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Study Abroad Application Process

Applying to study abroad is a student-driven process supported by study abroad staff. We expect you to take responsibility for the application process by asking questions along the way and adhering to important deadlines.

Before You Apply

Planning ahead is key to facilitating a smooth study abroad experience. You should begin planning for study abroad at least one year prior to the program start date. If you are just getting started, you should review our list of recommended First Steps.

General Requirements

At minimum, you must be enrolled as a full-time student with good academic standing at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to apply to study abroad. Most applications are standard across all program types and administering study abroad office. For more information on common application requirements, review the sections below.

Most program applications require the submission of a valid passport photocopy or receipt of a newly purchased passport. If you do not have a valid passport, you should apply for one as soon as possible, even if you are in the early planning stages for study abroad. Learn more about how to apply for a passport.

Most program applications require the submission of an academic transcript. This transcript should include your grades from the previous semester. The Office of the Registrar will issue official transcripts of a student's academic record, including courses, grades, GPA, and degree upon request of the student. Learn more about how to order an academic transcript.

Many program applications require the submission of a personal statement or short essay. Your responses should provide specific examples to address each prompt. Application reviewers want to see evidence that you have researched your host city/country and program, and that your program selection has a strong connection between your academic, professional, and/or personal goals.

You will be required to complete a disciplinary action questionnaire in My Study Abroad as part of the application process.

Some program applications require the submission of an academic recommendation, either from an academic advisor, TA, or professor. Your recommender should know you well enough to be able to address your academic strengths and potential. Be proactive about asking for a recommendation early in the application process to allow the recommender time to fill out the online form.

Steps to Apply

  1. Once you have chosen a program, click on the “Apply Now” button on the My Study Abroad program page.
  2. Complete the requirements on your application checklist by the assigned deadline.
    • Application requirements and deadlines may vary. Contact the program's advisor if anything is unclear. Required components will appear in a list on your application homepage. When completed, check marks will appear next to each component.
    • You can only apply to one program per term. You will be asked to provide a second and third-choice program option in the event that you are not accepted to your first choice.
  3. Upon completion of all application components, the "Submit Your Application" button will allow you to submit your application for review. All students submitting an application will be billed a non-refundable $25 fee.
    • Many programs will require a second application be submitted to the host institution. You will be provided instructions for completing this application via your application checklist in My Study Abroad or you will be prompted by your program's advisor.

Selective Programs

Some programs are selective, which means we may receive more applications than the program can accommodate. When a program has been selective over multiple application cycles, it will be noted on the program page in My Study Abroad. Otherwise, students will be notified directly if we foresee that a program will be selective for any given term. In the event a student is not accepted to their first-choice program, study abroad staff will work with that student to explore their alternate program choices.

What’s Next?

Your acceptance into the program will be communicated to you via email one week after the application deadline. Your application status will be updated to “accepted” in My Study Abroad. This designation means that you have been accepted by the study abroad office and nominated to study abroad at your host institution. You will receive a Program Budget and Confirmation of Participation outlining the costs and policy associated with your program. Your study abroad advisor will also send an overview of your next steps, which may include a second application from your host institution. Final acceptance to study abroad is not guaranteed until you have been accepted by your host institution.

You will have two weeks to decide whether or not you will commit to your study abroad program. If you cancel your participation after committing to your program, you will be held responsible for a withdrawal fee. Review our withdrawal policy on the Policies & Program Withdrawals page.