Center for International Services & Programs

Getting Started

Studying abroad is a big decision that requires a lot of planning. Whether you plan to spend one year immersed in the mountains of Bhutan or 4 weeks interning at a fashion magazine in Milan, you will be moving your life and your studies abroad for a period of time.

The Center staff have complied a list of frequently asked questions below in order to answer some of your most fundamental concerns and to get you in the right frame of mind. Please feel free to contact them 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, closed on University holidays. You can schedule your own appointment using the link on the right, "To schedule an Appointment Online." We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. WALK IN ADVISING (NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY) is available weekdays between 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm in MC 412. Just stop by!

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 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 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 offered in English?
  • Are you interested in studying a foreign language?
  • What are your finanical resources?

How do I find out about different study abroad options?

You should plan to attend the Education Abroad Fair held annually each October, as well as informational meetings with Center staff. You can also meet one-on-one with an adviser in the office.

Visit the Center for International Services and Programs in MC 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 semester
  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.

CSU is also a member of an academic consortium with other public universities in Ohio, Ohio International Consortium (OIC). The OIC offers in-state tuition for Ohio residents on Education Abroad programs offered through their office or their partner universities (when available). For more information and a list of programs please contact the Center for International Services and Programs.

Cleveland State has reciprocalexchange 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 Sunderland in northeastern England, Ulster University in Northern Ireland, the University of Rouen or the ESC Clermont-Ferrand both in France, University of Tucuman in Argentina and Chung Ang University in South Korea.

Each year dozens of CSU students also study abroad on Affiilate Programs.  These are programs or universities that we will accept the tranfer credit from and include options all over the world: Argentina, Australia, Ghana, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, 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 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, or cost of attendance (COA). CSU allows both federal and most institutional aid to travel to any approved study abroad program.  Also, there are 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 scholarshizp.

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 Modern Language 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 grade on their CSU academic record and in-residence credits.  Students who participate in a affiliate program will receive a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade on their CSU academic record and transfer 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 study abroad through the Center for International Services and Programs. The application is short. 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 in MC 412 or upon request at .

Are there application deadlines?

Yes, 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 at least a year in advance to allow for the balancing nature of the relationships to work.

Affiliate 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  staff in CISP if you need help.

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 a 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 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.