Frequently Asked Questions


Where can I find the Office of Study Abroad?

The Office of Study Abroad is located in Ronan Hall 330 and is open 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. See our contact information.

What are the steps to study abroad through CMU?

We’re glad you asked! Check out our easy step-by-step process.

Where can I go?

Almost anywhere! CMU has programs in more than 40 countries, spanning six continents. To see where, visit our choose your program page.

When can I go?

You can study abroad for a semester as early as the second semester of your sophomore year.  Junior year is the best time for a full academic year abroad.  You can also study abroad in summer after completing your first academic year at CMU.  Keep in mind that you can study abroad as many times as you like! 

Where will I live?

Accommodations are typically provided in homestays, residence halls, hostels or apartments. Specific housing information for each program can be found on our "program brochures" pages that you will find once you select a program through our choose your program page​.

How long can I study abroad?

You can study abroad for a semester or an academic year.  You can also study abroad during the summer for as short as two weeks or as long as twelve weeks. One-week faculty-led programs are offered during spring break, and faculty-led programs from one to four weeks are offered in summer.  Student teachers have the opportunity to student teach abroad for 6-8 weeks during either fall or spring semesters.  Find all programs on our choose your program page.

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

No. There are programs all over the world taught in English. See the English-taught programs on our choose your program page. Many study sites in non-English-speaking countries offer the opportunity to take beginning language classes.

Do I have to have a specific major to study abroad?

All CMU students can study abroad regardless of major or minor. Use our search engine on the choose your program page to find the right program for you.

Will I receive CMU credits?

Yes.  You must be accepted by the Office of Study Abroad and participate in a CMU approved program.  All of your courses can be approved prior to departure so you will know, in advance, which course credits you will be receiving.

What are the requirements for studying abroad?

CMU requires that students have a 2.5 cumulative GPA and a 2.5 GPA in the previous two semesters. Some programs may establish additional requirements (a higher GPA, language requirement, etc.). The applications of students who do not meet the minimum requirements will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Will studying abroad delay my graduation?

No. Many students have graduated on schedule with prior planning.

How much does it cost to study abroad?

Study abroad can be affordable!  Want to keep costs low?  Ask us about our tuition exchange programs that will allow you to pay your regular CMU tuition.  Some programs even offer room and board exchange, in addition to tuition, so you will pay CMU costs - the only additional expenses are travel costs.  We have other great programs that cost more than the cost of attendance at CMU, but are still affordable program options.  If cost is not an issue, we have even more programs from which to choose.  You can search for our most affordable programs on our  choose your program page. You will receive a program budget sheet when you meet with your study abroad advisor, so you can immediately begin to start making financial plans.

How can I fund my study abroad?

There are scholarships offered on campus and nationally that are only available to students who study abroad!   Scholarships are available through the Office of Study Abroad, various departments across campus and through several national organizations. For a listing of study abroad scholarship opportunities, visit our fund study abroad page.

Most of the financial aid you already receive at CMU can be used for study abroad when you participate in an approved program - just ask a Financial Aid Advisor to review your current aid with you.  The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will meet with you to talk about your financial aid status and will inform you about any additional aid that is available to you to help cover your additional costs.  Be sure to bring the program budget sheet provided by your study abroad advisor to the appointment.  All students who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are eligible for a student loan.  Visit the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid page for more information.

How do I apply?

You will meet with a study abroad advisor to choose your study abroad program, and she will explain the application steps and give you access to the online study abroad application. Students participating in a faculty-led program will meet with the faculty leader to begin the application process. 

Is there an application deadline?

Applications are generally due by February 15 for summer term, February 28 for fall semester, and September 30 for spring semester.  However, there are earlier deadlines for some programs so it is best that you check the program brochure page for the program you choose to know the exact date. Staring the application process early and planning ahead is always recommended to leave yourself plenty of time to complete the requirements.

Will I need a passport or visa to study abroad?

Yes, you must have a passport to study abroad. Some countries also require that you apply for a visa (permission from the foreign government to enter the country). Information to apply for a passport and visa application requirements can be found on the international travel page.

Can I study abroad more than once?

Absolutely!   It is becoming more common for students to study abroad a second or even a third time. With careful planning, you can incorporate several study abroad programs into your academic life at CMU.

Is there information I can read about health and safety abroad?

Yes, the U.S. State Department offers travel information for U.S. citizens and the Centers for Disease Control offer health information for travelers. 

Can I receive accommodations if I have a disability?

Our study abroad staff will work with you to help select a program that can provide necessary accommodations.  All students requesting accommodations must be registered with CMU's Student Disabilities Services Office.