Getting ready to study abroad can be extremely exciting and hectic at the same time. Getting your official acceptance; figuring out your flight and housing; planning the places you KNOW you want to see and visit. But don’t forget one key thing: YOU CAN STILL GET KICKED OUT OF YOUR PROGRAM!!!
Now, this isn’t to say that I think all students are on the verge of this happening. I know that the vast majority of students getting ready to go abroad are very excited and are not about to do anything to jeopardize that. Still, at least a handful of students every year either get kicked off their program or else lose their place before it even starts. Sometimes it’s for serious issues, but sometimes it’s small mistakes that add up to a HUGE lost opportunity that you may or may not get another shot at. This is a bummer not only because you may lose the chance to go abroad on the program you’ve worked hard to get into, but also because there can be some serious financial consequences. This is kind of a doom and gloom blog, but it is something we want to make sure ALL students know about so you don’t end up in this situation:
First of all, remember that this applies not only to the time you’re actually abroad –you are still a student and held to DU and your host institutions honor codes. Break those and you could face being kicked off the program when you’re already there—but also now, as in the rest of Spring Quarter. DU Policy states that you cannot be abroad on a DU partner program while on probation. That means that if you get in trouble now and have to complete probation in the fall, you cannot go on a Partner Program. Additionally, even if you would be in the clear by fall, the OIE office still needs to inform your program of any conduct violations and they may choose to withdraw your placement.
Now to the financial side: If you are kicked off your program, before or after the start date, you may be liable for anything that DU has already paid for you (tuition, flight, insurance, visa, housing etc.). We’re talking potentially thousands of dollars down the drain for you. Not only that, but if you have any state or federal aid you may be asked to repay any payments that have already gone out for that term.
Bottom line—be smart. Realize that you are still held to the same standards you’ve been held to throughout your college career, and that doesn’t stop before or after your program start date. Study abroad is a life changing opportunity. Don’t miss out on it because of one bad decision.
Stephanie Roberts, OIE Graduate Peer Advisor