Outgoing Application Process

Applying to study abroad is a student-driven process guided by professional 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. Ideally, 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 Illinois to apply to study abroad. Most applications are standard across all program types and sponsoring campus unit. For more information on common application requirements, review the sections below.

Most program applications require the submission of a valid passport photocopy. A passport is an official document issued by the national government of your home country, indicating the holders’ identity and nationality. 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 some form of personal statement or essays. Your responses should provide specific examples to address the prompt or questions you are asked. Application reviewers generally want to see a strong connection between your academic, professional, and personal goals and the program that you have chosen. Your responses will be an important consideration in the review process, so you should approach them seriously.

Many program applications require the submission of an academic recommendation, either from an academic advisor, TA, or professor. Typically, it can be requested and completed entirely online. Whomever you ask to write a letter for you, that person should know you well enough to be able to address your academic strengths and potential. Therefore, the best approach to strengthen your recommendation is to be proactive, interacting with academic staff and faculty over time so that they can get to know you.

If you are applying close to an application deadline, and are concerned about collecting your recommendations in time, please contact your Education Abroad Advisor.

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


IAGE-sponsored Programs

The application process below is for Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange (IAGE)-sponsored programs. For programs sponsored by the Colleges, please refer to their office for application instructions and support.


Steps to Apply

  1. Choose a program. Utilize the Program Search function in My Study Abroad to explore the options available.
  2. Review the costs, minimum eligibility requirements, deadlines, and application requirements for your program on the My Study Abroad program page.
  3. Create an application. Click on the “Apply Now” button on the My Study Abroad program page.
    • Upon creation of a study abroad application in My Study Abroad, all students will be billed a non-refundable $100 fee.
    • You may only apply to one IAGE-sponsored 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.
  4. Complete the requirements on your application checklist by the assigned deadline.
    • Application requirements and deadlines vary by program type and campus unit sponsoring the program. Make sure to double check requirements and deadlines with professional staff if anything is unclear.
    • There is no “submit” button for the application. Applications are marked complete internally when all requirements are checked off the list.
    • If your program requires a second application to be submitted to the host institution or provider administering the program, you will be provided instructions for completing this application process via your application checklist in My Study Abroad or your Education Abroad Coordinator.

Competitive Programs

Some programs we administer are competitive, which means we may receive more applications than the program can accommodate. When a program has been competitive 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 competitive for any given term. All applications to competitive programs will be evaluated by a selection committee using a rubric that takes into consideration the applicant’s GPA, academic recommendation, and quality of their personal essay responses. In the event a student is not accepted to their first-choice program, we will work with that student to explore their alternate program choices.


Resources & Support

Our Program Assistants and Education Abroad Coordinators are here to support you throughout the application process. If you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out. For more information about advising resources and support, visit the Advising page. If you are applying to a program sponsored by one of the Colleges or another department on campus, please contact that unit for resources and support.


What’s Next?

For our programs, it can take between two to four weeks for our professional staff to review your application and reach a final decision. Your application decision will be communicated to you via email by your assigned Education Abroad Coordinator along with an overview of your next steps. Your application status will also be updated accordingly in My Study Abroad. Upon acceptance, you will receive a Program Budget and Confirmation of Participation outlining the costs and policy associated with your program. You will have one to 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 Billing & Withdrawals page.