Frequently Asked Questions :: FAQ
Q: How many PSA-PYA options may I apply for?
A: You can only apply for one of the PSA options. It must match up
with your major at PSA. Look at the list of options to see which PSU colleges or programs the PSA
option works with.
Q: The PSA option that I am interested in does not
list my major. Does that mean I can-not apply for that option?
A: You may only apply for a PSA option that has an undergraduate
degree program that matches with yours at PSU. Some of the partner schools only open up some of
undergraduate academic programs to PSU students at present. Similarly some of the options are at
schools specializing in IT (WUT), Engineering (MST), Business (NUCB), or are limited by gender
Q: Why do some of the PSA options have different
English Proficiency requirement lev-els and/or other requirements?
A: The variance in English Proficiency level requirements reflect a
number of factors: the partner schools' own requirements, the varying degrees of academic rigor of
the op-tions, and the anticipated level of competition for the PSA scholarship support at the
Q: I would like to study abroad at a university but
it is not on the list. What should I do?
A: PSU has set up a number of partnership relations with a discrete
group of strong universities abroad. The number of options has increased from 1 in the Fall of 2010
to 20 for Spring 2020 and will continue to grow. At present, these are the options that are availa
ble to PSU students seeking scholarship support for studying abroad.
Q: I noted that some of the PSA options will begin
in early in January next year when PSU will be having final exams. How will that situation be
A: That situation was encountered before. PSU senior administration
working in concert
with the Colleges and Department heads arranged for PSA awardees in such situations to take care of
their projects and final exams early enough for the students to start the Spring term on the partner
campuses on time.
Q: What are the odds for being selected for the
various PSA options I might quality for? Since I can only apply for one, this is an important
A: It is a good question, but one that is difficult to answer for the
variables cannot be pre- determined. In general those with the strong English proficiency scores
have an edge in the selection process. GPA is a weighted factor, albeit one that is balanced by
taking into account in the cohort (i.e. major / campus) averages. The performance of the semi-
finalists in the reading and critical thinking test, the in-house essay, and the possible
interview rounds also are weighted elements.
Applying for an option that matches up with your major that may attract fewer applica- tions
will likely reduce the competition you may encounter.
Credits - Numbers
Q: If at the end of the current
academic term I will not have between 36-110 Credits, am I ineligible for
competing in the PSA Scholarship competition?
A: Yes, those students who do not have between
36-110 PSU university level credits are ineligible to compete in the PSA
Scholarship competition. If they have less than 36 credits they may enter the
competition when they meet that condition. If they have over 110 credits, they
are ineligible to compete in the PSA Program.
Q: What are the maximum number
of credits I can take at the PSU partner institution under the PSA Program? I do
not want this to slow up my progress towards my PSU degree.
A: The maximum number of credits you can enroll
for at a PSA option is 16. PSU Credits are modelled after those used in the US.
European schools use the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) and 30 ECTS a
term is the standard number per term. 30 ECTS converts to 15 PSU credits. The
number of credits in Japan and New Zealand are convertible to CRs.
There is a possibility that studying abroad may modestly slow up your progress
towards your PSU degree. One reason is that you are not allowed to take over 16
credits, whereas at PSU you can. The more likely situation is that you may find
the coursework abroad more demanding: hard deadlines, more written work, the
expectation of putting in two-plus hours of study outside of the classroom for
each hour inside the classroom.
Another item that may come into play is transfer of credit for the coursework
at the partner school. The object is for the courses the student takes abroad to
match up well enough with the classes in his major and/or other PSU required
courses. PSU senior administration and the College deans and Department chairs
have agreed to streamline the transfer of credits in flexible manner to maximize
the transfer of credits.
Q: What is the minimum number
of credits I must take if I am awarded PSA scholarship support?
The minimum number of credits you can enroll for
at a PSA option is 12. If you take fewer credits you assume the entire
responsibility for the tuition payment for your studies abroad.
Q: If I meet the 36-110
Credits and English Proficiency requirements will I receive PSA scholarship
support to go to the PSU partner university I applied for?
A: If you have met the Credits and English
Proficiency requirements, you enter the ranks of semi-finalists for the PSA
option of your choice. PSA scholarship support is granted to a maximum of two
PSU students for each option per term. The semi-finalists for all of the options
go through a series of assessments: reading and critical thinking exams,
in-house essays, and - if needed - interviews. The student who rates highest on
the respective option list merits selection for the award of PSA scholarship
Q: If I do not get a
qualifying English proficiency score for the option I chose, am I ineligible to
go on in the competition for the PSA?
A: Yes, you are ineligible.
Q: What is the difference
between iBT TOEFL and IELTS scores? Which one is better or preferred?
A: Both are good tests. Currently the IELTS is easier to schedule.
Neither one is better. US schools prefer the iBT, UK the IELTS. If the IELTS is taken, it must be
the Academic IELTS, not the General IELTS.
Q: If I was not able to schedule to take an iBT
TOEFL or IELTS exam in time to meet the deadline for turning in a complete application, am I
ineligible for competing for the PSA scholarship support.
A: Yes. At present you can register and pay for taking either the iBT
TOEFL or the IELTS in the the summer or by mid-October for Fall term. For the Spring term the
English profi- ciency scores the deadline is mid-March .
Q: When will the PSA awards be announced?
A: They will be announced on a week after the screening process is
over. Usually the announcements will be in late March and late October.
Q: Am I responsible for the costs of taking the
TOEFL or IELTS exam.
Q: I understand that my family is responsible to
cover 30% of the projected costs for various options. How much are these costs?
A: The projected costs of the respective options can be found via
links on the IAO/PSA webpages - in pdf files along with the breakdown of the what PSU is responsible
for and what expenses the family will cover. In general, PSU takes care of the tuition costs and
contributes to a portion of the living allowance projected living costs cued to the host university.
The family is responsible for covering the cost for air tickets, insurance, housing and living
In regards to air tickets, insurance and accommodations costs the family given a set allow ance for
Q: Why are not all of the costs covered by PSU?
The benefits of studying a semester abroad are great, so too are their
costs — the cost
to PSU in particular. Not only does PSU lose the scholarship funds it would receive via the
scholarship funding that stops because the PSA student has gone abroad, but in ad-dition it assumes
the burden of the costs of one semester abroad that for a many
options exceeds the cost of an academic year at PSU. In essence, it could require the in-take of the
tuitions of 3 or more PSU students for a year to cover the cost of 1 PSA stu-dent for a semester.
Assuming responsibility for 30% of the PSA cost, the PSA student lessens the burden on PSU to offer PSA scholarship support. It also gets families actively involved in the studying abroad ventures which offer great promise to enrich their children's education and open doors to greater opportunities. In view of their parents' in-vestment in them, PSA students are apt to follow through on their own responsibil-ities for their studies abroad.