Freshman — what you should know about studying abroad

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Wanting to study abroad?   We hope so.

For those of you joining the KU family soon, we wanted to give you an overview of study abroad and how to get started.

General Info
The University of Kansas has one of the strongest study abroad programs in the region, with roughly 1 in every 4 undergraduate students studying abroad. We have over 100 programs in over 70 countries, allowing you the option to personalize a program that will work best for you.

As soon as you have one semester in here at KU, you are eligible to study abroad. Some of our programs have language requirements, but most solely require a minimum 2.5 GPA. Students are free to study courses for their major, general education courses, as well as language courses.

Program Types
Offering a variety of program durations to meet best with your individual schedules, we have four main program types.

1- Faculty-Led:
 not surprisingly, these programs are overseen by KU faculty members. Ranging from two to ten weeks in length, these programs are generally shorter term (meaning over the summer, winter, or spring break sessions). As a group, you will travel on various excursions, studying a specific topic. These programs are great for students who haven’t been abroad before, as it is convenient to have a mentor with you throughout the trip.

2- Direct Enroll/Exchange: we have agreements with numerous universities around the globe, allowing us to send students there to study for a summer, semester, or full year. A lot of our universities have courses taught in English, and a large part of their course catalog is open to students to study a variety of topics. These programs generally allow for a bit more independence on the students end, as they may not be studying with a group of solely KU students.

3- Internships: taking place for eight weeks over the summer, our internship options are offered in Dublin, Madrid, London, Sydney, and Shanghai. These are open to all majors, as students are paired to work with a company that meets their major specifications. Students will work Monday through Thursday, having three day weekends to travel. Additionally, the only city that has a language requirement is Madrid, and the rest are entirely English-speaking.

4- Student Initiated Programs: KU students may participate in international study, internship, or research abroad programs sponsored by other accredited U.S. universities, accredited foreign institutions, or third-party program providers.  Students participating in a SIP remain enrolled at KU during the study abroad program and receive KU resident credit and grades for the coursework that they complete abroad.  SIPs provide for a broader range of destinations and disciplines and can provide unique program components as students desire.

Financial Aid
Paying for a study abroad trip is often a big source of questions for us, and rightfully so. Studying abroad does have a significant cost element to it, and the Office of Study Abroad offers up resources to help you best prepare.

1- Scholarships: We offer OSA scholarships that are open to anyone who is studying abroad, as well as various other specialized scholarships based on major of study, country of study, etc. Additionally, we urge students to look into departmental study abroad scholarship options, as those are beneficial as well.

2- Financial Aid: on top of informational handouts for students needing to apply for aid, we have two financial aid representatives within our office that are free for walk-in appointments. They can answer your questions about finances, scholarships, and can give you advice based on your specific financial situation.

Our website,, is a great reference for financial aid information as well, and our scholarship handbook is located here

Where to Start
With us! Our office is located in 105 Lippincott Hall, and we are open for walk-in advising from Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. Peer Advisors are on-hand to answer general questions as well as to find programs that will suit your preferences. From there, when you decide which of the options you want to pursue, we schedule you an appointment with one of our coordinators who help you get started on the application process.

Also, feel free to e-mail us at with any additional questions or concerns.

So stop by whenever you want to get started — We’re ready when you are!

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