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Recommendations for Students Interested in Study Abroad

Recommendations for Students Interested in Study Abroad

The Office of Education Abroad in the Center for International Affairs at Case Western Reserve University provides a unique opportunity for students to personally experience another country and its culture, customs, people, language, and methods of problem-solving. There simply is no substitute! Students who study abroad develop important transnational competencies that can be of great interest to professional and graduate schools, as well as future employers. Study abroad allows you to learn about yourself and your home culture through exposure to new ways of thinking and living that encourage personal growth and independence.

Regardless of academic interests, study abroad is open to all students at Case Western Reserve. Each year many students spend anywhere from a week to a year studying in another country. Students can earn elective, breadth, minor, and even major credits on a study abroad program. We have more than 75 programs in more than 35 countries to fit your needs.

Options for study abroad

As a first-year student, you can jump right into a study abroad program. First-Year students are eligible to participate in faculty-led short-term and summer programs. Many departments across campus offer short-term programs during winter break, spring break, May, and summer. These opportunities consist of a CWRU class traveling abroad for one to three weeks exploring how the course topic is experienced in another country or culture. Moreover, first-year students can also participate in one of more than 50 opportunities to study abroad independently at an overseas institution over their first summer break.

In addition, your first year is an excellent time to start planning for a semester or year-long study abroad experience. CWRU offers a varied portfolio of semester- or year-long study abroad options. Students are eligible for long-term study abroad provided they have completed at least 24 credit-hours of coursework at CWRU, have declared a major, are in good academic and disciplinary standing (with no pending sanctions), and are otherwise eligible to register on campus at CWRU for the proposed semester(s). Some study abroad programs may have their own admissions guidelines that exceed CWRU expectations and students need to meet those for participation. Most programs are offered entirely in English with just a few requiring prior study of the local language. Regardless of whether foreign language study is required for a specific program, students planning to study in non-English-speaking countries are encouraged to develop competency in the language of the host country. Students with strong language skills often report a richer experience from being able to engage more fully in the local culture.

It is never too early to get the information you need to begin planning your study abroad. A study abroad advisor can help you find a program to match your academic needs. To schedule an appointment, email or stop by the Center for International Affairs in Tomlinson 143.

 To-Do List for First-Year Students Interested in Study Abroad

  1. Explore the study abroad options available through Case Western Reserve University by visiting
  2. Email the Office of Education Abroad at any time to meet with a study abroad advisor and have your questions answered.
  3. Select one or two countries/regions where you would like to study that have programs that match your interests and fit well into your academic program.
  4. If you are considering study abroad in a non-English-speaking country, enroll in a language course relevant to that country. Even if language proficiency is not required for the study abroad program, you will have a richer experience by being able to communicate with local people in their native language.
  5. Once you decide upon your major(s) and minor(s), speak with the department representative or your faculty advisor to determine how best to fit study abroad into your academic program. Also consider mapping out a four-year plan to determine how study abroad options fit into your four- or five-year academic program.
  6. Be sure to meet with a study abroad advisor to discuss your program and the process of studying abroad. Your study abroad advisor will provide you with details on how to apply; financial aid and scholarships; the international school(s), program(s), and/or country(ies) you are interested in, and more. Schedule an appointment by emailing
  7. Familiarize yourself with the study abroad application deadlines for your programs of interest. You can find the deadlines here. You should meet with a study abroad advisor sooner rather than later to plan your time abroad.