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Step-by-Step Guide to Study Abroad


Think about the following as you are preparing to apply to study abroad:
  • Do you want to study abroad for an academic year or semester?
  • Are you set on going to a specific 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 you looking for additional scholarships? 


  1. Research and explore our programs. Use our Program Discovery tool to find the right program for you. Ensure that you meet program requirements and prerequisites. Each program page has details on courses, costs, and housing.
  2. Meet with your IP Coordinator. Your IP Coordinator is a study abroad advisor at your CSU IP specifically responsible for CSU IP programs. You are required to meet and discuss your study abroad options with them prior to submitting your CSU IP application.
  3. Submit your CSU IP study abroad application! Review the application deadlines and items needed to apply.
  4. Apply for your passport. You must have a valid passport to study abroad. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your date of return to the US. 


You should submit your application by the priority deadline as program spaces fill up.

Fall Semester/Academic Year Applicants 

Program Submit Application By
Select Programs Only:
  • Chile: Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile*Academic Year Only
  • Japan: University of Tsukuba and
  • Japan: Waseda University
  • Germany: Music at the Trossingen University of Music
January 15
Priority Deadline February 15
Secondary Deadline
Not all programs will have an extended deadline due to program capacity.
March 15
Late Deadline
Not all programs will have an extended deadline due to program capacity.
April 15

Spring Semester/Calendar Year Applicants

Program Submit Application By
Priority Deadline September 15
Secondary Deadline
Not all programs will have an extended deadline due to program capacity.
October 15

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 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).


In order to successfully submit your application, we required the following information as part of your application:
  • Term selection (Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Calendar Year, Academic Year). You can only submit one application per term.
  • 1st choice program selection. You can select a 2nd choice program as optional.
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Course preferences
  • Personal essays
  • CSU campus approval 


  1. Complete post-decision steps in the CSU IP Portal. Once you have received your admissions decision, you will have access to post-decision requirements. You must complete and submit these items by the deadlines provided.
  2. 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 time abroad.
  3. Make payments to CSU IP. You are required to pay a $500 program deposit and will be asked to arrange the payment for the rest of your fees. Students who do not submit the deposit by the deadline are automatically disenrolled from the program.
  4. Meet with your CSU 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.
  5. 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 provide students with a visa guide and support documents upon admission. 
  6. Join the CSU IP Discord! Each program has its own Discord group where you can connect with peers and alumni. 


  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 CSU IP staff and alumni.
  2. Book your flight. Review program start dates in the CSU IP Portal and book a flight to your study abroad location. Some programs may have a mandatory group flight.
  3. Review your CSU IP Academic Toolkit. Your toolkit provides academic resources and policies, including your academic planning form for course approvals.
  4. Arrange housing abroad. Review your specific housing guide in the CSU IP Portal for tips and resources. Students are required to arrange housing prior to departure.
  5. Review policies. Learn CSU IP policies and regulations, as well as those of your host country, and host university.
  6. Do more research. Research the location where you will live and the regions to which you will travel. Check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for required immunizations and health information and the US State Department for travel warnings and alerts.