Director: L. Atkins
Staff: G. Casper (Assistant Director), D. Sichak (Administrative Assistant)
Union College considers its commitment to international programs to be a central part of its identity. In addition to broadening a student’s perspective and deepening their knowledge of other cultures, international programs often energize and challenge a student to a higher level of commitment to the enterprise of learning. Students wishing to study away from Union College may do so through the following international programs:
- Study Abroad
- Independent Study Abroad
- Non-Union Programs
- Mini-Term Programs
Updated information on the timing, details, and course descriptions for each international program listed below, are available from the International Programs office. The application, application instructions, policies, and waiver and liability forms are available on the International Programs website. Please refer to the “Costs, Fees” section for charges related to International Programs.
Applicants to Union College international programs must:
- Be a full-time matriculated student at Union College with an overall Union cumulative average of 2.5 (2.7 for London, England full-term abroad, 2.8 for Kenya, Belgium and France (Lille), 3.0 for Cambodia, Independent Study Abroad, Ireland, Japan, and Turkey, and a 3.2 for the Klemm Fellow Internship) at the time of application.
- Have less than five disciplinary points as verified by the Dean of Students.
- Have a clear account balance, as verified by the Financial Services Office.
- Be in good academic standing, as verified by the Dean of Studies.
- Meet the minimum language requirement (if any), as specified in the program description.
- Complete the application process, which includes an essay.
Maintenance of Eligibility after Acceptance to Program:
- Maintain an overall Union cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 (2.7 for London, England full-term abroad, 2.8 for Kenya, Belgium and France (Lille), and 3.0 for Cambodia, Independent Study Abroad, Ireland, Japan, and Turkey, a 3.2 for the Klemm Fellow Internship) up to the date of departure for the program.
- Successfully complete at least two courses in residence as a full-time matriculated student at Union College the term prior to the study abroad program.
- Shortly prior to departure, all participant names will be reviewed again to determine that students:
- Have a clear account balance, as verified by the Financial Services Office.
- Have less than five disciplinary points, as verified by the Dean of Students.
- Are in good academic standing, as verified by the Dean of Studies.
- For the duration of the study abroad program, the student must be a full-time matriculated student at Union College.
Students seeking to study away must demonstrate that they are well-prepared to do so, academically and in terms of overall maturity. Participation in the programs is limited and competitive. Students should apply for particular opportunities that are well-integrated with the student’s academic work at Union. Please consult the Common Curriculum section on how international programs relate to various requirements. Attendance at a program’s informational meeting is essential. Selection criteria include the student’s essay, GPA, faculty recommendations, course of study, certification by the Dean of Students, and the selection committee’s assessment of the student’s capability of adapting to the program’s social and academic environment. Should there be additional selection criteria, they will be announced at the informational meeting. In addition, some international programs have academic prerequisites.
Academic Policy While on an International Program
Policy Regarding Early Departure, Early Exams, Pass/Fail and Incomplete Grades
Students on Union College international programs are prohibited from requesting early departure, early exams, taking courses pass/fail, withdrawal from courses, or incomplete grades. In extraordinary circumstances, a request for special arrangements such as early departure, early exams or incomplete grades must be submitted in writing to the study abroad office at the host institution, the Dean of Studies at Union College and the International Programs Office at Union College. If the host institution approves the request, the matter will be reviewed by the Director of International Programs Office and the Dean of Studies at Union College, who will advise the study abroad office at the host institution and the student of its decision. If the request is approved, the study abroad office at the host institution will advise the Student whether it will make the arrangements on behalf of the student or whether the student is expected to make the arrangements.
Any special arrangements agreed upon, including remaining work and deadlines, should be documented in writing by instructors and by the study abroad office at the host institution. Copies of these arrangements must be sent to the Dean of Studies and the Director of International Programs at Union College.
Failure to follow these procedures may result in the student receiving no credit or a failing grade. A student may appeal Union College’s decision by contacting the Dean of Studies at Union College to find out about the process.
Changes to Courses for Independent Study Abroad or Non-Union Programs Made after Student’s Arrival at Site Abroad
Union College students must request in writing changes to course selections and equivalencies directly through the Dean of Studies at Union College by the end of the first full week of classes. Copies of all changes will be sent by the Dean of Studies’ office to the Director of the International Programs office to ensure that the course equivalencies are posted correctly upon the student’s return. Failure to follow these procedures may result in the student receiving no credit or a failing grade.
Grades Earned Abroad
Grades received from any of Union College’s international programs will be entered into student’s academic record and calculated into his/her GPA.
Grade Appeal Policy for Courses Taken While on Study Abroad Programs
- Procedure for students taking courses taught by Union faculty (see online Academic Program and Policies )
- Procedure for students on study abroad experiences (excluding mini-terms)
Union College will allow students to appeal grades awarded by non-Union faculty in accordance with the procedures listed below. The Dean of Studies’ review of a student’s petition may be limited or not allowed due to circumstances beyond the Dean’s control in assessing the petition. Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to when the non-Union faculty member does not have a syllabus that adheres to Union College standards. The Dean’s decision will be communicated to the student. There will be no further appeal.
Students wishing to appeal a grade must:
- Initiate an appeal through the host institution no later than two weeks following the date of posting of their final grades to their Union transcript. Students must follow the host institution’s procedures for grade appeals.
- If the outcome of the initial appeal to the host institution is unsatisfactory, the student may petition the Dean of Studies at Union College for a grade appeal. This must be done within two weeks upon receipt of the final determination from the host institution. The Union College appeal is limited to the three conditions listed above in “End of Term Grade Changes”.
Except for those programs listed below, the base cost of a full term abroad is one-third of Union’s comprehensive fee, which may differ from the fees of program providers. The College charges an additional fee of $650 for each faculty-led term abroad to cover several guided study excursions to enhance the cultural and academic experience, as well as mandated health insurance. Students are responsible for coordinating and paying for their own airfare and visa fees (if a visa is necessary). With the exception of work-study, all financial aid a student receives applies to the study abroad program.
- The cost of the engineering exchange in the Czech Republic and the term abroad in Japan is one third of the annual comprehensive fee. There are no group excursions in these programs. A $50 study abroad fee will be charged towards mandated health insurance.
- The engineering exchange to METU in Turkey is tuition-only. Students pay for their room and board in Turkey. A $50 study abroad fee will be charged towards mandated health insurance.
- The Antwerp, Belgium and the Lille, France economics exchanges are tuition-only programs. Students pay for their room and board in Belgium and France. There are no group excursions on this program. A $50 study abroad fee will be charged towards mandated health insurance.
The fee for all mini-terms, with the exception of the U.S. domestic mini-terms, is $3,530. This fee covers all tuition, room, board, health insurance, and group excursions. Financial aid does not apply to mini-terms, but loans are available. Students are responsible for coordinating and paying for their own airfare.
The fee for the Community Service mini-term is estimated at approximately $2,400. This fee covers airfare between Schenectady and New Orleans, all room and board, both in Louisiana and for days on campus before and after the trip, plus all fees and local transportation in Louisiana. The participants fly to Louisiana as a group so plans should be made accordingly. The exact mini-term fee may change due to variability in transportation costs.
The fee for the Civil Rights, Mexican-American Border, and New Hampshire Presidential Primary mini-terms is $3,500. This fee covers all tuition, room, board, and group excursions.
Non-Union Study Abroad Programs
Students are billed Union College’s comprehensive fee for the winter and/or spring terms, which may differ from the fees of program providers. In the case of the William Cady Stone Fellowship academic year program students are billed a full year’s comprehensive fee which may differ from the fees of the program providers. In both cases, Union College will pay the tuition, room, and board to the host institution. The total amount paid to the other institution, including course waivers or any fees for additional courses (if the host institution will allow a fifth course for an additional fee, Union College will pay that fee) shall not exceed the cost of the Union comprehensive fee for each term. Students are responsible for paying any amount that exceeds the Union comprehensive fee for the applicable number of terms abroad.
Independent Study Abroad
Students are billed Union College’s comprehensive fee for the winter and/or spring terms and Union College will any tuition, room, and board costs. In some cases, Union College may issue checks to students going on an Independent Study Abroad program, so that they can make payments or partial payments, for tuition, room, and board when they are in-country. The total amount paid shall not exceed the cost of the Union comprehensive fee for those terms that the student is abroad. Students are responsible for paying any amount that exceeds the Union comprehensive fee for the applicable number of terms abroad.
Union College International Programs (Study Away) Withdrawal Policy
The success of study away programs from the Union campus requires student commitment well in advance of the anticipated dates of the term of study. When a student withdraws after having made a commitment to such a program, it may be too late to offer the spot to another student who was willing and able to participate. Also, Union College incurs expenses well before a program begins that cannot be recovered when students withdraw. In the case of mini-terms, withdrawals can jeopardize the viability of the program. The International Programs Withdrawal Policy is designed to prompt students to consider their commitment to the program to which they have applied in light of the financial consequences of withdrawal. This policy applies to all Union-and non-Union study away programs, including mini-terms.
||Prior to Program Start Date
||On / After Program Start Date
|$600 Study Abroad Fee, if applicable
||Credited to student account
||Pro-rated based on percentage of time abroad
|$50 ($30) Health Insurance Fee for full-term (mini-term)
||Credited to student account
|Allowance (meals, internal transportation, cellphone, etc.), if applicable
||Credited to student account
||Pro-rated based on percentage of time abroad
If you withdraw from the program or do not complete it in its entirety and have received a fellowship, you may be responsible for re-paying it. Contact Financial Aid if you have taken loans from Union.
Unless one of the exceptions listed below applies, a student who withdraws from participation in a program or is no longer allowed to participate because of Union College disciplinary sanctions will be charged a withdrawal fee, which is based on the date of official withdrawal, as indicated in the table below. Official withdrawal occurs when a student informs the International Programs office of the withdrawal in writing or the International Programs office informs the student of his or her ineligibility to participate.
|When Official Withdrawal Occurs:
|Up to 60 days before program start date
|59-31 days before the start*
|30 days before the start*
||$3500 (mini-term), $4000 (all other programs)
|During the program
||$3500 (mini-term), $5000 (all other programs)
*If a student withdraws 1-59 days before the start of a program, Union College will make a good faith effort to replace the student with another qualified student or to obtain a refund from its overseas providers; the withdrawal fee will not apply if a replacement student is found or to the extent that the College obtains a refund.
Exceptions to Withdrawal Fee:
Students will not be charged the withdrawal fee if any of the following occurs:
- Student withdraws from Union College for medical reasons during the program in accordance with Union College’s medical withdrawal policy.
- A documented medical situation occurs before the start of the program that prevents the student from participating in the program.
- Student becomes ineligible to participate because of insufficient overall GPA.
- A student becomes ineligible to participate if, in spite of following the proper procedures in a timely manner, the student was denied a visa by the host country.
Policy on Travel Restrictions for International Programs
Union College does not operate or direct study abroad programs, including independent study abroad projects, for any student in a country for which a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory of Level 3 or 4 is in force or U.S. economic sanctions are in effect. Union College students may apply through the International Programs office for a “non-Union” program in a Travel Advisory 3 or 4 country that is wholly operated and directed by a college or educational agency other than Union College.
Study Abroad Programs
The most extensive of the College’s formal arrangements for foreign study are the term-length study abroad programs. Most programs involve credit in Common Curriculum (General Education) and language study, as well as regular course credit for additional study performed abroad. Currently, terms abroad are offered through a variety of programs designed by Union College faculty. The College is also part of the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium and the Partnership for Global Education. The New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium broadens off campus study opportunities to Union students through pre-approved programs offered by New York Six member schools (i.e. Colgate University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, St. Lawrence University, Skidmore College, and Union College). The Partnership for Global Education is, a consortium with Hobart & William Smith Colleges, whereby students can study abroad in Australia, Brazil, Ireland and Vietnam.
Unless otherwise noted, students take three courses while on a term abroad; normally, these are the official program courses, unless the Director of International Programs grants permission to substitute one non-program course. Please consult the Common Curriculum (General Education) section on how international programs relate to various requirements.
The following study abroad programs are offered at Union College and include three courses, unless otherwise indicated:
Argentina (Córdoba): Fall, Offered even years. Faculty Member in Residence
Australia (Brisbane): Fall, 4 courses. Offered as part of the Partnership in Global Education. Faculty Member in Residence
Brazil (Sao Paolo): Fall, Offered odd years, 4 courses. Offered as part of the Partnership in Global Education. Faculty Member in Residence
Cambodia (Siem Reap): Winter.
China (Shanghai): Fall.
England (York): Fall, Faculty Member in Residence.
England (London): Spring.
Fiji: Fall. Offered in odd years. Faculty Member in residence.
France (Rennes): Fall, 4 courses. Faculty Member in Residence.
Germany (Freiburg & Berlin): Spring. Faculty Member in Residence.
Greece (Athens): Fall, 4 courses.
India (Jaipur): Winter, Offered odd years. Faculty Member in Residence.
Ireland (Galway): Fall, 4 courses. Offered as part of the Partnership in Global Education. Faculty Member in Residence.
Italy (Florence): Spring, Faculty Member in Residence.
Italy (Sicily): Spring, Offered odd years. Faculty Member in Residence.
National Health Systems (Canada, Denmark, & England): Spring & Summer, Faculty Member in Residence.
Russia (Irkutsk): Spring, Faculty Member in Residence.
Spain (Seville): Fall, Offered odd years. Faculty Member in Residence.
Vietnam: Fall, 4 courses. Offered as part of the Partnership in Global Education. Faculty Member in Residence.
Silicon Valley (San Francisco): Winter, 3 courses. Faculty Member in Residence.
The College has five formal exchange programs:
Belgium (Antwerp): Fall, 4 courses, at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, for Economics majors.
Czech Republic (Prague): Fall, 4 courses, at the Czech Technical University in Prague, for Engineering majors only.
France (Lille): Winter, 4 courses, at the Catholic University of Lille in France, for Economics majors.
Japan (Osaka): Fall, 4 courses, at the Kansai Gaidai University of Foreign Studies in Japan.
Turkey (Ankara): Fall and Winter/Spring, 4 courses at Middle East Technical University (METU).
Please note that our office stays in constant communication with the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, and will cancel any program with a travel advisory or level 3 or 4 issued by our government.
Non-Union Study Abroad
Non-Union Study Abroad programs allow students who are primarily juniors the opportunity to participate in study abroad programs through other colleges and universities, provided that the program addresses a curricular need that cannot be met by a Union program. Normally these programs take place in countries where Union does not have an existing term abroad or exchange program.
Detailed proposals for non-Union programs must be submitted no later than the third week of spring term the year prior to the time when the study abroad would take place. Students should refer to the International Programs website for deadlines. The Liaison Committee on Study Abroad approves non-Union proposals. The student must demonstrate readiness and preparation to undertake the proposed course of study and provide details of a feasible plan of study that is well-integrated with the student’s academic work at Union. There are two options for non-Union study abroad programs: winter/spring non-union study abroad and the full year William Cady Stone Fellowship.
The more common non-Union study abroad option, this opportunity takes place during winter and spring terms with the student enrolling in Spring semester course offerings from other colleges and universities.
Non-Union programs are generally semester programs that give credit for four or five courses. Students who fall behind in credits as a direct result of participating in a non-Union program during Winter and Spring terms will have to complete the additional credits (to total six) through any of the following methods:
- If the host institution for the program will allow a fifth course for an additional fee, Union will pay that fee.
- If a student is ahead in credits, then he/she may count one or two of these credits toward graduation at no cost.
- The student may take one or two fourth courses without charge upon returning to Union.
- Students may take one or two summer school courses, whether at Union or another institution. Union will pay tuition for the course, but not room and board. Courses cannot be taken at a community college unless approved by the Dean of Studies.
- Students who meet the eligibility requirements may apply to a Union mini-term, and if accepted, the mini-term fee is waived.
Additional options to obtain the required number of credits may be discussed with the Dean of Studies. If progress toward a degree is not affected by participation in a non-Union program during Winter and Spring terms and the student does not fall behind in credits toward the degree, then the above options are not available.
Full Year William Cady Stone
The William Cady Stone Fellowship allows only one student per year to participate in a full year abroad. Students applying for this fellowship should be able to explain the benefits of a full year study abroad program at an accredited institution of his or her choice over a semester/trimester program. Additional information can be obtained from the International Programs office and on its website.
Students are billed Union College’s comprehensive fee for fall, winter and spring terms and Union College will pay the tuition, room, and board to the host institution.
Three Week Klemm Fellow International Internship Program
The Klemm Fellow International Internship Program is a highly selective program which places Union students in a foreign country where they work as an intern in a local organization and stay with a local host family for three weeks during the winter break. Projects Abroad is Union’s partner organization and arranges the internships and host families for Union. Additional information can be obtained from the International Programs office and on its website.
All program costs are covered by the Klemm Fellow International Internship Program, except for incidentals and informal weekend excursions.
Independent Study Abroad
The Independent Study Abroad Program allows one Union College student per academic year to study abroad at an international college, university, or institute during his/her junior or senior year. The proposed program of study must meet a curricular need that cannot be met by a Union or Non-Union term abroad; it must also take place in a location that cannot be covered by a Union or Non-Union term abroad.. A student applying for an ISA must directly enroll in an international college, university or institute. The ISA student must enroll in one or two courses at a university, college or institute in the host country (the equivalent of three courses per term). A student may also arrange with a Union College faculty member to do a course or courses (depending on total number of courses taken) as an approved independent study, research project, service-learning project or internship. The student must identify a Union College faculty member who has agreed to supervise and grade the academic work and to serve as a resource for the student while on the ISA.
An ISA must take place during the winter and/or spring term. Detailed proposals for ISAs must be submitted no later than the fifth week of winter term the year before ISA study would take place. Students should refer to the International Programs website for deadlines. The Liaison Committee on Study Abroad approves ISA proposals
Every year Union College offers a variety of mini-terms. A mini-term is a three week program running either over winter break or at the beginning of summer break. Mini-terms have been offered in Argentina, Bali, China, Egypt, England, Ethiopia, France, India, New Zealand, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, and domestic locations such as New Hampshire, New Orleans (Community Service), on the Mexican-American border and a Civil Rights Public History program in the South. Mini-terms carry an additional tuition charge. They cannot be combined with two courses in another term as one term’s tuition. The course credit earned can be used to get caught up if the student is behind in credits; otherwise, the course credit earned will be above and beyond those used for graduation. It cannot be combined with other credits to graduate early.