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Why should I study overseas?

There are numerous benefits to studying abroad, both academic and personal. On an academic level, you will become a more well-rounded student by taking courses not offered on campus or those similar to on-campus courses with a different academic context. You can also develop new intellectual pursuits, improve both your foreign language and English communication skills, or begin a new language. You will become more self-reliant and resourceful, make new friends, learn about your heritage or gain new perspectives on your identity, and delve into local arts, culture, cuisine, and sports. You will also make your resume more attractive to future employers because you will improve your interpersonal skills, and you can even gain international internship or volunteer experience.


When should I go?

Most programs require students to have at least sophomore standing upon commencement of the program; some programs require junior status. Transfer students may study overseas upon completion of two semesters at Concordia University Irvine. Most programs are open for both semester and year-long study, but some are only available in the spring or require attendance for a full year. Think about your degree plan and speak to your advisor when deciding what would be the best time for you.


Can I go abroad for more than one semester? Is there a maximum?

Yes! Many students choose this option. Some go to the same program for a full year to really immerse themselves deeply in their host country's culture. Others go to two different locations to have two different experiences. While we encourage students to decide whether they want to go for a semester or year when they apply, most programs allow you to apply for a semester and then extend if you want to stay. You may study abroad for a maximum of two semesters on programs through our office.


Am I required to go to a location where I can get major/minor credit?

No. While there are some programs that are only open to certain majors and some that require you to take courses for major credit, you can go abroad for elective credit if you choose.


How early can I start applying?

Applications are due the semester prior to studying and are available at the Study Abroad Office at the beginning of the semester in which they are due. For some programs, applications are accepted on a rolling basis and may be submitted prior to the deadline. In the case of all other programs, applications will not be processed until after the deadline and early submission will not affect the chances of admission.


Can I apply to more than one program?

Yes, but only if one of the programs is competitive. If you can't decide between several programs, the Study Abroad Office is happy to meet with you to help you narrow down your choice.


What is the "Two-Step Application Process"?

Approval for participation in one of Concordia University Irvine’s study abroad programs or exchange programs is a two-step process. Most programs require both a Concordia University Irvine application and a secondary program-specific application. All applicants are reviewed by the Study Abroad Office and, if approved, their application is sent to the respective study abroad program. The criteria for selection differ from program to program. Being accepted by the Study Abroad Office does not guarantee acceptance to a program and the competitiveness of some programs may vary depending on the number of applicants from colleges outside of Concordia University Irvine.


Where can I get passport photos taken for my application?

Passport photos can be obtained at any of the following locations:
  • Walgreen's
  • Kinko's
  • CVS
  • U.S. Post Office

Is the study abroad application process competitive?

Some programs are more competitive than others, due to higher GPA requirements or enrollment limits. While it is rare that students are not able to participate in the program of their choice, we do advise students applying to competitive programs to choose a backup as well.



Is there a minimum required GPA?

No, a student needs to be in good academic standing and not on probation to study abroad through the Study Abroad Office. Some programs have a higher GPA requirement due to their academic rigor.


Can only certain majors study abroad?

No. All programs are open to all students regardless of major, with the following exceptions:

  • ESELSCA – Dual Degree Program – you are able to study in Paris for a semester without getting the dual degree

Do I have to speak a foreign language?

No. The Study Abroad Office administers some programs with no language requirement whatsoever. In addition, many other programs have language requirements of as few as two semesters. Check with the individual program for information regarding specific requirements.


My program requires two semesters of a college-level language - what does this mean?

Two semesters of college-level language is equivalent to having completed the second-semester course in that language. You can also meet this requirement by taking the placement test and placing out of the second semester.



Where can I find a list of the courses that count for my major/minor abroad?

The Study Abroad Office has a list of some approved Concordia University Irvine equivalents for some courses offered on some study abroad programs. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Students may look at the online course catalog for their chosen program and ask their academic advisor whether major/minor credit will be granted for individual courses. Many departments keep lists of courses that have been pre-approved. If a course you want to take has not been pre-approved, your advisor may ask for a syllabus or course description to evaluate the content. Syllabi and course descriptions can often be found online; if you cannot find them contact the Study Abroad Office.


Will all the courses that I take be awarded Concordia University Irvine credit?

Usually. All courses taken through a Study Abroad Office program that are in an undergraduate area of study offered at Concordia University Irvine will be granted Concordia University Irvine credit and will count toward the 64-unit residency requirement. Examples of courses that would not be granted Concordia University Irvine credit would be Global Tourism or Gaming Industry Management, which are areas of study not offered at Concordia University Irvine.


Can I take General Education courses abroad?

Yes, for some courses as long as it has been pre-approved. At this time, the CORE cannot be taken abroad.


Overseas Travel and Housing

Does Concordia University Irvine arrange my travel?

No. Some programs are operated in cooperation with other universities or organizations, and group flights may be available. Many of the programs offer excursions with pre-arranged transportation during the term.


What kind of travel documents will I need?

All students studying abroad must have a passport, which should be valid for at least six months beyond the last day of their program. Before departing the U.S., you will also need to obtain a student visa from your host country's consulate. Visa procedures are different for each country, and processing times can take as little as one day or as long as three months. Note that most consulates keep your passport while processing your visa, so you will not be able to travel outside of the U.S. during that time. International students should keep in mind that visa procedures may differ from those of their U.S.-citizen counterparts. Once you have decided on a destination, look at the country's consular website and familiarize yourself with student visa requirements.


What are the overseas living arrangements?

Living arrangements vary between programs. Housing options include dormitories (either with dining halls or cooking facilities), homestays, and apartments (with other Americans, native citizens, or other foreign students).


Costs & Financial Aid

Is studying abroad financially possible?

Yes! Many students fear that studying abroad will be too expensive. But there are programs for a wide range of budgets. The key is to be flexible about where you study abroad. If you would like to find out estimated program costs, please see the Programs pages on this website.


Can I use my financial aid to go overseas?

Yes. Concordia University Irvine financial aid including loans, grants, and scholarships (excluding athletic or program scholarships) are applicable to Concordia University Irvine-sponsored overseas studies programs and exchanges. Financial aid packages are reevaluated in consideration of the cost of a specific program, and aid packages are adjusted according to the modified cost of attendance.


In cases where the semester overseas is projected to be less expensive than an on-campus semester, the estimated family contribution (EFC) will be maintained and the aid package will be reduced. If a program is projected to be more than an on-campus semester, the student and family may be eligible for additional loans in the amount of the price differential.

Are there any scholarships available? What about working abroad?

Scholarships are available for certain overseas programs. Detailed financial aid and scholarship information is available on the Study Abroad Office general information section on the web page under Costs. Generally, there are many more scholarships available for study abroad in non-Western or developing countries. Scholarships for study in Europe and Australia are quite limited. Students can work part-time in the U.K. and Australia only.



May I talk to an alumnus of the program?

The Study Abroad Office will have a list of students who have studied previously in Concordia University Irvine programs who can be contacted.

Next Steps

Schedule an appointment to learn about our study abroad programs and discuss your interest, options and questions with the Moon International Center Assistant Director.

Dana Peterson, Assistant Director, Moon International Center

[email protected] | 949-214-3469

Make An Appointment

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