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Home arrow News arrow Global Student Experience
Global Student Experience

Title: Study Abroad France
GSE Description: Immerse yourself in the French language in our study abroad program.

Global Student Experience
17752 Skypark Circle, Suite 235
Irvine, CA 92614
URL:
http://www.GSEAbroad.com

email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

About GSE
Global Student Experience is a dedicated team of study abroad enthusiasts, devoted to spreading the benefits of international education to U.S. college and university students.  As such, GSE offers high quality, all-inclusive study abroad programs in Argentina, Australia, England, France, Italy, Mexico, and Spain for U.S. and Canadian undergraduate students.  GSE's home office is located in Irvine in beautiful Orange County, California and is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PST, Mondays through Fridays (excluding holidays).

Studying abroad was the best decision each of the GSE staff members ever made. It opened our eyes to the world and proved to be an unprecedented cultural awakening. We immersed ourselves in foreign languages, strengthened our independence, made life-long friends, and earned credits toward college graduation. We were able to witness a different way of life and gain a better understanding of our global community.  Each GSE advisor has personally grappled with the questions that you are currently asking yourselves: “Should I study abroad?  Where do I want to travel?  Can I still graduate on time?  What if I don’t speak a foreign language?  What do I want to accomplish while I’m abroad?”  GSE advisors are here to help you answer any questions that arise and find a study abroad program best catered to your academic goals and personal needs.

Our founders’ time abroad left them with a strong desire to share the study abroad experience with others and ultimately inspired the creation of Global Student Experience. GSE has been able to offer students an unforgettable academic journey on a grand scale. Though it has been a lot of work, the overwhelmingly positive feedback we receive from GSE alumni serves as our inspiration, encouraging us to continue expanding and improving our program offerings with each new semester.

At GSE, we understand the infinite benefits and challenges of studying abroad.  We’ve set out to provide first-rate study abroad programs that incorporate superior student advising and support. In addition to housing and Onsite Program Directors, we’ve added a variety of extra benefits ranging from cell phones to cultural excursions to opportunities for language immersion in a homestay or conversation exchange. We know that quality and value are important factors when choosing a study abroad program. For this reason, we have created programs that are both comprehensive and affordable, putting the world within reach of students who are intent on pursuing an international education.

GSE program advisors and directors work around the clock to ensure that every GSE student receives the most memorable study abroad experience possible, while minimizing the stress of planning.  GSE is committed to providing the highest level of customer service before, during, and after your study abroad experience.  GSE’s full-time staff is dedicated to serving the needs of our students, as well as their parents/guardians and home university administrators.

Before you leave for your program GSE advisors will provide you with guidance on what program location and courses will be a best match for you!  You will receive extensive pre-departure information about your destination, even advice on what to bring!  Studying abroad with GSE is a painless experience, as program advisors will arrange all aspects of your program before your departure including your housing, your enrollment in your host university, and much, much more.  Program advisors will provide you with advice on all sorts of aspects of your study abroad experience, including financial aid, transferring your credit, and applying for a visa or passport. 

Once you arrive in your destination city, you will meet your GSE Onsite Program Director eager to introduce you to your new home!  Every GSE program is coordinated by an Onsite Program Director who is passionate about introducing students to a new city and culture.  GSE Onsite Program Directors reside in the host city year-round and provide 24-hour assistance with the host university, housing, and general city information.

GSE student service and support will continue upon your return to the U.S.  GSE’s Program Advisors ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ) will work with you and your home university to transfer your credits and ensure that your home university receives your official transcript from your host university.  GSE also offers advice on dealing with the “reverse culture-shock” that returning study abroad participants sometimes experience.  GSE even offers alumni photo contests and chances for earning commissions for recommending friends to study abroad.

Health and Safety
GSE works closely with all Onsite Program Directors to assist students in any emergency situation. GSE maintains contingency plans to handle all types of emergencies, medical or otherwise. GSE monitors all U.S. State Department travel advisories and follows all recommendations they issue. Health and accidental emergencies are covered by the comprehensive traveler’s insurance package required by Global Student Experience.  In the event of an emergency demanding medical attention, hospitals are accessible 24 hours a day in all GSE program cities. 

Emergency Contacts
GSE recommends that students use their parents as their emergency contacts. This ensures that in the event of an emergency, all information will be distributed to parents. Be sure to provide your emergency contacts and your home institutions with your correct contact information abroad.

Credit Transfer
GSE provides an excellent opportunity to earn credit toward your degree while living and studying in a foreign city. All GSE affiliated universities are fully accredited and credits received are transferable to domestic universities. GSE will help to guide students through all of the necessary steps that they will need to take with their home university to ensure that all credits are properly accepted and received by their home universities. GSE will arrange for their overseas host universities to send all transcripts and certificates to both the student and their home university (upon request). If you have questions about any aspect of course credit transfer, contact a GSE advisor toll free at (866) 756-2443 or by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Recommended Credit Transfer Steps
1. Choose your program and courses
Decide which program you want to attend and select your courses from GSE's comprehensive webpage. Detailed course descriptions may be sent to you upon acceptance into your desired program. It is always advisable to select alternate courses in the event that you do no not place into your desired level or a class becomes unavailable.
2. Obtain transfer credit approval before your departure
Meet with your school’s study abroad or international office to begin the process. Your campus office will give you all necessary credit transfer pre-approval forms and instruct you on which departments you should visit to have them properly approved. This will typically include your academic advisor, department chair, and possibly others. You will need to present detailed course descriptions for your chosen courses in order for your advisor to determine how much credit you will receive for your time abroad with GSE. It is advisable to obtain pre-approval for multiple language levels in the event that you do not place into your anticipated level. Once you have obtained pre-approval for your courses, you are ready to go!
3. Attend and pass your courses while abroad
While abroad, it is your responsibility to attend class, complete exams, and keep up with your studies, as receiving credit will be based upon the evaluation by your host institution instructor(s) at the end of the term. Also, it is imperative that you keep all syllabi, books, class notes, homework, exams, or any other acquired course materials. Though students will receive transfer credit approval prior to leaving, these documents will be extremely important in the event of any discrepancies in credit transfer upon return to your home university.
4. Receive your foreign transcript
Upon completion of the program, GSE will arrange for your host university to send your official transcript/certificate to your home university. GSE will also send you an unofficial copy of your transcripts and certificates to keep for your records. Once your home university receives and processes your transcript, your credits will appear on your transcript.

Need additional transcripts?

GSE program fees include one official copy and one unofficial copy of the student’s transcript from the host institution abroad.  Within 90 days of completion of the student’s study abroad program, one unofficial copy of the transcript will be issued directly to the student; the official copy will be sent directly to the address indicated on the student’s credit transfer form.  If the student does not submit a credit transfer form, does not provide an address for the official transcript, or requests that the official transcript is sent to the student’s home address, GSE will contact the student directly to confirm that the student does not wish the official transcript to be sent to their home university. 
After GSE sends the two original copies of the transcript (one official and one unofficial), the student must contact GSE ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ) to request additional copies.  Each additional transcript will incur a $100 fee.  This fee covers GSE administrative costs, overseas shipping costs, and host university fees charged for additional transcript copies. 

If the student authorizes a transcript to be sent to an incorrect address (per the GSE credit transfer form), then the student must remit the $100 transcript replacement fee to have another transcript sent to the appropriate address.  Students should ensure that they are supplying the correct address for their home university when completing the GSE credit transfer form.  

 Passport and Visa Information
For summer programs less than 90 days, only a valid passport is required (with the exception of Italy and sometimes France, where students attending a study abroad program for any duration are required to obtain a visa). Semester, quarter, trimester, and year students attending programs (or expecting to stay) in excess of 90 days are required to obtain proper visa documentation from the appropriate consular office of their host country. GSE will guide students through this process and direct them to the appropriate consular office. However, it is the responsibility of each individual student to obtain necessary visas. GSE cannot intervene for students who do not acquire appropriate passports or visas. While each country has its own specific requirements, issuance of a student visa generally requires verification of enrollment in a foreign institution of learning, a financial statement guaranteeing the student will have access to adequate funds during their stay, and other forms or documents required by the consulate. All students applying for a visa should do so no sooner than 90 days prior to and no later than three weeks before their date of departure from the United States. If all documentation is accurate and adequate, visas can usually be issued in the same day (students traveling to Spain or Italy must leave their passports at the Consulate and wait for the Consulate to mail the passport and visa back to the student, so advance planning is essential).  Please go to the consular website that corresponds to your country of study for more information. Also visit our website.
 

Insurance

All GSE participants will be required to enroll in the HTH Worldwide Health Select Overseas insurance plan. GSE Program Advisors will enroll students in this health insurance for an additional fee, which will appear on the student's invoice.  HTH Worldwide insurance coverage may be waived if the student can produce evidence of a comparable health care plan that will cover him/her while traveling overseas.  With this insurance coverage, students have internet access to their own account at hthstudents.com as well as assistance via the HTH toll-free, multi-lingual customer service center (1-800-242-4178). Using these access tools, every student has the opportunity to check the status of pending claims, download claims forms, search for doctors overseas, use medical drug and phrase translation guides, and receive health and safety messages. Specific policy information will be included in acceptance and confirmation materials. For more information contact a GSE advisor toll-free at (866) 756-2443 (if calling from Canada, please dial 949-756-2443).

Financial Aid

Global Student Experience understands that not every student has the means to directly pay program fees and welcomes students to explore financial aid and scholarship opportunities. Financial aid may be allocated to cover all reasonable expenses of your study abroad trip.  These include program tuition and fees, passport and visa fees, round-trip airfare, and other costs of living that may be incurred while abroad.
GSE also offers its own scholarships!  See section below (GSE Scholarships) for more information.

Applying for Financial Aid

In order to receive financial aid a student generally must carry a full-time load at the host institution abroad and receive transferable credit for the program toward his or her degree. Credit received on a study abroad program does not have to fulfill major requirements, but can be recognized as elective credits that advance the student toward a degree (i.e. language credits). 

If you are currently receiving or are planning on using financial aid to pay for all or part of your expenses while abroad, go to the financial aid office on your campus in order to determine whether aid will transfer to your GSE program.  Apply early to ensure the procedures are carried out correctly.  This will enable you to receive notification of your award and help you plan for other financial arrangements that you may need to make in order to go on a GSE program.  Apply through the Financial Aid Office at your home university.  Although procedures differ from university to university, the first step will be to fill out a FAFSA form available at www.fafsa.ed.gov.  Make sure you follow all of your institution’s requirements and regulations. 

What information do your financial aid and study abroad offices need?

Once your home institution approves the program, Global Student Experience will sign a “Consortium" or "Contractual” agreement with your home University. As part of this agreement, GSE will provide your school’s financial aid office with an approximate budget for your study abroad program in order to help determine how much aid you will receive.

How to use financial aid for your GSE study abroad program.  (Please note that it is ultimately the discretion of the student's U.S. college or university whether federal and/or state financial aid is transferable to a GSE study abroad program.)

1. Visit your university study abroad and financial aid offices to inform them of your plans to use financial aid to pay for a GSE study abroad program.
2. Inform GSE of your intent to use financial aid to pay for part or all of your program fees.
3. You must make your Confirmation Payment 14 days after you are accepted to your GSE program, regardless of whether you are receiving financial aid.  The Confirmation Payment is $500 for summer programs or $750 for quarter, trimester, semester, or year programs.  This payment reserves your spot on the program and enables GSE to make arrangements on your behalf before receiving your final payment.
4. Your financial aid advisor should contact GSE directly if a Consortium Agreement or Contractual Agreement needs to be completed.
5. Complete the GSE Financial Aid Forms (supplied in the Acceptance Packet if you indicate that you plan to use financial aid)
6. Have your financial aid advisor complete the Financial Aid Disbursement Form supplied by GSE in order to document the amount of financial aid you will be receiving, as well as the disbursement dates of that financial aid.
7. It is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that GSE receives your final payment.  If your financial aid is being disbursed after the GSE final payment deadline for your program, you will either pay the full final payment on or before the deadline, or demonstrate a guarantee of full final payment by completing all GSE and home university financial aid paperwork.  When all financial aid paperwork has been completed and disbursement dates are verified, you will send GSE a check for your balance, post-dated for one week after your financial aid is disbursed.  The post-dated check MUST be received on or before the final payment deadline for the student's program to avoid late fees or jeopardizing participation in the program.

What is a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and why you should fill one out?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is used to apply for federal student financial aid, including grants, loans, and work-study. In addition, it is used by most states and schools to award non-federal student financial aid. You can use your federal student financial aid to fund your study abroad experience on the condition that your home institution approves use of this financial aid and provides pre-approval for the credit you can earn abroad.

How do you complete your FAFSA?

For more complete information on how to complete a FAFSA visit www.fafsa.ed.gov. It is important to keep in mind that each state has its own individual deadline dates by which the FAFSA form should be completed for the next academic year. Contact your financial aid office to see if you are close to a deadline date for your FAFSA application. Bring all information that you received after completing the FAFSA to your financial aid office. Your FAFSA information will help your home institution guide you through possible financial aid options.

What other types of aid are available?

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program

Established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, this congressionally-funded program provides awards for U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at their college or university. Through a competitive selection process, awards of up to $5,000 are given to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad for up to one academic year. The award may be used for tuition and fees, room and board, books, local transportation, health insurance, and international airfare. Candidates must be undergraduate students at a U.S. two-year or four-year college or university and currently receiving the Federal Pell Grant at the time of application. Approximately 15% of applicants are selected to receive the Gilman Scholarship with a total of 360 awards made in two cycles each year. The deadline for the fall application cycle is April 15 and the deadline for the spring application cycle is September 26. For more information and full eligibility criteria, visit www.iie.org/gilman. To apply online, go to https://gilmanapplication.iie.org/IIE/public/Default.aspx. You may also contact the Gilman office directly by writing to Gilman International Scholarship Program, Institute of International Education - Houston, 520 Post Oak Blvd., Ste. 740, Houston, TX 77027, calling 1-888-887-5939 x25 or 1-713-621-6300 x25, sending a fax to 1-713-621-0876, or sending an e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Federal Pell Grants

A Federal Pell Grant is not a loan and does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are usually a foundation of financial aid, to which aid from other federal and nonfederal sources might be added. For more information, visit www.ed.gov/programs/fpg.

FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants)

An FSEOG is given to undergraduate students with exceptional financial needs and the lowest Expected Family Contributions (EFC) number. Those students who receive Federal Pell Grants are given priority. An FSEOG is not a loan and does not have to be paid off. You can learn more about the FSEOG by visiting the website: www.ed.gov/programs/fseog.

Federal Perkins Loans

A Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest (5 percent) loan for both undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial needs. Your school acts as the lender and the loan is backed by government funds. You must repay this loan to your home institution. Your award amount depends on when you apply, your level of need, your Expected Family Contributions (EFC), and the school’s funding level. Ask the financial aid office at your home institution for more information; you can also learn more at www.ed.gov/programs/fpl.

Stafford Loans

Stafford Loans, also known as a Direct Loan or a Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), come as subsidized or unsubsidized loans. A subsidized loan is awarded based on financial need and the recipient does not pay interest until the repayment period, usually arranged after graduation. An unsubsidized loan is not awarded based on financial need and the recipient will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Completing your FAFSA form is the first step in applying for a Stafford Loan. More information about direct loans can be found at www.ed.gov/directloan or by visiting your financial aid office.

Federal PLUS Loans

These are loans taken out by your parents to pay for your educational expenses. Types include Direct PLUS Loans and FFEL PLUS Loans. Your parents may apply if you are a dependent and if they pass a credit check. Your parents must complete and submit a PLUS Loan application, available from your school or lender. After the school completes its portion of the application, it must be sent to a lender for evaluation. For more information visit your school’s financial aid office.

Additional Resources

Don't limit yourself in your search for study abroad financial assistance, as there is a wide variety of opportunities to obtain funding for your GSE study abroad program!  Please note that GSE is not affiliated with the following lenders or scholarship funds.

  • Study Abroad Funding (www.studyabroadfunding.org), sponsored by IIE Passport, provides links to a variety of study abroad scholarships and grants based on your host country and/or academic subject(s) of study while abroad.

  • Fast Web (www.fastweb.com) provides a scholarship search as well as advice on searching for and using loans, grants, and other types of financial aid.

  • College Board (www.collegeboard.com/student/pay/index.html), along with resources for researching and applying for college, offers a database of more than 2,300 sources of college funding, totaling nearly $3 billion in financial aid opportunities.  Do a Quick Search for "study abroad" or "international," or fill out a profile (it's free) for more advanced search options and scholarship matches that are right for you.

  • Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grants (www.phikappaphi.org/Web/Awards/Study_Abroad.html) are designed to help support undergraduates as they seek knowledge and experience in their academic fields by studying abroad. Forty-five $1,000 grants are awarded each year.

  • The Department of Education (www.ed.gov/finaid) is the official resource for federal financial aid and can provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date information for Pell grants, Stafford loans, FSEOG, and more.

  • The National Security Education Program's Boren Awards (www.borenawards.org) provide funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to add an important international and language component to their educations. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships focus on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study that are critical to U.S. interests.

  • International Education and Financial Aid (www.iefa.org) boasts a list of nearly 2,000 scholarships designed specifically for the international education student.  Students can customize searches by award type, study abroad destination, and area(s) of study.

  • Sallie Mae (www.salliemae.com/international/us_students/) provides information on Stafford and Parent PLUS loans in addition to the Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan -- an ideal option for students who still need funds after they have maximized federal loans. With this loan, students can borrow up to the full cost of their education, less other aid received. Students who plan to study abroad are eligible for Sallie Mae as long as they are enrolled full-time at a college or university abroad and are expecting to earn a degree abroad, or who are studying abroad for a short time and expecting to earn a degree from a U.S. institution.

  • The British Universities Transatlantic Exchange Association (BUTEX, http://www.butex.ac.uk/?q=node/38) awards sixteen scholarships to U.S. and Canadian students studying abroad for either a semester or an academic year at one of its member institutions; GSE's UK partner for semester and year programs, London Metropolitan University, is a BUTEX member. Students must submit an application and either a short essay or a poster promoting study abroad to be considered for this scholarship.

 GSE Study Abroad Scholarships

Scholarship Application Requirements:
• Be currently enrolled in a college or university in the U.S. or Canada
• Send GSE an official college or university transcript
• Must be accepted into a GSE program
• Meet the GPA  and other listed requirement assigned to each scholarship
• Complete an essay of at least 400 words answering the Scholarship Question
• Follow all of the GSE Policies; GSE reserves the right to revoke any scholarship if a GSE participant does not adhere to the GSE policies.
• Students may only apply for one GSE scholarship
Deadlines:
-    Summer 2010 Program: March 1, 2010
-    Fall 2010 or Year 2010-11 Program:  May 1, 2010
-    Spring 2011 Program: September 1, 2010

Please send all Scholarship Essays and information to:
 
Global Student Experience Scholarships
17752 Skypark Circle, Suite 235
Irvine, CA 92614
 
visit this page for more detail

 
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