Frequently Asked Questions

We at Bentley are always happy to answer your questions if you contact us.  However, most often your questions will be answered in emails that we send you throughout the months before you come to Bentley or by consulting our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) listed below.  Please review them before emailing us, and thanks!

Application and Login
Academics and Course Selection
Living on Campus
Finances
Visa Information
Arrival and Departure
Other Questions

Application and Login

I hope to study at Bentley for a semester or full year.  How do I apply?

Please contact the study abroad office at your home university to determine your eligibility to participate in our exchange program.  If you meet your home institution’s criteria, a study abroad advisor will nominate you to Bentley.  After we receive your nomination, we will create your online application and send you instructions on how to submit forms, answer questions, and complete other activities in preparation for studying at Bentley.

I am having trouble logging into the BentleyAbroad system.  Am I doing something wrong?

There could be several reasons you are having trouble:

  1. You might be trying to login with your Bentley email instead of your home institution or personal email.   Be sure to use either your home institution or personal email – whichever you used when you first began your Bentley online application.
  2. Sometimes the BentleyAbroad system goes offline. In this case, please wait a little while and try to login again.
  3. Sometimes switching to a different internet browser (for example, Mozilla Firefox instead of Internet Explorer) helps.
  4. It is very easy to reset your password by following the link on the screen and having a new one sent to you via email.

I am having trouble logging into MyBentley.  Am I doing something wrong?

You might be having trouble because:

  1. You are trying to login with your home school or personal email instead of your Bentley email.  Be sure to login to MyBentley with your Bentley email and password.
  2. The MyBentley system has gone offline. In this case, please wait a little while and try to login again.

Academics and Course Selection

I’m eager to register for courses. When can I do so?

About mid-way through the semester before you arrive at Bentley, we will send you detailed course registration instructions.  These instructions will include specific dates (two to four days) during which you must register for courses in order to obtain your top choices.  Please carefully follow our instructions when you receive them.

How can I learn more about Bentley courses and obtain syllabi for the courses I’m interested in taking?

You can obtain course information in two ways:

  1. Review the Registrar’s undergraduate course descriptions.
  2. Link to Bentley Blackboard and choose Guest Access. Next, open the black Courses tab, which will provide access to most course syllabi. 

Please note that all courses are not offered every semester.  You will be able to determine whether a specific course is available once that semester’s courses are posted on the Registrar’s website. Courses are usually posted shortly before you register for classes.

How do I determine whether I have fulfilled prerequisites for a course I plan to take at Bentley?

First, link to the course description page on our Registrar’s website.  Each course description lists the prerequisites, if any exist.  To better understand the content of any course, please link to Bentley Blackboard, select Guest Access, then select the Courses tab, and search for syllabi listed in the folders displayed.  Since all courses are not offered every semester, you might need to search more than one folder to find a syllabus.  If necessary, please consult with your home university advisor after reviewing the resources described above.

Can I change courses when I arrive at Bentley?

Yes, there is an ADD/DROP period during the first week of the semester.  However, during the ADD/DROP period some classes are already fully enrolled and therefore no longer available; thus, it is best to carefully choose your courses during the course registration period.

Can I take graduate courses?

Exchange students may only enroll in undergraduate courses at Bentley.

How many courses should I take while at Bentley?

Five 3-credit courses per term are considered a full load at Bentley, and we recommend that you enroll in this number of courses.  You must enroll in a minimum of four 3-credit courses while at Bentley.  While we do not recommend doing so, you may enroll in six courses; if you choose to do so, you must wait and add the sixth course during the Add/Drop period held during the first week of each term; please note that many courses will be full and thus “closed” during the Add/Drop week, therefore you should select your highest priority courses during the online registration period.  More information about courses, credits, and academics is available on the Registrar's website.

What is Bentley’s grading scale?

Please see the Registrar’s website to view a grading scale.

How can I obtain a transcript at the end of my term at Bentley?

Bentley will mail two copies of your transcript to your home institution within a few weeks after you complete your Bentley final examinations.  If you want more “official” copies, you can complete the Transcript Request Form on the Registrar's website.

Why doesn’t Blackboard list all of my courses?

To locate an accurate list of courses in which you are enrolled, please use MyBentley.  Blackboard often provides incomplete information because faculty members might or might not choose to utilize Blackboard for course information.  

Living on Campus

I am used to apartment living at my home university and don’t know much about dorm living.  What should I expect?

At most US colleges and universities, including Bentley, dormitory living is an integral part of the student experience.  So, if you want a true US student experience, we recommend that you embrace this living style for the semester you are with us! 

For specific information about Bentley’s living options, please see the Residential Center website.

For general information about housing costs, please see our Exchange Student website.  To see academic year 2013/14 housing costs displayed for specific dormitories, please link to Residential Center Housing Rates. We will update this document to reflect 2014/15 rates as soon as updated information becomes available.

One of the forms you will complete on our BentleyAbroad system is a housing questionnaire. Reviewing the options on the above links might help you complete the questionnaire.  While we do our best to accommodate your requests, we cannot guarantee that you will receive your first choice of housing.  Again, please remember that this is part of the US student experience!

Here is some general information that might help you prepare for dorm life…

POSITIVE ASPECTS TO DORM LIFE

  • Dorm life means you’ll be close to everything you need on campus – classes, food, library, faculty offices, athletic facilities, etc.
  • Since a meal plan is included with Bentley housing, you don’t need to shop for food or cook your meals.  This can be a nice change of pace during the semester you spend with us! (Remember, a meal plan is mandatory unless you are placed in an apartment – please link to the Residential Center for more details.)
  • Dorm living makes it easy to meet people.  Hopefully, you’ll make friends, find people to eat with, collaborate creatively and academically, and share your ups and downs with roommates and hall mates.

POTENTIAL CHALLENGES IN DORM LIFE

  • You might find that all the dorm socializing makes studying challenging.  If so, consider going to the library or another quiet place. 
  • Living in a relatively small space with many different personalities can lead to understandable conflicts, but learning to resolve them is part of the student life experience.  If conflicts become difficult to resolve, residence directors and other professional residence life staff can help.

MORE DORM-LIFE ADVICE

  • Remember that your living situation while at Bentley, whether it is your first choice or not, will last for only a few months.  Try to be flexible and open-minded about your surroundings and your roommates, especially when you first arrive and might be feeling tired, homesick, and unfamiliar with your new environment.
  • Consider discussing and agreeing upon “rules” with your roommates, hall mates, or suite-mates.  Consider…How late is music played?  How often and how late is a TV left on?  Cleaning?  Visitors – daily and overnight? Sharing food and other belongings? Decorations?
  • Keep an open dialogue with your roommates and maintain respect for one another.  Remember that what seems normal to you might annoy your roommate and vice versa!

Can I store my suitcase and other belongings at Bentley before arriving on campus or after departing?

Unfortunately, Bentley is unable to accommodate storage requests for any student belongings.

Can I stay in the dorms before or after the official arrival date?

Unfortunately, you may not arrive in the dorms before your official arrival date or stay later.  If you wish to spend time in Boston before or after your exchange period, you should find a hotel or other accommodation.

Do I have to get a meal plan, and how much will it cost?

You must obtain a meal plan unless you live in an apartment. The 2014/15 meal plan fees will range from 2,620 to 2,750 USD per semester.  Click here for detailed meal plan prices for the 2013/14 academic year.  We will update this document to reflect 2014/15 academic year meal plan fees when they are available.

Do I have to purchase health insurance?

Yes, Bentley requires all international students to purchase our group insurance plan.  Health insurance costs will be 668 USD for the Fall 2014 semester, 929 USD for the Spring 2015 semester, and 1,592 USD for academic year 2014/15.  During First Week/Orientation, a professional from Bentley’s Center for Health and Wellness will speak with you about health insurance and other health-related matters.  In the meantime, you can learn more at Bentley's Center for Health and Wellness.

What should I bring with me to Bentley?

Page 10 of the Bentley International Student Guide  contains a list of the items you will need.  Please note that there will be a shopping trip during your first week on campus when you can buy such necessities. 

What is the Global Living Center?

The Global Living Center (GLC) is a residential living community that offers the opportunity to connect with peers from around the world and to learn about different cultures. Programs and events are designed to bring you together with other students to discuss international issues, learn about the world economy, and share your own diverse experiences and ideas.  The GLC, located in the Orchard North Apartments, is able to offer housing to several exchange students each semester. If you are interested in living in the Global Living Center, please indicate so in question #5 in the online housing application.

Finances

How much will it cost me to attend Bentley and how can I pay my bill?

You can find the fees you will be charged on our Exchange Student website. Please note that Bentley tuition is waived for all exchange students. You will be responsible for housing, meal plan, health insurance, activity, and technology fees.

Since final costs will vary based on your room assignment and meal plan, please do NOT pay your balance before arriving at Bentley.  Once you have been placed in your actual dorm room, Student Financial Services will generate an email to your Bentley email address notifying you that your e-bill is ready to be viewed.  The balance must be settled in full within the first two weeks of the semester. We hope that you will find the wire transfer method through our peerTransfer system easy and cost effective.  Additional information about peerTransfer and other payment options is located on the Student Financial Services website.

How much will a meal plan cost?

The 2014/15 meal plan fees will range from 2,620 to 2,750 USD per semester. Click here for detailed meal plan prices for academic year 2013/14. We will update this document to reflect 2014/15 academic year meal plan fees when they are available. You must obtain a meal plan unless you live in an apartment.

How much will health insurance cost?

Yes, Bentley requires all international students to purchase our group insurance plan.  Health insurance costs will be 668 USD for the Fall 2014 semester, 929 USD for the Spring 2015 semester, and 1,592 USD for academic year 2014/15.  During First Week/Orientation, a professional from Bentley’s Center for Health and Wellness will speak with you about health insurance and other health-related matters.  In the meantime, you can learn more at Bentley's Center for Health and Wellness.

Visa Information

How Do I Obtain a Student Visa?

During the semester before you arrive at Bentley, we will provide you with specific instructions on how to upload a copy of your passport and how to prepare and upload financial documentation to our BentleyAbroad application system.  Soon after you upload your financial documents, we will send your official Bentley acceptance package to your home institution.  The package will will include an acceptance letter, a DS-2019 form, and visa application instructions.  You will use this material to obtain your J-1 student visa at a US consulate or embassy in your home country.  Please visit our CISS website for more general international student/visa information, but note that some information on this site pertains to full-time international students at Bentley.

I hold passports from more than one country.  How should I handle this when applying for a visa?

Please choose only one country/passport and upload that passport to our BentleyAbroad system. Please see our CISS website for more general international student/visa information, but note that some information on this site pertains to full-time international students at Bentley.

I plan to travel with my student visa (J-1) in the US before my Bentley semester begins.  How soon before the semester begins can I arrive in the US?

In order to study as an exchange student for the semester at Bentley, you will obtain DS-2019 paperwork and a J-1 visa. This DS-2019 and J-1 visa allow you to arrive in the US up to one month before classes begin (NOT one month before your arrival/orientation!).  Please link to Dates and Arrival Information on our Exchange Student website for important dates regarding the semester you will attend Bentley. Please see our CISS website for more general international student/visa information, but note that some information on this site pertains to full-time international students at Bentley.

I plan to travel in the US with a tourist visa (B) before my Bentley semester begins.   Can I stay in the US, using my J-1 student visa, after traveling as a tourist beforehand?

If you are already in the US on a B tourist visa before the term begins, you must leave and re-enter the US using your J-1 student visa before your exchange periods begins.  Regardless of when you leave the US you must re-enter no earlier than 30 days before the start of classes (not the start of orientation!).  It does not matter what country you visit in order to leave and re-enter the US (Canada is fine).  You just must ensure that you re-enter the US with a valid visa status (J-1).   Please see our CISS website for more general international student/visa information, but note that some information on this site pertains to full-time international students at Bentley.

I plan to travel in the US after my Bentley semester ends.  How long can I stay in the US?

You are allowed to stay in the US for a period of one month after the end date on your DS-2019 form. Please link to our CISS website for more general international student/visa information, but note that some information on this site pertains to full-time international students at Bentley.

Arrival and Departure

When must I arrive at Bentley?

All exchange students must arrive at Bentley on the designated arrival date/in time for the start of the mandatory First Week/Orientation.   Please try to arrive during business hours (9 am - 5 pm). Please link to Dates and Arrival Information on our Exchange Student website for important dates.

When must I leave Bentley?

All exchange students must depart from Bentley’s campus at the end of the semester, after completing finals. (There is a small chance that you may leave earlier if you wish to do so; this possible option depends on your finals schedule, which is announced about one month before the end of each semester. If you want the option of departing before the final date posted for departure, please do NOT book travel before your finals schedule is announced.  Please link to Dates and Arrival Information on our Exchange Student website for important dates.

Other Questions

Where can I find more information for international students?

The Bentley International Student Guide and Bentley’s homepage provide additional useful information.  Links to “Academic Programs” and “Campus Life”on Bentley’s homepage might be particularly interesting and relevant.