Study Abroad

Getting Started

Over 2,300 UW Students study abroad every year. Studying abroad can be a daunting process for many students but it will also be one of the most memorable, rewarding parts of your Husky Experience. Below you can learn more about why other students have studied abroad and how they made it happen. Be sure to connect with our UW Study Abroad office – we are available to help answer your questions and provide additional support throughout your study abroad experience.

Step 1: Get Inspired

 

Need more inspiration? We have Study Abroad Events throughout the year and provide updates on InstagramFacebook and Twitter to keep you in the loop.

Step 2: Learn More

Online Guides

We have created two online guides to help get you started with the study abroad process: Study Abroad 101 and an introduction Financial Planning for study abroad. You can start the courses and return to them at anytime.

The information below will also help address common study abroad questions and provide next steps for you to take.

Reasons to Study Abroad

  • Earn Meaningful Academic Credit
    • You will work with UW Study Abroad and your academic advisor to figure out how your study abroad program will fit in with your academic plan and keep you on track for graduation. Reference our information on earning credit abroad to learn more about credits and grades.
  •  Wide Program Availability & Flexibility
    • With over 500 programs in 75 countries there are options for every student. We have programs that take place anywhere from 10 days to a full year to work with the time commitments of many UW students.
  •  It’s Affordable
    • Don’t let cost stand in the way of studying abroad. Most forms of financial aid travel with you and additional scholarships are available. Our advisers can help explain what it costs to study on various programs and how financial aid and scholarships work.
  • Launch Your Future
  • Travel & Explore – The Time is Now!
    • Studying abroad will expand your understanding of the world and yourself. You will become more self-reliant and resourceful, make new friends, learn about your heritage or gain new perspectives on your identity, and delve into the local culture. What are you waiting for?

Study Abroad Myths - Busted!

  1. I won’t graduate on time.
    • You will work with UW Study Abroad and your academic advisor to figure out how your study abroad program will fit in with your academic plan and keep you on track for graduation.
    • Students can earn major, minor, Areas of Knowledge and even Writing credit on study abroad programs.
    • You can also study abroad any time during your UW career (Freshman through Senior year) and programs take place during the academic year, summer and breaks in between quarters (i.e. Early Fall or Spring Break), to provide flexibility to students.
  2. I can’t afford it.
    • Most forms of financial aid travel with you and additional scholarships are available.
    • When you study abroad you do not pay tuition; instead you will pay a program or exchange fee.
    • Reference our Budgeting and Fundraising Tips page to learn more about how to plan out your payments for study abroad, resources to help you pay for your expenses, creative fundraising ideas and additional support that is available.
  3. It’s not for students like me.
    • We have over 500 program options in 75 countries. There are study abroad programs that work for students from all different majors, financial situations, professional interests/goals and backgrounds.
    • Read about students’ experiences on our our UW Study Abroad Blog.
    • If you have concerns about navigating your identity abroad, reach out to our Study Abroad staff and also check out our information on Identity Abroad.
    • We also have information for Parents and Family, if your family has concerns about you going abroad and they can contact our office with follow up questions.
  4. It’s too competitive.
    • We have 500 programs so there are a lot of options for going abroad.
    • Programs vary in their competitiveness. We encourage students to apply for more than one program (you may apply up to 3 in the same term), especially during popular study abroad times like Summer and Early Fall so that you have a back-up plan.
    • In your application essays and interview it is important that you clearly articulate your reasons for choosing a particular program, your personal interest in the courses offered, the projected benefits for you personally and academically at the UW and beyond, and share how you are a good fit for the program.
  5. The application is too complicated.
    • Most applications consist of 4 short answer questions, 1 recommendation survey from an instructor (not a full recommendation letter) and your electronic signature on several study abroad policy documents.
    • If you have any questions about the application, your eligibility, or need some extra help navigating the application process, contact our office.
  6. It won’t help me in the future.
    • Study abroad enhances your graduate school and career opportunities. Learn more about the career value of study abroad and use the Career Plan Worksheet to help you link your study abroad experience to future career goals.
    • Study abroad also provides you time for reflection and the opportunity to gain perspective on what you might want to do in the future, along with self-reliance, adaptability and independence, which are important for any job.
  7. I’ll travel abroad after graduation.
    • It is much harder to take time off to travel once you have started a job, have limited vacation and are paying back loans.
    • Studying abroad during college provides you with a program structure and academic purpose and you can utilize financial aid and scholarships to fund the experience.
    • Many college graduates say that one of their biggest regrets was not studying abroad. Don’t miss out!
  8. It’s safer to stay in the U.S.
    • Most risks faced by students around the world are similar to those in the U.S.
    • The UW takes students safety abroad very seriously. The UW Global Travel Security Management Team oversees the moderation of that risk and determines when we need to be involved in incidents that occur abroad.
    • All students are student is required to enroll in the UW Student Abroad Insurance Plan. This plan is a comprehensive, international medical and emergency evacuation insurance designed to meet the specific needs of study abroad students.
    • For more information about student safety abroad.

Costs, Financial Aid & Scholarships

Don’t let cost stand in the way of studying abroad. Most forms of financial aid travel with you and additional scholarships are available. Our advisers can help explain what it costs to study on various programs and how financial aid and scholarships work. Reference our Budgeting and Fundraising Tips page to learn more about how to plan out your payments for study abroad, resources to help you pay for your expenses, creative fundraising ideas and additional support that is available.

Action Items:

International Travel Basics

International travel can be both exciting and challenging. There is a lot of information to take in so we have highlighted some areas below that often help student travelers.

Action Items:

Advice from Past Students

Previous study abroad participants can offer some of the best advice on what it is like to study abroad and how to navigate the process. Reading through stories, dreaming of your own adventure through photos and taking advantage of resources that are available to help will make you feel much more inspired and prepared for your own study abroad experience.

Action Items:


Step 3: Find Your Program & Apply

Choose the Best Program for You

The best fit program for you is very personal. You will want to consider things like your academics, finances, personal commitments and goals, location interests, independence level and the type of experience you would like abroad. Some students will pick a program related to their major and others will choose to explore a new subject area to expand their knowledge and broaden their experiences (often for elective or Areas of Knowledge credit).

Action Items: 

  • Meet with a Study Abroad Adviser
  • Attend a Financial Planning Workshop
  • Meet with an Academic Adviser within your major (or general academic adviser if you are undeclared).  Some questions to discuss with your academic adviser:
    • Are there academic terms that will work particularly well – or not at all – for my experience abroad?
    • Which courses should I take while abroad?
    • How will courses completed abroad apply to my degree requirements?
    • Are there specific degree requirements that I cannot fulfill abroad?
  • Consider your career goals by using this Career Plan Worksheet

Search for a Program

On our website you can search by different program parameters, including location, term, focus (major) and program type. If you have trouble narrowing down the program options, visit our office for advising.

Action Items: 

Apply

You will apply online for your program of choice (you can apply to up to 3 programs in a term). If you have questions about the application process, reference our Applications and Recommendations page.

Action Items: 

  • Click the “Apply Now” button in the online program brochure
  • Complete the application requirements:
    • Most applications consist of 3 short answer questions, 1 recommendation survey from an instructor (not a full recommendation letter) and your electronic signature on several study abroad policy documents.
  • Contact our office if you have questions