Semester Imbalance

For generations, Providence College students have earned academic credits and made lifelong memories by studying abroad. In recent years, demand for fall semester study abroad has far exceeded demand for the spring semester. While the college wants to support any student who wishes to study abroad, we are taking steps to better balance the number of students studying abroad in the fall and spring semesters. There are several reasons for this. The most important of which relate to housing constraints, course scheduling, and class enrollments – all essential components of PC’s operations.  

The Center for Global Education (CGE) has received more than 400 applications for the Fall 2023 semester compared to just 40 for the Spring 2024 semester. If those numbers are not balanced between the fall and spring semesters, the college would not have enough beds for students in the spring and would not be able to meet the demand for some courses – many of which are required for a student to progress in their major – or hire enough qualified faculty to teach those courses. 

Study Abroad Lottery 

To alleviate this imbalance, the CGE will be conducting a lottery to assign fall semester applicants to either the fall or spring semester. The lottery will take place in late January, and students will be notified of their study abroad semester assignment in early February. Students not selected in the lottery for fall semester study abroad will be assigned to the spring semester. All applicants who go through this process must still meet the College’s eligibility requirements for study abroad.  

Spring 2024 Assignments 

If you hoped to study abroad during the fall but have been assigned to the spring, there are a few items you should be aware of. First, spring semester study abroad students traditionally do very well in securing their desired housing for the fall semester of their junior year before they study abroad. However, spring semester study abroad students who commit to study abroad and then decide not to study abroad could jeopardize their spring 2024 housing, which may no longer be guaranteed since the Office of Residence Life will have made housing assignments based on students’ intentions to study abroad in the spring semester.   

In addition, to alleviate some challenges for students studying abroad in the spring semester, the CGE has worked on a plan with the Office of the Registrar to give those students advanced priority for fall 2024 class registration.  

Finally, Spring 2024 study abroad students also will be able to store their belongings in an off-campus facility (free of charge) with which the College regularly conducts business. Students’ belongings will later be moved to their fall 2024 housing. More details regarding this process will be shared as we move forward. 

Fall 2023 Assignments 

The Office of Residence Life will work closely with fall study abroad students on their housing placements for spring semester when they return from study abroad, but the Office cannot guarantee students’ first choice for their spring semester housing. Fall semester study abroad students will need to be flexible with the housing selection/assignment process for the spring semester when they return to campus since we anticipate that housing options will be far more limited.   

Appeal Process 

The need to balance study abroad enrollments has been addressed in several instances throughout students’ study abroad applications to reinforce this messaging. Nevertheless, students may appeal their spring study abroad assignment for academic purposes only. These academic concerns will need to be verified by the Student Success Center once the appeal is submitted. Appeals will be due no later than February 15th. The submission of an appeal does not mean that the appeal is automatically granted. More information regarding the appeal process will be shared when students receive their study abroad notifications. If an appeal is granted, a limited waiting list for fall study abroad may be necessary.   

The CGE team will continue to communicate with students on any updates we have regarding their study abroad assignments. Thank you for your patience as the team works with all 2023-2024 Academic Year applications.