Study Abroad

Options for graduate students

Depending on learning goals, UW graduate students can participate in faculty-led programs, exchanges, international internships or independent learning.

Independent learning

Independent Learning Abroad is an option for qualified graduate and advanced undergraduate students participating in international activities that do not align with other study abroad program models. These activities include independent research, internships, practicums, clinical electives, government or department-sponsored fellowship programs (e.g. FLAS, Fulbright), participation in programs not affiliated with the UW, or employment as a TA on a UW Study Abroad Program. By enrolling in Independent Learning students maintain their UW students status and enrollment during the period of study abroad but do not pay tuition or program fees for credits earned. Instead, students pay a flat administrative fee.

Independent Learning Abroad – For credit

This option is for students who are seeking to earn UW credit for their Independent Learning Abroad. Students who choose this option are able to receive 1-30 graded credits per quarter of enrollment.

Independent Learning Abroad – Zero credit

Some students may not need credit for their Independent Learning Abroad, but still want their transcript to reflect their academic work overseas. Independent Learning Abroad – Zero Credit allows students to be enrolled in zero credits of FSTDY 555 for each quarter requested.  A grade designation of “CR” will be recorded on a student’s official transcript at the University of Washington at the end of each quarter of enrollment.

How to apply

To be considered for Independent Learning Abroad, follow these steps:

  1. Read the Standards for Approving Independent Learning and confirm that your planned activity meets these standards.
  2. Discuss your research or project proposal with your faculty adviser or academic adviser and verify eligibility to participate.
  3. Complete and submit an application for
  4. If there is a US State Department Travel Warning or Center for Disease Control Health Warning in effect for your destination country additional review will be required before permission to travel is granted. Read Travel Warnings and Waivers for more information.

Application deadlines for independent learning programs:

Early Fall/Autumn Quarter – May 15

Winter Quarter – November 1

Spring Quarter – January 31

Summer Quarter – April 15

University and departmental exchanges

Enrollment at a UW partner university for study or research provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a different academic culture, create connections with experts in your field of study, and gain access to libraries and other new sources of information to aid in your research. We encourage you to link to a university partner strong in your discipline or where the research conducted by its faculty matches your interests. To begin, discuss your objectives with your faculty adviser in your department and ask for their opinions about universities to target or if there are other UW faculty with whom you should consult; it may be that your adviser has knowledge about the reputations of particular partner university programs or colleagues at those universities  to whom you can connect. You can also meet with a UW Study Abroad Adviser to help you narrow and connect to options.

To apply for an exchange, consult UW’s list of partner institutions and submit an application through the UW Study Abroad website.

UW programs

UW offers many faculty-led study abroad programs each year. While the majority of these are focused on undergraduates, graduate students are invited to participate. Email the study abroad program director to ask if the program you are interested in can accommodate graduate credit. If it does, you can submit an application  through the UW Study Abroad website.

TA positions

If you are interested to teach abroad, connect with UW faculty leading programs study abroad. Each year, UW Faculty-led Programs hires a small number of teaching assistants to help staff programs. Contact your department to ask if it plans to run any study abroad programs. Timing your inquiry with the UW Faculty-led proposal due date (August 31 and October 31 annually) is strategic, as it is when faculty make decisions about support staff.