Undergraduate Catalog
Graduate Catalog
Faculty
Courses A–Z
Course Schedule
Academic Calendar
Library
Study Abroad
Academic Research
Internships
Grants & Special Programs
Summer Session
January Term

Study Abroad

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I go about studying abroad?

What do I do once I am accepted into my international study program?

What should I consider when choosing a program?

Can I apply to multiple programs?

Can I apply to a program before I receive approval from Mills?

Who is my international study advisor?

How can I get more information about specific programs?

How likely am I to get into the program I want?

What if Mills isn't affiliated with the program I want?

How much will international study cost?

Can I go abroad the first semester of my senior year?

Can I do a summer program?

Are there international programs for graduate students?

Can I study abroad after I graduate?

I have a physical and/or learning disability. Can I still study abroad?

I have a child. Is it possible to study abroad and bring him/her with me?

How do I go about studying abroad?

Whether you know you want to study abroad or are still curious, planning ahead is key in keeping your options open. Do some research on where you can study to get an idea of the different programs available and their requirements. Meet with a study abroad advisor to discuss how studying abroad will fit with your Mills academics, including the completion of your major coursework and your graduation date. The study abroad checklist provides an overview of the steps Mills students need to take in order to study abroad.

  • Look at international study program information on the Mills web site to decide where to go and what program to choose.
  • Fill out the Mills Application for International Study. NOTE: This is NOT an application to the actual program! A separate application is required with the specific program.
  • Complete the application IN ORDER and make sure you sit down and meet with your academic advisor, international study advisor, and financial aid officer.
  • Turn the application in to the M Center by March 15 for Fall term or yearlong programs and October 15 for Spring term. 
  • When Mills approves you to study abroad, complete your program's application online or mail in the form directly to the program. Do NOT turn it in to Mills.
  • Notify the M Center as to whether or not you have been accepted by the program and complete the Intent to Participate Form.  If you decide not to study abroad, please email records@mills.edu to your record may be updated.

 

What do I do once I am accepted into my international study program?

  • Provide the M center with a copy of your acceptance letter.
  • Pay your deposit directly to the program. (Generally, this is the only time you will be paying the program directly.)
  • Provide the M Center with your address abroad (if known. If not, email the address to Academic Records at records@mills.edu as soon as it is known).
  • Cancel your PO Box, or have your mail forwarded to your home address.
  • The M Center will send you an Intent to Participate form, which you must sign and return to the M center with a copy of your acceptance letter.
  • Once you arrive at your study abroad center, please email Academic Records at the M Center at records@mills.edu so that Mills will be able to contact you quickly while you are abroad.

Back to top

What should I consider when choosing a program?

  • Will you be able to take classes in your major/minor? Do you need to be able to take these classes?
  • Is the program an island program (i.e. a separate study center just for American students) or a direct enrollment program (i.e. you will be taking most or all of your classes at a local university)?
  • Is the program conducted in a foreign language or in English? If it is conducted in a foreign language, how many semesters of study in that language are required to participate in the program?
  • What is the program location like? Urban? Rural?
  • What will your living arrangements be like? Apartment? Dorm? Homestay?

For the majority of students, study abroad is an overall positive experience. Just like life at your home school, however, you may encounter some discrimination on your travels. Explore this Diversity Guide to Study Abroad to learn more about how your identity may be impacted during your experience abroad.


Back to top

Can I apply to multiple programs?

Yes. You will need to fill out a separate Mills application for each program you are applying to, however. If you are applying to multiple program locations within the same program (e.g. CIEE programs in Spain and Cuba), only one Mills application is necessary. Once you decide which program or program location you will be attending, you MUST notify the M Center by completing the Intent to Participate Form and attaching your acceptance letter.

Back to top

Can I apply to a program before I receive approval from Mills?

Students are welcome to investigate study abroad programs on their own but are not permitted to apply to those programs directly without first completing the Mills application and securing Mills' approval for them to study abroad. Applying directly to study abroad programs before completing the Mills application procedure may result in the immediate suspension of their study abroad applications.

Back to top

Who is my international study advisor?

Middle East: Elmaz Abinader
Central and Easter Europe; France and Francophone Countries: Audrey Calfas-Strebelle
Italy: Meryl Bailey
Latin America, Spain: Carlota Caulfield
China and Hong Kong, United Kingdom and Ireland: TBA

Program-Specific Advisors:

UC Berkeley Global Internships: Margaret Hunter
School for International Training; School for Field Studies programs in Environmental Studies: Jenn Smith
ESC-Pau Exchange Program: Carol Theokary
Lingnan U-Hong Kong Exchange Program: TBA

Back to top

How can I get more information about specific programs?

For specific program information, contact the international study program directly. Contact information for the programs can be obtained by going to the program web sites directly.

Back to top

How likely am I to get into the program I want?

Each program has its own selection criteria. Large programs are likely to be less selective than small programs. To find out more about a particular program, contact that program directly. 

Back to top

What if Mills isn’t affiliated with the program I want?

To attend a study abroad program not affiliated with Mills, you must take a leave of absence from Mills for the semester you wish to attend the program. You will not be able to use Mills College financial aid for study at an unaffiliated program. In addition, you will want to complete a Transfer Credit Verification Form to determine if your courses will transfer.

Back to top

How much will international study cost?

Mills College is unique in that students studying abroad are charged the tuition and fees of their international study program, rather than Mills tuition and fees. Because many study abroad programs cost less than Mills, international study is a financially viable option for many students.

For students participating in a Mills-affiliated international visit (study abroad) or domestic visit program, federal and state sources of financial aid will transfer to assist with program costs.  The amount of a student's federal and/or state aid available for this purpose will be determined by the M Center; federal and/or state sources of financial aid will be adjusted according to the costs of the program in keeping with federal and state regulations.  Institutional scholarships, i.e. merit-based and need-based Mills scholarships, cannot be transferred toward the cost of a domestic visit or international visit (study abroad) program.  Costs for travel usually are not included in published program fees and are the responsibility of the participating student.   

NOTE: Students are ALWAYS responsible for the initial deposit required by all international study programs. Mills will not pay this fee, nor reimburse students for it.

Back to top

Can I go abroad the first semester of my senior year?

Yes. However, Mills does have a senior residency requirement, which requires students to be in attendance at Mills for the two semesters directly preceding their graduation. To study abroad during the first semester of your senior year you must petition to the Academic Standing Committee.  You may complete this petition on the student portal. 

Back to top

Can I do a summer program?

Yes. Many programs offer their own scholarships, and many outside organizations offer scholarships for study abroad that may be applied toward summer study. One advantage to summer study is that you do not have to attend a Mills-affiliated program.  In order to facilitate transfer of credit from a summer program, you must fill out a Preliminary Credit Transfer before your program starts. 

Back to top

Are there international study programs for graduate students?

Yes. There are not very many, but they do exist. The study abroad office at Mills caters mostly to undergraduates, but graduate students are welcome to browse the programs in search of a program that fits your needs.

Back to top

Can I study abroad after I graduate?

Yes. Some programs, especially summer study programs, accept students who have recently graduated. Other programs, such as CIEE and BUNAC provide work abroad programs for recent graduates. Students must enroll in these programs by December 31st of the year they graduate in. December graduates are not eligible. For post-graduate study abroad, apply directly through the program of interest. There will be no connection to Mills and financial aid will not be available. 

Back to top

I have a physical and/or learning disability. Can I still study abroad?

Yes. Most study abroad programs work with students with disabilities on a case-by-case basis and make accommodations whenever possible. However, accessibility may vary depending on the country and region of the program. You should contact the programs you are interested in directly to get more information.

Back to top

I have a child. Is it possible to study abroad and bring them with me?

Yes. This is, however, an unusual circumstance and must be discussed directly with the program you are interested in attending. Some programs, especially smaller ones or traveling programs, may not be able to accommodate your child.

Back to top

Overview

Where You Can Study Abroad

Domestic Study Opportunities

Eligibility & Requirements

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Study Abroad Checklist

Study Abroad Application

FAQ

Additional Resources

Individual appointments may be scheduled by emailing an advisor at studyabroad@mills.edu, by calling the M Center at 510.430.2000, or stopping by Carnegie Hall in the Advising, Careers, and Global Learning office to schedule an appointment.

Contact Information

P: 510.430.2075
Last Updated: 9/25/18