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Before You Apply

What is Study Abroad?

Getting Started
Academics & Study Abroad
Study Abroad by Major
Frequently Asked Questions
Bringing up Study Abroad with Your Parents
How To Apply

WHY study abroad?

Getting Started

When you study abroad through EIU, you earn EIU credit for international coursework and you are able to use financial aid and scholarships to cover the cost of a study abroad program*. 

The Office of Study Abroad will help you figure out when to go, what kind of programs are available, and how to choose the one that's right for you.

Already know what you're looking for? Use our Program Finder to get started.

WHEN do you want to go? 

You can study abroad during spring break, fall or spring semester, during the summer or even for a full academic year. Spring break programs are short term-  1 week. Summer programs can be anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks and semester programs will run the duration of an academic semester- 14 to 16 weeks.

WHAT type of program is the best fit for you?

Eastern has a variety of different programs available. They are classified as: Third Party, Faculty-Led and Partner programs.

THIRD PARTY program is led by a study abroad company who will take charge of your entire program from start to finish, and provide assistance to you while you’re overseas.

FACULTY-LED program is led by one or two EIU faculty members. These programs typically travel in the summer, or during spring break. Your group will likely consist of fellow EIU students, and you will be taught by EIU faculty.

PARTNER program is an opportunity that is often referred to as "direct enroll." This means Eastern has established a partnership with a university, and students are able to take courses at that institution.

HOW do you choose? 

Here are some examples:
  • Maria wants to study abroad, and would prefer to be with other Eastern students. She is looking for a short term program where the itinerary is planned ahead of time and the group travels together. Maria's best fit of a program would be a Faculty-Led Program
  • Alex is interested in spending a significant amount of time abroad. He is very independent, and wants to make his own plans for his coursework and his travels. He is ok with possibly being the only student from Charleston. Alex's best program fit is a Partner Program
  • Cara wants to study abroad with other US students, but not necessarily Eastern classmates. She wants a program that will give her instruction from start to finish, and take care of all the arrangements for her, from curriculum to housing.Cara will benefit from a Third-Party Program.
Get Started
Still haven't found the right program for you? Ask us about a program petition.

Academics & Study Abroad

The Office of Study Abroad is dedicated to helping Eastern Illinois University acquire a world-wide reputation as a university where international students are welcomed, where diversity is respected, and whose faculty and students view themselves as citizens of the world. EIU offers many programs, of various lengths and prices, all around the world.

There is a requirement of a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. (Note: Some host institutions or faculty-led programs may require a higher GPA.) 
The Office of Study Abroad also reserves the right to deny a student participation in any program due to being or having been in University Disciplinary Probation or other evidence of significant behavior infractions. Prior to making such a determination, the applicant will be offered an opportunity to meet with an advisor or to submit information regarding such issues.

Students that choose to study abroad and plan accordingly with their academic advisor, should not lose time toward graduation. A variety of courses are available to count as EIU credit. Study abroad coursework may count to meet major, minor, general education requirements, or electives at Eastern. Classes and availability depend on the university and what the student requires to stay on track with degree progress. Some course listings are available on our program webpages. The partner institution’s website will also have course information, which can be accessed through the program information pages.

Please be advised that foreign countries may have different education systems, including grades and course credit.
Example: In Ecuador, when registering you will see that each course is worth 4 credits. Please take note that the 4 credit system is only for internal purposes (Ecuadorian students only) to comply with a new disposition of the National University Council, therefore, you will still have 3 hours per week of class and will receive a transcript with 3 credit courses. This rules out  sports and lab classes that are worth “0” credits.

Before applying to any program, students should schedule an appointment with a Study Abroad Advisor..

Study Abroad by Major
African-American Studies History
Art Journalism
Biological Sciences Kinesiology & Sports Recreation
Business Math & Computer Science
Chemistry Music
Communication Disorders Philosophy
Communication Studies Physics
Economics Political Science
Education Psychology
English Recreation Administration
Family Consumer Sciences Sociology-Anthropology
Foreign languages Technology
Geology/Geography Theatre Arts
Health Studies Women's Studies
*Please ask your Department Chair if you do not see your department represented.

Frequently Asked Questions

COST. You can study abroad (through some programs) for less than what it costs to live/study at EIU.  You can use your financial aid and also apply for study abroad scholarships.

CREDIT. You can study abroad for major, minor, or general education credit, in place of academic requirements that you’d normally take on campus. The key is to start planning early enough so you can hold back on certain requirements that you know you can fulfill on your first-choice program abroad. By starting early, you'll have more program options from which to choose and more scholarship opportunities.

MAJOR. You don’t need a major to study abroad. Freshmen and Sophomores usually fulfill general education requirements through their study abroad program. Juniors and Seniors fulfill major and minor requirements. There are lots of programs for general education and some recommendations for your major or minor. Come to the Office of Study Abroad to discuss the many options.

LENGTH. You can study abroad any time from a week, to a summer, to a full semester, year, or longer. The benefit of selecting a longer program is that usually the cost per week goes down and there's much more opportunity for scholarships. National scholarships tend to favor non-traditional locations and longer periods of a semester or more.

LANGUAGE. You can study abroad in English, even in countries where English isn’t spoken. You can also fulfill your foreign language requirement in any language you can take abroad (it doesn't have to be Spanish, French, or German); try Chinese, Japanese, or some other language you've always wanted to learn. This is the beauty of study get to experience what EIU just can't offer at home.

GRADUATION. You can study abroad and graduate on time, with a richer degree and resume. We work very hard to make sure you don't lose any time towards graduation. We have a solid program advising process that helps you select the right program and stay on track with your academic and career goals. We want to see you succeed, and acquiring a study abroad experience can only help. If you graduate in the spring and want to study abroad in the summer, you must apply to delay your graduation. Only currently enrolled full-time students can study abroad.

LIMITATIONS. You are NOT limited to EIU study abroad programs. If you don’t find something on our list that suits your needs, you can find something else and submit a quick and easy petition to our office for approval.

Bringing up Study Abroad with Your Parents

Need some advice about talking to your parents about you studying abroad? Check out our How-To!

How to Apply

Once you choose your program in the Program Finder, each individual program page will have a section at the top of the page for your online application. If you have any questions about the application process, feel free to call or come into our office.

Still not sure which program is right for you? Give us a call at 217-581-7355 to make an appointment!

You can find more details on how to apply here: Applying for Study Abroad