Study Abroad

The University of Florida encourages students to participate in the study abroad experience and considers it a valuable part of your college career. The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships (SFA) and the UF International Center Study Abroad Services work together to coordinate the financial aspect of student participation in overseas programs.

Through the https://internationalcenter.ufl.edu/study-abroadhttps://internationalcenter.ufl.edu/study-abroadhttps://internationalcenter.ufl.edu/study-abroadStudy Abroad | International Center at the University of Florida, Study Abroad Services offers a full range of opportunities and programs from which to choose. They help students through every part of the process, from advising to application, to assisting students while abroad, and helping them when they return.

Beginning the Process

Students interested in participating in an overseas program should plan on attending one of the two annual Study Abroad fairs offered by the UFIC. They are offered each September and January. The fair is a great place to explore the programs available at UF, as well as a great chance to speak with a representative who is familiar with the various programs.

With so many programs to choose from, students should visit https://internationalcenter.ufl.edu/study-abroadhttps://internationalcenter.ufl.edu/study-abroadhttps://internationalcenter.ufl.edu/study-abroadStudy Abroad | International Center at the University of Florida. Students should also meet with a Study Abroad Services adviser to familiarize themselves with programs that might interest them. Students can also sign up for Information Sessions. See their https://internationalcenter.ufl.edu/study-abroadhttps://internationalcenter.ufl.edu/study-abroadhttps://internationalcenter.ufl.edu/study-abroadwebsite for dates and times.

Students participating in a study abroad program, should download the https://www.sfa.ufl.edu/pub/brochures/StudyAbroadAidChecklist.pdfFinancial Aid Study Abroad Checklist to make sure everything is completed before your program and ensure timely disbursement of your aid.

Study Abroad and Financial Aid

Once you have selected your program, you will need to carefully examine your financial aid options. SFA strongly encourages contacting our office to explore your funding options. You may reach our office via email at mailto:sfa-help@mail.ufl.edu?subject=Study Abroadmailto:sfa-help@mail.ufl.edu?subject=Study Abroadsfa-help@mail.ufl.edu using the subject line of “Study Abroad”, by phone at (352) 392-1275, or in person in S107 Criser Hall.

SFA will use the budget for your selected program to determine your eligibility for financial aid. Students who participate in university-approved programs may use awards from federal aid programs, state aid programs, and from UF grant and scholarship programs. However, http://www.sfa.ufl.edu/types-of-aid/loans/loansloans are the primary source most students use for funding the additional cost for study abroad.

After the UF semester begins for your study abroad program, and no earlier than 10 days before the first day of study abroad classes, financial aid will begin to disburse. 

In no instance will SFA disburse any funds for overseas students prior to the regularly scheduled University of Florida fall, spring, or summer term start dates.

SFA Study Abroad Policy

The following guidelines will be used when awarding financial aid for students participating in an approved University of Florida study abroad program.

  1. Awards will be made in accordance with applicable financial aid program guidelines.
  2. The student must meet all application deadlines established by both the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships (SFA) and the Study Abroad Office if he/she is requesting financial aid to do so. Students enrolled in a study abroad program approved for credit by UF will have that enrollment used in determining enrollment status at UF for the purpose of applying for assistance under Title IV [34 C.F.R. § 668.43(a)(9)].
  3. Federal Direct Loans and/or Federal Direct PLUS Loans will be the primary funds used to assist students participating in overseas studies programs. Campus-based funds awarded to on-time applicants to meet their standard UF cost of attendance may be supplemented with the federal loan program funds.
  4. Federal regulations prohibit the disbursement of any federal funds until the beginning of their home school’s term start or 10 days prior to the first day of scheduled overseas classes whichever is the earlier of the two.

Enrollment Requirements

There are no exceptions to the standard minimum enrollment requirements for financial aid and/or scholarships for students participating in a Study Abroad program. Eligibility for the disbursement of scholarships or other types of aid while participating in a UF-approved program, must meet the following minimum-enrollment requirements during the semester you are studying overseas:

Type of Award Required Hours for Undergrads Required Hours for Grad Students
Private Scholarships 1 Credit Hr. 1 Credit Hr.
FSAG 12 Credit Hrs.* N/A
Pell Grant 12 Credit Hrs.* N/A
FL Bright Futures 6 Credit Hrs. N/A
All Other Grants 6 Credit Hrs. 5 Credit Hrs.
Direct Loans (inc. PLUS) 6 Credit Hrs. 5 Credit Hrs.
* Pell Grants and FSAG may be released with less than 12 credit hours; however, the award amount will be reduced.

Financial Aid Deadlines

The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships (SFA) must have a completed application for financial aid on file for you by the following deadlines:

Program Begins Application Deadline
Fall Term July 15
Spring Term October 15
Summer Term March 15

Processing time for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (https://studentaid.gov/fafsahttps://studentaid.gov/fafsahttps://studentaid.gov/fafsaStudentAid.gov) by the federal processor is about one week. SFA must have the results of your FAFSA, in addition to any required https://www.sfa.ufl.edu/process/verification/Federal Verification or other documents by these deadlines.

Receiving Your Financial Aid

In addition to meeting the applicable financial aid deadlines, students must complete all steps in the list below to receive financial aid for studying abroad.

Students are required to enroll in direct deposit. Financial aid refunds will be deposited into the student’s bank account through direct deposit. To sign up, go to the https://one.uf.edu/campusfinances/directdeposithttps://one.uf.edu/campusfinances/directdepositOne.UF Direct Deposit webpage and sign in with your Gatorlink username and password. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Before You Commit to Studying Abroad

  1. Confirm the cost of the study abroad program and the number of credit hours associated with the program.
  2. If you plan to use financial aid funding to cover your study abroad expenses, make sure you have a valid FAFSA on file. The FAFSA can be completed online at https://studentaid.gov/fafsahttps://studentaid.gov/fafsahttps://studentaid.gov/fafsaStudentAid.gov.
  3. Check with SFA to determine:
    • You have sufficient financial aid funding to cover the cost of the program. NOTE: If your enrollment for the semester is less than full-time, your financial aid funding could be reduced.
    • You will meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards for the semester you plan to study abroad. If you will not, you will need to submit a Financial Aid and Scholarships petition to request reinstatement of your aid eligibility. The petition can be found on the http://www.sfa.ufl.edu/formsforms page of SFA’s website.
    • You have submitted all requested forms and documents to SFA. Failure to do so will prevent the disbursement of federal financial aid funding. This information is also available on https://one.uf.eduhttps://one.uf.eduhttps://one.uf.eduhttps://one.uf.eduONE.UF.
    • If you determine you will need additional funding (i.e., PLUS loan, private/alternative loan), begin the application process at least 3 months prior to your departure. This will ensure the timely notification of your eligibility for this funding.

After You Commit to Studying Abroad

  1. Register with the University of Florida International Center’s Study Abroad Services (https://internationalcenter.ufl.edu/study-abroad/getting-startedhttps://internationalcenter.ufl.edu/study-abroad/getting-started) to make sure that the budget for your selected program is sent to the financial aid office.
  2. Submit a FAFSA at https://studentaid.gov/fafsahttps://studentaid.gov/fafsahttps://studentaid.gov/fafsaStudentAid.gov if you do not have one on file and would like to be considered for federal grants and loans.
  3. Financial aid advising services are available at Student Financial Aid and Scholarships (SFA).  Please contact us at mailto:sfa-help@mail.ufl.edu?subject=Study Abroadmailto:sfa-help@mail.ufl.edu?subject=Study Abroadsfa-help@mail.ufl.edu using Study Abroad as the subject line to check your financial aid eligibility and Satisfactory Academic Progress status as well as to determine if your budget has been received after your Study Abroad Application is approved. SFA is open from 9:00am-4:30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding holidays) and via phone at 352-392-1275.
  4. Confirm you have sufficient funding to cover your travel expenses until your aid disburses.
    • Financial aid for a student abroad program that BEGINS BEFORE the regular UF semester’s first scheduled financial aid disbursement date will not be disbursed until UF’s regular financial disbursements begin for the term.
    • Financial aid for a study abroad program that BEGINS AFTER the UF semester will disburse no earlier than until UF’s regular financial aid disbursements begin or 10 days before the first day of study abroad classes if the classes begin after UF’s regular term.
  5. Accept all awards through your https://one.uf.eduhttps://one.uf.eduhttps://one.uf.eduhttps://one.uf.eduONE.UF account on your “Awards and Disbursements” page.
    • First time federal loan borrowers are required to complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note online through http://www.studentaid.gov/StudentAid.gov.
    • For institutional loans (SAFE, Ruge, etc), Promissory Notes and loan information packets will be mailed approximately two weeks prior to the start of the semester.
  6. Ensure you have no missing documents by checking your https://one.uf.eduhttps://one.uf.eduhttps://one.uf.eduhttps://one.uf.eduONE.UF To-Do List at least once a week before you leave the country. Missing information will delay your disbursement. Check with SFA if you have any questions before you leave the country.
  7. Sign up for direct deposit through https://one.uf.edu/campusfinances/directdeposithttps://one.uf.edu/campusfinances/directdepositOne.UF if you have not already done so.
  8. Complete an online “Student Authorization to Release Financial Information” form at https://one.uf.eduhttps://one.uf.eduhttps://one.uf.eduhttps://one.uf.eduONE.UF.  Completing this form authorizes our office to discuss your financial aid with a representative you select (for example, a parent) in the event you cannot contact our office personally while you are studying abroad.

Preparation Is the Key

Handling your financial aid situation before you leave the country will ensure that your overseas experience is stress-free. Prepare for your program by reviewing guidelines for aid disbursement with a financial aid adviser. Make sure to meet all deadlines. And before leaving the country, check once again to make sure that your financial aid file is complete and that your aid will disburse on time.

SFA hopes that you enjoy your study abroad experience and we look forward to assisting you with the preparations for your program.