Getting Started

The choice to study away is a big decision that requires a lot of forethought and planning. Whether you want to spend one year immersed in Spanish in Seville or 4 weeks interning at a veterinarian's office in Rome, you'll be moving your life and studies away from home and CSU for a period of time.

The CISP staff have complied a list of FAQs below to help answer some of your most fundamental concerns and to get you started on the right footing. Please feel free to contact us at any point to set up a one-on-one 30 or 60-minute advising appointment during office hours, Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. You can schedule your own appointment using the link on the right sidebar, "Schedule an Advising Appointment ." Email us after the appointment is scheduled if you wish for a remote meeting via Zoom.  Or from 1:00 - 3:00 pm during the week, you can just drop by for office hours- no appointment necessary in Berkman Hall suite 412. We look forward to meeting you soon. 

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

Research, read, and reflect. Education Away is a big decision. Any student considering this should start researching their options at least 6 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 our information on this website. Meet with your academic adviser to discuss how study abroad or National Student Exchange 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? Why? 
  • How long would you like to study abroad and during what time of the year? Do you have obligations here at home that will dictate your decision? 
  • Are you looking for a program directly related to your major or just a "general" program?
  • Do you want a program that is taught in English in an English speaking country or are you open to studying in a place where English might be the 2nd or 3rd most spoken langauage?
  • Are you interested in fulfilling remaining degree requirements or just having an experience?
  • What are your financial resources?

How do I find out about different study abroad options?

You should plan to attend the Education Abroad Fair, which is held annually during the Fall semester, as well as walk-ins sessions with peer advisers in the Center. You can also schedule a one-on-one meeting with an adviser in the office.

Visit the Center for International Services and Programs in BH 412, the Education Abroad resource area on the first floor of the Schwartz library, and explore more of our website. All of the viewbooks are free for the taking and you can keep them as long as you like. Also, there are several study abroad search engines to aid you in your research:

Reading unbiased student reviews of study abroad programs is also a good research tool. Access program reviews through sites like Abroad101.

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

There are three basic study abroad options:

  1. Faculty-led Programs Abroad (FLPA)-  8 days to 4 weeks
  2. Reciprocal Exchange- Fall or Spring or combination of both/ also domestic or international- no summer
  3. Affiliate Programs (any term)

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

Cleveland State has reciprocal exchange programs with partner universities throughout the world. These programs allow students to pay CSU tuition while enrolling in a foreign partner university with which CSU has a signed agreement. CSU students can study at the University of Tucuman in Argentina, Altinbas University in Turkey, ESC Clermont-Ferrand in France, or Chung Ang University in South Korea.

Each year dozens of CSU students also study abroad on Affiliate Programs.  These are programs or universities from which we will accept transfer credit and include options all over the world: Argentina, Australia, Ghana, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, and South Africa, just to name a few. The Center staff work with students one-on-one to find the best fit for their academic and financial needs.

What kind of financial aid is there?

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, or the cost of attendance (COA). CSU allows both federal and most institutional aid to travel to any approved study abroad program.  Please plan ahead if you will be applying for scholarships. Some scholarships are need-based and others are merit-based. Application deadlines are usually quite early so please plan ahead if you will be applying for scholarships.

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

No. Although the faculty-led programs abroad offered through the department of World Languages, Literature, and Culture focus on language immersion, 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 faculty-led programs abroad will receive graded, residency credit. Students on exchange will receive satisfactory/unsatisfactory grades on their CSU academic record and in-residence credits.  Students who participate through an affiliate program will receive transfer credit on their CSU academic record. The application and pre-departure process through Center for International Services and Programs ensures students know their credit transferability prior to departure.

What's the process for applying to Education Abroad?

  1. Students need to fill out a short application through the CISP for CSU approval to study abroad.
  1. Students also have to apply for admission to their foreign university or Education Abroad program. These two application processes can happen concurrently. CSU Education Abroad Approval Applications are available for download.

Are there application deadlines?

  •  Faculty-Led Programs Abroad 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 can not be considered.
  • Reciprocal exchange program interest should be expressed through a general study abroad approval application at least a year in advance to give enough time to arrange the inbound and outbound student balance.
  • Affiliate program deadlines vary greatly. Students should adhere to the posted deadlines by the provider.

What are the CSU Education Abroad application requirements?

All students apply for approval to study abroad through the Center for International Services and Programs (CISP) and in some cases must also apply for admission to the program of their choice (affiliate and exchange programs).

In general, Cleveland State requires a minimum overall GPA of at least 2.0 in order to be approved for study abroad from CSU.  Additionally, students' applications will be screened by the CSU Judicial Affairs Officer for any violations of the Student Code of Conduct and any red flags on their student financial account will also be examined.  Any new first-year student who has had at least 2 semesters of successful study at CSU or has been a transfer student for at least 1 semester is also eligible to apply for study abroad approval. For a complete list of eligibility criteria please visit the Apply web page.