Before Your Student Goes Abroad
CAPA International Education recognizes that family members and friends of our study abroad students are stakeholders in the process. Included in this section are resources for these groups as they prepare for their loved ones to head overseas. Whether you are looking for information on funding opportunities and scholarships, need advice on visa applications, or have any other questions or concerns about the pre-departure process, CAPA is here to help. Our goal is to empower your students as they prepare to have safe, enjoyable, and life-changing experiences abroad.
The Pre-Departure Services team at CAPA International Education is committed to ensuring that all CAPA students are prepared to have the most academically-enriching, culturally-engaging, healthy, safe, and enjoyable international experience possible. To that end, CAPA team members are available to answer questions at every step of the process, from recruitment and application to advising and sendoff. Advice from team members spans from the practical (visa applications, packing tips, and advice on banking overseas) to the theoretical (issues of identity while abroad, initial culture shock, and eventual cultural engagement). Our goal is provide the most accurate and helpful guidance to our students in order to empower them to independently find and pursue their own goals as related to their international experiences.
Students will receive pre-departure information via e-mail in intervals throughout their preparation for the program. Much of this information is hosted on web-links that can also be shared with friends and family members, so as to be involved in the pre-departure process as needed. In the interest of ensuring that students can receive information in reason stages, students can anticipate receiving emailed newsletters on a variety of topics that will be relevant to their experience abroad. Specific information of accommodations, arrival instructions, and internship placements, where applicable, will be sent directly to students approximately 14 days before the start of the program. Due to privacy laws that seek to best serve the safety of your student, this information must go directly to the student or sponsoring University, but the format in which it is sent should make it easy to share with friends where appropriate.
One of the hallmarks of CAPA’s Pre-Departure Services Team is its connection and collaboration with the CAPA overseas staff. Each CAPA program site – from London and Sydney, to Beijing – is staffed by a Resident Director and supporting staff members. The team in the United States remains the main point of contact for all North American students and their families and friends, but by working closely with CAPA colleagues overseas, the Boston-based Pre-Departure Services Team is prepared for all advising issues that may arise. This special relationship between CAPA Boston and the overseas centers allows our students’ transition from life in the United States to life abroad to be as seamless and integrated as possible. Further, this connection sets CAPA apart from other study abroad organizations.
The Pre-Departure Services Team can be reached on 1-800-793-0334.
Certain students studying on CAPA Programs require a student visa.
Students will receive updated visa information for the designated country during the pre-departure advising process. Students should be aware that it is their own responsibility to obtain all passports, visas and required travel documents in order to enter each of the countries on their itinerary. If students are unable to obtain the necessary travel documents, or do not have them with them at the time of travel, they will not be entitled to a refund as described in the agreement. Although CAPA does advise in broad terms for the visa requirement/process for US citizens, we cannot stipulate all requirements as they might vary based on country of citizenship, or current legal standing. Students are responsible, in these cases, to research any additional requirements to which they might be held. Students should be aware that in some locations, certain passport holders could automatically be denied entry due to lack of diplomatic relationships, or other similar circumstances. Completing this research before committing to the program is strongly advised, as participation is then at one’s own risk.Visas must be obtained prior to traveling abroad. It is the responsibility of each student to obtain their own visa, but the CAPA pre-departure staff will assist you in answering your questions.
Please click on the links below to download your pre-departure handbook.
If you have any questions about the material in the handbooks, please do not hesitate to contact our pre-departure team at 800-793-0334.
Financial aid may be available for your student to pay for all or part of the program through his or her home institution. The following information details the most important facts about CAPA and your student’s potential financial aid eligibility.
Payment – If your son or daughter is NOT receiving financial aid, payment will be due in full 70 days before the start of the program. If your son or daughter is receiving financial aid, 30% of the program fees will be due 70 days before the start of the program, and the remaining balance will be due 30 days before the start of the program. Your student’s financial aid might not actually have been disbursed by the date at which the final payment is due. If your student is having a difficult time coordinating his or her ability to pay by these deadlines, it is encouraged that he or she speak with the Student Accounts team as early as possible. We do encourage students to consider all options however to cover the cost of the program until they are then reimbursed by their financial aid on the disbursement date. Late payments will impact your student’s enrollment and participation on the program. Proactive communication for anticipated delays on payment is strongly encouraged.
Financial Aid – Students are encouraged to discuss their plans to study abroad with the financial aid office early in the planning process. Each college and university tend to operate differently with regards to the types of aid that can be applied towards a study abroad program, and the ways in which students might be able to augment their aid in advance of going abroad. Realistically, most students will find that their opportunities to increase their levels of aid will be limited to additional loans, of varying terms. Some loans, such as Parent PLUS loans, are actually taken out by the parents on their students’ behalf. Students might also find that their only options for additional aid are through alternative student (private) loans if their federal aid has been exhausted. Not all loans carry unfavorable terms however, and it is important for students to be fully aware of their options as they are making the decision to go abroad, as well as the pros and cons that some of these decisions might have in the long term. Scholarships are available through a number of resources, PELL grant recipients are eligible to apply for the Gilman Award – a scholarship of up to $5000. Encourage your student to start financial planning early. Apply for scholarships locally, through the University, through CAPA, and federally (if available). Students should begin to acrue a savings based upon their estimated budget. A good opportunity to be involved in your son or daughter’s decision to go abroad is to walk through an estimated budget together. Your student might find it valuable to avail of your experience in creating realistic and livable budgets, and it will help to provide you to ensure that your student is planning appropriately for his or her time abroad.
FINANCIAL AID AND THE CAPA PROGRAM
If your student is planning to utilize financial aid to cover some or all of the cost of the program, he or she must complete a CAPA Financial Aid Disbursement Form and submit it to his or her Financial Aid Office immediately. This form will outline the student’s anticipated aid award, as completed by his or her financial aid office. Please note, these amounts are subject to change and in most cases what is listed on this form is an estimate, rather than an exact amount.
We suggest that students submit this information to the Financial Aid Office at their home university no later than 120 days prior to program departure. This will give their Financial Aid Officer time to process their request.
After the form is completed, students must return it to CAPA. Students may mail, fax or send by email. It is the student’s responsibility to return it to CAPA no later than 70 days prior to departure to be eligible for the deferred payment schedule.
65 Franklin StreetBoston, MA 02110
Send to Michaela Palmer, and write FA Form in the Subject line.
HOW TO APPLY:
- Fill out the CAPA program application form and send in your $300 deposit.
- Set up an appointment to meet with your Financial Aid Advisor as soon as possible. They will advise what types of aid are available and what amount(s) you are eligible to receive.
- Work with your Financial Aid Advisor/Officer to complete the Financial Aid Disbursement Form. You may also want to print out the specific program budget estimate found at the bottom of this page.
- Return the completed form to CAPA no later than 70-days prior to departure along with your 30% payment. Failure to send both by the deadline could result in your cancellation from the program.
- 30% of the Program Fee is due at 70 days prior to departure even if your are waiting for Financial Aid to be disbursed. You will be assessed a $100 late fee and are subject to being cancelled from the program if you do not submit this amount.
The following scholarships and grants are available for students participating in the CAPA-Led Programs to Buenos Aires, Dublin, Florence, London, Shanghai, or Sydney. These scholarships are not for students participating in non-CAPA programs to these destinations.
- CAPA Need-Based Scholarships
- CAPA Affiliate Grants
- Study Again with CAPA Scholarships
- Accommodation Fund
- National Study Abroad Scholarship Competitions
- Blog and Vlog Grants
To be eligible, you must be in the process of applying for a CAPA program. A separate scholarship application and documentation may also be required by the deadline listed. See each individual section for more details on the application process.
It takes the Scholarship Committee approximately 3-4 weeks to review applications and render decisions. Students will be notified in writing by email of their status approximately 4 weeks after the scholarship deadline. Students should be prepared to commit to the program regardless of whether an award is received. Generally, scholarship money is credited to the program invoice and not given out as cash.
CAPA offers need-based scholarships ranging from $500-5,000. The amount is determined by the Financial Assessment form, which is a required piece of the application and is due by the scholarship deadline. The Financial Assessment form must be filled out by your home institution's financial aid office, so please make sure to budget at least 1-2 weeks for them to return this document to CAPA.
The scholarship and Financial Assessment form must be received by the deadlines below:
Spring 2016: October 1, 2015
Summer 2016: February 15, 2016
Fall 2016: May 15, 2016
Over 200 colleges and universities are affiliated with CAPA. Affiliation provides access to a special affiliate grant. if you are from an affiliate institution you automatically receive $300 grants for Summer Programs, $400 for Quarter Programs and $600 grants for Semester Programs. This will be deducted from your program invoice. If you wish to know if your institution is an affiliate, please contact a CAPA Admissions Advisor at 800.793.0334.
If you studied abroad on a regular or customized CAPA program, you will automatically receive a $600 scholarship to study abroad again on a regular CAPA semester program, or a $300 scholarship toward a regular CAPA summer program. Students studying on another custom program are not eligible, and Affiliate students will not receive the Regular Affiliate Grant in addition to the Study Again with CAPA Scholarship. The scholarship and program application materials must be completed by the regular program deadlines (no extensions).
CAPA is committed to facilitating a learning abroad experience for students with disabilities. We encourage the disclosure of disability and use a collaborative team approach that involves our support staff both stateside and abroad, the student's study abroad advisor and disability resources coordinator, and of course the student, to determine the best means of accommodation. While some accommodations are cost-free, we recognize that additional expenses may be incurred. In an effort to defray such expenses, we have established the Accommodation Fund. We wish you a successful, exciting, and enriching time abroad and we are happy to support you in any way possible.
Grant Application Process:
- Email to Anne McDonnell, Director of Pre-Departure Services, to request an accommodations form outlining your needs.
- An anticipated additional cost sheet. Please work both with the Pre-Departure Services team, who will liaise with onsite personnel, as well as your College or University Study Abroad Office to assess potential additional costs that may arise. These can be estimates based on average costs advised by onsite personnel.
- Permission to contact your College or University’s Office of Disability Services as well as (if applicable) State Vocational Rehabilitation Program Coordinator from whom you receive support.
CAPA will review the grant proposal and determine award amounts based on the information provided. CAPA will try to meet the financial needs of the student as they are outlined to whatever degree possible, but some awards may not completely match the amount listed by the student pending the number of grant proposals we receive.
In instances where the grant funds will cover anticipated costs overseas, the grant fund will be managed by the onsite staff and distributed as needed/requested. If the proposed costs pertain to aspects of the program prior to departure, CAPA will make direct payments on the student’s behalf to the designated payee.
The application process must be completed by the deadlines below:
Spring 2016: October 1, 2015
Summer 2016: February 15, 2016
Fall 2016: May 15, 2016
In addition to CAPA Scholarships, there are many other national scholarship competitions you can apply for to receive extra funding. Many of these scholarships require you to apply a year in advance, so definitely do your homework ahead of time. Please visit each individual link below to learn more about eligibility, deadlines and how to apply:
Critical Language Scholarship (for China)
Every term, CAPA recruits official bloggers and vloggers to record their experience abroad through a weekly submission to the CAPA World blog (capaworld.capa.org). In exchange, you’ll receive a $600 grant at the end of the semester or $300 at the end of the summer term. Additionally you’ll have access to a $300 semester or $150 summer “explorer fund” to help you generate content for the blog while you’re abroad. Your contributions will be shared through our social media platforms.
The grants and explorer funds for bloggers and vloggers are available to incoming students on a yearly basis and are subject to annual review.
To be eligible for a CAPA blog or vlog grant, you must:
- have been accepted to study abroad on a CAPA program the coming term that is 6+ weeks during the summer or 10+ weeks during the semester
- have a previous history as a blogger or vlogger and be able to submit a copy of your blog / vlog to the grant committee for review
- submit the application form and sample blog/vlog entry as detailed below
As a grant recipient, you must commit to writing one blog post or recording one vlog per week to set deadlines during your term abroad. Missing these deadlines may result in deductions from your grant amount. The blog or vlog contributions will begin in the “preparation stage” the week before you leave home. A list of suggested blog/vlog topics will be available to trigger your creativity but you are encouraged to submit your own ideas as well. Blog posts should be between 400 – 1,000 words. Vlog entries should be 1 - 2 minutes long. Blog/vlog content must be appropriate in nature and avoid showing or writing about topics that breach CAPA’s student code of conduct.
Distribution of Grant and Explorer Fund:
Once you have completed the required number of blog posts, the grant is sent to you in the form of a check. The explorer fund is distributed by your program site resident director. If you do not comply with the set guidelines for two weeks in a row, you will lose your right to the remainder of your explorer fund.
Use of Explorer Fund: The use of the explorer fund is strictly intended to further the content of your blog/vlog. For example: ticket entry to events or venues such as museums or galleries that you may not otherwise have experienced that are then posted about on the blog or recorded for the vlog, dinner at a restaurant that you want to review, or in any way that you feel will be beneficial to your contribution as a blogger/vlogger.
This grant could potentially be taxable. Speak to your consultant for advice.
How to Apply:
Fill out the application form below at least 4 weeks prior to departure. Applications are considered by a committee and applicants are notified of the outcome by email.