Study Abroad

Study Abroad Policies

Student in ItalyStudent in Athens, GreeceStudent in Rome, ItalyStudent in Italy

The International Affairs office reserves the right to change and/or modify the following policies at any time.  Before planning any UIW sponsored international endeavor, please visit with a representative in the International Affairs Office in order to discuss the following study abroad policies and procedures.

Alcohol and Illegal Substance Policy

In order to protect the educational environment and safeguard the health and well-being of the individual and the community, the policy concerning alcohol and illegal substance policy is as follows:

Alcohol Policy

  • The national/local laws of the host country govern your behavior while you are visiting the country.  
  • You will adhere to the UIW Code of Conduct Policy during the entire faculty led study abroad program.
  • At all times, you are responsible for the consequences of your behavior.  If the consumption of alcohol causes or influences you to subsequently violate university policy, program rules, local laws, and/or otherwise engage in conduct that is harmful to the reputation of the university or program (as judged by the faculty leaders) you may be expelled from the program at your own expense.  Upon returning, you may also face disciplinary actions, including, but not limited to, receiving a failing grade for the class, academic probation, and/or expulsion from the University. 

Illegal Substance Policy

  • The University of the Incarnate Word and all study abroad programs, including faculty led, prohibit the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, promotion, sale, or use of illegal drugs or other illegal substances, illegal paraphernalia, or look-alike (simulated) illegal drugs. 
  • The possession, use, sale, or other distribution of narcotics, hallucinogenic or controlled substances (except as permitted by law) during the faculty led trip by any student, employee, or visitor is prohibited and is considered a serious offense. 
  • The use, sale, or possession of any drug paraphernalia, including, but not limited to, water pipes, bongs, and hypodermic syringes/needles not prescribed by a licensed physician is prohibited and will subject the student to disciplinary action.
  • Students who are traveling with prescription medication are required to have their doctor’s note verifying the use of medications. 
  • Violation of the Illegal Substance Policy will result in expulsion from the faculty led program at your own expense.  Upon returning, you may face disciplinary actions, including, but not limited to, receiving a failing grade for the class, academic probation, and/or expulsion from the University.
  • The penalties for illegal substances in some countries may be more severe than in the United States and commonly include deportation, fines, jail time and, at times, the death penalty. 

In the event a participant requires legal representation in the host country, the participant is responsible for seeking and acquiring legal representation. The participant is solely responsible for any and all legal fees and consequences.

International Health and Travel Insurance Policy

All study abroad participants are required to purchase international health and travel insurance before participating in the program.  Dependent on the program, student’s insurance may be   purchased on their behalf.  It is the participant’s responsibility to purchase additional health and travel insurance coverage, if they choose to increase insurance coverage.   

Participants are responsible for understanding their insurance plans and must be aware of certain incidents, costs, and/or claims may that may not be covered by the international and travel insurance plan. Participants are fully responsible for any and all costs that international health and travel insurance may not cover.  Furthermore, participants are responsible for researching and understanding whether pre-existing conditions may not be covered.

Participants are fully responsibility for consulting with their health care provider for any medical needs that they may require while participating in the studying abroad and/or international program.  

Code of Conduct Policy

While participating in study abroad and/or international programs, participants are representing the University of the Incarnate Word.  Any violation of the policies and procedures of UIW, including the UIW Student Code of Conduct, and/or violation of the host country laws, could result in dismissal from the program and additional disciplinary action upon return, including the possibility of being expelled from the host/home university.

Participants will adhere to the laws of my host country. In the event participants require legal representation in the host country, participants will be responsible for seeking and acquiring legal representation. Participants are solely responsible for any and all legal fees.

Participants will agree and understand the following are unacceptable, and engaging in any of them constitutes grounds for dismissal from the program, banned from participating in the program, and being returned to the United States at the participant’s own expense at the absolute and sole discretion of the UIW representative(s) on site:

    • Behavior that disturbs other persons in the program or other persons in the hotel or other accommodations;
    • Breaking the law(s) of the host country or violation of the policies and procedures of UIW, including the UIW Student Code of Conduct;
    • Posting, sharing, disseminating photos, videos, and/or other multimedia sources that are inappropriate, offensive, and/or violate the UIW Code of Conduct;
    • Excessive absence from class as determined by the professor(s);
    • Failure to participate in field trips or other activities of program;
    • Any use of and/or involvement with illegal drugs;
    • Failure to complete homework assignments;
    • Abuse of alcohol.

Financial and Payment Policy

Participants will not be able to participate, in any study abroad and/or international program, if any unpaid balances are owed to the university.  Before pursing any study abroad and/or international program, participants must satisfy any outstanding balances owed to the university. 

Tuition must be paid in full before being able to leave for the study abroad and/or international program.  Even if the participant does not participate in the trip, whether voluntary/involuntary, participants are still responsible for all costs, which are non-refundable.

The participant is fully responsible for all tuition, deposits, payments, and fees in connection with the study abroad and/or international program. After the application of any scholarship, financial aid or other assistance, if there is a remaining balance resulting from the study abroad and/or   international program, the participant is fully responsible to pay the remaining balance out of their own personal funds.  As such, all “out of pocket” costs are the participant’s responsibility. 

If applicable, participants agree to adhere to the payment schedule outlined by the professor.  Failure to pay by the set deadlines may result in late fees, dismissal from the program and forfeiture of previously paid installments.      No portion of any funds that have been paid, either directly or with financial assistance, to participate in the travel portion of the program will be refunded at any time for any reason. 

Health Policy

Participants are responsible for consulting with their doctor prior to departure to obtain any vaccination, prescriptions and/or medications needed for the duration of their international program. Participants are also responsible for researching the laws of the host country regarding medications they plan to take into the country.

Participants are responsible for having the available (or access to the) financial funds to cover any medical insurance deductibles (if applicable), in case of a medical emergency.  

Travel Policy

All UIW sponsored programs must obtain an initial airfare quote from the University’s travel agent, Gail Genther.  After receiving a quote from Gail Genther, participants may obtain and compare quotes from outside sources.  

Gail Genther, CTP/Rennert Travel.  E-Mail: gail@ggenther.com. Phone: 1-972-292-1913 or 1-573-382-0295

University policy does not permit participants to study in a country where a travel warning has been issued by the U.S. Department of State. In the event a travel warning is issued and the university cancels a study abroad program to that location during planning or while abroad, participants may have to cancel their trip and/or return to the states at their own expense. It is the responsibility of the participant to obtain adequate travel insurance to cover such circumstances.    

Travel Companion Policy

Dependent on the study abroad and/or international program, participants may be permitted, by the Vice President for International Affairs in collaboration the supervisory dean, to have a travel companion.  Participants are fully responsible of all costs, planning, supervision, and safety for travel companion(s), which include spouses, children, significant others, and acquaintances.

Due to the type of program, responsibilities, and/or other factors the Vice President for International Affairs in collaboration with the supervisory dean (or UIW representative) reserve the right to limit or deny my travel companion’s participation in the UIW sponsored International Program. 

Travel companions, who will be participating in UIW sponsored events, excursions, and/or programs, are required to sign and adhere to the Non-UIW Participant Agreement.

Independent Traveler Policy

Dependent on the study abroad and/or international program, participants may be traveling alone during or for the entire duration of the program.  During the period of time participants may not be part of a group or under faculty/guide’s supervision; participants assume full responsibility for their own safekeeping and welfare.

Participants who are participating in faculty-led programs require permission from the led faculty and, in certain cases from the supervisory dean, before traveling independently from the group.  

The led faculty and supervisory dean in collaboration with the Vice President for International Affairs reserve the right to limit and/or deny the participant’s request to travel independently. 

Cancellation or Withdraw Policy

If for any reason, a participant decides to return prematurely, they are responsible for all repercussions and accept any consequences and/or fees associated with their premature return, including but not limited to, paying any outstanding balances to the University of the Incarnate Word and/or third party entities in connection with the program, receiving failing or incomplete grades, arranging travelling independently of the group.

If participants decide to stop attending classes and/ or participating with the group and no longer allowed to participate with the group, due to, but not limited to, poor academic performance in the class, violations of host/home country laws or UIW Code of Conduct, not meeting my financial responsibilities, etc. and/or the lead professors decision, participants will be considered an independent traveler.  If participants are expelled from the study abroad and/or international program while abroad, the University will not provide room, board and travel, and participants will be responsible for securing their own return transportation, travel, room and board.

If a participate does not participate in the travel portion of the class and/or program after having paid all or any portion of the travel costs involved, or if the participant is required to involuntarily return home without completing the travel portion of the class/program, no deposits or money that have been paid toward the travel portion shall be refunded.  The University of the Incarnate Word will charge the participant’s account for any nonrefundable costs that the University has incurred on their behalf.        

Non-Sister School Study Abroad Policy

Students choosing to study abroad at a non-sister school will not be registered at UIW for the duration of the semester in which they are abroad. In addition, students studying at a non-sister school will not be able to receive financial aid through the UIW Office of Financial Assistance.

Students attending a non-sister school must complete and submit a Request to Study at Another Institution Form to the Registrar’s Office BEFORE they depart. The Enrollment Policy for Studying at Another Institution is as follows:

Study at Another Institution:

After matriculating at the University as a degree-seeking student, a student must obtain prior written approval to transfer any additional credits from other institutions. The "Request to Study at Another Institution" form is available in the Registrar's Office and must be approved before enrolling for credit elsewhere. Transfer work approved on this form will be accepted and applied toward the degree indicated if the grade earned is a "C" or higher. It will be the student's responsibility to furnish the Registrar's Office with an official transcript reflecting completion of the course work. All institutional policies will be observed when considering all requests to Study at Another Institution. Approval will not be granted if an equivalent course is offered at UIW.

Upon returning from your sojourn, students must apply for re-admission to UIW. Students can visit the Registrar’s office website titled  Re-Admission to UIW in order to download or submit the required paperwork via online.

Emergency Policy

All participants are required to contact the Study Abroad Office and/or the UIW Campus Police to report any and all emergencies.  If an emergency should occur during non-office hours, participants should contact UIW campus police at 210-829-6030 or email at

UIW Campus Police

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Closed on all University and Federal Holidays

Phone Number: 210-829-6030
Fax Number: 210-283-5058

You may also email you questions to:
police@uiwtx.edu
Please allow 5 business days for a response.

Hours of Duty:
Police Officers patrol the UIW, IWHS, and SACHS campuses 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

Important note to remember:
When the main police office is closed, all the incoming calls are forwarded to the Police Departments two-way radio system. The system only allows for 45 seconds of talk time. Please speak clearly and specific of what you need. If the officers are not able to assist you with the information you need, they may give you another number to call.

While abroad you should:

  • Adhere to the laws of the host country
  • Observe the rules of the host institution
  • Adhere to the policies as stated in the UIW Student Handbook
  • Participate, get involved
  • Assess risks involved in extracurricular activities

Don’t forget to:

  • Check your Cardinal mail – Your adviser and UIW offices will contact you using your Cardinal mail, so please check it regularly.
  • Keep in touch with your family and the Study Abroad Office.
  • Check Bannerweb and manage your student account.
  • Register for the following semester – Check the schedule of classes for the semester you will return. You should e-mail your adviser in advance with the classes you are interested in to gain approval. If your adviser approves of these classes he/she will send you your pin # so that you can register online. Please be aware that for some programs you may not be able to register online, please discuss this with your adviser in advance.
  • Complete your FAFSA form for the following academic year (if studying abroad in the spring).
  • Request a transcript be sent to UIW, before you return.

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