Find all the information you need to start your journey abroad.
Most semester programs require the completion of at least one year of course work on the Illinois campus or one semester in the case of transfer students from off campus. Students must prove they can succeed academically in college before tackling a new environment, meaning most programs have a minimum grade point average. Some programs also have a language requirement or require students to complete certain courses before going abroad.
Because exchange programs are contractual agreements between our college and a partner university that agree to “exchange” an even number of students, there is a limit to the number of students accepted. The college looks to send students who will take the opportunity to its fullest academic and cultural extent and who will embrace the role of ambassador for the college and university. Therefore, most ACES exchange program requirements are:
- Must be enrolled as a full-time, degree-seeking student in the College of ACES at the time of participation (exchange only)
- Good Academic Standing (unless a specific GPA is specified on the application page)
Once you have selected a program using the Illinois Study Abroad Program Search, you will see an "Apply Now" button at the bottom of the program description. Much of your application can be completed online (essays, recommendation letters, contact information, etc.). Other parts of your application will need to be submitted directly to the sponsoring office (i.e. ACES, IAGE, LAS, etc.)
You will encounter three types of documents during the application process:
- Material submissions, such as an official transcript, which you submit directly to the office that sponsors your specific program. ACES programs will only accept electronic transcripts.
- Signature documents, such as the release of information form you read and "sign" online.
- Questionnaires, such as the personal essay, that you complete and submit online.
Withdrawal, Cancellation, & Dismissal Policy
Before departing, students should familiarize themselves with the policies on changing or withdrawing from their program, as well as the policies for program dismissal.
Documents, Travel, and Housing
Before leaving the country, it's a good idea to visit the U.S. Department of State website to review the tips for traveling abroad and consider enrolling in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
Passports & Visas
If you do not have a passport, you will need to acquire one immediately. Most of the information you need for obtaining a passport can be found on the U.S. State Department website. It is your responsibility to determine if a visa is needed for your study abroad program.
Learn more about passports & visas
All ACES faculty-led programs include a round-trip group flight that is included in the program fee and required as part of the program. For all other semester and summer programs, you are responsible for your own round-trip plane ticket. The host institution or provider will tell you the start and end dates, which you will need to follow when purchasing your tickets. Educate yourself on travel rules such as FAA regulations and know the layout of your connecting flight airport. Remember to ensure that you have adequate time (including customs, passport control, and security) to make connecting flights both domestically and overseas.
Every program offers different housing options depending upon the city, country, and university abroad. Some programs will set up accommodations or even require students to stay in their facilities. Other programs might ask students to set up their own housing. Your host university will contact and inform you what type of housing you will have.
Insurance and Safety
All students and faculty participating in a study abroad program are automatically enrolled in international insurance through the Illinois International Safety & Security office. The insurance fee will be posted to your student account after you commit to a program. For information on international insurance, safety and wellness tips, travel policies and emergency contact resources view the Illinois International Safety & Security website.