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Study Abroad

Applications & Recommendations

Application Instructions

Once you have determined your academic and personal goals, researched your options, and discussed your plans with a study abroad adviser, it’s time to apply for a program using our online application system. To do so, follow these steps:

1. Click on Find a Program and select the program or exchange to which you want to apply

2. Click the “Apply Now” button

3. Enter your UW NetID and password

4. Select a term of study

5. Click on each of the links in your study abroad application associated with the various tasks to be completed: questionnaires, material submissions, electronic signature documents and recommendation requests.

Application Requirements

  • All applications require a brief statement about how you plan to finance your studies abroad and your electronic signature on several study abroad policy documents.
  • University Exchanges, UW Programs and Exploration Seminars also require a statement of purpose, two or three short answer questions and recommendations from an instructor.
  • Material submissions, including university transcripts, may also be required.
  • Most UW Approved Programs require that you submit a second application directly to the study abroad program provider in addition to the UW application. It is important to note that UW Study Abroad deadlines may be earlier than the application deadlines published by the UW approved provider.

Eligibility Requirements

To study abroad, you must be in good academic standing and meet all program-specific eligibility requirements as described in the program brochure. You must also be cleared for study abroad by  UW’s Community Standards and Student Conduct Office.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply to more than one study abroad option for the same academic term?

Yes. However, you must submit a separate application for each program unless the online system provides the option to designate a second or third choice as part of a single application. This exception applies to University Exchanges and some UW Approved Program options. You will be limited to a maximum of three program applications in a single academic term.

Can non UW students apply to programs?

If you are not a UW student, you may participate in Faculty-led “UW Programs” as a non-matriculated student. Priority for admission to Faculty-led programs is given to matriculating UW students, but you may be admitted if space is available and if you meet the qualifications for the program. You may apply to a Faculty-led program clicking “apply now” on a given program’s site.  You will then be asked to set up an account with the UW Study Abroad website. If you are accepted to the program, you will receive a UW student number, UW netID, and MyUW personal account. There is a $200 processing fee for non-matriculated students. This fee is included in the program payment contract. As a non-matriculated student, you are expected to participate in all aspects of the program.  At the end of the program, you will receive numeric grades and can request a UW transcript, regardless of your need for credit.

I am planning on graduating in spring and want to attend an Early Fall Exploration Seminar, is this possible?

If you are graduating in the spring and you would like to participate in an Exploration Seminar, there are two options:

  • You can work with your academic adviser to determine if it is possible for you to postpone graduation until December. This extension of your graduation date would be contingent on your acceptance to the program.
  • You can apply to the program as a non-matriculated student. If you are accepted to the program, you need to contact the Study Abroad Office to let us know that your status will change to non-matriculated. As a non-matriculated student, you are expected to participate in all aspects of the program. At the end of the program, you will receive numeric grades and can request a UW transcript, regardless of your need for credit.

Is there an application fee?

No. However, some UW approved providers charge application fees as part of their process or require a program deposit before confirming acceptance.

What should I include in my statement of purpose?

Your statement of purpose should be 750 to 1,000 words in length and clearly articulate your qualifications for studying and living abroad, your reasons for choosing a particular program, and the projected benefits for your course of study. Use your statement of purpose to provide information relevant to your application and share how you are a good fit for the program.

What makes a strong application?

It’s important that you demonstrate a seriousness of purpose, clear objectives, and personal interest in the courses offered by the program. You should also have a solid academic record.

Who should I ask for a recommendation?

If you apply to a program that requires a recommendation survey, ask a faculty member or instructor who can comment on your academic work and suitability for the program. It is acceptable to request a recommendation from non-UW faculty or instructors if you attended other institutions in the past or are new to the UW.

The UW Study Abroad website states that there are currently no application cycles for my program. What does this mean?

Application cycles open three to six months prior to the application deadline listed on the program website and close immediately after the application deadline has passed for a given academic term. If there are currently no open application cycles for your program, you are probably applying too early or too late.

The application deadline for my program has passed. Can I still apply?

To place yourself in the best possible position for consideration and selection to a particular program or exchange, you should meet the published deadline. However, application extensions are granted when enrollment in a particular program or exchange is low. If you wish to apply for a program or exchange after the deadline, you should contact the UW study abroad adviser responsible for that program or exchange.

My GPA falls below the program requirement. Am I ineligible?

Not necessarily. When considering your GPA, study abroad advisers and program faculty often look at GPA trends in addition to cumulative marks. If you have a couple quarters of sub-par performance that pull you below the required GPA but, otherwise, your academic record demonstrates academic consistency or steady improvement, you may still be considered. The type of coursework completed is also factored in by application reviewers.

The decision date listed on the program brochure has passed and I haven’t heard anything. Does this mean that I have not been accepted?

The decision date is the earliest date that you may receive an update about your application and participation status. Changes to your status can also be viewed on your study abroad account. If you do not receive a status update by the decision date, it means your application is still being considered.

How will I be notified whether I’ve been accepted in to a program or exchange and what happens after acceptance?

Once your application status changes, you will receive an email prompting you to log in to the study abroad site. There are three status possibilities: accepted, not accepted and waitlisted. If you are accepted to a program, you will be asked to either “commit” or “decline” the offer to participate. If you commit, a payment contract will be uploaded to your study abroad account requiring your signature. Return the contract to the UW Study Abroad Office within two weeks. Upon its receipt, you will enter the post-acceptance phase of the pre-departure process, which includes a mandatory pre-departure orientation, verification of insurance, health survey and other important steps. If you decline the offer, your application will be withdrawn and deactivated.

How do I request a recommendation survey?

There are only a small number of abroad opportunities that require an actual letter of recommendation from faculty. The vast majority of programs simply require a recommendation survey sent through the application system. Follow the instructions on the site to get the request for a survey sent to an instructor that knows your academic work well. It is acceptable to request a recommendation from a non-UW faculty or instructor if you are a new to the UW or a transfer student. It is always a good idea to attend your professor’s office hours to get to know your professors so that they can put a face to a name when requests come through.

If you feel that the instructors you’ve had just don’t understand the complexity and nuance of your particular situation, you’re welcome to use your academic adviser as long as s/he has a good understanding of your academic history. However, at least one of your recommendations must come from a faculty member, TA or instructor.