Steps to Study Abroad

Some students learn about a program through a favorite professor. Others have been planning this experience for years. No matter what piqued your interest in an international experience we encourage you to follow the steps below to make your study abroad a reality.


Students are typically encouraged to begin planning their experience 9-12 months in advance.  

Plan to finalize your application 6 - 9 months prior to travel.  Certain programs may require more advanced planning.  

The first step to studying abroad is to attend an information session to learn about the wide variety of opportunities available.

These are presentations introducing students to the study abroad process. They are held each week when classes are in session. Students must arrive at the start of the session.

  • Wednesdays AT 11am and AT 2pm in Swift 709

Virtual Drop-In Hours are held each week when classes are in session. Students will be admitted to the Zoom room on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

  • Mondays and Thursdays from 1pm - 3pm

Unable to attend? Email to let us know. We can arrange an alternate time for you to meet with an advisor.

A large part of the program selection process may depend on your budget and finances.  It is important that you understand how much your total program costs and how you plan to cover your expenses.  In selecting a program, consider these financial variables:

  • study abroad expenses (tuition, fees, room and board, airfare, books, personal spending, etc.)
  • personal budget
  • financial aid package
  • what additional study abroad scholarships you are eligible for (UC Scholarships and External Scholarships)

Also note, many scholarships have deadlines prior to program application deadlines.  Be sure to plan ahead for any scholarships you plan to apply for.  

Unlike applying to college, you typically only need to select one study abroad program to apply to.  You should begin your application 6 - 9 months (1 - 2 semesters) in advance of when you plan to travel.  

How to Apply:

  • Find your selected program in the directory at 
  • Open an application by clicking the "Apply Now" button and logging in with your UC 6+2
  • Complete all application requirements 
  • Do not forget to click "Submit" in order for your application to be reviewed

For more specific details, review application requirements by program type.

Regardless of program type, academic credit and grades are assigned to all undergraduate programs.  You program type will determine the type of credit (UC credit or transfer credit), the grade (letter grade or Pass/Fail), and the approval/registration process.  

Faculty-Led Programs (UC Credit):  Students will enroll themselves in a specified course designed for the study abroad program.

Exchange/External (Transfer Credit):  Students will complete a transfer credit approval process and UC International will enroll students in a placeholder course while abroad.  This allows students to maintain their full-time student status at UC during their time abroad. 

Review Academic Credit Approval information for further details. 


Upon acceptance, you will need to begin preparing for your departure.  Specific details will come from your program, but all students should plan to complete the following:

  • Commit to your program.  Be sure to log back into your application after you receive your acceptance letter.  By clicking the "Commit" button you are confirming your participation in the program as well as financial responsibility for the program fees.

  • Complete pre-departure application tasks.  In addition to the option to commit you will see a number of important tasks that you should complete in a timely manner.

  • Apply for your passport and double check validity.  Your passport should be valid for six months beyond your return date. 
  • If applicable, apply for your visa. Not all students will need a visa, but you should always double check with your study abroad advisor or program director. 

  • Complete Pre-Departure Orientation in Canvas. 


Welcome back!  Now that you have been abroad, take some time to reflect on the experience.  What did you learn?  What challenged you? How did you grow? Returning from study abroad can be a confusing time, so do not be afraid to reach out to your study abroad advisor to discuss your readjustment.  We have all been there!

It may take some time for credits/grades to be finalized, but be sure to check these administrative tasks are completed. 

Consider connecting with international groups on campus or researching post-graduate opportunities abroad.