Study Abroad

Please visit our study abroad web pages to find out more details about where you can study, eligibility requirements for study abroad, the study abroad application process in Mills-affiliated programs and the process for applying to an independent program, study abroad program costs, study abroad financial aid and scholarships, and payment plans. There you can also find information on preparing for your program, travel documentsacademics and other accommodations as well as information on withdrawing from or extending a program.

Mills College Study Abroad Policy

This policy outlines the requirements and process for students to participate in Mills study abroad. Mills study abroad refers to the participation of Mills students in academic, credit-bearing, institutionally sponsored programs outside of the United States for the summer, J-Term, academic semester, or full academic year.

This policy covers:

  • Mills-approved Study Abroad Programs
  • Mills International Exchange Programs

This policy does not cover:

  • Mills Faculty/Staff Led Programs
  • Domestic Exchange

As both an academic and co-curricular process, Mills study abroad uses a specific set of academic, admission, and registration requirements that must be followed. Questions should be directed to studyabroad@mills.edu

Mills-approved Study Abroad Programs

For these programs, Mills students can enroll in study abroad programs run by study abroad providers or universities with which Mills has a formal agreement. Mills-approved Study Abroad Programs are detailed on the Mills Study Abroad web page.

Mills International Exchange Programs

International exchange programs offer Mills students the opportunity to directly enroll at a foreign institution with which Mills has an exchange agreement and pay Mills tuition during the academic year (Fall and Spring semesters). Institutions are listed on the Mills Study Abroad web page.  

International Exchange Programs Application Process

Students applying for an international exchange must complete the Mills Study Abroad Application Process. Once completed, students interested in the exchange programs will be reviewed separately. Two students per semester may be nominated for each program. Once a student receives a nomination from Mills, they will then be notified by the host institution to complete additional application materials.

International Exchange Programs Wait list

If an international exchange program becomes full, a wait list of all eligible applicants will be created in the order in which applications were received. Mills College reserves sole discretion to manage program wait lists. If placed on a wait list, the student will be notified via email and must reply with their intention to remain on the wait list. If an opening occurs in the program, the first student on the wait list will be notified via email. If this student receives an offer for a place in the program, they will have 48 business hours to accept the offer. If the student does not respond within 48 business hours, they will be placed at the bottom of the wait list, and the next student on the list will be offered a spot instead.

International Exchange Program Payment

In accordance with Mills Payment Policy, students participating in an international exchange program are billed for Mills tuition and fees. Students are responsible for making payment in accordance with the regular semester payment deadline of August 1, for the fall or January 2, for the spring.

Mills Study Abroad Approval 

In order to participate in Mills study abroad, a student must apply for institutional approval by completing the Mills study abroad application process. Students are advised to initiate the planning process a year or more in advance of the start date of their desired term abroad. 

Special attention should be paid to application due dates for each semester which can be found on the Mills website. Students submitting a Mills study abroad application after the official due date run the risk of having their application rejected. All applications are reviewed by the Assistant Director of International Scholars and Global Learning prior to submission to the registrar for final process. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure all information on their application is complete and accurate. 

Mills study abroad applications are reviewed to ensure compliance with Mills eligibility requirements. Approval for study abroad is offered on the condition that the student continues to meet all eligibility requirements for participation after their approval. In some limited circumstances, Mills College may need to rescind the admission of any student who is discovered not to meet the above requirements after being admitted.

Program Application 

As part of the Mills study abroad application process, students must also apply directly to their program(s) of choice.

Notification of Approval 

Applicants will be notified by email of a decision no later than two weeks after the application deadline for the semester to which they apply. Students who submit a Mills study abroad application and do not receive institutional approval can submit an appeal to the Academic Standing Committee. Adjudication of these requests by the Academic Standing Committee may take up to two additional weeks. Students who do not receive approval to participate in Mills study abroad may also re-apply in a later semester by submitting a new Mills study abroad application at that time. 

Admission and Confirmation

Students are considered admitted to Mills study abroad when they have:

  • received Mills institutional approval to participate in Mills study abroad

  • applied and been accepted to a Mills eligible program

For additional details, please refer to How to Apply.

Program Dates and Components

All program dates are set in advance. Students are expected to participate in all program components for the entire length of the program. Failure to fully partake in all aspects of the program, including orientation, coursework, and other program activities, may result in dismissal from the program.

Housing

Students work with their specific program to secure housing for their stay. If a student intends to arrive earlier or stay later than the official program dates, they may need to make supplemental housing arrangements and be prepared to pay an additional cost.  

Students must follow all of the housing rules and regulations of their location. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from the program or conduct actions from Mills. Housing for each program will have its unique set of rules that will need to be followed. Students are encouraged to check with program staff concerning housing details for their program. 

In addition, students will be responsible for paying for any damages, repairs, or replacements, if necessary, that occur in their housing abroad.  Students are advised to review all housing agreements from other programs/schools in detail to ensure they are aware of dates, costs and requirements.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

It is the student’s responsibility to confirm directly with Mills Financial Aid how their aid package will transfer towards the payment of Mills Study Abroad program tuition and fees. Federal and/or state sources of financial aid will be adjusted according to the costs of the program in keeping with federal and state regulations. For additional guidance on using financial aid and scholarships towards the cost of a study abroad program, please refer to the Funding Your Experience web page.

Health Insurance

Students are required to provide proof of international health insurance that covers the duration of their program prior to their departure abroad.  If a student participates in a program that does not include international health insurance coverage, the student is responsible for purchasing health insurance that will cover them in their country of study for the duration of the program. Many programs may have their own mandatory insurance requirements which students should verify directly with their program. Mills students enrolled at one of Mills International Exchange Partners also have access to emergency medical coverage abroad at no additional cost. Students are automatically registered for this coverage through Mills College and do not need to take action to initiate this process. 

Vaccinations

Some countries may require certain vaccinations or health clearances for visa or entry purposes. Participation in the program is contingent upon a student obtaining the required visa. Failure to obtain a visa based on a failure to obtain necessary vaccinations is not a basis for a refund of program-related fees. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention detail vaccination requirements and other traveler's health information. Students should work directly with their health care and insurance provider to obtain necessary vaccinations prior to their departure abroad. The Mills Vera Whole Health Center can provide vaccinations for students unable to obtain them directly through their health care provider. 

Program Duration

Students may spend up to one year participating in Mills Study Abroad. Spending more than one academic year abroad will require the student to take a leave of absence. Students participating in Mills Study Abroad may also wish to extend their study abroad for an additional semester. Certain programs may have the option to extend. It is the student’s responsibility to verify with program staff if this option exists. Students who have this option must notify the Assistant Director of International Scholars and Global Learning and their major advisor of their request to extend their program. This request is subject to review by the registrar and major advisor for formal approval. Should an extension require the student to extend the length of their visa in their country of study, the student is responsible for carrying out the visa extension process.

Program Dismissal 

Failure to uphold requirements set by the Mills Code of Conduct as detailed in the Student Handbook, program policies, and program staff may result in immediate dismissal from the program. The student will also be reported to the Mills College Student Conduct Officer. This may lead to further sanctions as deemed appropriate by the College. If a student is dismissed, they will be removed from program courses and may be responsible for all program-related expenses as well as travel home.

Academic Standing and Course Credit 

Students participating in Mills Study Abroad during an academic semester (fall, spring or, fall and spring) will be registered in a 12 credit placeholder by the Mills records office. They must take the equivalent of a full course load (at least 12 credits for undergraduate and 9 for graduate students) each semester they participate in Mills study abroad. Students’ full- time enrollment in study abroad is reported to the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC). This process will automatically defer any accrued student loans during a student’s participation in Mills study abroad.

An official transcript of any coursework completed on Mills study abroad is required. Any academic credit earned while participating in Mills study abroad is subject to the Mills Transfer Credit Policy. While transfer credit is not calculated in the student’s Mills GPA, students’ courses during Mills study abroad are still subject to the Mills Academic Standing Policy

Students may decide to make changes to their Mills study abroad courses once they are abroad. Changes involving courses approved for major/minor requirements should be communicated to the student’s major/program advisor. Any changes to courses fulfilling core requirements should be communicated to records@mills.edu.

Program Evaluation

Upon returning to Mills, all students who have participated in Mills study abroad are required to submit a program evaluation to studyabroad@mills.edu.

Governance of the Mills Study Abroad Policy 

The Mills Study Abroad policy is governed by Mills Student Life and Academic Affairs.

  • The Provost reviews any changes to the Mills Study Abroad Policy and approves Mills Study Abroad partnership agreements.  

  • The Study Abroad Committee provides oversight for curriculum in Mills study abroad and advises students on country-specific information as needed.

  • Major/minor advisors evaluate transfer credit for application to major, minor, and elective credit equivalencies. 

  • The registrar facilitates Mills study abroad registration, approves courses taken for core requirements, and transfers academic credit earned through participation in Mills study abroad. 

  • The Academic Standing Committee (ASC) adjudicates Mills study abroad eligibility and admissions appeals.

  • The Assistant Director of International Scholars and Global Learning oversees Mills study abroad student advising, application review, student preparation, and student support and conduct abroad, under the supervision of the Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students.

  • The Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students adjudicates student conduct violations abroad and provides general oversight to all aspects of Mills study abroad.