Study Abroad

Steps to Study Abroad

Overseas Programs offers over a hundred programs in more than fifty countries. Here are the steps to incorporate study abroad into your academic goals and plan at Washington University in St. Louis.


Review eligibility requirements, understand academic requirements, learn about financial procedures, and consider your program options.

Learn more about planning for your study abroad


Discuss opportunities with fellow Washington University students, visit Overseas Programs Advisors during walk-in hours, and meet with a Departmental Study Abroad Advisor about major/minor credits abroad.

Learn more about your study abroad advising resources


Once you have chosen a program, complete a Washington University Approval Application and , if applicable, a Program Admission Application. Search and apply for scholarships and funding.

Learn more about the application process


Fulfill all pre-departure requirements and learn about health and safety abroad. Research your host country and cultural norms.

Learn more about how to prepare for your study abroad

While Abroad

Go Abroad! Share your experience while on your program and remember to prepare for you return.

Learn more about resources for while you are abroad



What are the requirements to study abroad? 
The general requirements are appropriate academic purpose,  students studying abroad for a semester or year must study on a program approved for their major, minor, or area of significant academic concentration and preparation and a minimum 3.0 overall GPA. Some programs have a higher minimum GPA, and some have specific language requirements or prerequisites. Learn more about Eligibility Requirements and Academic Requirements

Does my financial assistance apply? 
If you qualify for financial aid at Washington University, you may use it to participate in a Washington University approved semester or academic year program, including an alternative program approved by petition. Financial aid does not apply to summer programs. Learn more about Study Abroad Finances.

Can I use my GI Bill education benefits while studying abroad? 
For GI Bill beneficiaries, in order to determine if VA benefits can be used while studying abroad, you will speak with your School Certifying Official at the Office of Military & Veteran Services. They can confirm whether or not program you would like to participate in meets the GI Bill requirements for study abroad programs.


Study Abroad in final semester

Can I study abroad during my final semester of enrollment at WashU?
Under some circumstances, students have chosen to spend their final semester of enrollment on a WashU-sponsored or approved study abroad program.

Will I be able to use credit from study abroad in my final semester for a major, minor, and/or distribution requirements?
Yes, normal study abroad credit transfer policies apply regardless of which semester you study abroad.  Students should carefully consult with their four-year and major/minor advisors to ensure that any specific remaining requirements can be transferred from their program/host institution.

If I only need a few classes to complete graduation requirements, can I take a lighter course load while I am studying abroad?
Regardless of how many courses you need, you will be required to take a full course load, as defined by your program or host institution.

Will I be able to graduate in Spring?
Students who chose to study abroad in their final semester will likely have to defer their degree date, particularly if they will be applying credit from the study abroad program to their degree requirements. Because of the additional time it takes to receive a program transcript and process the study abroad credit, the degree date will be deferred until Summer or, in rare cases, Fall.


If my degree date isn’t until Summer but I have a job or other opportunity that requires completion of my undergraduate studies that starts at the same time, how does that work?
Often Overseas Programs can get early confirmation that you have completed the necessary courses to complete degree requirements. In that case, the College can provide a letter to your employer verifying that you have met the requirements for the degree.


Can I speak to a past participant?
Yes, talk to our Peer Advisors or Ambassadors. You can also check out past Ambassador projects here

Who signs my study plan?
Departmental Study Abroad Advisor(s) in the department(s) from which you receive credit need to sign your study plan.


May I apply for in a program not on the approved list of programs abroad? 
Participation in an alternative program requires submission of a Petition, stating a compelling academic reason that precludes participation in a regularly offered program.


What is Study Abroad 101? 
Study Abroad 101 is required for all students studying abroad on summer, semester, or academic year Washington University approved programs, including alternative programs approved by petition. Remember to complete all Pre-Departure Requirements.

Do I need to purchase my program's required health insurance and the GeoBlue insurance? 
Many programs require that enrollment in that program's international health insurance in addition to the Washington University health insurance. Neither health insurance will be waived in such cases, resulting in dual coverage. Learn more about Health Preparation.

Can students with special needs study abroad? 
Some Washington University programs are able to provide accommodation for special needs. Please contact Overseas Programs to discuss your particular need and to identify suitable programs. If no Washington University program is suitable, an acceptable alternative may be identified. Learn more about Identity and Diversity


While Abroad

Who do I contact in case of emergency? 
In Case of Emergency follow the steps of contacting on-site authorities and Washington University Campus Police (314-935-5555), who will notify the appropriate person.

My experience in New Zealand exceeded my expectations in ways that I could have never imagined. I lived with all international students, learned a new language by taking a song and dance course called Kapa Haka, traveled all throughout New Zealand, and learned to navigate living in a new city in a whole different country almost half way across the world

―Ashley YangUniversity of Auckland with IES Abroad