Get Started

Prepare to Study Abroad!

Your Cornell experience is unique, and so are your global learning goals. You may want to learn more about a place or culture, increase your language fluency, sample a different learning environment, or explore a potential career path. Education Abroad is here to help you navigate the process and find the right opportunity for you.

Cornellians Abroad: Prepare for Study Abroad at Cornell


Hear from some recent study abroad students and find out how you can get started planning for a semester abroad now.

When Should I Go?
A student runs a race on the Great Wall of China
You can study abroad almost any time!

You can go abroad during the academic year, a semester, during the summer, or even on winter break programs. All opportunities should fit into your eight-semester plan toward graduation.

FAQs Read All

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!

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.

How will my financial aid apply to study abroad?

Financial aid will apply to all approved semester and yearlong programs. The Office of Global Learning or the college or school sponsoring your program will prepare an estimated student budget based on your approved program and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid on your behalf. Financial Aid will use the cost estimates provided to repackage your aid for the semester(s) that you will be abroad.


Financial aid awards are adjusted in line with the higher or lower costs of the program. Your family and student contribution will remain the same as on campus, regardless of the estimated cost of attendance. Your federal work study is converted to a loan when you study abroad. You may choose to take this amount out as a loan or not. If you opt to decline the loan, alternative aid resources will not be available to replace that award. 

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.

back to top