Getting Started

When do study abroad applications open?

Typically, applications for spring semester abroad open in December and applications for fall/year abroad open in September. The global pandemic has delayed the usual schedule. Applications for fall/year 2022 will open in November. Explore approved programs in Discover Programs. Cornell's decision to offer programming is subject to change based on health, safety, and travel assessments. Find out how Cornell supports international travel health and safety

I want to go abroad. How do I start the process?

Most students start the process in one of two ways: talking with a college advisor about academic requirements and planning, or browsing program options. You can also attend events, like the International Fair, information sessions, and student panels, hosted by Global Learning and your college. If you’d like to connect with an Education Abroad advisor in the Office of Global Learning, please visit our Get Advice page.

Can I get major/minor credit abroad?

It is important to understand how study abroad fits within your major or minor. Many departments on campus allow students to go abroad and earn credit that directly applies to major and minor requirements. Other departments are more restrictive. Review our Academics page and talk to your faculty advisor or college advisor and find out what is and is not allowed.  Additionally, the Office of Global Learning’s study abroad application requires a course approval process that guides you through the steps involved in getting credit approved to return.  Many students who study abroad are able to complete both language minors and area studies minors. Cornell students of any major and college are eligible to declare a minor in a region of interest through one of the Area Studies programs at Cornell.

Will my time abroad count toward graduation?

Yes, it will. While Global Learning cannot confirm exactly how your credits earned abroad will be applied to specific graduate requirements for your major, we do know that, at the very least, credits earned abroad can return back to Cornell as elective credit that you can use toward general graduation requirements.

When do students study abroad?

If you want to spend a semester or academic year abroad, it is most common for students to do this during junior year, although spending a semester abroad during the fall of senior year is becoming more common. Studying abroad for a semester or academic year as a sophomore or during the semester you are scheduled to graduate is generally not approved. If you wish to go on a short-term or summer program, there are opportunities during any year you are actively enrolled at Cornell. If you plan well, you may even be able to study abroad more than once while at Cornell!

Who are my advisors and what do they do?

If you are going abroad on a Global Learning program, the Education Abroad advising team is involved in each stage of the process. The advisors can offer advice to help you choose a program, and guide you through the application and admissions process. Once you are accepted, the advisors can help you prepare for your departure with guidance on the visa application process and health and safety, and answer questions you have as you prepare to leave.


In addition to Global Learning, your college advisor is a key contact for you as you plan to study abroad. Every college has specific academic policies and requirements, and it is important that you understand what they are. For example, are you required to enroll in a certain number of credits while you are abroad? Can you earn credit toward your major? Can you transfer distribution requirements? Are there specific language or area studies requirements for study abroad? You can schedule an appointment or email with your college advisor to ask these types of questions.


Visit our Get Advice page for information on how to get in touch with an advisor.

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