Frequently Asked Questions for the Global Education Project

*Please note: The answers below only apply to students of the Global Education Project. For general questions, please contact

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Eligibility Criteria to Apply

Are students required to provide their transcripts to study in UCA? If yes, should all the courses the students have taken be included?

 Yes, students must submit a complete transcript in English when they apply. We understand that they may not have the grades for the Spring 2012 semester (if applying for Fall 2013) or their grades for Fall 2012 (if applying for Spring 2013) and that is acceptable.

Graduate students should be prepared to have a credential evaluation done in order to enroll in graduate level courses.  Graduate students interested in participating in the Global Education Project can apply through International Engagement, but the applications are approved by the Graduate School.

Music and Art students should submit their portfolio to International Engagement after they get their DS-2019.

In which academic departments are the students allowed to study?

The students may study in any department on campus if they receive a score at least 61 on TOEFL iBT or 500 on the pBT. Prerequisites and restricted eligibility may require students to receive special permission to take certain classes.

Is it necessary for students to provide their English proficiency test results first?

Yes, students who wish to take regular university courses must submit their TOEFL scores when they apply for admission.  Only official TOEFL scores will be accepted.  If the student scores a minimum of 500 on the pBT or 61 on the iBT he/she will be allowed to enroll in regular undergraduate courses.  Students who score below the minimum or do not present an official TOEFL score will enroll in the Intensive English Program and a combination of other supported curricula.

Are there any limits on the number of students allowed to apply for study in UCA or in certain departments?

There is a limited number of GEP students who will be allowed to enroll solely in IEP classes so please apply early to ensure admission.

How is the application process different if I am a graduate student?

As mentioned above, graduate students should send all application materials to International Engagement who will forward to the Graduate School.  The Graduate School makes the final determination on admission for graduate students.  The minimum TOEFL score to be admitted as a graduate student is 550 on the PBT and 71 on the iBt.  Also, an additional $50 per credit hour will be added to the base package price for students taking graduate courses.

J-1 (Exchange Student) Visa Questions

What documents are required to apply for a student visa?

Students must bring the following documents to the US Consulate:

Is the SEVIS fee included in the fees paid to UCA?

No, the SEVIS fee (visa application fee) is not included in the GEP package price. Students are responsible for paying the visa application fees.

Tuition & Fees

What is included in the GEP package price?

The $6,950 package price for GEP students includes:

  • tuition and fees for twelve (12) undergraduate credit hours
  • International administration fee that directly contributes to events and activities
  • mandatory health insurance and T-Spot test
  • a shared dormitory room fee, a bed package
  • an unlimited meal plan in the Christian Cafeteria and $50 Dining Dollars.

MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) is required by law. If students cannot provide documentation in English from a health care professional verifying that the student has received these shots, it is the student’s responsibility to pay for it. Two shots are required for MMR and cost $50 each.

What is not included in the GEP package price?

            The $6,950 does not include:

  • 2 doses of MMR – $50 each
  • Choosing a private room – about $700 to 800
  • Staying in a residence hall before August 14, 2012 or January 6, 2013 -$7.50 per night.
  • Graduate Courses – $50 extra per credit hour
  • Insurance deductible – $100
  • Books – varies

Are the fees the same for all courses at UCA?

Tuition is charged on a per-credit hour basis. Most classes are 3 credit hours each (three hours of instruction per week). The package price includes tuition and fees for 12 undergraduate credit hours (usually 4 classes).

Students who take graduate level courses will be charged $50 extra per credit.

Are textbooks included in the GEP package price?

No. Textbooks must be purchased separately. Depending on course selection, students can expect to pay $300.00 – $500.00 per semester for required textbooks. At the end of the semester, students can either keep their books or sell them back to the bookstore at a reduced price.

 How many credit hours can a student take?

International students must take a minimum of twelve (12) credit hours each semester to fulfill the terms of their visa. The package price is designed to meet these 12 undergraduate credit hours. Any additional credits GEP students choose to take will add additional charges to their student account

What does the international insurance cover? When does coverage begin and end?

The insurance pays for treatment of illnesses and accidents, including prescriptions, doctor and hospital visits, and repatriation of remains in case of death. There is a $100 deductible per semester, but it will pay any non-excluded expense after that. If the student needs a prescription for medication, they will have to pay for it, but we will assist them in filing the forms to be reimbursed for cost of the medication. This medical insurance does not cover eye glasses, contact lenses or dental care.

For students attending UCA in the fall, the coverage lasts from August 1 to December 31. For students attending UCA in the spring, the coverage lasts from January 1 to May 31.

UCA has an excellent Student Health Center that is staffed by a doctor and two nurse practitioners. They can handle the majority of treatment for students for free or at a very low cost. They are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

What do the miscellaneous fees include?

Miscellaneous fees include books, academic supplies and personal spending money for the student’s personal necessities. We recommend students prepare for at least $1,500 for a semester. However, we strongly advise students not to carry more than $100 in cash on their person at any time.

Are there additional costs for placement testing?There is not a fee for English placement testing. However, students who wish to take mathematics classes will be required to take a Compass Placement Test in Mathematics, for which there is a charge of $5.00 USD. For students who want to take the institutional or iBT TOEFL or other tests during the semester, it is the student’s responsibility to pay for it.

When must students pay for their studies at UCA?The International Engagement Office will let the students know when they should pay their account balance.  There are three payment methods for students to choose. (See “GEP Tuition Payment Method”)

 Registration Procedure

Are there any courses taught in both English and Chinese? If yes, what are they?

No, we will have an assortment of GEP Supported Curricula to choose from for those students who score below the minimum TOEFL requirements.  No classes will be taught strictly in Mandarin.

What is the procedure for students to register for classes?

Students with a passing TOEFL score will have the opportunity to search for classes online several months before arrival,  fill out a ‘course interests’ chart, which could potentially facilitate pre-arrival registration. English language transcripts will be necessary, as some higher level courses have pre-requisites. (We recommend courses beginning with the number “1” or “2”). Please understand that all students who want to take regular UCA courses must also provide English transcripts to the respective departments to confirm that all preregistration requirements have been met. Some departments may require course syllabi in English to assess course contents. We suggest that students whose English level is above TOEFL iBT 61 prepare to bring their course syllabi in English from China for registration in regular UCA courses.

Students with a TOEFL score under 500/61 iBT will be placed in an IEP Level based on placement test results during the first week at UCA and according to the results be placed in appropriate courses.


Are students allowed to take fewer than twelve (12) credit hours?

No. Students must maintain a minimum of twelve (12) credit hours in order to maintain their student visa status. Students who drop below the minimum will fall out of status, and WILL be subject to immigration consequences, including deportation.

Room & Board

 What are the dormitory halls like?

Each student will share a dormitory room with a roommate of the same gender. Each room is equipped with two single beds, two desks, two dressers and a closet. Bathrooms/showers are down the hall. Halls are composed of students of the same gender only. There is also a small kitchen on the first floor of each dormitory for student use.

Students who are 21 and over are encouraged to choose a UCA apartment. There is a living room and kitchen in each apartment. Normally each bedroom in the apartment includes two beds, desks with chairs, and chest of drawers, and closets. All furniture is moveable. Cable TV service, Internet access, and air conditioning/heating are also available at no extra charge.

Are the dormitory halls far from where classes are held?

The dormitory halls are located in the middle of campus, so students will have a very short walk to class.

Does the meal fee include three meals every day? Is the cafeteria open during the weekends and holiday?The meal plan covers unlimited meals in the cafeteria. There are 3 meals per day served during the week (Monday through Friday). On the weekends, there are only 2 meals per day served (brunch and dinner). The cafeteria is designed buffet style, so students may eat as much as they desire. The cafeteria is open on weekends but is closed on holidays. Therefore, students will need to make their own meal arrangements during those times.

The meal plan also includes $50 in Dining Dollars or also called Bear Bucks which can be for use in the Christian Cafeteria, Student Center Food Court, Java City, Einstein’s Bagel Brothers, Starbucks, the C-Store or the Bear Express.

Will I have an American roommate?

The Housing Office does its best to place GEP students with American roommates. However, this is not always possible. Room change requests are available the first 2 weeks of class.

Is it possible to change my roommate?

If students have any complaints about their roommates, they can go to the Housing Office to ask for a change two weeks after the beginning of the semester.

What is included in the Care package?

  • extra-long fitted sheets
  • 2 extra-long flat sheets
  • 4 standard pillow cases
  • 2 extra-fluffy pillow
  • 1 extra-long reversible comforter
  • 1 extra-long quilted mattress pad
  • 1 extra-long egg crate pad
  • 2 all-cotton bath towels
  • 2 matching cotton hand towels
  • 2 matching cotton wash cloths
  • 1 pop-open hamper
  • 1 bedside buddy

Some items may vary depending on availability.

Can I stay in my room during Fall or Spring Break?           

The campus will remain open during Fall Break. This past year all residence halls stayed open for Spring Break as well.  International Engagement will make the request for the residence halls to remain open this upcoming Spring Break but you should be prepared to make arrangements to travel during this time. If it is decided that the campus will close, special arrangements must be made to stay in the apartments and a few residence halls that will remain open. If you stay in your dorm past the departure date at the end of the semester, you will be charged $7.50 per night.


Will students from Chinese universities be in classes with other Chinese students or will they be in classes with American students?

Students who have the minimum required English proficiency will be placed in regular classes with American students. Students with lower-levels of English proficiency will be placed in IEP classes or other approved curricula.  Students taking Intensive English Program courses will be in classes with students from China and other non-English speaking countries.

Must I take Intensive English classes?

If you have not submitted a high enough TOEFL score, you will take an English Placement test during orientation. Based on your score, you will take a mixture of Intensive English and approved curricula. Students who meet the TOEFL requirement, will not take Intensive English courses.  These students can take general UCA classes.

How long do the classes last?General courses at UCA last for one 16 week semester. The Intensive English Program consists of two 8 week sessions (Fall I/Fall II and Spring I/Spring II). Your 12 undergraduate credit hours will be divided between these two 8 week periods.

Fall I is from August 23 – October 12; Fall II is from October 15 – December 14.

Spring I is from January 10 – March 1; Spring II is from March 4 – May 3.

There is not a large break between the two IEP sessions.

 Other Arrangements

 Is transportation from the airport to UCA provided to students?

Yes. We will arrange to pick the students up at the Little Rock National Airport and bring them to campus. This service will only apply to Little Rock National Airport. We will not pick up students from other airports. There is no charge for this service within a given time period. Students must submit an arrival form online (See “Arrival Information Form Guide”) no less than 2 weeks prior to the arrival of their flight to receive this free service.

Is there any orientation and campus tour provided by UCA?

Yes. We will provide a thorough orientation and campus tours during International Student Orientation. The orientation includes a variety of sessions that will inform students about life at UCA and help them adapt to US culture. International Programs will also schedule shopping trips and events throughout orientation week to introduce international students to other university students.

What are the demographics of the international student population at UCA?

There are approximately 570 international students studying at UCA at this time.  Approximately 230 of them are from China. The next largest group is the students from Saudi Arabia, followed by Africa, Japan and the former Soviet Union. We currently have students representing 64 different countries studying at UCA.

What should I do if I arrive before the recommended arrival date?If you must arrive in the US before the recommended arrival dates (Fall arrival is August 14th and Spring arrival January 6), please be prepared to make your own transportation and housing arrangements.

What should I do if I arrive after orientation?It is quite important for you to make your arrangements to arrive to campus before orientation begins. However, if you must arrive after orientation, you should contact Lisa Shoemake or Sara Parrott at the International Engagement Office in the Carol Adcock International House immediately after your arrival. We do not guarantee transportation from the airport for students arriving outside the recommended time frame, but please still submit the arrival information form to let us know you will be arriving late.  Students arriving after the 2nd day of classes may be sent home (see the “Late GEP Arrival Acknowledgement”).

Are there activities for International Students?        The Office of International Programs organizes weekly shopping trips and monthly activities. Each semester the activities vary depending on student participation and holidays. We strongly encourage international students to become involved in other (non-international) organizations and clubs on campus.  Below are just a few of the events planned for the students over the 2011-12 Academic Year:

  • Blanchard Springs Caverns
  • Pumpkin carving and Hay Ride
  • Karaoke Night
  • Bowling Night
  • Memphis Zoo
  • Graceland
  • NBA game