Frequently Asked Questions
I'm not a Harding University student. May I attend one of the programs?
We welcome students from all universities to apply. Students from other universities must first apply to Harding University as a "transient" student with the Admissions office. Harding students as well as students from other universities are expected to meet all eligibility requirements, which includes 2.0 GPA, 27 semester hours at the time of the program, and to be free from academic or disciplinary probation.
How many hours do I have to enroll in at an overseas campus?
International program students are charged for 16 credit hours for the full semester programs. All students must enroll in and maintain at least 12 credit hours throughout the semester. If you enroll in more than 16 credit hours, you will be charged for those hours.
How long is a typical full semester study abroad program?
Most are about 12 weeks in length. Some European programs are limited by the 90-day Schengen Visa restrictions.
I'm not able to participate in a full semester study abroad program. Do you have any shorter-length study abroad programs where I can still earn credit hours?
Yes, we certainly do! During the summer, we may facilitate department-specific, 4-8 week programs for study in London for upper-level business majors; Scotland for pre-student teachers; Italy for biochemical level lab research; Greece and Italy for student athletes; and Europe and other places around the globe with programs tailored for Art & Design students and Music majors.
Will I be safe overseas?
We consider the health, safety and well-being of our students involved in our international programs of the utmost importance. The safety of our students is a prerequisite for everything else. Our overseas campuses are tightly secured and every effort is made to provide safety. Harding's International Programs office receives world-wide information daily from security officials, embassies and consulates. In the event of a political, social or natural emergency, the International Programs Executive Director will be in close contact with the on-site director for any of our overseas programs. Pertinent information may be provided on our Security News page as a quick resource.
Can I use my school loans and scholarships to help pay for my semester abroad?
Most loans and scholarships may be used to pay for your semester abroad, however an athletic scholarship will not pay for any portion of an international program. Because not all loans and scholarships may not always be applied, it is highly recommended that you visit with one of Harding’s financial aid counselors to answer specific questions.
How much will my semester overseas actually cost and when will I make payments for the study abroad program?
After you have paid the non-refundable application fee, you will be responsible for making additional payments all due on specific dates before your semester abroad. Refer to the cost sheet on each of the program pages on our website.
Are study abroad scholarships available that I can apply for?
We understand that sometimes students need an additional loan or scholarship to supplement the cost of their semester abroad. The following scholarship and loan resources are worth checking into and may be available for students who qualify:
How much extra money will I need for my semester abroad?
The answer depends upon how much money you intend to spend! For example, if you enroll at HUF, you will need extra spending money to participate in the mandatory independent travel that occurs during the semester. Other programs may have optional independent travel during the semester, as well as optional independent travel at the conclusion of the semester. HUA students may choose from a wide selection of recreational activities during the semester, and this cost is additional. For all programs, take a look at the cost sheet on the Programs page to see recommendations. With careful planning, you may still get by on less for food and a place to sleep. This also assumes that when you stay in hotels, you share a room (men and women are not allowed to stay in the same hotel room).
How do I obtain cash in a foreign country?
The recommended way to get cash in the local currency is with your ATM/debit card. ATM machines are readily available throughout the semester. The transaction fees are usually a bit more than normal, yet still are not expensive. It is recommended that you also bring a personal VISA or MasterCard. (Only a few places accept American Express overseas.) We recommend that you contact your local bank and credit card company to inform them you will be using your card overseas.
Can student-athletes participate in a study abroad program?
If you are an intercollegiate athlete, seek permission from your coach before applying to an international program. BAT (Bison Athletes in Training), a 5-week summer program based in Greece and Italy, has been developed specifically for student athletes. Keep in mind that athletic scholarships cannot be applied to time at an International Program.
How many suitcases are students allowed to take?
You are allowed ONE suitcase up to 50 lbs. and ONE carry-one. Note that you will incur separate fees for exceeding size, weight, and quantity limitations on baggage. For example, if an extra piece of baggage exceeds the weight and size limits, it will be subject to three fees: one for the extra bag, one for exceeding the weight limit, and one for going over the size restriction. Fees are charged for each additional bag, each way. Some airlines charge excess baggage fees from $70-$200 for a second bag (checked-on) to international destinations. If you voluntarily choose to take a second checked-on suitcase, you will be responsible for paying the extra baggage fees on the day of travel. You are also subject to pay any fees for overweight/oversized baggage. This applies to both the departure and return flight home. We recommend that you check the airline website soon before your departure date for updates.
Can I ship my luggage home?
If the program you choose to attend offers optional independent travel at the conclusion of the semester, there may be a choice to have your luggage shipped home. This can be very expensive as the shipping company charges by weight, so plan to have extra money at the end of the semester for this option. Some, however, find affordable locker space at train stations or airports during their independent travels. Your director at the overseas campus can help you sort out different options. (Note: Not all programs may have the shipping option.)
Can my family and friends visit me while I am overseas?
Visitors may visit you on campus only at times when they will not disrupt other activities. They may be entertained in the public rooms. They are not permitted in the dormitory rooms. Family and friends may not travel with or accompany the group on tours away from campus. Housing for visitors is available on our property at HUG. Contact the International Programs office in advance for more information (501-279-4529). No visitors may be housed at the other campuses. Even though a program calendar is created for every campus, each calendar is considered tentative and the directors often change the program itinerary with very little (or no) notice. This means that Harding University cannot be responsible for the effect this may have on your friends and/or family who may plan to visit you or who otherwise rely on a version of the calendar for making their plans.
Can students work at the overseas campus?
Eligible students may have the opportunity to work on the HUF and HUG campuses to help with some of the general cleaning, serving of the meals, and other duties as assigned. Resident Assistants are chosen each semester for some campuses. If you wish to apply, applications are available for enrolled study abroad students.
What is independent travel and which programs are included?
Independent travel is a time when students are either given the option or mandated to leave the international campus and travel in groups of at least two or more, with restrictions, for a specified period of time. Currently, HUF is the only program that mandates independent travel during the semester for about 10-14 days (# of days subject to change). Other programs may have optional independent travel during the semester, and may possibly have an option to travel independently at the conclusion of the semester. The exception to this is HIZ, which has no independent travel options.
Will I have to fly by myself from my home to the overseas campus?
The International Programs office makes arrangements for your departure from home to the study abroad campus and back home again. Upon departing from the US, you will leave from a US city of your choice to meet at a selected US city with the group, and then fly as a group to the overseas campus. We strive to keep the costs as low as possible and being part of group rate helps tremendously.
What type of health insurance is required?
All students participating in the study abroad programs through Harding University are provided with travel insurance as part of their International Student Identity Card (ISIC). Even though this insurance provides medical coverage, it is the minimum recommended and we suggest that students purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy or a student health insurance policy before attending one of the international campuses. For those students who currently have major medical insurance as an individual or as a dependent on a parent's plan, we recommend that you check with the carrier to determine if you are covered for travel outside the United States.
Do I need immunizations or vaccinations?
HIZ students are required to obtain certain vaccinations and will be given that information at the proper time. Students of other programs may be given information about particular vaccinations that are highly encouraged. While we may not ask students enrolled in the other programs to provide their shot records, we emphasize the importance of updating all regular immunizations; this includes Tetanus!
What about computers and WiFi?
Most of our campuses and travel destinations have adequate WiFi access. There will be some exceptions during group travel to remote destinations. A laptop or tablet is useful for academic study.
When should I apply for a passport?
We prefer that all students be in possession of a valid passport at least 3-4 months prior to the study abroad semester so that travel arrangements and visas may be processed timely. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER return to the USA from the study abroad semester. Note: Passports acquired prior to a 16th birthday are valid for only five years.
My passport expires one month after I return from my travels. I’m okay, right?
No. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER your return to the USA from your study abroad semester.
Will you have orientation meetings on the Searcy campus before the semester abroad?
Absolutely! The fall or spring semester before your semester abroad, we will have orientation meetings related to travel, academic coursework, and general information as you make plans to travel and study abroad.