Photo of Venice by Grace Soejanto

Many formal programs in the college send students across the planet, but you should never feel constrained. Other possibilities around campus are waiting for you—or generate your own ideas for traveling and learning. Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange is a starting point for resources and ideas to broaden your view. Plan early, talk to an advisor, explore programs, and see what can happen.

Why Should You Study Abroad?

Academic Benefits

  • Earn Illinois credit
  • Gain new perspectives
  • Enroll in unique courses

Professional Benefits

  • Strengthen cross-cultural communication skills
  • Engage in global networking
  • Build work experience

Personal Benefits

  • Increase cultural awareness
  • Achieve independence
  • Work toward goals
  • Make new friends
  • Experience lifelong impact
Recommended Programs

Architecture

Architecture majors: note that the Barcelona–El Vallès international immersion is coordinated independently, so the general information here about studying abroad may not be relevant. Research the program before you apply.

Art and Design

Dance

Landscape Architecture

Music

Sustainable Design

Theatre

Urban and Regional Planning

Make a Plan
Course Approvals

Familiarize yourself with the course approval process. You must obtain prior approval for all courses taken abroad, and it is your responsibility to follow the instructions and fulfill all requirements. Online U of I courses you may take while abroad (up to 6 credit hours) do not need to be included on the course approval form.

Finances

Consider both the billed costs and the nonbillable costs associated with traveling and studying abroad when making plans. If you receive financial aid, billed costs are billed to your student account. Be sure to review information from the Office of Student Financial Aid on how those charges are covered through your aid package, or consult the overview of program costs from Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange before you apply for a program.

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.

Students who enroll in up to 6 hours of online U of I courses for the fall or spring semester they are abroad are not charged additional tuition. You are enrolled in 12 hours of abroad credit as a placeholder, which enables you to register for up to 6 additional hours at the U of I.

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.

FAA Student Stories from Abroad

Would you like to connect with students who have returned from abroad?

Judith C.

Industrial Design

IAGE Provider: DIS Copenhagen

Copenhagen, Denmark

 

I chose Copenhagen because I have always been interested in Danish design and architecture, and the city and course were recommended to me by multiple people. I was also excited to spend the summer there because of the long sunny days that come from being that far north. 

I was enrolled in the interior architecture course, and it was an amazing experience. Being in a city known for its interior structures and design and being able to experience things we were learning about firsthand was life changing. I got to walk through buildings and see designs that I have been studying and admiring for years. My instructors were also well known in the design world, so working under people who are well respected and incredibly knowledgeable brought a newfound motivation to my life.

Being in Copenhagen in the summer meant that we were constantly outside. We swam in the ocean everyday between studios and could ride around. While Copenhagen is large, it feels small when you can bike place to place so easily. There are always public and free concerts and events, and people are constantly eating in parks and spending time together around the city.

Amber S.

Landscape Architecture

IAGE Exchange: University of Sheffield

Sheffield, England

 

One of my biggest goals and motivations prior to going abroad was to introduce diversity within landscape architecture. This was important to me because not only are the demographics for African Americans very low within my field in general, even more on this campus, but at the University of Sheffield as well. Being the only African American within my program didn't intimidate me, thus I felt much more empowered because I knew I was making a difference somehow. I feel differently now in the sense that I left Sheffield knowing that I may have impacted or encouraged another student of color to join the program and not to be scared to put themselves out there. I would say the same goes for anyone who is fearful about going to another country. Don't let certain things scare you. It may come as a surprise that you were scared for nothing. You will have fun and it will change your life.

Contact Nicole Turner (nicturn@illinois.edu) if you have a story about your time studying abroad that you'd like to share.