FAQ Questions

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions): Below is a full list of common study abroad questions that we receive from students, parents, teachers and schools. Please search for your questions below. However, do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to ask us a question over the phone or if you cannot find what you are looking for here.

FAQ Categories


Who is eligible? What are the requirements?

Students and Non-Students attend our study abroad programs. Please CONTACT US if you have any questions regarding this.

Students:

We need one letter of recommendation from a professor, counselor, or employer. If requesting from a professor they do not have to be a Spanish teacher. We reserve the right to request a second letter if there are any doubts about your participation in the first letter of recommendation. Your GPA should be in good standing, if not, contact our offices to explore the various eligibility alternatives.

Non-students:

We accept participants who have an interest in language and cultural experiences and who are no longer students (e.g. post-graduates those seeking professional development, etc.). We still require a copy of your most recent university transcript.

What is the application process?

Our application process is done online through this website. Once we have received your application, you will receive a call from our office staff. Please visit our APPLY NOW page. Please CONTACT US if you have any further questions.

Do the programs have a director?

We have onsite directors in each of our program locations that run our programs. Our onsite directors our bilingual and bicultural and also have assistant directors for help during excursions and cultural activities. Our directors are usually host-country nationals with cross-cultural experience. All directors have experience working with groups and have international experience (travel and work). Most have studied abroad themselves as students.

What happens if a student has a problem onsite?

Our onsite directors are available exclusively for our participants 24/7 and families in the US can contact their son or daughter at anytime. Whenever a participant has a problem they should contact their onsite director immediately. All participants are provided with the contact information for our staff overseas and in the US. Participants and parents may also contact the US staff for any onsite problems.

What is included?

Sol Abroad Programs include Spanish Language classes, host family with three meals a day, onsite director support, all excursions and cultural activities, international medical insurance, airport transfers, and much, much more! Normally, everything except your flight and personal spending money is not included. Our goal is to provide our participants with all of the necessary items needed to study abroad so that there is as little additional funding needed as possible once they are onsite. Please visit WHAT’S INCLUDED for a full description of what is included on our programs.

Will my credits that I earn abroad transfer?

The credits that you earn abroad will transfer. The courses offered at our program locations are of a standard nature in order to more easily transfer to a wide range of institutions of higher learning.

How to Transfer Credit

After successfully completing one of our study abroad programs you will receive either a foreign university transcript or a certificate of completion depending on the study program you participate in. Credit that you earn abroad can be used toward a university degree. If you are a university student we recommend that you get your courses pre-approved with a faculty advisor before beginning the program. This way you can ensure that your courses will transfer and avoid possible problems after you return from your program. For all students, an official transcript or certificate will be sent to the institution you indicate to us on your program materials. We will also email a copy to you for your records. The foreign coursework you complete is measured in contact (classroom) hours. A contact hour is the unit of measurement that is used by American universities to determine transfer credit.

  • 15 contact (classroom) hours = 1 semester credit
  • 10 contact (classroom) hours = 1 quarter credit

If you have any further questions or are concerned about the credit approval process please CONTACT US and we will be more than happy to assist you. Transcripts and certificates of language study are normally received by our US office 6 to 8 weeks upon completion of your program. We keep a copy of all transcripts in the event you may need official copies at a later date for applying to university or a post-graduate program.

Can I use financial aid?

Yes, you definitely can! Sol Abroad accepts all financial aid. If your US University will allow financial aid to be used for study abroad then you may apply it to our program. It is important to remember that the final decision is made by your home institution. Simply contact the Financial Aid office at your school and they will answer any questions you have. For more information on financial aid and for a list of scholarships please visit our FINANCIAL AID & SCHOLARSHIP PAGE.

Can I use my debit card while abroad?

ATM machines are very common at all of our sites. We recommend that you bring a debit card in order to withdraw cash as needed. Make sure to check with your bank to know what fees they may charge, if any, when using the card overseas to make purchases or to withdraw cash. You can also bring some Traveler’s Checks as a back-up if you would like.

Should I open a bank account overseas?

It is not necessary to open a bank account while you are overseas. It is best to just use your ATM debit card abroad and take out cash as needed.

Should I bring a laptop?

We do not recommend you bring your laptop. You will always have Internet access at your program.We recommend not bringing your laptop for safety reasons but realize that it is a personal decision. Our sites have wireless Internet that you can use with your laptop. For summer programs, you will have little need for a laptop. As far as checking email, Internet cafés are prolific at all sites and very affordable. For students on semester programs you may consider bringing your laptop in order to work on reports and homework and to download photos.

Is wireless Internet available?

Yes, wireless Internet will be available at all sites, plus as our student, you will have full access to the computer lab at your program university. Please CONTACT US to ask specifically about the site or sites that you are interested in.

Do I need a passport or visa to study abroad?

Passport

A passport is required for all of our destinations. Your passport must be valid for 6 months after your program end date. If you do not have a passport, or need to renew your current one, you can find an application at your local post office. Please visit the USPS PASSPORT PAGE

Student Visa

Most of our programs DO NOT require a student visa. Summer programs DO NOT require student visas. If your program does require a visa, Sol Abroad will arrange ALL matters in obtaining a student visa. For summer programs and intensive month programs that do not exceed 90 days only a tourist visa is needed to be abroad and is given to you for free upon entering the foreign country. For programs that are over 90 days you may need a student visa and the process is different for each country.

Information below is only for students staying longer that 90 days:
  • ARGENTINA: An excursion to Uruguay is planned before your 90 day limit, this automatically gives you another 90 days. If a longer stay is needed, the student visa process is facilitated by the university onsite. Visit the ARGENTINE EMBASSY
  • COSTA RICA: The student visa process is facilitated by the university onsite. Visit the COSTA RICAN EMBASSY
  • MEXICO: The student visa process is facilitated by the university onsite. Visit the MEXICAN EMBASSY
  • SPAIN: You must obtain your student visa before departure. Visit the SPANISH EMBASSY
What should I pack?

This information is specific to your program site. Once you have been accepted, we will provide you with a Pre-Departure Handbook, which contains a list of suggested items to pack. As for electronics, it is usually best to not bring appliances (such as hairdryers) as the voltage in other countries is different and can easily cause them to overheat or short-circuit. Most electronic items can easily be purchased while abroad.

What are the class schedules?

Generally, classes are in the mornings for 3 - 4 hours per day, Monday - Friday. Schedules depend on the program site and time of year. You will be given an onsite language assessment during your orientation when you arrive to your program destination.

How many classes do I take? (Click on any program to visit the country's academic section)

Summer Programs

Semester Programs

Intensive Month Programs *

* You can add another course for an additional fee. For more information, please CONTACT US.

What are the language requirements?

There are ABSOLUTELY no language requirements, our programs are open to students of all levels. Every year, we accept students that are taking Spanish for the very first time to native Spanish speakers. You will be given an onsite language assessment during your orientation when you arrive to your program. For those interested in electives in Spanish we suggest that you have 3 semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent. For those interested in classes with local students we suggest that you have 5 semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent.

Do you have course descriptions on-line?

Yes, each academic section contains the course descriptions for the classes offered. Please CONTACT US if you need a course description for a specific class, or if there is a course description you cannot find. Class offerings by our universities are very extensive and not all course descriptions are listed.

What type of housing do you use?

All of our programs are homestay programs with a local family and three meals a day are provided by your host family. (In Argentina, lunch is provided at the university). Our families are carefully selected and interviewed, and have extensive experience in hosting students. Many of our families have been housing international students for 10+ years. The majority of our students develop lifelong relationships with their host families and host siblings. If you have ABSOLUTELY any problem with your family, simply talk with your director and we can change you to a different home. If, for some reason, you would like to use housing separate from that of our host families then please CONTACT US.

What happens if I have special dietary needs?

We have families for all types of students! In each program site, we have many families that can accept vegetarian, vegan, and kosher students, or whatever dietary needs you may have! If you have any special dietary needs just let us know beforehand and we will place you with a family who can cater to your situation.

How do I make travel arrangements?

All participants are responsible for purchasing their own flights. However, we do give recommendations beforehand as to where to purchase your ticket. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about travel logistics!

What do you do if you arrive early/late?

Please make sure you let us know if you are arriving outside of the program dates. In most cases we can provide an airport pick-up under these conditions. Sol Abroad will let you know if there is an extra cost involved. If you arrive prior to the program start date we can make the arrangements for early housing.

How do the airport transfers work?

Our onsite directors will always be waiting for your when you arrive to your program. Please check your program dates to make sure your arrive and depart on the correct dates. Regardless of when you arrive or depart we will plan accordingly. On arrival day, upon leaving customs at the airport, our onsite directors will be waiting for you with a Sol Abroad sign. It is very important that you email us your flight itinerary and a digital photo before beginning the program so that our directors will know who to look for.

Can I extend my stay?

Definitely!! Please let us know when you want to extend your stay and we will make all arrangements with your host family.

Is there a sibling discount?

Yes, the sibling discount is $100 off for each sibling.