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Parent/Guardian FAQs

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions for parents or guardians of Colgate students planning to study abroad.
If you do not see an answer for a question that you have, please contact the Off-Campus Study Office (
What are the first steps when deciding on where to study off-campus?
All students must meet with a staff member in Off-Campus Study to discuss their options after attending a General Information Session; these are offered several times each fall semester. It is also recommended that students attend the Colgate Study Group Fair, which is held each year in late September/early October.  It is very important for students to meet with their academic advisor and a faculty member in the major in which they plan to enroll to find out the options that best meet their academic needs.

Students can begin their research by reading through the Off-Campus Study website.
What is the difference between a Colgate Study Group, an Extended Study, or an Approved Program?
  • Colgate Study Groups are planned and led by Colgate faculty members, who are present during the entire semester long off-campus program. They are integrated into the Colgate curriculum and offer many extras, including guest lecturers, excursions, and sometime internships.
  • Extended Studies are three week programs led by a Colgate faculty member that take place in either December/January or May/June, at the end of the semester. Students must take a related course taught by the faculty member leading the group the semester immediately prior to the extended study.
  • Approved Programs  are non-Colgate study abroad opportunities offered by outside programs and universities, which service areas that Colgate Study Groups and Extended Studies might not provide. Learn more about Approved Programs on our Approved Program FAQ page.
  • How do students apply and when are the deadlines to apply?
    The deadline to apply for a Colgate Study Group is typically the first Friday in November, and is submitted online.

    The deadline to apply for an Extended Study is typically the week before the upcoming term’s course registration (around the end of March/beginning of April and the middle of October/beginning of November), and is submitted online.

    The deadline to apply for an Approved Program is the first Friday in February, although it is possible to apply earlier if you’ve already met with an Off-Campus Study Coordinator. The Approved Program is a three-step process.
    1. Colgate’s Application to Participate on an Approve Program;
    2. The Academic Planning Form; and,
    3. The approved program provider’s application, available online through the program website.Links are provided to the provider’s applications on the Colgate Off-Campus Study website.
    Will credits earned while studying abroad on a Study Group or Approved Program transfer back to Colgate?
    Students who take a full load of liberal arts courses approved for credit can expect to earn four credits toward the Colgate degree. Students must complete a Transfer of Credit form through the Registrar’s Office to ensure that they have selected appropriate courses for any non-Colgate classes that they wish to take. Courses for credit toward major requirements must be approved by the department, as must courses in the minor, and all courses in English and the Natural Sciences. Learn more about Academic Policies.
    Will I receive information about my student’s program abroad?
    We recommend that students share information directly with their parents regarding their off-campus programs. Here are links to more specific planning and policy information.
    Is there special insurance for my student while (s)he is on a Colgate study group or an approved program?
    Colgate offers GeoBlue travel medical & emergency insurance for students studying abroad on Colgate-approved programs, and most approved program providers also include travel insurance.  We recommend that you continue to maintain your student's primary healthcare insurance for the time abroad, especially if your student has a pre-existing medical or psychological condition.  Medical travel insurance is designed for use outside the United States and can make international funds available for students needing medical emergency treatment. Further information about GeoBlue/HTH can be found here.
    How can I learn more about paying for study abroad and financial aid?
    Colgate study groups, extended studies, and approved programs have their estimated student budgets published here. If your student is receiving financial aid before applying to participate in a study abroad program, they would be eligible to receive increased financial aid to help pay for the program. Unfortunately, our office does not have access to students’ financial aid records, we recommend that students contact Colgate’s Financial Aid Office if they have further questions.
    What is the best method to communicate with my student studying abroad?
    It is recommended that you develop a communication plan with you student. Many students
    communicate with their families through a combination of e-mail, Skype, or cell phone (in many countries, incoming cell calls are free with certain phones/plans.) Most students will still have access to their Colgate email account. However, there are some places where students may not have reliable or consistent internet access, so please plan accordingly. Also be sure that you have the emergency contact information for on-site faculty or staff to ensure them quickly in an emergency.
    How will I be notified if there is an emergency?
    The Office of Off-Campus Study will send emails to the community’s Colgate email addresses, as well as posting messages to Colgate’s Facebook group for Parents. If you are interested in receiving these messages, please join the Colgate University Parents Facebook group.
    What if my student needs to withdraw from a study abroad program?
    Written notification of withdrawal must be dated and delivered to the director of international programs. E-mail notification from a Colgate e-mail address is acceptable. The postmark or date of e-mail will serve as the basis for any refund. A student who withdraws from a Colgate study group, extended study or approved program after confirming their participation with the Office of Off-Campus Study/International Programs will be charged a $1,000 withdrawal fee to defray the administrative costs incurred by the university. Refunds of Colgate tuition charged for off-campus study are governed by the university’s refund policy. Students will also be charged for any non-recoverable expenses including, but not limited to, non-refundable deposits, approved program charges, housing, transportation, visas, and/or shared group expenses. The extent of non-recoverable expenses vary by program and the date of withdrawal.