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Extending or Shortening Your Stay - Things to Consider

Extending your Stay

Are you interested in extending your time abroad to an academic year?  A limited number of requests for extension will be considered for students abroad during fall quarter 2013.  Not all programs are available for extension. Contact your OIE advisor to find out if your program is available for extension. 

If considering an extension, please make sure you consider the following:

  • Do you have permission from your host university/program to extend to an academic year?  While permission from the DU Office of International Education (OIE) is required, you must also ask your host university/program if you are able to extend.
  • Will staying abroad for a year help or hinder your progress towards graduation? Please discuss with your academic advisor.
  • Given your immigration status in your host country, it is possible to extend? Can you change your status or extend your student visa from within your host country, or would you need to return to the U.S.? You will be responsible for all costs associated with a visa extension.
  • What are the financial implication of an extension?  You will be billed for three quarters of study abroad for a year abroad (fall, winter, spring), rather than one.
  • Can you change the return date on your plane ticket to accommodate a year abroad? This cost will be your responsibility.  If you decide to come home between terms, you will be responsible for travel costs to return to your program.
  • If you plan on staying in your host city between terms, where will you live?  Housing costs during breaks are your responsibility.

To apply for an extension, please email your OIE advisor a personal statement discussing how spending the year abroad will further your academic goals.

Application for an extension are reviewed by a committee, and will be considered on a rolling basis.

Shortening Your Stay

If you had originally planned to study abroad for a year, but you decide to shorten your study abroad program to one quarter or one semester, please consider the following:

  • Will your program/host university charge withdrawal fees if you shorten your stay?
  • What will it cost to change your plane ticket (you are responsible for any change fees and differences in fares)?
  • How will coming back to DU earlier than planned impact your progress towards graduation?
  • Are you able to register for classes you need on campus next quarter?
  • Where will you live once back in Denver?
  • Have you accomplished the goals you set for yourself before you left the U.S.?
  • How will shortening your stay impact future students going on the exchange? Will it make it so no students can go the next year?

To shorten your stay, please:

  1. Notify your OIE advisor
  2. Notify your host program
  3. Change your return flight as soon as possible to minimize the extra costs (for which you will be responsible)


Withdrawing from your study abroad program can have serious financial, personal, and academic consequences.  We encourage you to think about why you want to return home.

  • Are you experiencing culture shock?  Remember that this is a normal part of the study abroad experience - read more about homesickness, culture shock, and tips for successful cultural adjustment here. Past students have found that delaying the decision for a few weeks usually makes a great deal of difference on their perspectives.
  • If you have health concerns, is the necessary care available in your host country?  In addition to your own physician, International SOS and your program/host university may be of assistance in identifying local resources.
  • Have you talked to your program director or international office at your host university about any problems you are experiencing?  Their knowledge and experience may allow them offer advice and solutions for your particular situation.

Withdrawal charges will vary by withdrawal date and host program/institution policies, bu could be up to the full cost of the program plus any CGS benefits you have received.  A full description of withdrawal charges can be found in the Study Abroad Policies.  Please read these carefully and check with your OIE advisor before making a final decision regarding withdrawal.  As there are additional institutions involved both administratively and financially, the normal DU refund policies and schedules, as well as the Medical Leave of Absence Policy, do not apply to study abroad. 

In addition to withdrawal fees, please consider the following:

  • If you are already abroad, you will be responsible for your airline ticket change fee/difference in fare to return home.
  • If the timing of your withdrawal allowed you to enroll in classes on campus at DU, you will billed tuition again -- the initial charges for tuition (or subsequent withdrawal fees) are related to your study abroad experience.
    • You may need to repay financial aid funds.
    • You will lose your eligibility to participate on a DU Partner Program and as a Cherrington Global Scholar for future terms.
    • If you withdraw before the program has ended you are unlikely to earn any credit, and may receive failing grades in your classes.  How will this impact your timeline for graduation?
  • Reflect on what you hoped to gain from studying abroad.  Have you accomplished the goals you set for yourself?  Will you regret making this decision?

If you decide to withdraw, please:

  1. Contact your OIE advisor to discuss the implications (financial and other)
  2. Notify your study abroad program/host university
  3. Submit your signed Withdrawal Form to the OIE
  4. Change your return flight as soon as possible to minimize the extra costs (for which you will be responsible)