Prepare to Leave

You'll Need a Visa

Most governments require students to have a student visa to study abroad. This is a very important step toward your abroad experience. Make sure you carefully follow the instructions provided by your program.

FAQs Read All

How do I enroll in my courses abroad?

The Office of Global Learning Education Abroad does not manage enrollment for your courses abroad. Pay close attention to any instructions sent to you by your host institution/program. Some programs will instruct you to pre-enroll before you arrive, while other programs may not finalize your enrollment until after you arrive.

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 is housing abroad different? What should I expect?

Housing abroad is different from typical U.S. student housing in many ways. U.S. dorm style housing is rare and most study abroad students live in apartments or with a host family. Housing abroad tends to be in older buildings than homes in the U.S. with fewer amenities. For example, most Italian homes that have washing machines will not have dryers but will have drying racks or access to a clothesline. Additionally, meal plans are typically not offered outside of the United States. The norm is for students to prepare their own food, and you will have access to a kitchen space to do this. If you choose to live with a host family, your host will often provide some meals. Students who require ADA-compliant housing should work with the Student Disabilities Office at Cornell and inform their Global Learning Education Abroad advisor or host program advisor for assistance as soon as possible.


Why consider staying with a host family while I'm abroad?

Living with a host family can be one of the most enriching ways to learn about a new culture. Host families volunteer for the opportunity and are carefully vetted by your program, which pays them for your stay. Host families are genuinely interested in sharing their home and their culture—and often their language—with visiting students.

Your host family will expect you to share some meals and conversation with them, but they understand that you are an adult and will want time to see friends and travel. In the event of irreconcilable difficulties, students can be moved to another family. Host families are typically the most highly rated housing option by students because of the close relationship students can form with their hosts.

Housing Is Program-Specific
A host mother shows off her Sevillian dress to her host daughters
Housing Options

You will find housing options listed in the information for each program. Options can range from homestays to student housing or apartments.

Two bikers bike past a historic building
Applying for Housing

Follow your program's instructions for requesting housing.

A student's dorm in Paris
Your Responsibilities

You may be responsible for arranging your own arrival and check-in. You will be held responsible for any damages that occur during your stay.

Staying Safe Abroad
A corner of Seville
Mandatory Pre-Departure Steps

Your Cornell study abroad application includes mandatory online modules about health and safety and other key topics. Your program also will provide more specific location-based information. Before you go abroad, you are responsible for familiarizing yourself with both sets of information.

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