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Before You Apply

What is Study Abroad?

Study abroad is a program of study that is located in a different country than one’s home or resident country. It is the opportunity to take classes or work and pursue personal, academic, and professional goals in an international setting for academic credit.

WHY study abroad?

What You Should Know

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

The William V. Weber Program in 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? 

We offer a variety of terms and time lengths so that you can study abroad when you want to. Our options are:
  • Spring Break (1 week)
  • Short-term Summer Programs (2-6 weeks)
  • Whole Summer Sessions (8-12 weeks)
  • Fall or Spring Semester (13-16 weeks)
  • 1 Academic Year (2 semesters) 
Our program terms are flexible so that you can study abroad at any point in your time in college. 

WHAT type of program or program option is the best fit for you?

Eastern has a variety of different programs types and program options available. They are listed below.
  • Faculty-Led Programs: This is a program where EIU faculty take a group of EIU students to a different country to learn about a particular culture or subject. 
    • Programs run between 1 week and 1 month
    • Occur over Spring Break and Summer
    • Students pay study abroad costs to EIU
  • EIU Exchange: This is a program where you can enroll into one of our partner institutions and take classes at that institution.
    • Programs can be over the semester or during the summer
    • Tuition costs the same as EIU!
    • Have the flexibility to plan your own excursions, and do what you want to do.
  • Direct-Enroll: Like the EIU-Exchange, you can enroll into one of our partner institutions and take classes at that institution.
    • Programs are a semester long
    • Tuition costs vary by the partner institution.
    • Have the flexibility to plan your own excursions!
  • Third Party Providers: Third Party Providers are study abroad companies that plan all aspects of your study abroad trip. They assist you in everything start to finish. All you have to do is apply, pick your classes, pay, and go!
    • Offers short and long term programs
    • Costs are bundled up into one price and vary by provider
    • You can check out the world by yourself while having the convenience of having everything planned out!
  • Independent Internships: If you do not want to take classes abroad, you can get hands-on experience by working for an organization in another country!
    • For Juniors and Seniors
    • Internships run anywhere between 6 and 12 weeks during the summer and semester.
  • COST (for Education majors only): If you are an education major, you have the opportunity to student teach in a different country! The first 8 weeks is spent teaching at a school in Illinois, and the second 8 weeks is spent teaching at a school in another country.
    • Candidates majoring education are placed in public and private institutions in various locations around the world to teach early childhood, elementary, secondary, and special education.
    • If you have questions about the COST program, contact the WWSA at or at 217-581-7355.

HOW do you choose? 

How you choose a program all depends on what you are looking for in a study abroad experience. 
  • If you like the comfort of going abroad with EIU students and faculty, then you should go on the Faculty-Led Program.
  • If you love the idea of going by yourself and having the flexibility to plan all your excursions, then you could go on an EIU Exchange or Direct-Enroll Program.
  • If you love the idea of going with other U.S. students, but want everything planned out, then a Third Party Provider would be the right program for you.
  • If you would rather have the opportunity to work abroad in your field of study, then an Independent Internship would be the right program for you.
  • If you are an education major and would love to teach abroad, then the COST Program would be the best fit for you. 

Academics & Study Abroad

The William V. Weber Program in 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 William V. Weber Program in 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 Your Major or Minor
Accounting Advertising
African(a) Studies Anthropology
Applied Engineering and Technology Architecture/Architecture History
Art/Art History Asian Studies
Biological Sciences Business
Business Administration Business Information Systems
Chemistry Communications Disorders and Sciences
Communications Creative Writing
Criminology Culinary Arts
Dietetics Early Childhood Education
Earth Science Economics
Elementary Education Engineering
English English as a Second Language (ESL)
Entrepreneurship Environmental Studies/Sustainability
Ethics  European Studies
Exercise Science Fashion Design/Merchandising
Film/Film Studies Finance
Financial Literacy Food Communications
Food Technology and Management French
French and Francophone Studies French with Teacher Licensure
Geography Geology
German German with Teacher Licensure
Graphic Design Health and Human Services
Health Administration Health Communication
Health Promotion Health Promotion Teacher Licensure
History History with Teacher Licensure in Social Science
Hospitality and Tourism Human Resource Management
Integrative Studies (General Studies) International Business
International Relations International Studies
Journalism Kinesiology, Sports, and Recreation
Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation with Teacher Licensure Latin American Studies
Management Management Information Systems
Marketing Mathematics
Mathematics for Teacher Licensure Marine Science
Military Science  Music
Music Education Neuroscience
Nursing Nutrition and Dietetics
Philosophy Photography/Photojournalism
Physics Political Science
Pre-Chiropractic Pre-Dentistry
Pre-Engineering Pre-Law Studies
Pre-Nursing Pre-Occupational Therapy
Pre-Optometry Pre-Pharmacy
Pre-Physical Therapy Pre-Physician Assistant
Pre-Podiatry Pre-Veterinary Medicine
Professional Writing Psychology
Public Affairs Reporting Public Health
Public Relations Radio and Audio Production
Religious Studies Rural Studies
Science with Teacher Licensure Sociology
Spanish Spanish and Hispanic Studies
Spanish with Teacher Licensure Special Education
Sports Management Sports Administration
Sports Media Relations Technology
Television and Video Production Theatre
Undeclared Majors Video Production
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Workplace Wellness

*Please ask your Department Chair if you do not see your department represented.

Busting the Myths About Study Abroad
  1. Studying Abroad is too expensive. You can study abroad (through some programs) for less than what it costs to live/study at EIU. Plus, whatever you receive in your financial aid package (scholarships, grants, or loans) will help in paying for your study abroad program! We also offer tons of scholarships through EIU, the Honors College, as well as scholarships through our partner universities and third party providers. Even national scholarships are offered to assist in paying for your study abroad program like the Benjamin Gilman Scholarship that offers up to $5,000 to study abroad for at least 3 weeks.
  2. The classes I take abroad will not count as EIU credit. We work with our partner organizations and institutions as well as EIU faculty and department chairs to ensure that al classes taken abroad will be transferred back as EIU credit.
  3. I have to be a Foreign Language Major to study abroad. We have over 600 programs that accommodate all the majors we have at EIU. Believe it or not, the most popular majors to study abroad through EIU are Business, Technology, and Education majors. 
  4. Studying abroad would only transfer back as elective credits. You can study abroad for major, minor, or general education credit, in place of academic requirements that you’d normally take on campus. All courses taken abroad will transfer back as EIU courses. 
  5. I do not have a major. I have to have a decided major to study abroad. 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. 
  6. I cannot study abroad because a semester abroad is too long for me. We offer short term programs that vary from one week to one month if you like to study abroad, but cannot be gone for a long time.
  7. You have to know another language besides English to study abroad. We offer many programs in English-speaking countries like the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia so that students can still learn about a different cultural experience in their field of study, but do not have to worry about learning a new language.
  8. I cannot study abroad because it will delay my graduation. We work with even the most structured majors like Communication Disorders and Sciences, Engineering, and Education so that students can still study abroad and graduate on time. 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.
  9. EIU does not offer the program that I want to participate in. 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.
  10. I cannot study abroad because my parents/guardians do not support the idea. This is a common occurrence for our students. Our family members want to ensure that they students will be safe in a different country. Parents also wonder how the study abroad programs are going to be paid for. In some instances, parents and guardians want to be involved. Simply talking to your parents/guardians may let them know how serious you are about studying abroad. Need some advice about talking to your parents about you studying abroad? Check out our How-To

How to Get Started
If you are interested in studying abroad, make an appointment with one of our advisors! Simply email us at, call us at 217-581-7355, or come by our office at 1158 Blair Hall.

This advising appointment will assist you in finding potential study abroad programs as well as answer any questions you may have about courses, costs, or anything else related to studying abroad. We will also teach you how to look for programs on our Program Finder.

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.