Steps to Study Abroad

Below are some helpful steps we recommend that you take while planning and applying for a Study Abroad program. This is a recommended sequence, but not all the steps listed below have to be done in the order as listed. The Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement also has detailed information on the steps to study abroad and available programs. 

Study Abroad Checklist

  • Visit the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement website, attend various study abroad information sessions, and/or do your own research.
  • Determine the region in which you wish to study abroad and select up to two programs of study. 
  • General Studies Advising Dean:
    • Confirm transfer credit eligibility, if applying to a Columbia-approved program.
    • Receive an updated core checklist to understand if you can take any core classes abroad. If a course is not listed on the Global Core approved list, you will need to submit a petition by the appropriate deadline.
    • Discuss long-term academic plans and how studying abroad will fit into these goals.
  • The Undergraduate Global Engagement Office can help with any programmatic questions:
    • Where can you go abroad?
    • What program is the right fit for your academic goals?
    • Any application questions.
  • Major and/or Concentration: If applicable, discuss plans with your major to confirm if you can take courses abroad and have it count towards your major and/or concentration requirements.
  • Financial Aid: Confirm with Financial Aid if awards or scholarships will count towards your program. We recommend that you do this at least 3 months prior to departure. This can be done before you begin the application.
  • Begin study abroad application on the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement webpage and; if applicable, the Columbia-approved program application website.
  • Complete all relevant questionnaires found in your application (found in the online Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement application portal).
  • If applying for a summer Columbia-Approved program OR any Fall, Spring, or Academic year program, meet with General Studies Study Abroad Advisor (Dean Kate Strzalkowski) after filling out the clearance form.
    • In this meeting, discuss your academic plan with Dean Strzalkowski so you can review anticipated credit transfer to Columbia.
  • General Studies does not clear students on Columbia-Led summer program. Any program or application questions should be directed to UGE.
  • Make sure all application materials are submitted by relevant deadlines. Students who encounter any difficulty in finding their program or logging into the system should email for assistance. 
  • If you have not done so already, confirm with Financial Aid if current awards and scholarships will count towards your program.
  • Complete Course Approval Questionnaire found in the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement online portal
    • This is the only way to confirm that the courses selected will transfer back to Columbia
    • Students on Summer Columbia – Led Programs do not complete this step
  • Confirm final course selection with your major and or concentration department. Save syllabi and necessary work to confirm courses (if approved to transfer) will count towards major and/or concentration requirements.
  • If accepted, UGE will confirm the next steps that are required by your study abroad program.