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Plan & Apply

Getting Started

 




Create a profile in the HeelsAbroad Application system using your ONYEN login. Some personal data will automatically populate from ConnectCarolina. As you browse programs, click the Save button to bookmark favorite programs and return to them later. If you are a Non-UNC student, please create your own login credentials.

Watch the Study Abroad 101 video series or attend a Study Abroad 101 Information Session to learn the basics of study abroad! All 101 sessions cover the same general information such as the program offerings, application process, credit transfer, and more. 

Watch 101 Series

Check our Calendar for Upcoming 101 Sessions

Additionally, we encourage students to consider costs. Attend a Funding 101 session, or watch the Funding 101 video for a complete overview of program expenses including information on how to read the program budget sheets, financial aid eligibility and the scholarship application.

Watch Funding 101 video

Consider your study abroad goals and search for programs based on preferred term, language of instruction, country, etc.

Review eligibility requirements and check out identity-based resources to gain insights that may impact your program selection.

On each program brochure page, you will find information on the academics, housing, costs, host country culture, and more!

Save yourself the headache and apply for a new or renewal passport now! Appointments at local passport offices fill quickly during study abroad application season. 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! More information is available at the Department of State website.

First-year or new transfer student? UNC’s Center for Global Initiatives sponsors funding for first-time passports. Learn more about the Passport to Go! program.

Application Process

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.
    • Academic Recommendation: Submit a professor’s name and contact information. The system will notify them to submit a recommendation form online. Once the form is received, the recommendation will be marked as complete on your account.
    • Language Assessment For language-focused programs, imilar to the Academic Recommendation, submit your language professor’s name and contact information.
    • 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 typically 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.