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Advising Students On Going Abroad

Why study abroad?

Studying abroad prepares students for today's global world by adding value to their education, allowing them to earn credit abroad, enhancing employability, improving intercultural competence, heightening intercultural communication skills, and giving students access to new information, technologies, and skills. The University of Illinois' Strategic Plan guides our thinking about how we engage the world and take students to it. The plan asserts that "college is a critical time to ensure an educational experience that prepares students for lives of impact and leadership in an increasingly diverse, globalized world." To do so, we must "address critical societal needs through the transfer and application of knowledge." As we strive to develop into the nation's preeminent public research university, we believe we have a responsibility to introduce students to the world, ensuring that our students have opportunities to learn about any region of the world, especially as it informs their academic and professional goals.

There are numerous opportunities for students to engage in international study at the University of Illinois including research abroad, courses abroad, travel abroad with Registered Student Organizations, faculty-led study tours, and participation in one of more than 350 approved study abroad programs in over 60 countries.

Applying to study abroad online

Students may apply to study abroad through the online application system. Part of the application process is requesting one to two recommendations from faculty members. Therefore, you may receive an e-mail asking you to log in and fill out a recommendation for a student. If you have questions, please write

Approved Study Abroad Programs

The University of Illinois has a list of nearly more than 350 approved programs, in over 60 countries. Students can search online for the program that best fits their needs based on a variety of factors. By clicking on a specific program title, students can begin to learn about that program and who to contact for more information. All students participating will follow the guidelines and procedures regarding international credit transfer. Students are encouraged to attend a First Steps meeting as they begin the process of identifying which program best meets their needs.

Non-approved Study Abroad Programs

A non-approved program is one that is not sponsored by, affiliated with, or already approved by the University of Illinois. Students are encouraged to first consider participating in an approved program. However, if they have a particular need that is not met by an approved program, they may petition the Study Abroad Office (SAO) for review of an alternative program. Please advise students to review the First Steps video. Then they may make an appointment to see a study abroad advisor to discuss their potential program and receive a form to petition for approval.

Independent Student/Group Activity Abroad

All students and student groups engaging in university-related independent activity abroad, including college-sponsored research or internships, must register information regarding their international activity with the Study Abroad Office in order to receive CISI International Health Insurance.

Pre-departure Orientation

All students engaging in University-related activity abroad are required to attend a Health and Safety Pre-departure Orientation during the semester immediately preceding the term in which they will be abroad. It is also recommended that students receive location-specific cultural information.

Health and Safety Abroad

Student safety and well-being is the University's top priority for study abroad. We continually monitor news from public media, the U.S. government, and our partners abroad for up-to-date, accurate information. We also work with students so they learn strategies for maximizing their own safety. To that end, all students must attend a Health and Safety Pre-departure Orientation. Also, you may refer to the Health and Safety resources to access specific topics. Special review is required for activities in countries under a U.S. Department of State "Travel Warning."

Financial Considerations and Fees

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a wide range of programs, each varying in cost and duration. Refer students to the Program Costs and Dates for estimates on programs administered through the Campus Study Abroad Office during the past academic year. For costs and dates of programs sponsored in the colleges, please have students visit the program description online, where they can click to a specific budget.


For information on scholarships, please see our Scholarships section.

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