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Frequently Asked Questions

 How much does studying abroad cost?

Study abroad programs may cost more than in-state tuition, but when factoring in such expenses as housing, food, and insurance, the cost of many study abroad programs is similar to the cost of studying in Denver. Semester programs abroad range from $7,000 to $25,000 depending on the program. Summer programs are shorter in duration and thus less expensive, ranging from $3,000 to $7,000. Airfare is not included in these estimates.

CU Denver offers a variety of short-term study abroad opportunities called Global Study programs. These are CU Denver courses taught abroad by CU Denver faculty, and take place during the winter break, Maymester, and throughout the summer. These programs are a great affordable option for students to study abroad!​​​


 Can I use my financial aid to study abroad?

Definitely. Be sure to communicate with the Financial Aid​ office in the early stages of your study abroad planning process to find out how aid will work with your study abroad program. There may be additional paperwork you must complete in order to ensure your aid distributes properly.4

 Are there scholarships for study abroad?

Absolutely! Visit our scholarships page​ to learn about university and external scholarship opportunities. The Office of Global Education offers scholarships specifically for all of our Global Study and semester programs. If you’ve chosen a program with an independent (or third party) study abroad provider, most providers offer their own scholarships as well.

You can also visit or to see more scholarship options.

If you are a Pell grant recipient with above a 3.0 GPA, apply for a generous Gilman Scholarship

Study abroad could cost less than staying in Denver!​


 How do I pick the right study abroad program for me?

Make an appointment with a study abroad advisor to discuss your interests and options!

You can also explore our website to find out more about the many study abroad programs offered by CU Denver’s Office of Global Education. We have two semester programs abroad as well as a variety of short-term study abroad opportunities called Global Study programs. These are CU Denver courses taught abroad by CU Denver faculty, and take place during the winter break, Maymester, and throughout the summer. These programs are a great affordable option for students to study abroad!

If the short-term or semester programs offered by our office do not fit your desires or academic needs, third-party providers offer programs all over the world, for any major, at a wide range of prices. You can view our featured third-party provider programs​ on our wesbite. 

Some questions to consider when choosing a study abroad program:

A. Academic and personal objectives: What would you like to get out of your experience abroad? What would you like to study? Do you want to take courses specific to your major or finish up core requirements? Do you want to learn about the culture? Do you want to study a language?

B. Other important factors to think about: cost, living arrangements (i.e. student apartment, host family, dorm, etc.), what is included (i.e. excursions, food, etc.), what type of a city you are interested in (i.e. a large city or a small city), your ability to speak the local language (although fluency in a foreign language is not required and courses are often taught in English, this is a great way to practice learning a new language), and duration.

You may apply independently to foreign universities to study abroad. However, in order to receive credit from that university, you will need to apply with CU Denver’s Office of Global Education.

Whether you have chosen a program or still need help deciding, be sure to make an appointment to talk about next steps! ​​​


 How will my credits transfer?

CU Denver Global Study and semester programs are actual CU Denver courses and will thus automatically appear on your transcript. You register for these courses using the student portal.

For non-CU Denver programs, there is a process students must follow in order to transfer credit back to the university. Before studying abroad, students must complete a Course Approval Form which is signed by various academic advisors. After returning from study abroad, the study abroad transcripts are processed by the Office of Global Education.

All study abroad courses must be taken for a letter grade, and will be transferred to CU Denver as Pass/Fail. A grade of a C- or higher will transfer as a Pass. Grades below a C- transfer as a Fail and may affect your GPA. For more information about transferring study abroad credit, please see our Credit Transfer Policy​.


 Can I study abroad if I do not speak a foreign language?

Absolutely! The language of instruction for most third-party programs is English, unless otherwise specified. Universities all over the world have English-speaking courses. All CU Denver programs are taught in English.

Study abroad can be a great way for you to learn a new language, or improve on a second language you may have studied in high school. It is common to take foreign language courses abroad in conjunction with courses taught in English. If you are fluent in another language it is also possible to take all your classes in that language, depending on the country you choose. ​


 Do I need a passport?

Yes. All students who study abroad need a valid passport from their country of citizenship. Plan to apply for your passport two or more months before you leave. The passport process can sometimes take much longer than expected. If you already have a passport, be sure to check the expiration date. Many countries require that your passport expire three to six months AFTER your scheduled date of return to the United States. Keep in mind that some countries may also require a visa.

Read about how to apply for a U.S. passport on the State Department Website​.


 Do I need a visa?

This depends on a variety of factors: the host country, the program duration, the program type (for example, some countries require a work visa for internships, while others require a student visa, while others do not require a visa at all), and your country of citizenship. For U.S. citizens, the easiest way to find out entry visa requirements is by checking the specific country page on the U.S. State Department’s travel website​. Non-U.S. citizens should consult with their home country’s office of consular affairs.10

 Where do students live while they study abroad?

There are many different options for accommodations abroad. Students typically stay in student apartments, dormitories, or with a host family. Staying with a host family is a great way to learn the local language and further your cultural learning. It will give you a taste for your new city through the eyes of the locals. Also, staying with a family usually means you’ll be treated to some home-cooked meals! Some programs offer you the chance to live with local students in dormitories, which is another great way to further enhance your foreign relationships and language acquisition. A meal-plan at the dormitory cafeteria is typically included. Student apartments allow for a bit more independence than dormitories, and you may be placed with other international students from your program. It can be nice to share your experiences with other students who are also adjusting to a new environment.​11

 Do I have to apply with the CU Denver Office of Global Education even if I apply independently to a program abroad?

Yes. University policy states that all students, undergraduate and graduate, going abroad for academic purposes are required to complete an application with the Office of Global Education. This includes students on both the downtown and Anschutz campuses. For more information, make an appointment​ with a study abroad advisor.12

 When do I need to begin the application process for study abroad?

If you are applying to a CU Denver Global Study program, you can find the application deadline on the program’s webpage. The deadline for Winterim programs is typically October 1. The deadline for Maymester and Summer programs is typically February 15. You should plan to begin your application one to two months before the deadline.

If you are applying to a semester or yearlong program, plan to submit an application early in the semester prior to the semester you want to study abroad. For example, for fall programs, apply early in the preceding spring term.

It’s never too early to start thinking about studying abroad! Even if you don’t plan to go for a number of months or years, get in touch with our office so we can help you familiarize yourself with the application process and discuss options about where and what you can study!


 What are the benefits of studying abroad?

Studying abroad has an incredible number of benefits, and because no two people have exactly the same experience, what you take away from the experience will be unique and meaningful to you.

On an academic level, you will broaden your perspectives on topics you already know something about, particularly if your courses are with students from other countries. You will have the opportunity to take courses that might not be offered at CU Denver, and you might learn something entirely new. You will likely have the chance to learn or improve a second language, and may find that full immersion will help your language skills skyrocket!

On a personal level, you will meet friends – both American and foreign students, as well as other locals like your homestay family. You may keep in touch with these new friends for years afterward. You will share new, unusual experiences with them that will help you to break out of your comfort zone. In the process, you will learn more about the world, and you will also learn more about yourself. In many cases, studying abroad affords you the opportunity to travel beyond the city or university where you study, so that you may see more and understand more about the world.

On a professional level, your study abroad experience will give you something to talk about in job interviews and put on your resume. In an increasingly global economy, many employers seek out candidates with intercultural and international experiences. Studying abroad can give you a significant leg up in the competitive job market. Your experience will strengthen your critical-thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills, as you will have successfully navigated a new city, potentially a new language, and certainly a new culture. ​


 I’m a graduate student – can I study abroad, too?

Definitely! Most of CU Denver’s Global Study programs are open to both undergraduate and graduate students, and some are even open to just graduate students. Additionally, graduate students frequently spend a semester or year at a foreign institution to do research. If this is something that interests you, please meet with a study abroad advisor to discuss the logistics of working on your thesis abroad, and meet with your thesis advisor to ensure that they will approve international research for your degree program.​15

 How can I stay safe abroad?

Although safety abroad can vary depending on the country in which you study, there are certain common-sense measures that everyone should take:
  • ​Be aware of your belongings at all times. 
  • Whenever possible, do not travel with valuables. 
  • Research your host country’s laws – they may differ from laws in the U.S. 
  • Wear a money-belt; wear your backpack on your front; wear purses with straps that cross your body. 
  • Travel with others, especially at night.
  • Speak with a local about what areas of the city are safe at night. 
  • Remember that alcohol can make you more vulnerable to theft, sexual assault, and other crimes. If you are going to drink, drink in moderation, and never drink alone. Keep your drink with you at all times, and do not accept drinks from strangers. 
  • Be aware of the political situation of the country in which you study abroad. 
  • Avoid protests and street demonstrations. Know that there are people you can contact 24/7 in case of an emergency. 

Check out the Emergency Contacts​ page of our website and be sure to carry with you the phone numbers for your faculty leader or on-site staff, as well as other emergency contacts. ​


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