What nations don’t know can hurt them. The stakes involved are that simple, that straightforward, and that important. For their own future and that of the nation, college graduates today must be internationally competent.”

(Report from the Commission on the Abraham Lincoln
Study Abroad Fellowship Program, 2005, page 3)

Study Abroad at California Colleges & Universities!

International study provides academic insights, cultural understanding, language skills and preparation for careers in an internationally competitive world. California’s two- and four-year colleges and universities, public and independent, offer opportunities for high quality study abroad.

Participation in an educational experience abroad has never been more important. California’s international economy, ethnic diversity, and the number of students with foreign born parents reflect our diverse global ties.

The Fundamentals

California higher education study abroad complements and expands students’ curricula.

Official Programs

Most study abroad participants pay regular campus fees, receive financial aid, earn academic credit, and retain student status at their home campus.

Academic Quality

Study abroad is often lodged with universities that match the academic quality of the home campus. Students’ experiences in these programs contribute greatly to academic, cultural, and personal growth and support professional and personal goals.


Student safety is a high priority. Safety issues are monitored with the U.S. Department of State, the World Health Organization, and local information sources.

Career Preparation

Students are encouraged and assisted to fully immerse themselves in the local culture and institutions, sometimes through Internship opportunities. Such intercultural experiences can lead to lasting connections.

My friends and I often found ourselves surrounded by locals who were eager to teach us about their culture. My enthusiasm helped me to learn Turkish… to immerse in the culture. I learned about various internships and extracurricular activities that fostered my intellectual, academic, and personal growth. My experience also prepared me for my future career abroad and gave me the confidence to travel.”

—Wing Cheung, UC

I would not have found myself had I not gone to Italy on this program. My passion for foreign languages came from my experience in Italy. The opportunity to see and interact with so many cultures away from our comfort zone is what everyone should experience. I can’t imagine my life without the friends I made as well. To date it is the best thing I’ve ever done.

—Kim Caplan,
El Camino Community College

When I think about how my life would be different had I not studied abroad, I am assured as to how important this has been to my education and my life. In reality, had I not come abroad, I suppose I would not have known what I was missing. Knowing now how far I have come, how much I have learned, how I have grown, the passion that exists inside me, and the many wonderful people who have touched my life through this, I can safely say I would not have had it any other way.

—Emily Commer,
CSU, Germany

Programs Accommodate California Students’ Changing Needs.

Short Duration

Many programs run for a semester, quarter, summer or less to facilitate graduating on time, while adding international study to the undergraduate experience.

Research & Special Focus

Many programs address disciplines such as architecture, business, psychology, or biology. Some provide field research, or artistic studio experience.


Internship opportunities allow students to obtain hands-on experience by working in institutions, agencies, and corporations in host countries.

Begin Now!

Now is the best time to begin planning for your time abroad. Find out about study abroad programs when you choose a California college or university. Many programs have GPA, foreign language, and class standing prerequisites. For more information on these programs, contact the international study abroad resource of your institution.


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