Table of Contents

Program Options
Applying to Study Abroad
Earning Credit Abroad
Language Requirements
Paying for Study Abroad
Living Abroad

What types of study abroad programs are offered at CSUCI?

Students have four options for studying abroad: (1) CSUIP programs for the year or semester, (2) Bilateral Exchange programs for the year or semester, (3) short-term programs during the summer and winter intersession, and (4) faculty-led study abroad programs, known as UNIV 392, coordinated by the Center for International Affairs.

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What is the difference between CSUIP and Bilateral Exchange programs?

  • The California State University International Programs, or CSUIP, consist of the systemwide study programs coordinated by the Chancellor’s Office. CSUIP programs are available to all CSU students. CSUIP programs and locations.
  • Bilateral Exchange programs are study abroad programs that exist with designated global partners and available only to CSUCI students. CSUCI not only sends students to globally renowned institutions, but we receive their students in a semester or yearlong exchange agreement. Click here to view Bilateral Exchange Programs.

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Where do I start?

Decide on your priorities. Consider the following:
  • Location: Are you wanting to study in a particular area of the world? Are you wanting a big city feel or a more rural vibe?
  • Area of Study: Are you wanting to pick up courses toward your major or minor, or are you more interested in getting GE credit? Are their specialty courses offered abroad that you may not be able to access at CSUCI?
  • Length: How long do you want to study abroad (year, semester, or something more short-term)? In general, the longer the program, the more immersive the experience.
  • Budget: Do you have a budget in mind? How does the cost of living of your desired program compare to CSUCI?
  • Language: Are you wanting to learn a new language, study in English, or take courses in a local language, like Spanish?
  • Eligibility: Do you meet the eligibility requirements of your top choice program (GPA, language requirements, class standing, etc.)? Are you a competitive applicant for your chosen program (the Study Abroad Advisor can also help guide you to best fit programs)?
  • Other: Would you be interested in an internship or community service abroad? Are you looking for more independence abroad (ex: you are okay traveling on your own) or would you prefer a more structured experience?

All of these questions can help you narrow down your top 2-3 options. Once you have your top options, make an appointment with a Study Abroad Advisor Appointments to help you get started, or simply start your application.

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When should I begin researching study abroad programs?

We recommend planning at least a year in advance, however, the sooner you can plan the better. Applications are typically due approximately 6 months (or more) prior to the program start date.

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When is the best time to study abroad?

It depends on the type of program and the type of credit you are trying to earn. Generally, your sophomore or junior year may be the most ideal time to study abroad due to the flexibility of course offerings.

Studying abroad your senior year is possible (about one third of our students do it!), however students studying abroad their senior year cannot graduate until approximately 6 months after their scheduled program end date. Make sure to plan for that possibility if you will be abroad your last semester at CSUCI.

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How do I apply?

Applications are easy and free, however the type of application you will submit depends on the type of program in which you are applying.

  • For CSUIP programs, click on the “Apply Now” button found on the program page of your top choice program. The CSUIP system will prompt you to create a student account.
  • For Bilateral Exchange programs, click here to view the application instructions.

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Is the applicant process competitive?

It depends on the program. Programs have varying number of spots available to students each year. Additionally, some programs receive more applicants than others, depending on the cycle. In order to increase your chances of acceptance to your top choice program, we encourage students to maintain a competitive GPA and to focus on the quality of the application essays. The Writing and Multiliteracy Center is a great resource for reviewing your draft essays.

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Will I remain a CSUCI student during my study abroad experience?

Yes. As long as you study abroad through a CSUCI-approved program, you will remain a CSUCI student throughout your abroad experience. You will retain access to your myCI student account, and will have a placeholder on your account indicating you are currently abroad.

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I am accepted to the CSUCI Study Abroad program. Should I register for courses at CI for next semester?

Continue to register for classes as you would normally would otherwise. Upon receiving an acceptance from your host institution, you will instructed to drop all of your classes. Before going abroad, you will be placed in a 15-unit course placeholder to indicate you are abroad during this time.

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Will I get course credit for my study abroad experience?

All credit earned abroad through a CSUCI-approved program (CSUIP and Bilateral Exchange Partners) will come back as resident credit. Any grades abroad will also count toward your GPA.

Prior to departure, you must meet your CSUCI Major Advisor to discuss the major or minor courses you plan on taking abroad and secure your advisor’s signature on the Academic Planning Form. This signature is key to ensuring the courses you take abroad count toward your degree. You can also choose to add a minor through study abroad!

If you would like to take courses abroad to earn GE or UDGE credit, you should make an appointment with Academic Advising to review selected courses for alignment.

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How many credits will I earn abroad?

Students studying abroad through CSUIP or a Bilateral Exchange partner for a semester or a year are required to take a minimum of 15 CSU units each semester during their time abroad.

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How do I find the classes offered abroad?

The program page will either have a link to the courses abroad, or in the case of CSUIP, a link to the Academic Bulletin which shows where you can find that information. If you are having trouble locating the course list for your program, please email the Study Abroad Advisor.

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Is it possible to graduate on time if I study abroad?

You can absolutely still graduate on time if you study abroad! Planning alongside your Major Advisor and Academic Advising and selecting a program that best fits your academic needs can help you stay on track for graduation.

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Do I have to speak the language of the host country to study abroad?

Not necessarily. There are a lot of countries where courses and programs are completely taught in English and may not require any language prerequisites to apply. We still encourage you to brush up on your basic language skills before arriving in your host country.

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What are my options if I want to learn a new language or if I want to take courses in the local language?

There are several Language and Culture programs where the goal of the program is for you to achieve language fluency and learn more about your host culture. Language and Culture programs can be found in France, Germany, Spain, and China.

If you are already fluent in a second language (ex: Spanish, French, German, Mandarin), there are several programs that allow you to take courses in that language. Applicants must have either 4+ semester of college-level language or native fluency to qualify for those programs.

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How much does it cost to study abroad?

Each program is different, however a large number of countries have a cost of living equal to or cheaper than that of CSUCI. Through CSUIP and Bilateral Exchange programs, tuition is exactly the same as that of CSUCI. Paying for Study Abroad” FAQs.

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Can I use financial aid to pay for study abroad?

Through a CSUCI-approved program, all forms of financial aid can be applied to your time abroad, except for Federal Work Study. Make an appointment with the Financial Aid Office to discuss how your aid may be applied to your program.

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How does housing work abroad?

Each program is different, and housing options are mapped out on each program page. Housing options include local apartments, on campus housing, or homestays, but options vary by program. Either CSUIP or the international office at your host campus will provide resources to help you locate and secure housing abroad.

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How will I get around abroad?

Abroad locations are carefully selected to ensure all students have access to public transportation, eliminating the need for a car abroad. Other aspects of studying abroad (banking abroad, using your cell phone, health and safety) will all be covered in mandatory predeparture orientation.

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Will I need to visa to study abroad?

Visas depend on the country and the length of study. Resources will be given to accepted students to help them get started on the visa process.

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