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Step-by-Step Guide to Study Abroad

Planning and Research

  1. Identify your priorities.
    • Do you want to study abroad for a full academic year (IP only offers yearlong programs)?
    • Are you set on going to a particular country, or are you flexible?
    • Would you like to improve your foreign language skills?
    • How important is on-site support to you and your family?
    • Are scholarship opportunities important to you?
  2. Research and explore. Use this website to explore CSU IP's yearlong program options. You can search to see what programs are available for your your Major/Area of Study, class level, etc. though the "Advanced Search" function. Do additional research on study abroad locations and host universities.
  3. 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.
  4. Consider the costs. Review program cost information. Cost estimates for each program are available on the program brochure page for each program in the "Budget Estimates" section at the top of the page. How will you pay for your year abroad? Find a program which will fit within your budget. Also review scholarship options under the "Financing Your Study Abroad" section of this website.
  5. Understand application deadlines. The application deadline for  CSU IP Academic Year programs is February 1st. Calendar Year programs have an application deadline of September 1st.
  6. Contact your IP Coordinator. Your IP Coordinator is the study abroad advisor at your CSU campus specifically responsible for CSU IP programs. Your IP Coordinator 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.
  7. Get a passport. Do you have a passport? If you do not have a passport yet, apply for one right away here. If you already have one, 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.

Application Process

  1. Apply online. After consulting with your IP Coordinator, begin your application by clicking the "Apply Now" button on the program brochure page for the program you wish to apply to. Start your application early. It takes time to gather all of the required application materials (transcripts, faculty recommendations, etc.). All application materials must be complete and submitted by the deadline; late materials will not be accepted.
  2. Application Review. After the submission deadline, your application will be reviewed by a Selection Committee composed of CSU faculty members. Once a decision has been reached on your application, you will receive a notification via email regarding a change in status of your application (approximately six weeks after the application deadline).


  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 programs, Nov. 1 for Calendar Year 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; CSU IP does not arrange this for you. 


  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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Review policies. Learn CSU IP policies and regulations, as well as those of your host country, and host university. Ignorance of the rules is no excuse!