Study Abroad

An international experience is an invaluable part of a complete undergraduate education. Fairfield offers exceptional learning opportunities for students beyond the classroom including semester abroad, faculty-led programs, internships, community volunteer work, academic excursions, and events that make their abroad experience enjoyable and meaningful. The Fairfield University Office of Study Abroad assists students in navigating the wide array of international study choices. Students in every major have the opportunity to find a program that complements their academic studies and provides a life-changing experience. Visit the Study Abroad website for more detailed information.

All students considering an international experience are strongly encouraged to plan ahead to maximize program opportunities and to ensure optimal match of major, minor, previous language studies and intended destination. To ensure an optimal experience students need to discuss their program with both the academic department of their major as well as the Office of Study Abroad. Information sessions on Study Abroad are provided across the campus throughout the year including the Study Abroad Fair each September.

All students must apply through the Office of Study Abroad for approval to study abroad. All applications will be considered, but students may not always receive acceptance for their desired program. Students must meet the admission requirements of both Fairfield and the selected program.  Study abroad is intended to build upon and enhance majors and minors. For this reason, program choices will be carefully reviewed with each student to ensure a good fit between academics and destination. Students are encouraged to be flexible about when and where they will study abroad.

Admissions decisions are made in collaboration with the partner institution and are based on a variety of factors the first of which is academic compatibility. In addition, a student must be in good standing with the Dean of Students at the time of application and must maintain that status from acceptance through program completion. Students with unresolved code of conduct issues may not be approved for study abroad, such applications will be considered on a case by case basis. An overall GPA of 2.8 is required to study abroad for all programs, including short-term and summer. Certain programs have their own criteria and may require higher a GPA. Students studying in a non-English speaking country for a semester or year must take one course on local language and culture while abroad. Students with advanced language skills may choose to take a content course taught in the local language to satisfy the language and culture course requirement.

Students who study abroad through Fairfield University on an approved program for a semester or year are charged regular Fairfield tuition.  Housing and meal charges will vary by location. All Fairfield scholarships and aid, including federal funds, can be used towards study abroad expenses for one semester with the exceptions of athletic scholarships, tuition remission, FACHEX, tuition exchange, and work-study monies. With the approval of the Director of Study Abroad, students who major in Modern Languages, International Business, or International Studies may use Fairfield University financial aid for two semesters abroad for select programs.

Credits for studying abroad will only be granted for academic work successfully completed at approved international programs. All coursework must receive pre-approval (coordinated through the Office of Study Abroad). Only pre-approved courses, taken at an approved program location, will be transcripted and accepted into a student's curriculum.

Fairfield University administers its own programs in Florence, Italy; Galway, Ireland; London, England; Managua, Nicaragua; Aix-en-Provence, France; Brisbane and Sydney, Australia; and Madrid, Spain. All academic course work completed at a Fairfield University-administered pro­gram is considered Fairfield University resident credit, and the grades are calculated into the student's grade point average.

The University also has a variety of affiliated programs throughout the world including Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America through other Jesuit universities and organizations such as Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), College Year in Athens (CYA), and School for Field Studies (SFS). Not every program in every location is approved for Fairfield University students; please consult with a study abroad advisor or visit the study abroad website for the list of approved programs. In addition to affiliated programs, the University also has numerous exchange offerings in locations such as South Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, Australia, Japan, and Brazil. Students participating in affiliated or exchange programs earn transfer credit (with pre-approval of coursework), meaning that grades earned will not appear on your Fairfield transcripts. Students must earn a C or better for credit to transfer.

In addition, Fairfield faculty members conduct short-term study abroad programs during January intersession, spring break and summer. Prior programs have been conducted in English literature in Ireland, Art History in Florence, Language studies in Russia, Area studies in Nicaragua, and many more. These programs carry credit in various disciplines and can be used for core or major or minor requirements. Short-term programs change each year; please consult with a study abroad advisor or visit the study abroad website for current offerings.

While studying abroad, Fairfield University academic and student conduct policies remain in effect. Participants are expected to follow and adhere to these policies as enumerated in the Undergraduate Catalog and Student Handbook. From time to time deviations from these published documents may be required due to differences in law, practice or custom abroad. Students are also required to adhere to all local laws. Students who violate the code of conduct while abroad will be required to meet with staff from the Dean of Students Office by phone or Skype to address the violation. Infractions will become part of their student record and serious violations may result in the dismissal of the student from the program. If a student is dismissed due to code of conduct violations no credit or transcript will be awarded and no program fees will be refunded.

For academic grievances, the normal procedure for informal resolution as specified in the catalog is modified as follows. Students must first file a written appeal with the instructor, followed by a written appeal to the program if the first level appeal does not resolve the matter. If the second step also fails to resolve the matter, students have the option of filing a third step grievance through the Director of Study Abroad. After conversation with the instructor of record and/or program, the Director will inform the student whether or not the grade shall be changed by the instructor of record. If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome, the Director will inform the student of the right to initiate formal review procedures. However, if the overseas institution does not offer an appeal process, or does not provide a response to the appeal, participants will be unable to file a formal grievance of their grades.

Withdrawal from a study abroad program after the start date must be done with approval from Fairfield University. Early withdrawal from any program could cause the student to forfeit all courses, grades, transcripts, and program fees. If a student requests a withdrawal for medical reasons the medical reason must be verified by our medical insurance provider prior to departure from the program for support and benefits to apply. If the student does not comply with the medical verification and withdraws from the program without approval, no credit or transcript will be awarded and no program fees will be refunded.  If a student requests a withdrawal for personal reasons Fairfield University will require verification and may request additional documentation in order to approve the withdrawal. If a student does not comply with the request for verification and withdraws from the program without approval, no credit or transcript will be awarded and no program fees will be refunded. 

Fairfield University is not required to approve withdrawal requests. If Fairfield University authorizes a withdrawal, a meeting will be required of the student upon their return to the States to discuss whether or not any course work is recoverable and how to proceed. Fairfield University cannot guarantee the completion of all courses interrupted by an early return. All requests will be handled on a case by case basis. Approval of withdrawal does not imply or guarantee that any courses, grades, or transcripts will be awarded or that any program fees will be refunded.

Planning ahead is essential to ensure a successful experience. Fairfield has programs for students at all academic levels.  For Freshmen: it's not too early to consider destinations and start planning. Talk with your academic advisor about study abroad so you can take appropriate courses both here at Fairfield University and your destination. Be sure to attend the Study Abroad Fair in September, attend information sessions, and meet with a Study Abroad Advisor to get information about the application process and the steps required before your departure. Learn about your options and discuss them with your academic advisor, faculty, and family. For fall/spring/summer programs check the study abroad website for application deadlines and requirements. For Juniors: you may study abroad during the fall of your Senior year at Fairfield programs for which grades as well as credits are recorded. To learn more about all our semester, summer, spring break and intersession programs, consult with a study abroad advisor or visit the study abroad website for the current offerings.

Fairfield is YOUR passport to the world....

We encourage you to consider the many choices Fairfield offers to spend a semester, a year, a month, or just ten days abroad earning academic credit and gaining the kind of knowledge only an international experience can provide.