BEFORE YOU GO ABROAD
What is Boston University Study Abroad?
Boston University Study Abroad makes it possible for college and university students to realize their dreams to study abroad. We operate language, liberal arts, fine arts, science, STEM and internship programs, all fully approved by Boston University.
Why should I study abroad?
By studying or interning abroad, you will experience new perspectives, learn how to navigate different cultures, work with diverse peers, and even communicate in other languages. Whatever your future career plans, the skills you develop abroad will help transform you into a responsible, engaged citizen. According to the Institute of International Education, only 10% of undergraduate students study abroad – which means you will differentiate yourself from your peers in a competitive job market.
How do I know what study abroad program is right for me?
Spend some time doing self-reflection before you begin your search. Think about why you are studying abroad and how your program will align with your personal and academic goals. Please also check out the Plan section on our website.
When can I study abroad? Can I only study abroad once?
Some programs are offered every semester, some only during the academic year, some only a single semester. Sometimes students even study abroad the summer after their senior year.
Many students spend consecutive semesters at their study abroad destination or combine two different sites for a year abroad. Studying abroad multiple semesters is possible but keep in mind the importance of planning ahead.
I haven’t studied a foreign language. Can I still study abroad?
Absolutely! Language learning is not the only reason to go abroad, and Boston University offers many programs in English-speaking countries as well as multiple programs where the courses are taught in English. On our study abroad website, students can tailor their search by language as well. Each program page lists any language requirements under the “Requirements and Considerations” tab.
How can I learn more about BU Study Abroad?
BU Study Abroad offers information sessions and events throughout the year to help you learn more about our programs. Check out our calendar for upcoming events. We also offer many advising options. Our study abroad staff is always happy to meet with prospective students and answer your questions about planning your abroad experience. If you are a non-BU student, we are happy to meet with you virtually. We also suggest speaking with your own study abroad office. Study abroad staff also visits institutions throughout the school year so no matter where you are, we can help you find the right program for your needs. BU Study Abroad holds a wide variety of event programming throughout the academic year ranging from location and major specific info sessions, to general study abroad info sessions, to financial aid workshops. We update our events calendar regularly. You can also follow us on our social media platforms.
Is it expensive to study abroad?
Tuition and housing on a BU Study Abroad program is generally comparable to the Charles River Campus. Most financial aid may be applied to BU Study Abroad programs in the Fall and Spring – talk to your Assistant Director in the Office of Financial Assistance office about your individual financial aid package. If you are a non-BU student, we recommend starting with your study abroad office to determine costs.
Will studying abroad cost more than a regular semester at Boston University? Does aid travel?
Generally, the cost of study abroad is the same or less than a semester at Boston University, but study abroad fees sometimes include extras like air fare and excursions. On each program page under the “Costs and Considerations” tab there is a budget sheet that breaks down billed and out-of-pocket costs for the program.
Most forms of Boston University financial assistance travel with students on semester programs; however, some forms of financial aid (such as federal Work Study arrangements) may not transfer It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Office of Financial Assistance for full information: 617-353-2965 or email@example.com.
I am a BU student, will my financial aid transfer?
Yes, almost all aid can be used by BU students attending BU Fall and Spring programs. The most common exception to this general rule is Work Study. Tuition scholarships will be based on the tuition portion of the program fee. The Office of Financial Assistance has a webpage that outlines different forms of aid and how they are affected by studying abroad. BU students must contact the Office of Financial Assistance (617-353-2965 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for specifics about their individual circumstances, and to notify them of study abroad plans. BU students can apply for summer Scholarships and Grants through our office. Please check out the Financial Considerations page on our website for more information about study abroad scholarships.
I am a Non-BU student. Will I be the only non-BU student on a particular program?
Every semester, we welcome non-BU students on our programs, and they enrich our student experience.
How early can I start applying? When is it too late to apply?
Our deadlines come three times a year: October 1 for spring programs (Sept. 15 for some), March 1 for summer programs, and March 15 for fall or academic year programs. It is often possible to apply after the program deadline, on a space available basis. We can accept applications for most programs until the program is full; note that most of our programs use rolling admissions, that is, applications are reviewed as they come in. Please call our office for more information or check the Study Abroad Admissions Calendar.
Do students with only certain majors study abroad?
No. Students from all majors study abroad. Some students, such as language, business, engineering, science, and fine arts majors are able to find programs in their own majors, and others take a semester to broaden their education or take advantage of an internship. The requirements for a program are listed on each program page under the “Requirements and Considerations” tab.
Where will I live?
Housing accommodations vary from site to site. On some programs students are housed with other students on the program, some live in university housing, some live in city apartments, and some in homestays. Learn more about housing accommodations.
May I talk to a student who has participated in a BU Study Abroad program?
Yes. In fact, returned students are one of your best sources of information about all aspects of the program, and many have volunteered to talk to students thinking about going abroad. We have Study Abroad Ambassadors – student leader volunteers who are eager to share study abroad stories and experiences, raise awareness and interest in study abroad opportunities, and increase on-campus participation and outreach. Call or email our office (617-353-9888 or email@example.com ) and we’ll put you in touch with a Program Manager, who can connect you with an Ambassador or other returnee.
Is it possible to study abroad on a non-BU or external program?
Yes, for more information please see External Programs.
Can I obtain syllabi to give to my study abroad office so they'll approve the program?
Yes. We maintain up-to-date syllabi for courses at all of our sites. Many are available online on each program page under the “Curriculum” tab, or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you need.
I am ready to apply. What do I do?
Once you’ve selected your program, you’re ready to apply!
All programs require the following material:
- Application Questionnaire
- Advisor Support of Participation Form. Please read the instructions to find the appropriate person to complete this form. Non-BU students should start with their Study Abroad Office. Please keep in mind:
- If you are a double major within same school, one advisor form is sufficient.
- If you are a Dual/Collaborative Degree major, you will need advisors from both colleges.
- CGS students should start with the Advising office of the college they are entering after CGS.
- Recommendations from a professor, TA, or TF who has taught you for a letter grade in a college-level class.
- Non-refundable one-time application fee of $55.
- If you are a BU transfer student who has submitted your transfer grades to the BU registrar, we do not require your previous institution’s transcript.
- If you are a non-BU student, please send your transcript to email@example.com or via mail.
Additional program-specific materials as required.
Remember to submit your application, and use the green check marks to track when our office receives and processes your application materials. We review applications for most programs on a rolling basis.
Can I apply to two programs at once?
No, applicants are only considered for one program at a time. However, we encourage you to think carefully about alternate programs and list those you would like to apply to, should you not be admitted to your first choice program.
What if I don’t meet a program’s prerequisites?
Please contact our office so that we can advise, either on alternate program options or alternate semesters to study abroad.
What happens after I submit my application? When can I expect to receive an admissions decision?
Applications will not be reviewed until all materials are on file. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all required materials have been received by the BU Study Abroad office.
Most Boston University Study Abroad programs have a rolling admissions policy, which means that applications are reviewed as they are completed, prior to all deadlines. To ensure full consideration, students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as some programs and internship tracks have limited space and may fill up before the deadline. Date of application does not guarantee acceptance. Students will be emailed an admissions decision within three weeks of a completed application.
Details of programs that do not use rolling admissions can be found here. Applicants to these programs will receive an admissions decision after the program deadline.
Can you confirm that you received my application materials?
Due to the high volume of application materials we receive, we are unable to confirm the receipt of every document by email. We will communicate regarding receipt of documents via the ‘Check Application’ tab of your online application; please visit this checklist for updates. The green checkmarks correspond to items that our office has received and processed.
I just submitted my document yesterday, but don’t see a green checkmark next to that item. How long does it take to show up on my checklist?
Please allow up to 5 business days for processing. Items will always be back-dated to the date they were received.
What if I don’t get into my first choice program?
Unfortunately, we cannot always accommodate every student on their first choice program. Space is limited in some programs, and some programs and semesters are more popular than others. For this reason, it’s really important to think about listing an alternate program (or two) on your application.
What if I miss the application deadline?
Please check our website to see if we are still accepting applications for your program of interest. We are often able to extend the deadline for certain programs on a space-available basis.
Can I submit my application before it is complete?
Yes, you can submit your application at any time. Please note that your application will not be considered complete until all materials have been received. Your application will not be reviewed until it is complete.
Can I submit my application after the deadline?
Yes, however please keep in mind that your application will be reviewed once it is complete. If you complete your application after the deadline, it will be reviewed on a space-available basis at that time.
Can I get an extension to the application deadline?
Unfortunately, we cannot provide extensions to students; however, your application will still be reviewed after the deadline, on a space available basis.
Who should write my recommendation/who should complete my advisor form?
We require a general recommendation from a professor, TA, or TF with whom you have had a university level class for a letter grade. Only one recommendation is required.
BU students should discuss with their school or college to find the appropriate person to complete the Advisor Support of Participation Form. Non-BU students should have this form completed by the person at their home institution responsible for approving study abroad transfer credit and may want to discuss with the study abroad office at their home institution to determine the appropriate advisor. Non-BU students should note that there may be a separate summer program approval process at their institutions.
I've already been admitted but don't know what to do next
Please keep a close eye on your email for follow-up information from your Program Manager including pre-departure preparations, for more details about your next steps. If you have any further questions, please contact us at 617-353-9888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will credits from a Boston University study abroad program transfer to my college/university?
In many cases, yes. Non-BU students will receive an official Boston University transcript on completion of your program which you can submit to your own college or university. It is your responsibility, though, to consult with your advisor beforehand, to determine whether the credits can be applied to your degree program.