Education Abroad Policies

Before studying abroad it is important that you have a clear understanding of the policies put into place by the Education Abroad Office regarding withdrawal, academics abroad, and appeal processes.

Withdrawal Policy

Education Abroad makes every attempt at keeping the program and administrative costs to a minimum. However, when you commit to participating in a program, Education Abroad begins to make financial commitments on your behalf. Regardless of the reason and effective date of withdrawal, it is the responsibility of students to immediately notify their Education Abroad Adviser in writing (email is preferred) and to understand the implications of their withdrawal actions.

Withdrawal After the Commitment Deadline

  • The Education Abroad administrative fees will be assessed to students' bursar bill regardless of the reason and effective date of withdrawal.
  • In certain cases, partial program expenses may be refundable but only to the extent that Education Abroad can recover expenses incurred on behalf of the student. Costs vary depending on date of withdrawal.
  • Students participating on third-party (i.e., CIEE, IES, Arcadia, etc.) programs should also consult the appropriate third-party institution's withdrawal and refund policies.
  • Any adjustment of tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar.
  • Go to the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence for more information.

Withdrawal from a Faculty-Led Program

Faculty-Led programs begin making payments and arrangements for students well before departure and are subject to strict withdrawal penalties. In case of withdrawal, the following fees will be charged to your Bursar account:

  • Upon Commitment - 90 Days Prior to Departure: 25% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee
  • 30 - 90 Days Prior to Departure: 50% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee
  • 29 Days - Departure Date: 100% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee

Withdrawal After Commencement of Education Abroad Program

  • Withdrawal from an Education Abroad program once it has begun is a serious matter and may have consequences regarding grading, credit transfer, financial aid, University enrollment status, tuition refund, etc.
  • If the withdrawal occurs before the end of the Penn State drop/add period, students may initiate a change of location from study abroad to a domestic Penn State location, drop the study abroad courses, and add courses at the domestic Penn State location.
  • If the withdrawal occurs after the end of the Penn State drop/add period, students will need to work with their undergraduate dean’s office to process a withdrawal

Types of Withdrawal While Abroad: Voluntary and Involuntary

Once on site abroad, the decision to withdraw from the study abroad program is a difficult one.  Withdrawal may be involuntary or voluntary.  

Involuntary Withdrawal

In cases of involuntary withdrawal, EA reserves the right to require withdrawal from the program of any participant whose continuation would be detrimental to himself, to others, or to the University. Return passage and any other expenses due to such involuntary withdrawal are the responsibility of the student. 

Voluntary Withdrawal

In cases of voluntary withdrawal, a student who voluntarily withdraws from the program for any personal reason will be responsible for any and all costs associated with their return home; a refund of tuition or fees is only available to the extent allowed by applicable Penn State policies outlined on this webpage.