Semester Abroad FAQs

Can I do more than one Semester Abroad?

While the typical student will only participate in one semester abroad, there have been instances where a student has enjoyed it enough to explore the option of a second semester abroad. It should be noted that approval is always granted first to first time applicants. In the event that a student is granted approval for a second semester abroad, they are NOT eligible to receive Bethel financial aid for their second semester away.

Are there any majors that don’t allow me to do a Semester Abroad?

Yes. Certain majors have a stringent set of classes that must be completed in a particular order and do not lend themselves to studying abroad. You should check with your advisor who will be able to give you more information regarding whether or not a Semester Abroad is possible with your current major.

What other options are available if I cannot be away from campus for a full semester?

Task Force Trips and May/Summer Travel Programs offer options for students who are unable to fit a full semester abroad experience into their normal schedule.

What is the cost of a semester abroad?

Costs vary based on programs. For Bethel programs (Dominican Republic, Pacific Rim, Russia, China), the cost will be equivalent to Full-time Tuition, Room and Board (20 meal plan), plus an additional semester abroad fee covering Airfare and Travel Insurance. For our partner programs (Best Semester, JUC, FFI), more specific cost information is available upon request.

What is included in the cost of a semester abroad?

Semester Abroad experiences are all inclusive in that you are not required to spend a single penny more once the base costs are covered. However, most students will bring spending money for optional tourist type experiences, souvenirs, food outside of their normal meals, etc.

Can I fundraise for a semester abroad?

Fundraising cannot officially be done through Bethel College. However, should you choose to fundraise on your own, you are more than welcome to do so. In the event that you fundraise on your own, donations given are processed through Bethel College and are NOT tax deductible.

How many credits can I take while on a semester abroad?

Credit load depends on which program you choose to participate in. However, our programs all consist of a minimum of 12 credit hours. The fewer credits you can take, while still keeping on track for your desired graduation date, tends to allow for more opportunity to fully experience the lands and cultures you are visiting.

What are the qualifications for participating in a semester abroad?

Approval for a semester abroad is based on a completed application, minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA, good standing with Student Development (inclusive of residence life, chapel attendance, adherence to lifestyle covenant), and committing to adherence to the Semester Abroad Agreement.

How do I apply for a semester abroad?

Applying for a semester abroad is done entirely online at

How long is the application process?

The application will take between 30-45 minutes and can be saved along the way.

When is the deadline for applying for a semester abroad?

Application deadlines vary year to year. Generally speaking, the deadline for upcoming spring programs will be mid-September and the deadline for upcoming Fall programs will be late April.

How are applicants chosen to go on a semester abroad?

There are several factors that weigh on an applicant’s approval for a program. These include their academic standing, their references, and their standing with Student Development.

Will I need a passport?

All programs that take place outside of the United States will require a passport. You can begin the process of applying for a passport at

What types of shots do I need to study abroad?

You will definitely need a current Tetanus shot, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Typhoid. We suggest you refer to the CDC website as well as talking to your doctor about which vaccinations are best for you.

How do classes work when I am on a semester abroad?

The style of class when studying abroad varies based on the program and classes you take. Contrary to popular assumption, you will have textbooks, homework, and papers to be completed. Coursework on a semester abroad is not designed to be less academically challenging, but simply made more conducive to the traveling. Your work will often take place outside of the traditional classroom setting, although some courses do require a classroom style structure. Much of your work will be done in an independent study style fashion in which you are responsible for “setting your own pace,” while still completing assignments and meeting set deadlines.

What can I do to prepare in advance for a semester abroad?

The first thing you should do is talk with your advisor. Find out if a semester abroad is even possible and what steps you need to take to make the appropriate preparations in your scheduling. In addition to working out your classes, make arrangements for the financial end. Talk with the financial aid office to get an idea of what implication a semester abroad will have on your school bill. Feel free to email the semester abroad office or stop by during our office hours with questions.