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Going Abroad: Getting Started

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 (see Discover Programs). 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 talk with an advisor, Global Learning Education Abroad offers a drop-in hour on weekdays when classes are in session.  

What events can I attend to learn more about global learning opportunities?

Check out the Events page on the Global Learning website to see what’s coming up! Be sure to read the event description to find out if the event will be helpful to you. 

Are there Cornell students I can talk with about study abroad opportunities?

Global Learning Education Abroad has a returned students contact list, which includes the names, contact information, and program information for other Cornell students who have studied abroad and agreed to share their experience. Additionally, our Global Learning Ambassadors are always a great resource if you have questions that you think only a Cornell peer can answer. Feel free to visit our "Get Advice" section to learn more.

Where can I find all program opportunities?

On this website, you can browse Discover Programs to learn about study abroad opportunities.

Search here for all on- and off-campus opportunities: all global learning opportunities, as well as opportunities for career development, community-engaged learning and service, fellowships and funding, research, and other special interest programs.

Where can I browse program options?

For a quick view of your opportunities abroad, you can browse the "Discover Programs" page on the Global Learning website.

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 do allow students to go abroad and earn credit that directly applies to major and minor requirements. Other departments are stricter. It is important that you talk to your faculty advisor or college advisor and find out what is and is not allowed. 

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 transfer 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’s best to plan to do it during your junior year, although it is not uncommon spend a semester abroad during the fall of your senior year. Studying abroad 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?

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 or minor? 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.  

Do I see my college advisor or a Global Learning Education Abroad advisor?

You will ultimately want to see both. It can be helpful to start the conversation about studying abroad with your college if you are concerned with how your credits will transfer back to Cornell. Your college's advisor for study abroad can answer questions you may have about college policies and academic requirements affecting you.  

If your questions are primarily concerned with learning more about a particular program or other preparations for study abroad, then you will want to touch base with a Global Learning Education Abroad advisor.  

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