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Getting Started

Steps to study abroad

  • Review your general eligibility: Each undergraduate college has different requirements with regard to study abroad eligibility. In addition, eligibility may be different depending on if you are going abroad during the fall/spring semester or during the summer session. Make sure you understand if you are able to go abroad! If you have any questions about eligibility, once you have review your colleges requirements, please get in touch with a study abroad advisor or your specific college advisor.  Please keep in mind that you also have to make sure to meet the eligibility of the study abroad program of your choice.
  • Meet with a study abroad advisor: At any point in the process, you can meet with a study abroad advisor about any questions you may have.  You MUST meet with your study abroad advisor to get permission to go abroad.  We encourage you to meet with your study abroad advisor at least two semesters before you plan to go abroad.
  • Choose a program: There are several factors at play in choosing the best program for you. To begin with you should consider what language you want to study in, what regions/countries are of interest to you, whether you want to focus on your major/concentration and explore other academic opportunities.
  • Review transfer credit policies: For students on Columbia programs, your courses and grades will look the same in SSOL as any other semester at Columbia. If you are choosing a non-Columbia program, make sure you understand how transfer credit works for your specific college.
  • Meet with your major and concentration department: Besides reviewing general transfer credit, you should speak with your major and concentration departments about how courses from abroad might apply. 
  • Make sure to review deadlines: Columbia internal deadlines for permission to go abroad are not always the same as the program application deadlines. Make sure you keep track of your deadlines and apply early. Many programs have rolling admission, and you do not want to get locked out of your favorite program because you applied too late!
  • Apply to your study abroad program: If you are applying to a Columbia-run study abroad program, all the application materials will be available through your OGP account on this website. For a non-Columbia program, you will need to start an application on the OGP website AND an application to the specific program.  In all cases, you will need to meet with your study abroad advisor for permission to go abroad.
  • Review study abroad finances: CC/SEAS students have a different financial model than GS students with regard to the way your study abroad bills are paid. In addition, summer session functions quite differently from the academic year. Make sure you understand who will pay what to whom for your study abroad program.
  • Meet with your financial aid advisor: If you have financial aid, you should work with your Columbia College, SEAS or General Studies Financial aid advisor to ensure that you understand your specific financial situation.