Office of Global Citizenship

Financial Aid for Study Abroad

The University of the South recognizes international experiences as a high-impact practice that greatly enhances students' liberal arts education. To help support students gain experiences away from Sewanee, both in the U.S. and abroad, the University has committed a number of resources to support various experiences.

Advent and Easter Programs

Students participating in semester-long study abroad (and study away) programs may apply to use their institutional financial aid packages while away from Sewanee. Federal and state financial aid grants are generally guaranteed for use on study abroad programs. Some portions of financial aid such as work-study employment, however, are not eligible to be used while studying elsewhere.  Students who are granted "portable financial aid" may use the funds to reduce their payments to Sewanee, based on the home charge model for study abroad described elsewhere on this website.

Below are the guidelines used for allocating institutional financial aid for semester-long study abroad/away programs:

Given limited University financial aid funds available, use of university grants to support external programs is not guaranteed. Portable financial aid is granted on a competitive basis. (Students who are not granted portable financial aid for study abroad programs automatically retain the financial aid package if they opt to remain at Sewanee for the semester.)

‌Any student wishing to receive institutional funding (any scholarship or grant funded by Sewanee) for any external program must apply for funding consideration by predetermined deadlines generally in February for those students wishing to study externally for the Advent Semester of the upcoming academic year and October for those wishing to study externally during Easter Semester of that year. A student wishing to receive portable funding for external study must attend an approved Sewanee program. Only programs approved by the institution are eligible for portable funding.

Students who plan to use only federal or state financial aid for external study must also be receiving credit for their coursework, recorded by Sewanee, be enrolled at least half-time and obtain an approved study abroad leave of absence to receive consideration for funding.

Each student must submit an online application and rationale for study abroad. A separate faculty statement is also required that supports and provides further confirmation of the specific benefit and academic program relevance for the student. The Office of Global Citizenship collects the online applications and forwards them to a faculty committee called the Standards Committee.

The Standards Committee members scores the application materials of each student seeking portable financial aid. Each student is ranked on a 10 point scale—GPA (4), Student Essay (4), and Professor Recommendation (2). In the student essay the student must address how the chosen program is integral to the progress of the student’s academic pursuits and/or longer-term goals and aspirations, justify the choice of program, and explain the anticipated scholarly and personal benefits of the proposed period of external study. The professor’s recommendation should respond to the student’s proposal, evaluate its feasibility and whether the choice of program is appropriate, and explain whether the student should be granted portability. The Standards Committee uses the ranking system to allocate portable financial aid until the total amount set aside for portable aid is exhausted for the semester.

Note: No institutional financial aid is allocated for summer programs, including study abroad. The families of students who participate in summer study abroad programs generally must pay the total cost of the program.

NOTE: Students planning to attend University-sponsored external study programs, such as European Studies, Sewanee in Spain, etc. also need to apply to receive portable funding consideration. Acceptance into University-sponsored external study programs does not carry with it automatic approval of portable funding.

The policies above apply to study abroad programs but also to those specific domestic programs which have been approved for special portability consideration (e.g., the Yale-Directed Research Program, Washington Semester).

No portable funding can be released if there is a hold on the student’s account and until a leave of absence for study abroad has been properly filed with and approved by the Office of the Associate Dean of the College.

Summer Internships and Research Programs

‌Opportunities exist for both formal study and internships during the summer. Many departments and programs have funding beyond traditional financial aid available to assist students participating in these programs. You should refer to the individual departments for information on their specific funding availability. For credit bearing programs students may be eligible for federal student loans and Tennessee residents may have Hope Scholarship eligibility. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid regarding federal student loans or Tennessee Hope Scholarship funding for summer, credit bearing programs. Coursework through summer external study, not be accepted for credit at Sewanee, cannot be funded through federal or state aid.

Career Leadership and Development: Sewanee offers a wide variety of internship and research opportunities to its students. In 2014, the University supplied $400,000 to fund students participating in unpaid internships, some of whom worked in foreign countries. Around 225 students received funding from Sewanee for the summer of 2014 to do internships in the United States and abroad. In addition, the University offers financial support for students to conduct research with Sewanee faculty. Most students collaborate with faculty on Sewanee's campus during the summer, but a growing number of faculty are taking students abroad with them to conduct research.

Sewanee Environmental Institute: Environmentally-focused internships are funded from a variety of sources including donor supported endowments and outside grants. Nearly $90,000 in stipends was awarded for summer research which includes faculty/student projects on campus. Students also compete nationally for unpaid internships and funding from the University’s funds helps support these opportunities.