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 offer department-specific, 4-8 week programs for study in: London - for upper-level business majors; Scotland - for pre-student teachers; London or other sites in Europe - with emphasis in art or music and theater; Zambia - for graduate-level speech-pathology students; Italy - for student athletes; Mostly Music - for students interested in the development and evolution of music; and an exciting study program for honors students.
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 Dean will be in close contact with the on-site director for any of our overseas programs. Pertinent information will 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?
When will I make payments for the study abroad program?
After you have paid the application fee, you will be responsible for making three more payments all due on specific dates before your semester abroad. Refer to the cost sheets on each of the program pages on our website.
I heard there is a way to spread out payments or create a payment plan that fits my budget. Is that true?
Absolutely. We realize that making large payments so close together can be a strain on a budget. Therefore, we have created a means by which each student is able to pay the tuition and extra travel expenses on their own schedule as long as certain dates are met before you begin your semester abroad. This means if you sign up for a program 18 months in advance, you can be making personalized payments for a long time before the payments are actually due. Additionally, any money you pay into your semester abroad may be returned to you except for the application fee and any money spent on your behalf as we purchase airline/train tickets or hotel rooms (usually this happens during the semester before you attend an overseas program).
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! Are you enrolled in a program with mandatory free travel (HUF), or are you enrolled in a European program and know you will be free traveling at the conclusion of the semester? Take a look at the cost sheet on each program page of the website 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 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 you plan to free travel at the end of your semester abroad (HUF/HUG/HUE/HIP), you may choose to have your luggage shipped to your home. This can be very expensive (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 free travel. Your director at the overseas campus can help you sort out different options.
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 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?
Some students will be hired at HUF and HUG 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 international students.
What is independent travel?
Independent travel is a time when students are able to leave the international campus (in some programs: HUF/HUG/HUE/HIP) and travel in groups of at least two or more (with restrictions) for a specified period of time.
Which programs have independent travel?
The HUF and HUG programs have a mandatory independent travel period from 4-10 days (# of days subject to change each semester) during the semester, and an optional period of one to two weeks after finals. HUE and HIP may have independent travel periods during the semester and after finals, but they are optional. Typically, HUA, HULA and HIZ have no independent travel periods.
Will I have to fly by myself from my home to the overseas campus?
Harding has our own travel agent that 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?
HULA, HIZ and HIZ-Path students may need special vaccinations and will be given that information at the proper time. While we may not ask students enrolled in the other programs to provide their shot records, we strongly encourage that your regular immunizations and vaccinations are current. This includes Tetanus!
Are the campuses wireless?
Yes. Feel free to bring your laptop or iPad, but computer labs are available on most campuses with about 6-8 computers for students use.
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. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER you return to the USA from your study abroad semester.
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 you return to the USA from your study abroad semester. These are U.S. State Department rules for any U.S. citizen traveling outside the United States.
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 3-4 orientation meetings related to travel, academic coursework, and general information as you make plans to travel and study abroad.
Program Specific FAQ
What is the HUF campus like?
Students and faculty live and study in a three-story villa owned by the University that contains dormitories, a classroom, a library, a computer lab, a kitchen, a dining room and a faculty apartment. It normally houses 38-40 students. The villa is surrounded by a garden and park containing 400 olive and fruit trees. Students share a room with three to seven other students. The villa is in a quiet, modern residential neighborhood that is twenty to thirty minutes by bus from the center of Florence.
What are some of the HUF field trips?
In addition to the free/independent travel that students will engage in, the HUF group will visit historical places such as Cinque Terre, Rome and Southern Italy.
What is the HUG campus like?
Students and faculty live in a beautiful facility (formerly a resort hotel) owned by Harding University in a coastal village approximately one hour from the center of Athens. The three-story complex contains one- and two-bedroom apartments, a classroom, a library, a computer lab, a kitchen, a dining room, a fitness room, swimming pool, and the director’s apartment.
What are some of the HUG field trips?
Tours for the HUG group may include places such as Corinth, Delphi, Sounion, Olympus, Israel, Turkey, and Egypt.
What is the HUA campus like?
Students and faculty live in three-bedroom resort apartments facing the ocean on the Gold Coast. The resort has a heated pool and hot tub, full size tennis court and cook-out area with covered gazebo. Every apartment has a fully equipped kitchen including dishwasher, laundry room with clothes dryer, and balconies to sit on to enjoy the ocean views. Classes are conducted in a facility across the road from the apartments. The campus is a short walk from shopping, fishing, parasailing, jet skiing, jet boating, helicopter rides and surfing.
What is the HUE campus like?
Students and faculty will live in fully furnished flats in London near the British Museum. The flats contain two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments. All of these have fully equipped kitchens, a living area, and bathrooms. Here in central London, students are never more than a few minutes walk from a bus stop or an underground (subway) stop to take them to one of seven top-rate symphony orchestras, opera companies, ballet, excellent museums and shopping.
What are some of the HUE field trips?
Periodic field trips outside of London allow HUE students to visit other important historical and literary sites, such as Bath, Cambridge, Dublin, Edinburgh, the Lake District, Paris, Stratford-on-the-Avon, and Stonehenge. Additionally, a 10-day stay in Iceland has been added to the itinerary.
What is the HULA campus like?
Students and faculty will live in fully furnished apartments in one of Chile’s most fashionable beach resort towns, 75 miles northwest of Santiago. The apartments include one, two, three, and four bedrooms with fully equipped kitchens and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. There is a conference room on ground level for classes.
What are some of the HULA field trips?
Several extensive field trips for HULA students include Santiago, Easter Island (the most remote land mass on earth), the Lake District of Chile, Torres del Paine, the Atacama Desert region, and the ancient Inca civilization of Machu Picchu, Peru.
What is the HIP campus like?
The HIP program is designed to locate for significant time periods in various regions. A typical semester might include living for an initial period in France or Switzerland, followed by an extended tour of the Southern regions of France. Toward the end of the semester, a residency in Paris will be scheduled.
Students and faculty live in fully furnished flats that are leased for the duration of the stay in each of the major areas. These flats contain two- and three-bedroom configurations. All of these have equipped kitchens, a living area, and bathrooms.
What is the HIZ campus like?
Students and faculty live at the Namwianga Mission in Zambia - a compound that holds the George S. Benson Teachers college, as well as an elementary and high school, medical clinic, orphanage, and a “haven” for infants and toddlers who have lost their mothers to AIDS.
What are some of the HIZ field trips?
HIZ students take a tour of East Africa where they have the opportunity to go on a safari, tour Victoria Falls and Lake Victoria, travel through Kenya, and stop at mission points all along the way.