University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

First Steps

If you are interested in studying abroad, there are multiple ways to learn more about the planning process and programs available to you. Take the first step by utilizing one or more of the resources below.

Learn About the Study Abroad Process

Complete a First Steps Workshop

First Steps Workshops are offered in-person twice a week during the Fall and Spring semesters, as well as offered online via screencast recording. Complete one of these workshops to learn about what it means to study abroad and the factors to consider when selecting a program. Check the IAGE Calendar to find dates and times for the in-person workshops or watch the screencast below.

Contact an Illinois Abroad Ambassador

Contact an Illinois Abroad Ambassador, who are current Illinois students that have studied abroad and can provide information about the application process, insight into their time abroad, and advice how to make the most of your study abroad experience!

Identify Your Goals & Create a Plan

Visit the Advising & Resource Center

The Advising & Resource Center is temporarily closed to all walk-ins. If you have questions or need assistance, check our calendar for Zoom live chat hours or visit the Advising page to schedule a virtual appointment with an Education Abroad Coordinator. You can also get in touch with our office by phone (217-333-6322) or email us ( with your contact information and availability for a staff member to respond to your questions via phone or video call.

Stop by the Advising and Resource Center (112 International Studies Building) during walk-in hours and speak with a Program Assistant to have your general study abroad questions answered and receive resources to help you begin your program search. Walk-in hours can be found on the IAGE Calendar.

Meet with Your Academic Advisor

Discuss with your academic advisor how study abroad fits within your plan of study. Your academic advisor can answer questions about when to study abroad as it relates to your academic schedule and how study abroad credits will fulfill academic requirements.

Explore Your Program Options

Do an Online Program Search in My Study Abroad

All programs offered at Illinois are listed in an online platform called “My Study Abroad.” All programs, regardless of campus sponsor, can be found in My Study Abroad. Each program title begins with an acronym that designates its sponsoring unit. Programs we administer begin with the acronym "IAGE” and programs that the College Study Abroad Offices administer begins with an acronym specific to their name (e.g. ACES, BUS, LAS, etc.). Visit the Program Search page for more information.

Narrow Your Program Options

Schedule an Advising Appointment

Once you have a couple of programs of interest, make an appointment with the Education Abroad Coordinator who advises for those programs. Talk to them about the goals you have for study abroad and they can help you choose the IAGE program that will best fulfill those goals. Click the button below for more information on how to make an appointment.

Learn more about Advising

If you are interested in a college-sponsored program, you will need to consult them for information about their programs. Visit the College Study Abroad Offices page for their contact information.

Understand Your Finances

Meet with the Office of Student Financial Aid

Most financial aid packages will apply to study abroad program costs, so it is important to understand how much of your financial aid will transfer. Start by visiting our Financial Aid page.

Apply for Scholarships

There are Illinois-sponsored, donor-funded, and national scholarships available to many students. Explore the Scholarships page for more information and a comprehensive listing.