Guidance for IU Students Living Abroad Independently and Enrolled in On-Line Classes

Indiana University offers many study abroad opportunities through various models—direct enrollment at universities through exchange partnerships, programs offered by IU at host institutions, programs through third party providers with which IU has a direct relationship, faculty-led programs and non-IU programs vetted and approved for credit. In addition to academic oversight, all these arrangements include important safety and security resources for the participants. IU officials strongly advise students to utilize these existing programs of study since they provide the necessary cultural context for living and studying abroad while also ensuring a variety of support services.

If students arrange to live abroad independently while only taking on-line courses, they should be aware that they do not fall under the purview of Indiana University Education Abroad. Furthermore, they cannot use their time abroad to satisfy study abroad-related course components such as the IUB World Languages and Culture general education requirement, the College of Arts and Sciences’ Global Civilizations and Cultures requirement or HLS International Studies’ required study abroad component. They also do not qualify for Presidential Match scholarships or other special scholarships designed for students in approved IU study abroad programs.

Independent students who will take only on-line courses while living abroad should:
1) Check country-specific regulations regarding appropriate visa status for living abroad while not being enrolled in classroom or field-based courses;
2) Enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Travelers Enrollment program (STEP) since the only resources available to them in country will be those available to U.S. citizens in general;
3) Verify what type of health insurance coverage is recommended, including medical evacuation and repatriation;
4) Check with Student Central regarding the impact of being off campus on residency status, financial aid portability, future registration plans, repayment of loans, time to graduation, etc.
5) Discuss their plans with an academic advisor to determine whether this is the best course of action for meeting academic progress expectations;
6) Make arrangements ahead of time with IU’s Credit Transfer Service if any of the on-line enrollment involves credit from another institution and consult an advisor since external enrollment will impact degree progress, billing issues and financial aid.
7) Not expect to room with friends in study abroad programs since providers and institutions do not allow students to share their housing arrangements with independent travelers.

Students who are unsure whether living abroad independently while enrolled in on-line classes is the best choice for them should consult an advisor at IU Education Abroad. Use the Student Appointment Scheduled in SIS to schedule an appointment.