Student FAQs

What is a FLPA Course?

FLPA (pronounced ‘flippa’) is an acronym for Faculty–led Programs Abroad. These short–term UVM courses are generally 3–credit courses lasting between two weeks and a month that take place abroad. These courses generally take place in the Winter intersession, Spring break and the Summer session with a few courses sprinkled among regular semester course offerings. More than half of UVM’s travel study opportunities include a service learning element. Students do hands–on projects with local communities and organizations, helping to meet their goals while learning about a related academic topic—public health nursing in Bangladesh, sustainable development in Belize, HIV AIDS education in the Dominican Republic, and more. In service learning classes students make a difference for others AND themselves, engaging in a transformative experience that changes perspectives forever. Examples of past FLPA courses include:

  • Environmental Policies, Development and Conservation in Costa Rica
  • Field Work in Archaeology (Arizona)
  • Cultural Study Tour in Japan
  • A Discovery Program: UVM in Ghana
  • AgroForestry in Nicaragua
  • Medical Spanish (Mexico)
  • Social Work in a Global Context (Finland)

What is a UVM Semester Abroad Program?

Like a FLPA, the UVM Semester Abroad Programs are led by UVM faculty. They are, however, full semesters in–country and last 14–16 weeks, depending on the location. Students can take 12–18 credits abroad, staying on track with their academic plan while experiencing international travel–study and cultural immersion. UVM currently offers a faculty led Semester Abroad program to Oaxaca, Mexico. Click here to learn more about semester abroad programs.

How else can I study abroad at UVM?

Perhaps you want to study somewhere our faculty–led programs do not currently go. Or perhaps you’ve done a faculty–led program abroad, and now you’d like to study somewhere else. Whatever the case, you can feel free to explore UVM’s exchange program offerings or program offerings external to UVM. Study abroad advisors in the Office of International Education can assist you in selecting from among the hundreds of programs UVM has approved for study abroad around the world.

Why Choose A FLPA Course?

FLPA courses are an excellent option for virtually all students. Since most FLPA courses are offered during winter, spring and summer breaks, they don’t interfere with your regular semester schedule. You don’t have to worry about whether or not your credit will transfer back. These are UVM courses taught by UVM faculty for UVM credit. The only difference is that your course is held in locations like the Amazon rainforest as opposed to a classroom in Old Mill. They offer a short, structured study abroad experience that is great for both those new to study abroad as well as those who may not have the time to dedicate to a longer term study abroad experience. Many students go on to pursue other longer term study abroad options or other FLPA courses. Many FLPA courses are also open to first–year students. FLPA courses offer:

  • an utterly unique experience
  • an opportunity to test and apply textbook concepts against real world conditions
  • expanded access to information
  • a chance to see places that you might never have an opportunity to see
  • a deeper learning experience and an intense, learning–oriented study abroad experience

Why choose a UVM Semester Abroad Program?

UVM makes it easy for you to travel–study and still graduate on time. Use UVM financial aid or apply for scholarships. Take all UVM courses and avoid the hassle of transferring credits. Study subjects geared specifically toward UVM majors. While some programs require basic foreign language proficiency, others do not. And, a word about safety. UVM has chosen its destinations carefully to ensure the safety our students. Our faculty have traveled and worked in these study–abroad locations for years, and they know the people, politics and landscape intimately.

Who Can Participate in FLPA Courses?

All students are eligible to participate in FLPA courses. However, certain courses may be more appropriate for certain majors and degree requirements. In rare cases, other restrictions may apply. Final right of permission resides with the faculty director responsible for the course.

How to Get More Information on FLPA Course Offerings

You can find out about FLPA offerings in a variety of ways. Please click here to browse FLPA options by destination, term or topic. The Office of International Education and Continuing Education maintain a current listing of all FLPA courses. Faculty directors organizing courses abroad will also promote their courses within the department and across campus. Once you find a course of interest, you should contact the faculty director responsible for the course to get further information regarding pre–requisites, fees and the registration process.

FLPA Costs and Fees

FLPA courses are regarded as normal UVM courses and as such, normal tuition and fees apply. In addition to tuition a program fee is charged for each course. The program fee costs for room and board, in–country transportation, entrance fees, etc. and other fees attached to the course curriculum. Airfare may or may not be included in the total price of the program fee and may be an added expense that students should be mindful of when budgeting for the course. Trip cancellation insurance is strongly encouraged in case of an unexpected course cancellation. When possible, UVM can help students book seats on a group flight, but some courses will allow students to fly individually to the destinations. Please double check with the faculty director to verify.

FLPA Payment Policy

Your student account shall be assessed all applicable tuition and fees at the time you formally register for the course through myUVM. When submitting the commitment form, you will make a non-refundable deposit of $500 or the total amount of the program fee if it is lower than $500. The non-refundable deposit will be applied to the course program fee through myUVM. This deposit WILL NOT BE REFUNDED under any circumstance, including health reasons, and even if you later decide that you do not want to formally register for the course. Additionally, upon submission of the commitment form and non-refundable deposit, students are responsible for registering through myUVM and are responsible for tuition according to UVM Student Financial Services billing cycle.

Program fee refunds must be requested in writing to Continuing Education. No refund of a program fee shall be made less than 60 days before departure. A portion of the program fee MAY be returned prior to 60 days, excluding the non-refundable deposit AND non-recoverable costs. Non-recoverable costs are funds that UVM has already committed that cannot be recovered from service providers for expenses that may include, but are not limited to, housing, ground transportation, and entrance fees.

Refund of airfare must be directly pursued with the airline. Refund of tuition follows the UVM tuition refund schedule. For disciplinary reasons, a student may be sent home at his/her own expense, without any refund, at the discretion of the Faculty Director. You are strongly advised to purchase travel insurance that will cover these expenses in the event of cancellation for any reason.

If UVM cancels the course due to insufficient enrollment, you will receive a full refund.

By checking the box on the commitment form, you verify that you have read, understand, and agree to the non-refundable deposit, program fee and refund policy, as stated above.

Travel Insurance

You are strongly encouraged to purchase travel insurance through an independent insurance provider in the event that you must withdraw from the course due to personal reasons or in the event that the course must be canceled for safety reasons (including, but not limited to, a natural disaster, acts of terrorism or political instability).

You may also add on “Cancel for Any Reason” insurance, which is strongly recommended, but this must be added no later than 14 days from the payment you make toward your flight.

By checking the box on the pre-registration forms, you verify that you have read and understand that you’ve been counseled to purchase travel insurance for your travel study course.

Other Expenses

While the majority of fees are covered in your program fee, it’s always a good idea to take some money and/or credit card for personal expenses and emergency expenses. The amount you take varies according to the length of your course and personal spending habits. Check with your faculty director for more specific information.

The Registration Process

It is advisable not to delay as deadlines apply and courses may fill up quickly. First, you should contact the faculty director for acceptance to enroll for the course. The faculty director will then have to issue a course override for you. Then you may enroll as you normally would for any other course once registration has opened. As part of the acceptance to your program, you will also be asked to complete a “Registration Packet” and return these documents and a photocopy of your passport to The Office of International Education. A portion of your program fee will be non refundable at this time. Your student account will be charged UVM tuition and fees and the course program fee. All fees and tuition must be paid before you depart.

Immunizations and Health Issues

Travel to some destinations may require immunizations or other measures. You should consult the Center for Disease Control and The UVM Travel Clinic or another health care professional to talk about the requirements and recommendations for the country to which you are traveling well before your departure. Appointments can fill up quickly with the UVM Travel Clinic, so be in touch as soon as possible!

Pre–Departure Orientation

The course leader will provide a pre–departure orientation. This orientation should cover the following topics and should leave you feeling well–prepared for your departure:

  • Student responsibility
  • Safety and Security
  • Destination country laws, and local conditions, customs, cultural and culinary differences
  • Trip itinerary and what to bring
  • UVM Code of Conduct & discipline
  • Visa requirements, if applicable
  • Health & Travel Clinic–immunizations and other travel health concerns

Pre–Departure Checklist

Before leaving for your class there are several steps you should complete:

  • Register for the course online
  • Complete the “Registration Packet” and return to the OIE
  • Get passport and visa (if applicable)
  • Pay tuition, program fee, and airfare
  • Purchase trip cancellation insurance
  • Visit Travel & Health Clinic for immunization and travel health counseling
  • Culture Gram relating social, political, economic and cultural facts about your destination

Health Insurance: You must provide proof of a valid health insurance policy that covers you abroad in order to participate in FLPA courses. Copy of passport: You must supply two copies of your passport before your departure. You can either submit it with your “Registration Packet” to OIE or if you do not yet have a passport, at a later date you may send it directly to the FLPA coordinator at the Office of International Education.