especially if you go to the middle or towards the end of their experience, because then your student can play tour guide and show you these really important, meaningful places that they came to appreciate. And maybe they frequent this one cafe, and you can-- you've heard about it a little bit and you get to go visit it. Yeah, that's absolutely something that you can do. And there's nothing through our office or your student's host institution that would limit that type of contact.
LINDSEY BRAY: Great. That's good to know in terms of visiting and getting to experience that as well. It's always nice when students can show off Cornell to their families, but an even different campus is always fun within that too. So another one of the questions is-- y'all did a great job with questions. We really appreciate it. So I'm trying to go through all of them.
So a couple of questions have been around travel to the destination. So is that on the student to do? How does that usually work in getting to the host institution that they're going to?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yes. So-- yes. Short answer is yes. That's on the student to facilitate. For semester-based programs, we have-- for all of our programs, we have a pre-departure orientation curriculum. It's a few different modules that students are required to go through, and one of those will likely touch a little bit on health and safety, on academics, on finances and travel, and things like that.
If they're going on a short-term program that's during Spring Break, oftentimes the winter options will have a group flight that's part of the program fee because students will be leaving from the same destination and coming back to the same destination. So that might be something that's organized through Cornell for that program.
When it comes to the semester in academic year, students are on their own in a sense to go purchase that flight. So that can be a real big benefit if they're not flying out of Ithaca. They can-- maybe they'll be flying out of California to get to Asia, and that's going to be a lot nicer of a flight than if they had to come out of New York.
But that flight cost can be included as that cost of attendance for the budget. And then the student can find the flight that works best for their circumstance.
LINDSEY BRAY: OK. That's good to in terms of helping families plan and helping them organize that as well.
EMILY DOUGHERTY: And Sorry, Lindsay. I don't mean to interrupt. I should say that if your student has significant questions about what that's like, if they've never booked a flight on their own or they're not sure what are things to keep in mind so you're not inadvertently, for example, giving yourself a half hour layover in an international flight, they can absolutely connect with our office to ask those types of questions.
LINDSEY BRAY: Perfect. That's good to know. That is definitely helpful to have those resources available from your office to just get that extra little touch in case a student hasn't done this before.
So one of our other questions that had come up is around-- let's see. Oh. Clarifying question that we've got in the chat is around, what does Global Hub programs-- like, is there a difference between that? And there's a question around the website.
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Oh, I love that parents are looking. Yes. Global Hubs is an initiative that's coming through Cornell. It's very intentional partnerships with specific locations, and within the locations, institutions abroad.
So the idea behind Global Hubs is that we have not only the student mobility of our students going to that institution and receiving students from their institution to Cornell in an exchange. That's where the exchange comes from. But also building faculty connections so that there might be faculty research. There might be more intentional alumni involvement between students who went to Cornell in our now summit, living near that institution or that region.
So the Global Hubs are a real intentional partnership that is new. Lindsey mentioned I had joined the office this semester. Global Hubs was launched recently, so I'm really excited to see how that continues. And we'll be highlighting some of those programs moving forward.
LINDSEY BRAY: Great. And then as well-- let's see. One of the questions which parents often want to know is if an emergency happens or something happens when their student is studying abroad, what does that look like? Or is there someone at Cornell who is the contact person? Is there someone at the host institution? How do we help in those unfortunate situations?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yes. There are numerous people that can be contacted. The number one thing is to make sure the student is accommodated on site. So we tell students, if you're in an emergency, don't call us. Contact the equivalent of 911 there. You want to make sure you are safe and accounted for and getting the help you might need.
But yes, as far as Cornell, we have our Global Operations team. There's a director of health and safety, so they're always in the loop when something might happen abroad. They're also the main contact there for questions about the International SOS coverage.
So typically, what would happen is the host institution is notified. They're the on-site physical presence there. And either the student or the office from the institution might contact our office, and we'll loop in the Global Operations team as well. So there are numerous areas of support to ensure that your student is accommodated both if there's a health thing, if there's an emergency, if it's academic questions, and things like that.
LINDSEY BRAY: Great. And then there are a couple of questions around majors and some of the ones that might be a little harder to get into in terms of studying abroad. Can you speak to maybe if a student's pre-med? Or I know Cal also has some requirements around there. Can you speak a little bit to that and maybe how a student might navigate some of that?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: That's great questions. Yeah. A lot of these, if they're major-type questions or college requirements or college policy, we would actually route your student back to the college to make sure they're having discussions with the appropriate people who are either making those decisions or involved in that.
But when it comes to certain categories like pre-med, pre-med classes shouldn't be taken abroad. So there's actually an office here on campus that can help students kind of navigate the pre-med requirements, and they'll talk to students about how they'll want to make sure they're taking pre-med prerequisites here at Cornell.
The way that medical schools work-- and I am not an expert in this-- but it can be very difficult to use transfer credit from abroad as that requirement. So those are the conversations that are very helpful to have early on. So if your student doesn't find themselves in that second semester junior year and have pre-med requirements to take senior year and they can't do that full semester that they were hoping to participate in.
So definitely recommend students work with their major or college. And if they're ever lost about what that looks like, we can help them navigate that. And we'll have links to-- we have links right now on our Get Advice page that route back to the specific college study abroad pages, and that will be even more prevalent-- or more obvious in our refreshed site.
LINDSEY BRAY: OK. And when is that refresh? Do you know when-- you mentioned summer. Is there a target date for that?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Right now-- I know it's being recorded, so hopefully I don't put my foot in my mouth-- but June is the time frame. So definitely before the fall term starts, but I think it's June that we're looking at.
LINDSEY BRAY: Perfect. Great. And there's lots of information on the website now. It's just going to be a little bit of a refresh, which is also helpful as well. So let's see.
So one of the questions that we have too-- what are ways-- other than the website, which has really a lot of helpful information-- are there other ways that families can connect with the Global Learning office to support their student?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Ooh. That's a great question. I will say one of the core skills that students sharpen through study abroad is that independence factor. So many of these steps that your student's going to be going through will require them to be the lead, be in that driver's seat. So we're hoping-- we're encouraging families to be supportive, but to help their student take that initiative.
So if you have questions, you can kind of send them through your student. We're happy to answer them. But we're really hoping that the student is that guiding factor. So the best way you can be involved is to empower your student to take that initiative, to ask those questions, because we're always here to help.
LINDSEY BRAY: Perfect. Well, that's great to know. So another question that we did get as well was-- and you spoke a little bit to this earlier, but want to dig in a little bit more on that, those benefits for when it comes to their professional career. Are there ways that you have seen students be able to talk to employers about those benefits and really use that to their advantage once-- in that next step?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yeah, absolutely. We actually have some resources through the Career Services office here on campus that can help students if they meet with them. They can help dig into what those look like. They can talk through the experience you had, and how would you pull out that as a skill, or how might you address that in an interview? So again, lots of different offices and services here on campus that can help.
They can talk to us about it. All of us in our office have had some form of an international experience, whether it's studying or living abroad. We can kind of relate to that general, how did we maybe address that in an experience, in an interview, or afterwards?
So it can be a little bit of ambiguous conversation because it's highly dependent on what the student did. And if it's obvious or something that needs to be maybe teased a little bit to say, all right, did you have-- did you miss a train? And how were you flexible in adapting to what that looked like if your travel plans were interrupted?
Or what type of conversations did you have? Were there discussion groups that you had in your class that was from a wide variety of international students or local students? So there's different areas in which those skills can kind of be pulled from.
And the student themselves might not realize that's what they were doing as the skill that they were building or creating for the first time. So those conversations can be really helpful to have with Career Services, as they are focused in that, how do I turn this into a conversation for an interview or future employer?
LINDSEY BRAY: Oh, that's really wonderful. That's a great way to put that in as they use this experience for the rest of their life, because this is-- it's a unique experience to get to study abroad for such a long time. I'm sure many of us watching right now would love to drop everything and go someplace else for three months and get to have that experience.
So a couple-- we're going to-- I've got a couple more questions in the chat, and then we're going to have to wrap up. Thank you all so much for all these great questions.
So in terms of-- there's been a couple questions around research activities while they're studying abroad. Is that a possibility? Is that something they need to talk to their advisor about? What might they need to do on the front end, or what possibilities might exist?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yeah. There's no solid answer, but I would say it's definitely possible. So if your student is interested in research, they can reach out to our office. We might be able to build a bridge between the students and what they're looking to experience in research and the destination they might be looking to go to.
What's very helpful in advance is if your student shares their resume and a blurb about what type of research they're looking to experience or be connected to. There's definitely no guarantees that this would be an option, but that would help the conversation get started.
LINDSEY BRAY: OK. And then let's see. Oh. So this one, similar to the research, is around internships. So have you seen students do internships while they are on study abroad and how that might work?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Yes. We do have a few specific options that offer internships or might be focused on an internship. Generally speaking, when it comes to internships we encourage students to be flexible, because oftentimes they won't know at the time of application what their internship will be.
And that has a lot to do with the process because the internship coordinator, whether it's an office or somebody they're already working with for advising on site, they need to gather information about what the student's looking for. They need to connect with possible internships in the local area. So it's going to be a little bit further along the application process that they might be confirmed for an internship.
So that's part of those-- be comfortable with ambiguity. Be a little bit flexible. But it's definitely possible for students to have that internship experience. And depending on the college, that might be a for-credit or might be experiential learning.
LINDSEY BRAY: OK. Good to know. And then so kind of as we wrap up since we're getting to the end of our time today, so can you tell us, what are any last pieces of advice that you have for families or even their students as they are maybe embarking on this journey while they are on study abroad, after they come back? What are your biggest pieces of advice having done this and working with students and families in this capacity?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Oh, that's a great one. I do-- I could definitely continue going on and on about it. One, I know it's very Cornell-specific, but keeping in mind the housing piece in Ithaca definitely would be helpful because that is a conversation students-- a question students ask us all the time, and that's something that's out of our hands. So thinking about what your accommodation in Ithaca might look like during the time frame around when you're looking to study abroad.
Another one is thinking about passports. So if your student doesn't have a passport, that's fine. They don't need it. They don't always need it right away at the time of application. But there are going to be a few programs that need that passport information earlier. So looking into applying for that passport in advance. They're good for 10 years. It's not going to expire. So that can be a really helpful investment that they have it in hand.
If your student already has a passport, checking the expiration date. Your student should check that. Most of the time, your student will need six months of passport validity after their time returning back. So sometimes if a student's had a passport for a while, they might need to renew it. So those are kind of key piece-- key things that you can look into in advance outside of all the application and details.
But yeah, just in general, the personal side, I'm not a huge person interested in research myself, but I love the pieces that come along with exploring and researching study abroad options. So I think it's important for your students to have fun with it as well as take it seriously, because it is their experience.
So there's a number of different factors that might drive where they go, whether it's purely the academics because there's only a few destinations that really align with the courses they're looking at, or maybe it's a language, whether it's a heritage language or a language they're looking to achieve to build proficiency. So there's a variety of ways in which your student might find their option. And I hope that they enjoy the experience of getting to the study abroad.
LINDSEY BRAY: Fantastic. Well, two more questions from the chat. I think we've got a little bit-- just enough time. So in terms of notification-- so I think this is a big one-- you said that they need to apply that semester before they want to study. How long does that notification usually take?
EMILY DOUGHERTY: Ooh, like how long might they hear-- how long between applying and hearing back?
LINDSEY BRAY: Yeah.
EMILY DOUGHERTY: That's the notification. Yeah. I sometimes joke with students that the answer to a lot of study abroad questions is, it depends. So it does depend on the program. Our office works to try to review on a rolling basis. If your student applies five months before an application deadline, that rolling basis might not start for a few more months. But generally speaking, we're hoping to get students' responses from our office within a week, week and a half business time.
When it comes to the host institution, those vary significantly. There's a few programs that will let a student know within a couple weeks of applying, and there's a few that won't review until all their applications are submitted after their due date. So they might hear three months after applying or two and a half months. So if your student ever has concerns about that, they can reach out to us. We have insight on that timeline.
LINDSEY BRAY: OK. Perfect. And then there's one other question, which we may have to add this in later on the chat. But what is the difference between the Friendly program and a regular program in Sydney? Is that--
EMILY DOUGHERTY: That's a great question. I can do that one real quick. So institutions that are in the Southern Hemisphere will sometimes have different academic calendars based on the seasons being different.
So in the case of Australia and New Zealand, their semesters are different month time frames than ours are. So the regular spring semester, Cornell spring semester in Sydney is going to be February through June, but the Spring Friendly is a slightly adjusted semester that will align with Cornell's spring term dates of January through May.
LINDSEY BRAY: Got you.
EMILY DOUGHERTY: OK. So maybe as a quick note there, if your student is looking at an internship for their junior summer, keeping in mind those days is very important because study abroad dates cannot be changed. So that will be a consideration for them to be thinking through if they're planning to be somewhere during the summer, what those dates look like as opposed to what their study abroad dates might look like.
LINDSEY BRAY: That's great to know in terms of-- that's a great point too. Thank you for that question around thinking about Southern Hemisphere and maybe those differences when it comes to other institutions and their academic calendars too, and how that might affect things.
Well, thank you, Emily so, so much for joining us today. And thank you to everyone who joined us live and for all of the fantastic questions that you had today.
So just as a reminder, I know we got a couple of questions in the chat about this as well, but this has been recorded, and you can always come back to it later if you have any questions or a refresher or anything like that as well. The recording of this will be linked on our Parent and Family Programs website and in the next edition of the Parent and Family Connections newsletter. It takes us about a week to get it up there on the website to make sure that it's there for you.
But if you ever have any questions, concerns, if there's anything that sparks interest after this, please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com, or visit our website to check out all of the resources that we have available for you. So that concludes our time together today. Thank you again so much for joining us. We look forward to hosting these again next fall as well for you. So thank you so much, and hope to see you on one of these again soon.
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The Cornell Family Conversation Series is hosted by the Cornell University Office of Parent & Family Programs. Our topic is Education Abroad. Joined by Emily Doughtry from our Education Abroad and the Office of Global Learning we discussed education abroad, the available resources, how it can impact a student’s future, and how parents and families can support their student’s experience abroad.
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