Every Tar Heel can study abroad!
Students can study abroad as soon as their second semester at Carolina, up to graduation. Study abroad programs are open to all majors- including those in the STEM fields!
Study Abroad 101
Learn about the types of programs we offer, things to consider when selecting a program, how to apply, how to earn credit on your program, and funding your study abroad experience.
Study Abroad FAQs
Review important information on how decisions are made regarding program viability and other COVID-19 related considerations.
Avoid delays in your travel planning and visa applications by taking care of your passport as soon as possible. Your passport should have at least six months of validity after your intended return date, so check your expiration date!
- Tips for choosing a program & understanding program types
- Academics overview, including list of pre-approved courses
- Funding and lists of low cost programs
- Identity-based resources
- Program-specific info sessions
Navigate to the brochure page for your selected program. If applications are open, click the Apply Now button. You may only apply to one program. If you are not accepted for your first choice, your Study Abroad Advisor will work one-on-one with you to find a suitable alternative.
Once you start an application, you can return to it by logging into our site – do not click Apply Now again to access your application.
Applications are online and consist of multiple components tailored to your program. Once you start an application, you can return to it by logging into our site – do not click Apply Now again to access your application. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure your application is complete. Each application component is listed on your account page. Be sure to follow all instructions carefully, as there may be required follow-up steps. When all items are complete, please click Submit Application.
Below is a list of items required for nearly every application. Some applications require additional items not listed here. Note: Each item has more instructions on the application.
- Application Fee: This non-refundable fee is due to the Study Abroad Office by the application deadline.
- Transcript: Upload a copy of your unofficial, or official if requested, transcript from ConnectCarolina.
- Disciplinary History Questionnaire: You may complete an application to study abroad but are not permitted to participate in any program while under any pending charges or university sanctions until all requirements of your sanction/s have been satisfied. Documentation is required prior to departure.
- Short Answer Questions: Respond to short answer questions about your plans to study abroad.
- Host Institution Program Application: Many host institutions require a supplemental application, available as a download or on an external website.
The Study Abroad Office will review your application between the application Deadline and Decision Date, as posted on the program brochure page. If the program has rolling admissions, the Study Abroad Office will review your application once it is complete, then send the notification to you in a timely manner.
Most programs are not competitive, though exchange and faculty-led programs may be selective due to a limited number of spots. If you are not accepted for your first program choice, your Study Abroad Advisor will work one-on-one with you to find a suitable alternative.
You will receive a decision on your application on, or most likely before, the Decision Date designated on the program brochure page. Note, your participation in study abroad is subject to admission by the host institution as well. In most cases, this is largely a formality, but admission is not guaranteed.
Your application will have a status of “Pending” until the Study Abroad Office has processed your application and has reached a decision on the status of your application. The status of your “Pending” application will be updated to one of the following, once the Decision Date for the Program has been reached:
- Accepted: You have completed the program application, meet all program eligibility requirements, and SAO endorses your participation in the program. However, you are not yet considered a participant in the program until you have confirmed your participation by “committing” to the program and completing all required items.
- Waitlist: You have completed the program application and you meet all program eligibility requirements, but SAO is not able to consider your participation in the program unless and until another place in the program becomes available. Your Study Abroad Advisor can assist you with considering other program options and find a suitable alternative.
- Denied: You have completed the program application, but were not selected for participation in the Program.
- Withdrawn: SAO has withdrawn your application for the rogram because you did not complete the application requirements or because you clicked the “Withdraw” button next to your program application on your Applicant Home Page.
- Based on years in residence at UNC or another university, not credit hours.
- Class year is at the time of participation in the program.
- In the summer, students are considered to have moved to the next year. So, a rising sophomore in the summer is considered a Sophomore.
Students must complete the course, and earn designated minimum grade, by the start of the study abroad program.
Students who are on probation, have active sanctions or sanctions that are pending/incomplete that are adjudicated by any campus department due to an academic and/or disciplinary violation, have a pending court case involving a misdemeanor, felony, or other crime, or have a pending Honor Court case, may not be eligible to participate in a UNC Study Abroad program.
Students may complete an application to study abroad but may not be permitted to participate in any program while any state or federal court cases or Honor court cases are pending or with any active university sanctions. Students who have a pending case, state/federal or Honor Court, or active university sanctions at time of application or before departure must submit documentation prior to departure to show completion or clearance of sanctions or charges.
All students with pending cases or sanctions will be considered on a case by case basis, with consideration given to factors including but not limited to: citation type, number of citations, type of study abroad program, severity of disciplinary issue, previous infractions, etc. UNC Study Abroad reserves the right to determine program eligibility based on open university cases and/or charges, as well as active, incomplete sanctions.
Students who are withdrawn from a program for any reason or considered ineligible due to disciplinary issues or for any other reason after committing and signing a program contract are subject to the withdrawal and refund guidelines for UNC Study Abroad programs.
- Required number of semesters completed by the start of the study abroad program
- May be completed as a course at UNC, or granted as placement credit by UNC
Example: You took an SAT subject test and placed into SPAN 204 at UNC, but decided not to take the course. Therefore, you have 3 semesters of Spanish courses, through SPAN 203.
Students must have declared the major at the time of the application.
Cumulative GPA as of the semester immediately preceding the application deadline
Example: The Summer program deadline is in February. Therefore, refer to your cumulative GPA at the end of the prior Fall term.