Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions:
How do I apply to an Athena program?
You can find downloadable versions of the Athena application materials on the "Apply Now" section of our website. If you would prefer to have Athena mail you an application package, please e-mail or call us to request a packet.
^ Back to top
How many students will be at my study abroad campus abroad?
Athena enrolls students in high quality small schools abroad in order to ensure true cultural immersion and personalized study programs. The number of students at our campuses abroad varies from campus to campus and from semester to semester. However, for an approximation of the number of students at your Athena study abroad campus abroad, refer to our Program Comparison Chart (.pdf).
When are payments due?
Once you have been accepted to an Athena program, a $600 non-refundable deposit is due within 2 weeks of your acceptance. This deposit is applied to the total program cost, and is necessary in order to secure your spot in the program. Additional payments and deposit deadlines will be outlined in your acceptance packet and program invoice. All funds must be received prior to your departure for the program abroad.
Can I use my financial aid to pay for my program?Athena Study Abroad accepts most forms of financial aid as payment; however, Athena cannot issue or process financial aid. You must work with your home university's Financial Aid & Study Abroad Offices to coordinate the use of your financial aid award money.
The Higher Education Act permits schools to release Federal Financial Aid for payment towards a study abroad program if the student will be receiving academic credit at the home university for the study abroad program. With the exception of Federal Work Study, most forms of federal aid can be used as payment towards an Athena Study Abroad Program, when approved, if you will be earning credits towards your degree. This includes Pell Grants, guaranteed student loans, and PLUS Loans. Some states also allow state financial aid to go with students abroad, however you should talk to your study abroad and/or financial aid office about policies on the use of state and institutional aid for study abroad.
How do I know if my university will allow me to use my financial aid?
You will need to speak with the study abroad office and/or financial aid office at your home institution for help in determining if your financial aid can be used. Your home institution may require Athena to sign a "Consortium/Contractual Agreement" in order for you to use your financial aid. This agreement will typically confirm the amount of useable financial aid and how and when the aid will be dispersed. Generally, for your financial aid to be "portable" to a study abroad program, you must carry a full-time load at the foreign institution and receive credit for the program toward your degree at your home institution. There may be other eligibility restrictions, depending on the financial aid program, so be certain to consult your study abroad office early in the process.
What other aid is available to me?
You may still be eligible to have private loans processed through your institution's study abroad office so be sure to consult with them.
Does Athena offer scholarships for study abroad?
YES! Athena has a number of scholarships that students can apply for to help make their study abroad experience more affordable. All scholarships are reserved for accepted students participating in Athena programs abroad. For a list of available scholarships and requirements for applying, click here.
Can I apply for a scholarship before being accepted to an Athena program?
Scholarships will not be awarded to students who are not accepted to an Athena program. You can, however, send your scholarship application in at the same time as your completed Athena Study Abroad Application. All scholarship applications must be received by the published deadlines in order to be considered.
What type of transcript will I receive for my coursework abroad?
Included in the price of all Athena programs is a transcript for your coursework abroad. For most Athena programs, this transcript is one from the overseas university (included in the cost of the program).
For students whose home institutions will not accept credits reported on an overseas transcript, Athena can arrange for study abroad credits to be reported on a U.S. accredited transcript (for most programs this incurs an additional cost). Athena is proud to offer both options in order to ensure that all students will have an option that will allow for successful credit transfer to their home university. Please talk to an Athena representative to ensure you receive the type of transcripts you need.
For more information on transcripts, please visit the Athena transcript FAQs page.
Do I need a passport?
All citizens of the United States are required to have a valid U.S. passport in order to enter a foreign country and to re-enter the U.S. Many countries also require that your passport be valid at least three months beyond the anticipated dates of your trip. If you already have a passport but it expires before the required dates of validity, you will need to apply for a new one. You will also need a valid passport in order to obtain your visa, so it is important to apply for your passport early.
What is a visa?
A visa is a document that allows entry into and travel within a country, and is authorized by the government of your destination country. Please note that a visa does not take the place of a passport, but is needed in addition to a passport for most study abroad programs.
Do I need a visa?
Most Athena programs require a visa to study abroad. You will receive detailed instructions in your Athena acceptance packet outlining the requirements and procedures for obtaining your visa document.
Are courses offered in English, or do I need to know the language of the country abroad?
All Athena programs offer courses in English. Some programs require students to enroll in one language course in order to facilitate a more authentic cultural immersion while taking English language electives. Full language immersion programs are available in some locations for students who have interest in gaining fluency while abroad.
I have some questions. How can I contact an Athena representative?
Athena offers a number of ways to reach a representative at your convenience.