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Get Started

Get ready to discover your world! The steps below will guide you through selecting a program that meets your personal and academic goals, financing, and the application process.

Study abroad timeline

When should I study abroad?

Freshman can study abroad as early as their first semester on the Global Edge program or the summer after freshman year through UCEAP, Berkeley Summer Abroad, Berkeley Global Internships, and independent programs. With careful planning, transfer students can study abroad as early as their second semester on campus. All students can study abroad up to and including their last term at Berkeley, even the summer after walking in a graduation ceremony! The “right” term to study abroad depends on your personal and academic needs. The earlier you start planning, the more options you will have. The best news of all? You can study abroad for unlimited summers and up to three semesters with permission from your college.

When should I research and apply for a program?

Researching study abroad options as early as possible will allow you to choose a program that best fits your academic and personal goals, and provide time to complete application prerequisites. Application deadlines vary by program, but can be as early as 12 months prior to the term of participation.

Define goals and objectives

Dedicating time to defining your goals and objectives is the best way to ensure a positive outcome from your study abroad experience.


Stay on track for graduation by using study abroad courses to satisfy major, minor, breadth, and general education requirements. Our Academics section will walk you through college and departmental planning for study abroad. Your goal is to determine how many, and what type of, classes you need before you begin your program search. You may also consider making a 2 or 4 year plan with assistance from your academic advisers to determine the best term to go abroad.


From the length of participation to the level of engagement with the locals, personal goals are unique to every individual. Use our Program Planning Worksheet to understand and define your priorities in selecting a study abroad program.


There are many career benefits of studying abroad. While researching programs, you can consider what skills you would like to obtain or improve upon - whether that is learning or language or interning abroad.


Review the minimum eligibility for each program as you explore, including minimum GPA, class standing, language and/or course prerequisites, and eligibility for a student visa in the host country. Some eligibility requirements must be met at the time of application (typically GPA), while others can be met by the time of participation (typically class standing and language/course prerequisites).

Explore programs

Hooray! Now that you’ve defined your goals and objectives, it’s time to Explore programs. 

Our flexible search tool allows you to explore by term, location, the language of instruction, and program provider. Each result includes a link to the corresponding program website for additional information. 

Adviser Tip: We encourage you to search first without selecting a program provider to see the full range of options for any given search criteria. 

What’s the difference between Program Providers? 

Berkeley Global Internships are 6-8 week academic and internship programs offered in a variety of international and domestic global cities over the summer.
Berkeley Summer Abroad includes Berkeley faculty-led courses taught in an international location.
University of California Education Abroad Programs (UCEAP) offer UC system-wide summer, semester, and year programs offered in over 40 locations that include study, research and internship opportunities.
Independent Programs allow you to take advantage of hundreds of study, internship, volunteer, and teaching opportunities around the world. These programs are not affiliated with the University of California and are typically administered by another university, institution, or organization.

Students with disabilities are welcome to search for a program in any of these categories, and we encourage them to read our I am a Student with a Disability page to learn more about support and resources for choosing a program that will meet their needs and requesting accommodations.

Review eligibility

Congratulations! Exploration led you to the program of your dreams! You’re eager to apply, but first must confirm that you meet eligibility requirements for the program and your college at Berkeley.


The Explore tool includes a summary of eligibility, but it’s essential that you review detailed eligibility on each individual program listing. Program eligibility is determined by the program provider. If you are unsure that you meet program eligibility, contact the Berkeley Study Abroad adviser listed for the program.


In addition to meeting the eligibility set by the provider, you must have eligibility to study abroad within your Berkeley college. Review our College Advising information, and consult with your college if you are unsure that you meet eligibility requirements.

Get advising

Advising for study abroad comes in many formats, requiring coordination and collaboration between students and their families, colleges, departments, campus offices, and the Berkeley Study Abroad office.


Seek college advising for guidance on eligibility for study abroad within your college and overall progress toward a degree. Review our College Advising pages, and consult with your college if you are unsure that you meet eligibility requirements.


Seek departmental advising for guidance on credit from study abroad courses toward your major/minor. Before visiting your major/minor adviser(s), review our Academics overview which details course credit and academic planning, then review our Major Advising pages.


Speak with study abroad returnees and Peer Advisers to receive general guidance on selecting and applying for a study abroad program. Browse the Stories section for Berkeley Study Abroad Ambassador profiles, and reach out to your Berkeley Study Abroad adviser to connect with alumni from your specific country and program of interest.

EOP Peer

In certain semesters, select Berkeley Study Abroad peer advisers are designated as EOP satellite advisers. Their names will have "EOP" marked next to them when you sign up for a peer advising appointment. Some of these students are EOP identifying, and all of them have additional knowledge on advising EOP identifying students. You can read more about EOP and EOP satellite advising on the EOP website.

Study Abroad

Professional study abroad advisers are available to assist you during Advising Hours. We offer general advising for students who have not yet selected a program. Advisers specializing in countries and programs are also available to answer your program specific questions via email or during specified hours. For most programs, you are not required to meet with an adviser prior to application, but it is highly recommended.

Information Sessions

Check out our Events page for upcoming info sessions. Join our mailing list or follow us on Facebook or Instagram to ensure you are contacted about info sessions and special events hosted by Berkeley Study Abroad. You can also find pre-recorded info sessions and workshops on our YouTube page.


Include your family in your exploration of study abroad options. Share the I am a Family Member/Parent page (also available in Chinese and Spanish) with them. Your family members are welcome to join you in a Berkeley Study Abroad Advising appointment.

Plan finances and financial aid

Study abroad is more affordable than you think! You can absolutely plan a great study abroad experience that fits your financial needs. Our Finances section will introduce you to costs and budgets, identifying funding through scholarships, and applying financial aid to study abroad participation.

Learn more about submitting a study abroad financial aid package estimate based on your specific financial need and program(s) of interest.


Berkeley Study Abroad application open dates, deadlines, and instructions are listed in the Explore page search results. That is also where you will find links to each application. Applications are typically due several months before departure.

Some programs accept applications on a first-come, first-served basis and applications are reviewed in the order they are submitted. Other programs have only a final deadline and all applications submitted by the deadline are given equal consideration for acceptance. Many programs can accommodate all qualified applicants.

Application processes vary by program provider, but in addition to an online submission of demographic and academic information may include a personal statement, transcripts, passport scan, letter(s) of recommendation, and other items specific to the program or host institution. Make sure to review application requirements well in advance of the deadline to allow time to prepare supplemental materials.

There is one application for Summer Berkeley Global Internships and Berkeley Summer Abroad programs. You are welcome to review the Global Internships Application Process or the Summer Abroad Application Process.

There are two applications for all UCEAP programs, (1) the UCEAP application on the UCEAP website and (2) the Berkeley Study Abroad application on this website. Be sure to complete and turn in both by the deadline. You are welcome to review the UCEAP Application Process.

After you submit your application, continue to check your email for your application confirmation, acceptance and pre-departure steps. Pre-departure steps may include visa applications, enrollment at the host institution, housing, and other processes depending on your program.

Apply for a passport

You will need a valid passport, which does not expire for 6 months (12 months for Chile and 18 months for Russia) after the end date of the study abroad program, either at the time of application or very shortly after acceptance to the program. The requirement for your program will be noted on the application. Apply for your passport or passport renewal now to avoid paying expedited fees closer to the application deadline.

study abroad services

Adviser Services

We are excited to help you begin your journey! Our advising team is on-hand to guide you through the study abroad process.