Getting Started

Have questions? You’ve come to the right place for the answers…let’s get started!

It is completely natural to feel a bit apprehensive about taking this important step. Most students do. Keep in mind that the overseas experience is much more than a vacation. It is a profound learning experience that will engender feelings of exhilaration, apprehension, frustration, satisfaction, self-doubt and accomplishment, often all at the same time.

In the following section, the Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs will address some of the most important and most frequently asked questions relating to Roger William University’s wide array of study abroad opportunities.

How and where do I begin?

Your first step…come by to see us!  While you will find that many of your questions can be answered by navigating this website, it is important that you come by The Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs to meet with the staff of the Study Abroad Office. The staff is here to address any questions and concerns that you might have. The Spiegel Center's office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and we are located in the Center for Global and Community Engagement, affectionately referred to as "The Farmhouse". Come by to meet with us, or if you prefer to meet one-on-one, office hour sign-ups are available. You can email for further information.

Roger Williams University faculty can also serve as a great resource. They can provide a great deal of insight into the courses that you may be interested in taking abroad as well as the overall experience. Students that have already been abroad are another great resource. If you know someone who recently returned from a semester abroad, talk to them to hear about their first-hand experiences. Don't be afraid to ask questions!

As you plan for a semester or academic year abroad, you must also meet with your academic advisor. Working with your academic advisor to discuss your time abroad will ensure that studying abroad will work with your academic schedule.

What are the requirements for study abroad?

In most cases, RWU students can go abroad as early as their sophomore year.

Each program, both RWU sponsored and RWU affiliated, will have a minimum GPA requirement. Students must have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA to study abroad, while most programs do have a higher GPA requirement. Please contact the Spiegel Center for detailed information on minimum requirements.

Other requirements include the following:

  • Full-time status
  • Declaration of major and Core Concentration
  • Good academic standing
  • Clean judicial record
  • Advisor's/dean's approval

Please visit our online application system, where you will find RWU application materials as well as links to online application materials for all affiliated programs.   

Applications require a $60 non-refundable application fee, which can be dropped off in the Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs office. Once students are accepted into a program, they must submit a $600 deposit within 30 days of their acceptance. This $600 deposit will hold your spot in the program and will be applied to your semester charges.

For RWU-affiliated programs, the application process is also straightforward but will vary from institution to institution. Rest assured that the Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs staff will assist you in completing all necessary paperwork.

How much will it cost?

Students will pay a program fee to participate in a Short Term Faculty led program.  This fee covers the tuitions, the accommodations and local travel costs and is determined by the length of the program, the location and other details.

For most of the RWU semester study abroad programs, both our own flagship programs and the affiliated programs, students will pay normal semester tuition in addition to a comprehensive fee (which includes room, board, health insurance and other fees). 

*There are some program exceptions where students will be billed directly by the affiliate and pay the affiliate directly based on their cost structure. Please consult the Spiegel Center for details.*

Students are advised to consult with the Spiegel Center to obtain the most up-to-date program costs.

In addition, students are responsible for the cost of airfare, books, lab materials and site-visit fees. Health insurance and activities fees are included in the comprehensive fee. An overload charge will be incurred for 18 or more credit hours.

Students need to budget independently for optional and extracurricular activities, including personal travel and spending money. Also, knowledge of the current exchange rates in relation to the local currency of where you will be studying will help you budget effectively.

Please consult with the Financial Aid office to determine how your particular aid will be affected by a semester abroad.

Tuition remission and tuition exchange does not apply to most study abroad programs. Please consult with the Spiegel Center for further information.

How do I learn more?

For more detailed information on the many programs offered and the process required to apply, you can visit the new online application system:

We invite you to learn about the program opportunities available to you. We also strongly encourage you to come by the Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs to meet with our staff. You can also email us at for further information.