Make a Plan

Venice at Night, Photo by Grace Soejanto

Get prepared for your time abroad.

Discuss your interests with your undergraduate academic advisor to plan for time to study abroad in your academic schedule.

Attend a First Steps Workshop offered by Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange.

Research the recommended programs or look for others on My Study Abroad

Contact an Illinois Abroad ambassador—a current student who has studied abroad—to get personal insights and information about particular cultures or programs.

Read about the outgoing application process.

Review the resources and information on the campus study abroad website.

If you still have questions after meeting with your advisor and reviewing these resources, contact FAA International Programs at

Course Approvals

You must obtain prior approval for all courses taken abroad from the appropriate Study Abroad Course (299) advisor, and it's your responsibility to follow the instructions and fulfill all requirements. Familiarize yourself with the course approval process during your planning.

FAA 299 is used as placeholder course registration, which you agree to as part of your study abroad application online. The Office of the Registrar will register you in FAA 299 for study abroad as a full-time student, but to receive financial aid you need to complete and transfer at least 12 hours of credit abroad back to Illinois for fall and spring semesters and at least 6 hours of credit for summer term. You can check institutional credit equivalencies to determine your credit hours. MAP Grant recipients need to log in to Illinois Self-Service to change the placeholder hours from 12 credit hours to 15 credit hours to ensure that they are registered for a minimum of 15 hours of FAA 299 placeholder credit for fall and spring semesters.

You may enroll in online Illinois courses during a fall or spring term abroad, provided your enrolled Illinois credit does not total more than 18 hours. Online Illinois courses do not need to be included on the course approval form.

LAS 291/292 is a study abroad orientation course that students are required to take when studying abroad for the fall, spring, or summer term. Exceptions to this requirement are faculty-led, short-term programs and the Architecture in Barcelona-El Vallès program.


When planning for your study abroad experience, consider both the billable (Illinois and program fees) and nonbillable (estimated living expenses) costs associated with your program. Be sure to review information from the Office of Student Financial Aid on how these costs may be covered through your aid package.

Exchange programs tend to be the most affordable semester-long options. FAA students can use the program search to identify these. If you are looking at a program page in My Study Abroad, click the Costs tab to see details on what you will be charged.

Online Illinois courses taken while abroad in the fall or spring semester do not constitute additional charges for students enrolled in full-time Illinois FAA 299 placeholder credit.

All students should submit the brief application for the I4I and IIP scholarships at the same time as the application to study abroad.

The Gilman Scholarship is open to any U.S. citizen who either has a Pell Grant or can provide proof that they will receive one during the term of their study abroad program or internship. This award is for up to $5,000.

Many other scholarships are available, including those for students with physical or sensory disabilities or those traveling to specific countries.