Center for International Services & Programs

Getting Started

Studying abroad is a big decision that requires a lot of planning and thought. The Education Abroad staff have complied a list below of frequently asked questions in order to answer some of your most fundamental concerns. They have also developed a timeline to help you organize your study abroad planning. Please feel free to contact them at any point to set up a one-on-one 30-minute advising appointment during their office hours, Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, closed on University holidays.

What is the first thing I need to do if I want to study abroad?

Research, read, and reflect. Education Abroad is a big decision. Any student considering Education Abroad should start researching their options at least 3 months in advance. We advise talking first to your friends, family, and professors to get their advice and to gain their support. Then spend time looking over Education Abroad information on the Internet. Meet with your academic adviser to discuss how Education Abroad fits into your major or other academic interests. Speak with language professors and/or professors who have spent time in the area of the world in which you are interested.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What area of the world is interesting to you?
  • How long would you like to study abroad and during what time of the year?
  • Are you looking for a program directly related to your major or a "general" program?
  • Do you want a program that is taught in English?
  • Are you interested in studying a foreign language?

How do I find out about different study abroad options?

You should plan to attend the Education Abroad Fair each fall, as well as informational meetings with Education Abroad staff (for dates and times of these meetings, check our Calendar and Events).

Visit the Center for International Services and Programs located in Main Classroom Suite 106, the Education Abroad resource area on the first floor of the university library, and explore more of our website. You can browse through Education Abroad brochures, course catalogs, and viewbooks in the Main Classroom or the Schwartz Library. Also, there are several study abroad search engines to aid you in your research:

You are welcome to meet with the staff in CISP at any point to ask questions, learn about your options, and talk about Education Abroad. We’re open Monday-Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Evening appointments can be scheduled upon request.

What are the differences between all of the study abroad options?

There are three basic study abroad options:

  1. CSU Sponsored Short Term Programs (10 days to 4 weeks)
  2. Direct Exchange Programs (semester or academic year)
  3. Non-CSU Education Abroad Programs (summer, semester, or academic year)

Cleveland State sponsors 8-10 short-term faculty-led programs every year in countries such as China, Chile, Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, and Mexico. We also offer programs in India and Spain every other summer. Additional programs are being developed every year by creative and engaging CSU faculty. Please see the CSU Faculty-Led Programs page for the most up to date program offerings.

CSU is also a member of an academic consortium with other public universities in Ohio. The Ohio International Consortium (OIC) offers in-state tuition for Ohio residents on Education Abroad programs offered through their partners. For more information and a list of programs please visit

Cleveland State has direct exchange programs with partner universities throughout the world. These direct exchange programs allow students to pay CSU tuition while enrolling in a foreign university. CSU students can study at the University of Sunderland in northeastern England, Dalian University of Foreign Languages in northeastern China, Zeppelin University in Germany, Umea University in northern Sweden, Groupe ESC Clermont in central France (with French proficiency) and Chung Ang University in South Korea. In addition, business students should see the Nance College of Business Administration concerning participation in business exchange programs with various other universities throughout Latin America and Europe.

Each year a growing number of CSU students Education Abroad on non- CSU programs (or independent programs) in countries such as Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa, just to name a few. CSU places no restrictions on where our students can study.

What kind of financial assistance is there for study abroad and can I use my financial aid?

Students may use financial aid towards the cost of Education Abroad and can sometimes get the amount of their award increased depending on the cost of the program. CSU allows any student traveling on an approved program to use their financial aid. Also, there are Education Abroad scholarships. Some scholarships are need-based and others are merit-based. Application deadlines are usually quite early in the year so please plan ahead if you will be applying for a scholarship.

Do I need to be fluent in a foreign language in order to study abroad?

No. Although many CSU sponsored programs focus on language, there are also many programs that do not require foreign language proficiency.

Will I be able to earn CSU credit while studying abroad?

Yes. Students who apply through the Center for International Services and Programs will receive credit for their Education Abroad. Students participating in CSU Sponsored programs will receive graded credit. Students who participate in an exchange program or a non-CSU or independent program will receive ungraded credit. The approval process through CISP ensures that students know their credit transferability prior to departure.

What's the process for applying to Education Abroad?

Students need to apply for CSU approval to Education Abroad through the Center for International Services and Programs. The application is short. Students also have to apply to their foreign university or Education Abroad program. These two application processes can happen concurrently. CSU Education Abroad Approval Applications are available in the Main Classroom Suite 106 or upon request at .

Are there application deadlines?

Yes, CSU Faculty-Led Programs typically have application deadlines 3-4 months prior to the start of the program. See the program director or visit the webpage for the individual program. Students who apply after these deadlines run the risk of not having their applications reviewed.

Non- CSU or independent programs do not have an application deadline for CSU approval. However, students do need to adhere to the deadlines of the program or foreign institution for acceptance into their program. Please see the Education Abroad staff in CISP if you need help.

What are the CSU Education Abroad application requirements?

Cleveland State requires a minimum overall GPA of at least a 2.0 in order to be approved for Education Abroad. Additionally, students' applications will be screened by the CSU judicial affairs officer. Anyone who has studied for at least 2 semesters at CSU or has been a transfer student for at least 1 semester is also eligible to apply for Education Abroad approval.