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Study abroad is for all Cornell students!

Study abroad can work for you—no matter your major or college. On this page, you'll find essential information for making sure your time abroad fits into your eight-semester academic plan and meets your college's policies for credit transfer.

Students posing with Quito sign

Meet with Your Advisors

Each college has a designated advisor who approves plans to study abroad. Your college advisor for study abroad helps you determine how study abroad fits with your major and college graduation requirements.

For advising on specific programs or signatures on program-based approval forms, see the Education Abroad advisor for your program or region. Visit our Get Advice page to get in touch with an Education Abroad or college advisor.

College Policies for Semester or Full-Year Study Abroad

All undergraduates studying abroad must meet these requirements:

  • Be in good academic and disciplinary standing.
  • Be able to study abroad and graduate on time.
  • Meet the program's requirements for admission.
  • Study the language of the country while abroad.

Colleges may also have additional requirements for study abroad (GPA, prior study at Cornell, rules about studying abroad in your final semester, and so on). Learn more about your college’s policies and procedures:

Can I petition to receive credit from a program that isn’t approved?

The only way students can receive Cornell academic credit for study abroad during the academic year is by participation in study abroad programs through the Office of Global Learning or through a college or school program. If you study on any program at a foreign university while on a leave of absence—even with a current institutional partner—Cornell cannot offer any administrative, health and safety, or financial aid support, nor award credit.

Cornell offers a wide range of program opportunities vetted and approved by the Office of Global Learning and International Travel Health and Safety. If you wish to attend a non-approved program, a formal petition is required to obtain Cornell's one-time recognition of the program. Petitions for non-approved study abroad programs must meet the same standards and adhere to the principles that guide study abroad at Cornell. Petitions are reviewed as exceptional opportunities that meet specific academic needs not available through existing programs. We encourage you to apply to an existing program as a back-up in case your petition is not approved. Learn more about the petition process

Will my time abroad count toward graduation?

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

Semester Abroad in Seoul, South Korea

CALS communication major Adele Williams '24 shares a day in her life at Yonsei University. Explore study abroad programs to find the perfect fit for you!

College Policies for Short-Term Study Abroad

The Office of Global Learning offers short-term study abroad programs during the winter and summer sessions. These faculty-led programs are Cornell courses with Cornell grades.

For non-Cornell programs during the summer or winter, follow your college's procedures for domestic transfer of credit. There are no special college prerequisites or requirements. Before deciding to participate in a program, review these important policies:

  • Your transcript must come from an accredited U.S. or foreign university.
  • Cornell language programs will not accept credit for language classes taken abroad at the elementary or intermediate levels, but you can take a placement test to see if you can place into a higher level. Colleges other than A&S may award elective or distributional credit for language classes taken abroad.

Regular Cornell financial aid is not available for the summer, although limited scholarships are available through Cornell and outside sources.

Can I go abroad more than once as a Cornell student?

Cornell students are required to take a certain number of classes at Cornell in order to graduate. This is called your residency requirement. After reviewing your path to graduation with your college advisor, you may find you are able to spend more than one term abroad. Many students enjoy multiple international experiences by studying abroad during the winter, spring break, or summer.

Are there gap year or post-graduate opportunities?

If you're not sure you'll be able to study abroad before you graduate, there are many opportunities for students and recent grads to gain international experiences not tied to a semester at Cornell. Cornell Career Services offers resources for recent graduates looking for an international experience, such as working or interning abroad, gap year options, graduate school abroad, fellowships, and more.

If you’re a U.S. citizen, take a look at Fulbright opportunities for undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni to study, research, and teach English abroad. You might also consider Peace Corps. Find more ideas and resources on Your Future Abroad.

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