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Step-by-Step Guide to Study Abroad

Do you want to study abroad for an academic year or semester?
CSU IP offers yearlong and semester program options. However, we encourage students to study abroad for the academic year, as there are many benefits to long-term study abroad. Students who study abroad for the academic year experience their host country as a local versus a tourist, have the opportunity to build lasting personal and professional relationships with locals, and significant language acquisition.

Are you set on going to a specific country, or are you flexible?
Choosing a specific country or region may help narrow down your program options. However, each country has its own requirements that you must meet in order to enroll. This includes meeting the minimum GPA and prerequisite requirements. Additionally, some of our programs are extremely popular. Being flexible may help you achieve your study abroad goals if your first-choice program has a wait list.

Would you like to improve your foreign language skills?
While many CSU IP programs offer coursework taught in English worldwide, CSU IP offers several Language and Culture programs where students can learn a language on the program. Additionally, we offer advanced programs for students at an intermediate or advanced level in specific languages.

How important is on-site support to you and your family?
Some of our locations have dedicated CSU IP Resident Directors and support staff. CSU IP support staff assist students with issues involving culture shock, academics, housing, excursions, and more. Other locations utilize the host university’s International Office providing support to students from around the world. The following locations have support staff designated for CSU IP students:

  • Chile
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Spain
  • Taiwan

Are you looking for additional scholarships?

While CSU financial aid, scholarships, fee waivers, and loans apply to CSU IP programs, there are additional scholarships from CSU IP and external sources available for select locations and programs. Go to our Scholarships site for more information.


Research and explore. 
Use this website to explore CSU IP program options. You can search to see what programs are available by host country, subject area, language requirements, and more through the Advanced Search function. Each program page has information regarding academics, housing, finances, and deadlines.

Check eligibility requirements and course prerequisites. 
Make sure you are eligible to participate before you apply. Eligibility requirements and course prerequisites for each program are listed on the online program brochure pages. Students should note that course prerequisites can be in progress at the time of application.
CSU IP Study Abroad is affordable! Still, consider the costs. 
Some countries are more budget-friendly than others. Cost estimates for each program are available on the program brochure page for each program. Compare CSU IP programs costs to the costs of your CSU campus here.
Contact your IP Coordinator. 
The IP Coordinator is a study abroad advisor at your CSU campus specifically responsible for CSU IP programs. IP Coordinators and study abroad advisors will help guide you through the application process and will also be able to advise you on the various program options. Find your IP Coordinator's contact information here.
Apply for a passport. 
Do you have a current passport? You can apply for or renew your passport here. If you already have a passport, when does it expire? Your passport needs to be valid for six months after your planned date of return to the U.S. Check your expiration date, and if necessary, begin the application/renewal process as soon as possible! You will be required to submit a copy of your passport immediately upon acceptance to CSU IP. 

  1. Click here to browse, research, and select your top programs
  2. Contact your campus study abroad advisor for help selecting the best program for you and to discuss any campus steps you need to complete in order to study abroad
  3. Identify the program you would like to apply for and click the “apply” button on the overview page of your selected program
  4. Complete the CSU IP Study Abroad application (this includes short essays, recommendation requests, and a current transcript)
  5. Remember to apply early! 

Following the application deadline, applications are reviewed by a Selection Committee composed of CSU faculty members. Committee members consider all components of your application during the review, paying specific attention to recommendations and essays. Once a decision has been reached on your application, you will receive a notification via email regarding a change in status of your application (typically four to six weeks after the application deadline). 

Students admitted to a CSU IP program are required to complete several admissions documents in their CSU IP Portal. These items are time sensitive, so students should begin reviewing each step immediately upon admission. 

  1. Complete Post-Decision Materials. Once you have received notice that you have been accepted to CSU IP, you will have access to the "Post-Decision" materials in the online application. You must complete and submit these items by the deadlines provided in order to participate.
  2. Read Learning Content. We urge all students to read through "Learning Content" sections in the online application, which contain a wide range of essential information regarding participation in the program.
  3. Apply for Financial Aid. Complete the FAFSA application and meet with a financial aid advisor on campus to discuss how you will pay for your year abroad.
  4. Make payments. You are required to pay a $500 program deposit. You will also be asked to arrange the payment for the rest of your fees. Students who do not submit the deposit by the deadline (May 1 for all Academic Year and Fall programs, Nov. 1 for Calendar Year and Spring programs) are automatically disenrolled from the program.
  5. Meet with your Academic Advisor. You will be required to meet with your academic advisor(s) on your campus to discuss the courses you will be taking abroad and get approval for those courses.
  6. Apply for a student visa. Most countries require students to apply for a visa or residency permit before traveling abroad. Students are entirely responsible for obtaining their visa; While CSU IP cannot arrange this for you, we will provide students with a Visa Guide and support documents upon admission.  

Prior to departure, students should prepare for their experience abroad to help with culture shock and adjustment during arrival. CSU IP will help you with this process!
  1. Attend a CSU IP Pre-Departure Orientation. Orientations are held in Northern California and Southern California. Attendees will receive valuable information and will have the opportunity to meet with past participants and CSU IP staff.
  2. Read the CSU IP Newsletters. CSU IP will send a series of pre-departure newsletters to help prepare you for your time abroad!
  3. Do more research. Research the location where you will live and the regions to which you will travel. Check the Centers for Disease Control for required immunizations and health information. Check the U.S. State Department for travel warnings and alerts.
  4. Book your flight. Review program start dates and book a flight to your study abroad location. Some programs may have a mandatory group flight. Refer to the "Getting There & Arrival" section under "Learning Content" for specific information on flights and arrival information.
  5. Review policies. Learn CSU IP policies and regulations, as well as those of your host country, and host university. 



CSU IP hopes operate select study abroad programs for the calendar year and spring semester. However, we do so with the safety and security of our students and worldwide community in mind. The status of each program is under review. CSU IP will update applicants of the status of the Spring 2021 programs in mid-October.

Note: Some CSU campuses have chosen to suspend Spring 2021 study abroad for their campus. CSU IP supports each individual campus’ decision and will not admit students from those campuses for Spring 2021 on IP programs. Speak with your campus study abroad office to learn more. 


  1. Click here to browse, research, and select your top programs
  2. Contact your campus study abroad advisor for help selecting the best program for you and to discuss any campus steps you need to complete in order to study abroad
  3. Identify the program you would like to apply for and click the “apply” button on the overview page of your selected program
  4. Complete the CSU IP Study Abroad application (this includes short essays, recommendation requests, and a current transcript)
  5. Remember to apply early!!


Calendar Year & Spring Semester Applications 

September 15 Priority Deadline (CSU IP recommends that students apply by September 15)
October 15 Secondary Deadline (Not all programs will have a secondary deadline)
Academic Year & Fall Semester
January 15  Japan: Waseda University and Germany: Music at Trossingen
February 15   Priority Deadline (CSU IP recommI can'tends that students apply by February 15)
March 15 Secondary Deadline (Not all programs will have a secondary deadline)
April 15 Late Deadline (Limited options available)

Your IP Coordinator is a study abroad advisor on your CSU campus. All applicants are required to meet with their CSU IP Coordinator (or a study abroad advisor) as part of the application process. You can find your CSU IP Coordinator here.

Applicants must submit unofficial transcripts from all universities and colleges they have attended as part of the application process. Examples of acceptable and unacceptable unofficial transcripts can be found here.

Applicants must upload a transcript showing your most recent term grades. If you are applying for calendar year or spring abroad, your spring grades from the previous year should be reflected on your transcript. If you are applying for academic year or fall abroad, your current fall grades should be reflected on your transcript. Do not submit your application if you have not included your previous term’s grades, as your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Applicants must submit an academic recommendation from a college or university faculty member in the IP Portal. Further information regarding recommendations can be found here.

CSU student pay the same CSU tuition to study abroad. Costs such has housing, meals, and travel are not included in tuition expenses. Further information regarding the cost of CSU IP study abroad programs can be found here and on each program website page.

If you receive financial aid, make sure to set up an appointment in the Financial Aid Office at your campus once you have narrowed down your program choices. All State and Federal financial aid should apply to the cost of CSU IP programs. Most fee waivers also apply to study abroad with CSU IP. Further information regarding financial aid can be found here.

Yes! CSU IP scholarship opportunities and additional scholarship resources can be found here.

Go to to renew or apply for your passport. Passport processing times are currently delayed, so make sure to apply early!