Frequently Asked Questions from Students Applying to Study Away During the 2024-25 Academic Year (Pre-Decision)

What may impact students’ ability to study away during the 2024-2025 academic year and beyond?

Post-pandemic, study away remains an essential component of PLU’s global education focus, which advances the Wang Center’s mission of “educating to achieve a just, healthy, sustainable, and peaceful world, both locally and globally.” As we learn to live with COVID-19, there is less of a chance for study away programs to be canceled for this reason. However, to maintain our commitment to the health and safety of our communities and those we visit, we expect students to be flexible and abide by any protocols and restrictions required by their host country, region or community, airline, or other travel provider. As with most institutions, the Wang Center has come out of the pandemic with new budget constraints that may limit our capacity to send students on certain programs. Having said this, the Wang Center is committed to making safe study away available to as many students as possible, including creating processes designed to provide maximum flexibility in the current situation.

Will I be required to get vaccinated prior to studying away?

Study away students must follow PLU’s vaccine requirements. Students are are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and receive all recommended booster(s), when eligible, at least 2 weeks prior to departure. Students must adhere to vaccination and/or booster requirements of host country(ies) and/or study away program providers.

Why are semester applicants being asked to indicate an alternate-choice program and term flexibility?

The Wang Center has a limited study away enrollment capacity. For this reason, the Wang Center is asking students applying to semester study away to consider identifying an alternative program, in case their top choice isn’t available. Additionally, students should consider whether they would be able to study away during a different term than originally intended.

How many times can someone participate in a study away program as a PLU student?

Students can participate in multiple J-Term or other short-term study away programs throughout their careers as PLU students. Students may also participate in multiple PLU Gateway programs while receiving full PLU financial aid. In accordance with PLU’s Study Away Policies, students may only participate in one Featured or Approved semester program throughout their time at PLU. 

Acceptance to a study away program is contingent on many factors, such as enrollment-capacity limits, good standing, academic performance, and strength of application, and is not guaranteed. However, the Wang Center has enjoyed a long history of creating access for students to participate in multiple study away opportunities.

Is it true that students can only study away for one semester?

No, it is possible for students to study away more than once. However, due to the possibility that capacity could be limited, we will not be accepting applications for full year study away programs. We are not able to make guarantees that every student applying to study away will be accepted and able to go on the program they’ve applied for. Should demand exceed capacity, the Wang Center has established selection criteria. In addition to these criteria, students whose semester study away plans have been impacted by the global pandemic will be given special consideration.

Given the uncertainty surrounding study away, will application fees be refundable?

Application fees are refundable only in the instance where PLU cancels the program.

If a program is canceled, will the program fees be refunded?

Should circumstances require that PLU cancel a program/class, students will be notified immediately. The timing and cause of the cancellation will determine the exact amount of the refund; all efforts will be made for a full refund on behalf of the student.

How might the study away experience be different going forward, due to the pandemic?

Students will need to follow any pre-travel requirements, as well as health and safety regulations, while onsite. Other modifications are possible, such as changes to study tours, limited availability for living with a host family, or the inability to travel to neighboring countries during independent time or free weekends within program start and end dates.

Study away acceptance and pre-departure preparations may look quite different than they have in years past. The Wang Center is prepared to work one-on-one with students in order to accommodate their needs and wishes. Both PLU staff/faculty and PLU students must be flexible with regard to possible unexpected changes.

Can I study away in my PLUS year?

Students are able to study away for a J-Term during their PLUS year, but not for a semester.  For more details go here.

Who should you contact if you have questions about these FAQs or about PLU study away?

The most effective way to reach the appropriate person in the Wang Center is by emailing We understand that studying away, and at this time in particular, can be difficult, and we are here to help.