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Should I study abroad?

Your time at Cornell is yours alone, and so, too, is your global learning experience. There are many reasons to go abroad. We’ve been helping students study abroad for more than 30 years—and we’ve noticed a few trends in why students choose programs abroad.

When should I go?
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You can study abroad almost any time!

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

Should I study in my major or explore something new?
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There are many program options!

Whether you are an engineering, math or Spanish major, you can find an opportunity that will fit with your academic program.

And if you want to focus on subjects beyond your major, there are many opportunities around the world to deepen your knowledge in other fields.

Intern? Research? Become fluent in another language?
Student in front of Berlin Wall
Find immersive opportunities abroad!

You can deepen your knowledge of another language or learn a new one. Make sure you can fit language classes into your schedule at Cornell if you want to study in another language at a university abroad.

Certain study abroad programs also offer both internship and research opportunities.

FAQs Read All

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!

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. 

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.  

The Office of Global Learning also has four advisors, who each manage a specific portfolio of programs by region. Which Global Learning advisor(s) you meet with depends on the program(s) you are interested in. There is a possibility you will want to meet with more than one advisor. Global Learning advisors cannot discuss specific academic requirements with you. They specialize in application and program information and pre-departure (logistical) preparations for study abroad. 

Important Financial Information
Program Costs Will Vary

Your program costs depend on the type of program, your time abroad and the level of program support provided. If you are studying on a non-Cornell program, remember to add the Cornell International Program Tuition cost.

Financial Aid Goes With You

If you study on a semester or year-long program, your estimated family contribution to Cornell does not change. Financial aid awards are adjusted to meet the cost of attendance for your approved program. Financial aid does not apply for short-term programs, although some scholarships may be available.

What type of study abroad scholarships exist?

Currently, there are several types of scholarships available for study abroad: national, program-specific, and Cornell scholarships. Eligibility and amount awarded vary by scholarship.

Up Next

Selecting a Program

Explore program options. Learn how to get college and major approval for a program, how to fit this experience into your degree, and how to transfer in summer credit.
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