Frequently Asked

Questions

Frequently Asked Questions & Resources

API has collected links to outside resources with information and advice to assist you in your plans to study or intern with us, as well as a sampling of some of the questions we routinely answer. If you don’t find the one that helps you, please complete one of our request information forms or send email to [email protected]

How do I apply?

Click the “Apply Now” button at the top of any page. You’ll be prompted to make and APIConnect account which will be your home base to submit your transcript, course form, and other required application materials. Once you select a program, you’ll work with one of our great U.S.-based program managers who are experts on their respective locations. They’ll help you from application first steps all the way until you go on your program!

Can I use my financial aid or scholarships to pay for the program?

Click the “Apply Now” button at the top of any page. You’ll be prompted to make and APIConnect account which will be your home base to submit your transcript, course form, and other required application materials. Once you select a program, you’ll work with one of our great U.S.-based program managers who are experts on their respective locations. They’ll help you from application first steps all the way until you go on your program!

Is there an application fee?

API does collect a $150 application deposit. However, if you are not accepted by the host university or API, you may be eligible to receive a refund. Bonus – this deposit is not an additional fee but is applied toward the program cost!

My GPA is just a bit below the requirement. Can I still apply?

API believes in the importance of a strong GPA but we’re willing to consider an applicant whose GPA falls below the official requirement in certain instances. Students are asked to submit a statement of explanation addressing the reasons behind their low GPA.

API is most willing to consider an applicant with a low GPA in the following instances:

  • The GPA trend has steadily improved from a low point early on in the student’s academic career.
  • A small number of courses substantially affected the cumulative GPA.
  • The student has made a concerted effort to study the host language, has performed well in the language courses and has applied for a program with a language focus.
  • The student selected the wrong major, and upon correcting the course of study, has steadily improved the GPA.

If API cannot accept a student for the session originally desired, we will invite the applicant to reapply for a subsequent session when grades have improved.

I'm torn between programs. Can I apply to both?

You may only apply to one program at a time but if you change your mind before the deadline, just let us know and we can switch over your application if we are able. Don’t worry – we can also transfer your application deposit so no need to pay it twice!

What about flights?

API encourages students to book their own airfare. Upon acceptance, you will receive information on where and when to book your flights. Students often can find the cheapest flights so we leave it up to you and your flight savvy booking skills to find the best deal and fit for you. Once you arrive at your destination, our API on-site staff will be there to pick you and your group up from the airport.

Do I need a visa for my program?

Depending on which site you select for your API program, as well as your country of citizenship, you may be required to apply for a visa in order to enter the host country for purposes of study.

API will provide guidance regarding the required documents after you have been accepted, and we will supply you with certain required documents.

It is very important that you complete your application for the API program quickly so that you can begin applying for your visa as soon as possible as visa processing can take time. Just know, API is not able to provide a refund if you are unable to obtain a visa prior to your program start date. We will do our best to advise you when we receive your application if we feel that you do not have sufficient time to obtain the visa.

I don't have a passport. Can I still apply?

All API participants will be required to have a valid passport for travel outside of their home country. If you do not have a passport, apply for one immediately. If you do have a passport, check the expiration date to ensure that the expiration date is at least 6 months after the end of your program. You will need to renew your passport immediately if it expires too soon after your program end date.

If you are in the process of applying for a passport or plan to apply for one but still want to start your API application, just let us know! We can help you to move forward with your application until you receive your passport.

For Individuals with Health-Related Questions

Where do I start, and how do I know what to expect abroad?
  • Talk to your university study abroad office.
  • Research your country and city of interest online.
  • Utilize API’s online resources.
  • Seek out students who’ve already traveled to that location and talk to them about their experience.
What special accommodations are available to me on site?
  • API recommends that students with disabilities complete the optional Student Inquiry Survey prior to submission of an application, and return to Carolyn Lutes, API’s Assoc. VP of Health, Safety, and Wellness.
  • Also, please talk to your API program manager as soon as possible, so they can contact the host university abroad regarding accommodations on site and make any necessary arrangements.
What mental and emotional health resources are available?
  • API provides support in preparation for and during your time abroad. Be sure to disclose any needs on your API medical form so that we can assist you before you go as well as on site.
  • We have English-speaking mental health professionals on site available to assist.
Physical Disability Resources

API is dedicated to providing international education opportunities to students with disabilities. We strongly recommend that students with disabilities begin the process of planning their study abroad experience one year in advance, including meeting with the disabilities services and study abroad office at their home institution prior to submitting your application. Early planning provides the time required to identify the program that best suits your particular interests and needs and allows us and our partners to work with you to prepare a detailed accommodations plan. Below are some resources we hope you’ll find helpful as you begin planning for your time abroad!

API recommends that students with disabilities complete the OPTIONAL Student Inquiry Survey prior to submission of an application, and return to Carolyn Lutes at [email protected], Senior Director of Student Services & Admissions.

Please note: Disclosure of a disability prior to submitting an application is completely optional and does not preclude students from being accepted to an API program. Disclosure of a disability allows API staff to work with students to identify the best program(s) to meet each student’s needs and goals for the term abroad. Information provided on this form will not be shared with API partners abroad, to include local host institutions, until after the student has been accepted into the API program, and only as needed. API will seek to provide students with special needs a comprehensive picture of the on-site environment, so as to set appropriate expectations, and to allow students to make informed decisions regarding program participation.

API will provide advice to students using our knowledge of the dynamics on-site:

1) The accessibility of housing, transportation, and university buildings (for students with mobility limitations)

2) The availability of medical facilities and health professionals (for students with mental health or medical concerns)

3) Academic policies (for students with learning disabilities)

4) Cultural perceptions and behaviors.

As conditions exist abroad that may be beyond the control of API and its partners (e.g., some host countries have no legislation akin to the American with Disabilities Act that mandates the accessibility of governmental buildings, public transportation, sidewalks, academic institutions, and lodging for individuals with disabilities), certain sites may not be ideal for all students. API will work closely with students to identify alternate locations that can provide similar academic and cultural learning opportunities if the originally requested location cannot offer adequate accommodations.

TIPS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES (excerpted from DiversityAbroad.com):

  • Talk with other students with disabilities and learn about their experiences abroad.
  • Let your counselor or program director know about your disability, if you are comfortable doing so, so that as many accommodations as possible can be made.
  • Keep in mind that places abroad may not be as accessible as you are used to.
  • Remember that people with disabilities may be treated differently than you are accustomed to. Research before you go so you have some idea of what to expect.
  • Be flexible and think creatively about how you can accommodate your disability abroad.

HELPFUL RESOURCES

Mobility International – A non-profit organization advocating for the disabled and helping students with disabilities realize their study abroad goals.

National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange – Offers free services and helpful resources for planning your education abroad experience.

Pre-Departure Recommendations for Disabled Students Abroad – Information to assist students from all backgrounds with their study abroad plans.

University of Minnesota’s “Access Abroad” – Offers helpful information and tips regarding accessibility overseas.

U.S. State Department – Provides country reports including information regarding disability policies in your prospective host country.

Ultimate Guide to Air Travel with a Disability – A resource that gives information about traveler rights, tips for navigating the airport and airplane with a disability, and more.

“Making it Happen” – A University of Pittsburgh video focusing on students with disabilities abroad.

EduBirdie – offers a number of resources of scholarships for students with varying disabilities, including ADHD, hearing impairment, Autism Spectrum Disorders, learning and cognitive learning needs, speech disorders, visual impairment, physical disabilities and more.

Mental Health Resources

Mental Health Resources

Many people suffer from one or more mental health issues. When you’re studying abroad, a mental health issue can be exacerbated by the stress of being in a new culture and adjusting to a new environment and routine. The following are common triggers when studying abroad:

  • Travel stress
  • Culture shock
  • Loss and separation
  • Adjusting to local conditions
  • Social pressure

Before you go, please be sure to do the following:

  • Be up front and transparent with API regarding any mental health issues and needs, so we can better assist you should you need it.
  • Make an appointment with your healthcare professional before you go to discuss your study abroad plans and prospective needs (including medication and prescriptions).
  • Talk to your API Program Coordinator/Manager about setting up on-site counseling if that is something that you might need while abroad.
  • Set up a distance support plan with your stateside healthcare professional(s), family, and friends to help you through any rough patches.
  • When on site, get plenty of rest, avoid overconsumption of alcohol, find supportive friends, continue familiar activities as much as possible
  • And most importantly, please talk to your on-site API Resident Director who is there to assist and support you! We have English-speaking health professionals who can assist, and your API resident director can help!

Also be sure to check out the following online resources for helpful info and tips!

Can I bring my Emotional Support Animal?

1. API cannot guarantee that a particular animal, even one classified within the U.S. as an emotional support animal, will be allowed to enter the host country. Individuals who wish to travel abroad with an emotional support animal are responsible for determining specific requirements for bringing animals into the host country; API will provide assistance with determining special entry requirements as time allows.

2. Host universities abroad generally will not allow Emotional Support Animals in their classrooms. If the individual’s home institution accommodations documentation includes authorization to have the ESA in classrooms on campus, that documentation can be submitted for consideration by the host university, but such reviews will not necessarily result in the ESA being allowed to attend class with the participant.

3. Housing options through API do not generally allow for animals. API recommends that participants traveling with ESAs consider independent housing.

4. Emotional support animals will not be permitted to participate in API-sponsored cultural events or excursions.

5. Individuals wishing to travel with ESAs are recommended to apply a minimum of 12 months in advance of their departure, so that API can work more closely with these applicants to determine limitations and options.

6. Prior to soliciting accommodations on-site with local partners, API reserves the right to solicit documentation in the form of a letter (not issued more than one year prior to submission) from a licensed mental health professional.

What if I’m a student traveling with HIV?

For LQBTQIA2+ Students

Where do I start, and how do I know what to expect abroad?
  • Talk to your university study abroad office.
  • Research your country and city of interest online.
  • Utilize API’s online resources.
  • Seek out students who’ve already traveled to that location and talk to them about their experience.
How do I apply for a passport with a change of sex marker?
What are the housing options that are available to me on site?

Be sure to talk to your API Program Manager regarding your housing questions!

  • Single room options available
  • Co-ed housing available (in some locations)
  • Gender-inclusive housing (in some locations)
How can I find out more about LQBTQIA2+ - friendly locations?
Resources for LGBTQ+

It’s always important to learn as much as you can about your host country before you go abroad in order to have a positive, successful experience. For LGBTQ+ students, this includes understanding the country’s laws and cultural attitudes regarding sexuality and gender identity.

Below are some resources to consult as you plan for your time abroad! Some countries may require you to modify your behaviors or face extensive discrimination or even legal consequences. It is a must for you to determine in advance how comfortable you feel adjusting your own behaviors to suit the cultural norms of a given culture and select a destination accordingly.

Diversity Abroad – LGBTQ+ Students Abroad – DiversityAbroad shares advice, resources, and must-ask questions for LGBTQ+ students to consider when looking to study abroad.

U.S. State Department’s LGBTQ+ Travel Information – Includes resources and other helpful information for before you go and while you’re there from the U.S. State Department

Fund for Education Abroad – FEA offers a Rainbow Scholarship to a deserving LGBTQ+ student who aims to participate in a high-quality, rigorous education abroad program.

IGLTA, the International Gay/Lesbian Travel Association – Assists with finding LGBTQ+ owned and welcoming travel-related businesses in over 75 countries.

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association – Provides comprehensive data on LGBTQ+ laws around the world.

NAFSA (Association of International Educators) Rainbow Special Interest Group – Tips for LGBTQ+ students abroad.

National Center for Transgender Equality – The National Center for Transgender Equality is the nation’s leading social justice advocacy organization winning life-saving change for transgender people. The site includes helpful travel information for transgender students traveling abroad.

HIV Entry Requirement Information – Can be found on the U.S. State Department website’s country information pages under “Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements.”

Identities Abroad – Colleges of the Fenway – The Colleges of the Fenway offers a great resource on many aspects of the study abroad process for students who identify as LGBTQ+.

Internship Questions

What housing is available?

Housing for the internship program varies at each location and based on the time of year. Housing assignments may also be based on the individual location of the internship placement to keep commute times reasonable. Housing options are as follows:

Dublin, Edinburgh, Florence, London, Lisbon, Milan, Rome, and all Australia and New Zealand locations – housing will typically be in twin shared mixed-gender student apartments.

Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Santiago, Valparaíso, and Syracuse – participants have a choice of homestay (with meals) or shared mixed-gender student apartments.

What is the average commute time?

30-60 minutes, though there can be slightly longer in some instances. Participants should also expect to take multiple modes of transportation – i.e. bus and subway, subway and ferry, etc. Public transportation costs are not included.

What placements are available?

API can locate high-quality, customized internship placements in nearly all fields of study, with the exception of hands-on, clinical work.

Are placements available in English in all locations?

Yes, API can find English-speaking internships in our non-English destinations. Applicants that are unable to speak the local language may need to be more flexible with their placement. English-speaking placements in Buenos Aires are limited; therefore a high-intermediate level of Spanish is typically required.

How long does the placement process typically take?

The average placement time is 4-8 weeks, though it can take longer for ‘niche’ fields.

How does the applicant accept their internship offer and move on to the pre-departure process?

Each applicant will receive an official internship offer with the details of their internship placement. This includes a description of the company and of the anticipated internship duties. The participant must officially accept the offer and make the next payment towards the program fees of $1,000 (unless their home university has a direct bill arrangement with API). Once the applicant has officially accepted their offer, API will assist them with the pre-departure process.

What happens if API cannot place an intern applicant?

In the rare event that API cannot place an applicant, the applicant would receive a full refund on any application and confirmation payments made.

How does API find placements?

API customizes all placements based on the individual applicant’s learning and career objectives. This means that we are continuously developing new internship placements for applicants. We find our placements through professional networks, industry connections, and research. Customization does not refer to company size or stature.

What kind of organizations and companies does API utilize?

We can find placements in most industries or fields except hands-on clinical work. Most of our placements are with smaller to mid-sized local companies or organizations. We have found that these types of organizations tend to offer a better experience than large corporations. The larger the organization, often the more restrictive they are in what they will allow an intern to work on. Participants wanting an English-speaking placement in a foreign language destination will need to allow for flexibility in the type of placement we can find.

Will there be other interns at my placement?

In most cases, the API participant will be the only intern at the internship site. Because most of our sites are smaller to mid-size organizations, they only have the resources to host 1-2 interns at a time.

What if I'm not happy with my placement offer?

API will locate a placement based on the information that the applicant provides us during the application process. API will focus on the desired learning outcomes in making an internship match, which takes priority over the size and the focus of the host organization. Therefore, API is confident that any internship offered will match the desired placement requested by the applicant to the best of our ability. Unless an applicant has valid reasons why the placement does not match their learning objectives, the expectation is that the applicant will accept the given offer.

What is included in the internship program?

More details are provided on the respective program pages, but in general, the following features are included:

  • Customized internship placements
  • APIConnect platform
  • Orientation materials and resources
  • Workplace and culture orientation
  • Housing
  • Access to Resident Coordinators/Directors 24/7
  • Academic credit (optional)
  • Internship placement oversight
  • API Career Development Badge
Will API staff be able to assist me during my internship?

Yes! All of the API internship locations are supported by API Resident Coordinators/Directors who are available 24/7 to support and assist participants through the internship experience.

Who supervises the internship?

Each intern will have someone at the internship that is designated as their internship supervisor. The expectation is that the supervisor and intern will meet on a weekly basis.

What are the internship hours?

Participants will intern for approximately 32 hours per week, Monday – Friday. However, there may be instances where the intern must work over the weekend and have days off during the work week. For example, hospitality-related organizations often are busiest during weekend hours where it is beneficial to have interns assist.

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What if I still have questions?

Ask us! You can talk to your API Program Manager or one of our Diversity, Inclusion & Access committee team members who are ready to help with any questions you may have about finding a program, accommodations and support on site, and more! Call us at 512-600-8922, chat with us on our website or complete the form on our Contact Us page and someone will be in touch!