Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

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When is the application deadline?

CELL accepts applications at any time during the year for all subsequent programs. We do, however, urge you to apply well in advance of the program you would like to attend. This will enable you to fully prepare for the program and will ensure that you have a reserved spot in the program of your choice. For more details on the application process, check out our application page.

How much does a CELL study abroad cost?

The cost of our study abroad programs varies from program to program. In many cases, our study abroad programs costs are about the same or even less than the costs of attending many colleges and universities in the U.S. For specific costs, please see our programs pages.

What about financial aid?

Federal aid is the largest and most available form of assistance for study abroad. If you are taking a full course load in a study-abroad program approved by your home institution and you are earning credit toward your degree, Title IV of the Higher Education Act states that you are eligible for the same amount of federal aid for which you would be eligible if you were studying in the U.S. Some of the additional costs associated with studying abroad can also be taken into account. All course work to be taken on a study abroad must be pre-approved for direct or transfer credit if it is to be eligible for financial aid.

Students interested in participating in a study-abroad program who need financial assistance should contact their campus financial aid office and/or their study-abroad adviser. These folks are well-versed in the types of aid available and what you need to do to apply for financial aid. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us.

Do I need to know a foreign language?

No language preparation is required. We offer language instruction as part of the cultural-immersion experience. Some previous language exposure will naturally enhance your ability to communicate with your host-country contacts during the semester program, but no prior foreign language experience is necessary.

What majors are eligible for a CELL program?

All of them! CELL’s semester programs are interdisciplinary, and our courses are designed to be as flexible as possible for transferring credit back to your college or university of attendance.

What are the selection criteria?

To be eligible for a CELL semester-abroad program, students – typically in their junior or senior year – must demonstrate personal and academic preparation for the program and demonstrate a sincere interest in being of service. Students submit written responses to several essay questions and two references, as well as a personal or telephone interview with CELL staff. See our How to Apply page for more detail.

Will I receive college credit for a CELL study abroad program?

Students receive 15 college semester-hour credits for our semester-long study abroad programs, and 3 credits for our short courses (Maymester). Students have the option of receiving credit directly from their college or university or from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more details on academic credit, please see our College Credit page.

How many students participate in a CELL semester program?

CELL wants to provide each participant with a meaningful, life-changing, semester-abroad experience. We, therefore, limit the number of students in each program to 15.

How rigorous are the CELL programs?

While we hold a high academic standard for all our courses, we also recognize the importance of accommodating different learning styles. The student’s commitment and motivation is key to success. Our programs also have strong experiential and service-learning components. In terms of physical rigor, students should be in good health and good physical condition.

What if a program gets cancelled?

Occasionally, a CELL program may have to be cancelled due to lack of enrollment, or other extenuating circumstances. In such a case, students will be notified as far in advance as possible and every effort will be made to offer the student another CELL program option if there is a program available that meets the student’s interest and needs. If a CELL program needs to be terminated while students are in the field due to a natural disaster, security reason, etc., every effort will be made to complete the program at another location in the country of study or Stateside in order to offer students full credit for the experience. If a program is cancelled, prorated student deposits will be reimbursed, or they can be applied toward another CELL program should the student choose to do so.

What is CELL's Payment and Refund Policy?

With CELL custom programs, the contract organization agrees to pay a deposit of fifty percent (50%) of the program fee to CELL sixty (60) days or more prior to the program start date. The remaining balance of fifty percent (50%) of the program fee is due to CELL 30 days or more prior to the program start date.

In the event that the contract organization cancels the program fifty-nine (59) to thirty (30) days prior to the program start date, CELL keeps twenty-five percent (25%) of the program fee.

In the event that the contract organization cancels the program 29 days or fewer before the start date of the program, CELL keeps 50% of the program fee.

In the event that the contract organization cancels the program after the start of the program, CELL keeps 100% of the program fee.