At High Point University, our emphasis on global perspectives is designed to provide students with opportunities to enhance their international awareness, to deepen their intercultural sensitivity, and to develop their intercultural competencies and cross-cultural communication skills. Studying abroad is strongly encouraged as a part of this emphasis on global studies. With a variety of extraordinary options at some of the most prestigious universities in the world, students at High Point University are encouraged to study abroad as early as the summer after their freshman year.

Employers are looking for more than just a degree; they want well-rounded individuals who have familiarity with diverse cultures, special skills, and knowledge of the world around them.


To gain a competitive edge in our global community, it is essential to gain understanding and expertise through first-hand experiences. Some of the benefits of studying abroad include:

Personal Growth

  • Get outside your comfort zone and see a different perspective
  • Become immersed in a different culture and develop observation, processing, and adaptation skills
  • Gain independence & self-confidence
  • Learn to navigate complex situations
  • Develop your intercultural competencies
  • Enhance your time-management, budgeting, and independent travel abilities

Academic Insights

  • Diversify HPU’s curriculum
  • Broaden class discussions
  • Navigate unfamiliar systems
  • Satisfy degree requirements, completing courses toward your major, minor, or core requirements
  • Improve language proficiency
  • Undergo service-learning, internship, and research opportunities
  • Studying abroad often solidifies students’ career goals and interests

Professional Development

  • Network globally as you build relationships with classmates, faculty, and others from around the world
  • Complete an internship for academic credit and gain valuable international work experience
  • Develop intercultural sensitivity, problem-solving, and decision-making skills
  • Be more competitive through transferable skills such as cross-cultural communication and team-work
  • Boost your résumé and develop personally and professionally through service learning and volunteer opportunities
  • Have specific experiences to talk about on your cover letter and in interviews
  • Set yourself apart: Less than 2% of US college students study abroad before they graduate

And that is just the beginning. As you can see, participating in authentic, immersive experiences in varying cultures really can help build global life skills, setting students apart to be a well-rounded leader in our diverse, global marketplace. 

Planning for a semester or summer abroad may feel like a daunting task, but the Office of Study Abroad will give you the tools you need to plan effectively and ensure that you are making progress in your degree. We want to make sure that you are finding programs that meet your academic, personal, and professional goals.

Whether you have decided already that you want to study abroad or are just looking for more information, there are several avenues to explore. We encourage you to explore each of the following:

Individualized Advising

The first step in planning any study abroad experience is to meet with a study abroad advisor. In a short, 30-minute appointment, we’ll give you important information you need to know to consider, research, and begin planning for a term abroad. In this appointment, you’ll be able to ask questions and will walk away with an overview of the study abroad planning process. Whether you are thinking of an HPU program or an unaffiliated (non-HPU) program, every student must meet with a study abroad advisor before departing campus.

Study Abroad Fair

Every fall, the Office of Study Abroad hosts a study abroad fair to showcase HPU’s partnerships around the globe. Your study abroad advisor will be available to answer questions and schedule appointments to look further into what opportunities may meet your needs and goals best. For many programs, students who have studied abroad to our partner schools will be available to share their experiences. Also, degree-seeking students from our partner schools who are studying abroad to HPU will be available to talk about their home school.

Additionally, a Global Experience Program Fair will showcase the short-term, faculty-led programs running that year. You’ll be able to see what opportunities are available and speak with the faculty who will be teaching the courses and leading the travel.

International Ambassadors

Our International Ambassadors are HPU students who have studied abroad and now want to share their experience with other students. They are available to answer questions at many study abroad events and even hold “Coffee Hours” with students who are curious about their experience living and studying abroad. If you would like to meet one-on-one with an International Ambassador for a Coffee Hour, contact your study abroad advisor.

Web Resources

A lot information is available on the Study Abroad website. Review the information in the Why Study Abroad? and Where Can I Study Abroad for My Major? pages. You also can read about other HPU students’ experiences in the Student Experiences section. A list of Frequently Asked Questions will answer many questions you and your family have.

We suggest that you begin planning your study abroad program about a year before you plan to depart. Talk with your academic advisor to determine how and when study abroad best fits in your schedule. Keep in mind that courses in some majors must be completed at HPU, and some courses are available only during certain semesters.

To schedule an appointment with a study abroad advisor, contact the Office of Study Abroad by calling (336) 841-9280 or stop by the Study Abroad Office.

Application Process

The following guide has been created to help you understand the application, selection, and nomination process. Please contact the Office of Global Education should you have questions.

Advising

Before you can access the study abroad application, you’ll need to have an advising appointment.

  • For students applying for a semester abroad, you’ll meet with a study abroad advisor to discuss program selection, requirements, academic advising, fees, and the application process. It is recommended that you schedule your first advising appointment at least a year in advance of your program, although we will hold advising appointments up through the application deadline.
  • For students applying for a Global Experience (“Maymester”) program, you’ll need to attend the program’s interest meeting for information regarding the program, the academic course, the fees, and the application process. Students who cannot attend the interest meeting during the scheduled times will need to meet with the program leader for the program(s) of interest to obtain the needed information and application materials.
  • For students applying to a summer program not under the HPU Global Experience Program, you’ll need to meet with a study abroad advisor to discuss your program and how to receive academic credit for your program abroad.

Application Deadlines

Generally speaking, there are four application deadlines for the four general program terms. Please confirm the application deadline for the program to which you are applying by reviewing the information in the Terms section on the specific program brochure in ViaTRM.

Application deadlines are scheduled as follows:

Program TermApplication OpensApplication Deadline
Global Experience Faculty-Led Study Programs October 1November 15
Maymester Faculty-Led Study ProgramsOctober 1November 15
Summer (non-faculty-led) Study AbroadLate January/Early FebruaryMarch 15
Fall Semester Study AbroadLate January/Early FebruaryMarch 15
Spring Semester Study AbroadLate January/Early FebruaryMay 15

Application Materials

The materials required for your application for study abroad are located on each program brochure in the Study Abroad Portal, Via TRM.

Once you’ve narrowed down your options and have found your preferred to which you want to apply, access the application by clicking the pink Apply Now button on the program’s brochure. Note: if, under the Terms section, there is no pink Apply Now button, that means the program does not have an open application.

You will be permitted to list another program as an alternate for situations where you may not be accepted to your preferred program, instructions for which are on the application.

A completed application includes the following:

Personal and Academic Information 

You will be asked for your personal information, emergency contacts & their information, as well as your academic background. Many details will sync directly with your HPU student record, so be sure to review closely all information and request updates where needed by contacting the Office of the University Registrar or the Office of Global Education.

Statements of Purpose

Personal statements are required for all study abroad applications and must be tailored to the specific program.

For each personal statement, compose an essay of at least 500 words that addresses the given prompt. The quality of the essay (content, specificity, form, and grammar) is a factor in evaluating your application.

Most applications will ask for statements similar to the following example statements, although some applications may require statements addressing different topics:

  1. Academic Development: How will this experience enrich your degree program? What are some ways that you plan to use your experience to enhance the learning environment of your home campus when you return (e.g., providing international perspectives in classroom discussions)?
  2. Career Development: How does the content of the program you are applying for relate to your present and future career goals?
  3. Cultural Development: Name one aspect of the host culture which you plan to investigate. How do you plan to accomplish this? Name one cultural difference you anticipate and a strategy you will use to adapt.
  4. Personal Development: What specific personal challenges do you anticipate while abroad? How will you cope or adjust to these?

Course Equivalency Approval Forms

Required for semester and summer program applications, this form is used to obtain equivalency approvals to know how specific courses taken abroad can be used at High Point University. Students are advised to seek equivalency approvals for their top-choice classes in which they’d like to enroll, as well as at least an equal amount of alternate courses. Please list courses for only one school on a form. The number of the equivalency record does not matter, in other words, having a course in line one does not show it is more important than one in line 9 or 10. This is not your enrollment, but a repository of courses pre-approved to satisfy HPU requirements from which you later can use as you register for courses.

Students must submit course equivalency approvals for an alternate school if it is listed on their application.

Academic References

Academic references must be from HPU professors who have taught you in class. They will not be required to write a personal letter, although they may choose to do so. Instead, there will be an electronic request form into which they will compose their comments and submit online. We recommend that you provide at least two weeks for references to be completed and submitted prior to the application deadline.

HPU semester applications require two academic references.

Global Experience program applications require one academic reference, written by someone other than the course’s professor.

Judicial Clearance 

Students must be in good judicial standing in order to study abroad. As such, all applications for study abroad require a judicial background check. This will not be a physical form, instead, there will be an electronic request form that will be submitted to the Director of Global Education. Specific instructions and details are included in the application.

Financial Aid Clearance Form

Required for all semester applications whether or not the applicant receives financial aid (e.g., grants, loans, and scholarships, including awards under the HPU Presidential Scholarship Program). Students who receive any type of aid are required to have their form completed by a Financial Planning Counselor from the Office of Financial Planning.

Application Fee

All applications for study abroad require payment of a non-refundable application fee in the following amount:

  • Semester study abroad: $500
  • Global Experience “Maymester” study abroad: $200
  • Independent summer study abroad: $250

This fee is not a deposit and will not be applied to the costs of tuition and fees, relevant room and/or board, or travel expenses. Note: This fee will be refunded should your application not be accepted by HPU (for Global Experience programs) or not nominated by HPU to their host university (for semester study abroad).

Supplemental Materials for Summer and Unaffiliated Programs

Additional materials also are required for students applying directly to non-HPU summer programs and unaffiliated semester study abroad. Please contact your study abroad advisor for more information, as policies and procedures may be different from HPU semester and HPU Global Experience Programs. 

Nomination and Selection Process

All qualified applications will be reviewed by the Office of Global Education using a rubric that will evaluate a student based on several classifications. In a situation where a program receives more applications than the host university or study program can accommodate, applications with the highest scores will be considered first. The rubric is based on 4 areas, including:

  • Cumulative GPA: This is the largest factor in an application’s total score, with the cumulative GPA multiplied by 10.
  • Personal Statements: Essays are blindly graded by an unbiased evaluator and each is given an overall score based on a 10-point scale. The quality of the essay (content, specificity, form, and grammar) is a factor in evaluating your application.
  • Class Standing: Students at the senior level are provided maximum points in this category, 10, followed by those at the junior, sophomore, and freshmen levels earning 6, 4, and 2 points respectively.
  • Previous Study Abroad Experience: To afford the largest number of students the opportunity to study abroad, those with no collegiate study abroad participation will receive maximum points in this category, 5, to boost their application, those with one previous study abroad experience will receive 3 points. Those with more than one study abroad experience will receive no additional points.

Qualified students not selected for their top choice program will be given the opportunity to have their application evaluated for their second and/or third choice program, or to withdraw their application and have their application fee refunded.

Students applying for semester programs are nominated by High Point University. The acceptance will come from the host university. While a nomination to a study abroad program is not an acceptance, it is a step in the right direction. Once nominated, students will complete paperwork specific to their host university, who will evaluate their application and provide an official acceptance letter should their application be approved. Please note: it is possible an official acceptance letter may not be issued before the pre-departure orientation.

Students applying for a Global Experience program will receive their acceptance from the Office of Global Education and will be enrolled automatically in the requisite academic course.