Withdrawal & Refund Policy for Short-Term Abroad

Withdrawal & Refund Policy

Once accepted into a short-term study abroad program, students must decide by the Commitment Deadline whether to commit or decline acceptance to the program.  Those who wish to commit to the program must submit a $500 non-refundable Program Deposit and click “Commit” in their application.  
If a student has not both accepted admission by clicking “Commit” and paid the Program Deposit by the Commitment Deadline, the Office for Study Abroad (OSA) will assume that the student no longer wishes to participate and the student will be withdrawn from the program.

Students who complete the commitment steps and decide to withdraw after the Commitment Deadline must contact OSA in writing by emailing STAP@gwu.edu.  Students who withdraw will be subject to the following withdrawal and refund policy:
What Student Owes GW*

  • Withdrawal prior to Commitment Deadline: Nothing is owed—student receives full refund, including his or her $500 Program Deposit if previously paid.
  • Withdrawal 30 days or more prior to program start date:  Student forfeits the $500 non-refundable Program Deposit and remains responsible for paying the unrecoverable program costs (“Unrecoverable costs”).
  • Withdrawal 29 days or less prior to program start date:  Student forfeits the $500 non-refundable Program Deposit and remains responsible for paying the full cost of the program (“Program Fee”).
 *The Withdrawal & Refund Policy relates only to expenses billed to students by the university for participation in the study away program.  The university does not in any instance reimburse for non-billable/out-of-pocket expenses. 
Definition of terms
  • Commitment to Program: Students commit to a program by paying the program deposit and clicking "Commit" on their program application in GW Passport after they are accepted. Committing to a program indicates that the student is responsible for adhering to the refund schedule listed above.
  • Commitment Deadline: The date by which students must complete the Commitment to Program steps of paying the program deposit and clicking “Commit” on their program application in GW Passport. The program-specific Commitment Deadline is listed on the program brochure page in GW Passport and in the program acceptance email.
  • Program Deposit: The program deposit will appear in the student’s account as “Short Term Abroad Prog. Dep.”. When the student pays this deposit, it will appear as a credit on his/her student account.
  • Program Fee: The Program Fee is used to pay for on-the-ground logistics, such as lodging, group meals, group transportation, cultural excursions and travel health insurance. Program fees will vary due to price parity, program logistics, and program length. Services included in a program fee for one program may not be included in another.  The program fee will appear in the student’s account as a “LABS” fee titled “Short-Term Abroad Prog Travel”.
  • Program Start Date: The day the program begins off-site.
  • Non-billable Costs/Out of Pocket Costs: These costs are paid directly by the student to a vendor, and may include such items as passport and visa fees, vaccinations, and airfare.  These expenses are the student’s responsibility and will not be reimbursed by GW. Students are advised to purchase refundable airline tickets and/or trip cancellation insurance covering all travel expenses not billed through the university; participating students accept the risk associated with these items.
  • Unrecoverable Costs: Unrecoverable costs are those non-refundable expenses that have been incurred by GW on behalf of the student to secure services (e.g., lodging, tours, meals) in a study abroad program. These costs vary across programs. They may include items such as lodging, group transportation, and group meals. Students are provided with an estimate of program costs, also called “non-billable” expenses or costs, on each program’s webpage.  (See https://studyabroad.gwu.edu/courses-offered).  When students withdraw late (see table of withdrawal deadlines), the charges for any unrecoverable costs incurred will be communicated via email within a week of the student’s withdrawal.

Consular issues:  Students must acquire the proper immigration documents to enter the destination country and/or secure transit visas and are advised to do so well ahead of departure dates.  The Office for Study Abroad may provide visa support letters if necessary, but will not complete visa applications or collect visas on behalf of students.  If a student’s visa application to travel to the program location is denied by the embassy or consulate in question, the student is responsible for program costs according to the refund schedule outlined above.