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Advising Guide for Study Abroad in

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  • With careful planning you can study abroad and still graduate on time.
  • The minimum eligibility requirements to study abroad are the completion of one semester on campus and a GPA of 2.5 or higher.  Some programs may have additional eligibility requirements.
  • Study abroad is a great way to satisfy your KU Core requirements.  Therefore, you might consider reserving some of your KU Core classes to take abroad.  
  • Scholarships are available for study abroad both through KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement and national organizations. Research your opportunities early.
  • Courses to take at KU: There may be certain courses within your curriculum that you should plan to take at KU.  Meet with your academic advisor to learn more about any restrictions that may exist in your curriculum so that you can effectively plan for a study abroad experience.



  • Schedule a meeting with your pre-health advisor or pre-med advisor during your first semester at KU to discuss your graduation year plan and identify specific courses as well as specific timing opportunities for your study abroad experience.  In addition to meeting with your advisor, you should also review the online advising resources for pre-med and/or pre-health professions
  • After you’ve met with your academic advisor, continue your program research by visiting the KU Study Abroad Info Center in Lippincott Hall. Study abroad peer advisors can help you to identify suitable study abroad options based upon the information you received from your advisor.
  • Studying abroad usually requires two letters of recommendation, so it’s good to start identifying individuals who can speak to your academic qualifications as well as your ability to be successful during an international experience.
  • There are some unique experiential opportunities available for pre-health students over the summer, and you may be eligible for many of these after you've successfully completed your first year at KU. That summer would also be a great time to take some of your KU Core requirements abroad.  Applications for these programs are usually due March 1st or earlier, so visit the Study Abroad Info Center in the fall semester to learn more about your options.

Sophomore & Junior

  • Sophomore or Junior year is a common time for students to pursue a study abroad program during a fall or spring semester.  Specific timing recommendations will depend upon your major(s), so work closely with your academic advisor to determine the best time for you to study abroad.
  • Summer after junior year is not a good time to go overseas because most pre-health and pre-med students need to take admission tests and apply to professional schools and graduate programs during that time. 
  • Students often take a combination of major courses, elective courses, minor requirements, and/or KU Core requirements during their time abroad.  Your academic advisor can help you to determine which courses to target for your study abroad experience, and Study Abroad & Global Engagement can help you to find a suitable program match based on the information you learn from your academic advisor.


  • Most medical schools and health-related professional schools and graduate programs conduct admissions interviews in the fall of senior year, so this is not an ideal time to study abroad.
  • If you do plan to study abroad as a senior, you should first meet with an academic advisor prior to applying for a program to make sure that you are on track to complete all your degree requirements.


  • A number of study abroad courses have already been pre-approved for KU credit.  To see available pre-approved courses, visit the Course Equivalencies Database.
  • If you want to take a class/classes that have not been pre-approved, complete the credit approval process.


KU Exchanges - Various locations

The University of Kansas Study Abroad & Global Engagement offers a variety of semester and year-long exchanges for students studying biology, chemistry, psychology, engineering, exercise science, and more.  Popular options include the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. 

University of Costa Rica

For students studying Spanish, UCR is a wonderful opportunity to improve fluency and take courses in a variety of subjects abroad. Students live with local host families and enroll directly in classes with locals taught in Spanish. Subjects include biology, chemistry, psychology, and healthcare. Volunteer opportunities are available. 

Bilingual Spanish Language and Research Intensive for Health Majors - Costa Rica

Learn Spanish and participate in health-related research with faculty at the University of Costa Rica. Students live with host families and go on several cultural excursions. This is an 8 week summer program.

Microbiology in Western Europe  

Participants will be exposed to many of the public health approaches and aspects of Western European countries giving them the opportunity to compare and contrast those found within the United States. In addition to cultural tours and activities, historical sites related to infectious disease impacts on human development will also be included in the itinerary. 

Hospital Shadowing in Spain

A six-week program where participants will gain extensive observation experience in a hospital setting, a broadened perspective on the medical vocation, and a comparative lens to examine global healthcare.  

Healthcare and Social Policies in Sweden

This KU sponsored, faculty-led summer program focuses on Sweden’s system of comprehensive and publicly-funded healthcare and social services. A professor will guide the group, provide background lectures, lead discussions, and answer questions. The program includes visits to healthcare facilities and lectures from local healthcare professionals. 

SIT Study Abroad - Various locations

The School for International Training offers global health summer and semester programs focused on research and service around the world. Options include Traditional Medicine and Healthcare Systems in Madagascar, Traditional Medicine and Healthcare Practices in India, and Community Health and Traditional Chinese Medicine in China. In addition, students may be interested in the public health programs in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Jordan, and South Africa

DIS Study Abroad - Scandinavia

DIS offers semester and summer programs in Copenhagen and Stockholm. Disciplines include biomedicine, biotechnology, child development, family studies, gender studies, human development, neuroscience, pre-medicine, health science, psychology, and public health. 

CET Academic Programs - Vietnam

CET offers semester and summer programs in Vietnam focused on public health. Students participate in a service-learning internship, take courses in public health, and study beginning Vietnamese. This program may be eligible for Freeman Asia Internship Scholarships. 

Global Semesters - Cyprus

Global Semesters offers semester and summer programs in Cyprus focused on health sciences, pre-med, pharmacy, nursing, and physical therapy. Courses are offered in English through the University of Nicosia. 

UC Davis Microbiology Lab in the Kingdom of Smiles - Thailand

University of California Davis (UC Davis) offers a summer laboratory program introducing microbiology to students wishing to explore the enchanting and exotic Kingdom of Thailand. Students will explore microbial diversity from samples they obtain from a variety of places, ranging from open-air markets and urban canals to pristine jungles and beaches. 

IFSA Summer Nursing and Pre-Health, University of Ulster, Coleraine - Northern Ireland

Offered by Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA), students develop interpersonal and practical skills through nutrition and microbiology coursework combined with intercultural learning. Field and laboratory experiences are a key part of the program and include a visit to medical microbiology labs and practical lab work. 

Human Health & Spanish for Health Professionals - Costa Rica (available through multiple program providers such as AIFS, API, ISA, and more. Visit the link to see a full list of providers)

Students enroll at Veritas University in San Jose for the summer or semester and take a mix of coursework taught in English and Spanish language courses. Course options include Spanish for Health Professionals, Introduction to Genetics, Introduction to Physical Therapy, Alternative Health Approaches, Health Psychology, and Tropical Medicine. 


Fall 2020 & Academic Year 2020-2021 programs now accepting applications !

Study Abroad Information & Advising
Our office is still available to help you with your study abroad questions.  Click here to set up an E-advising appointment with our team.

Study Abroad Financial E-Advising
Personalized advising through phone appts, Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM, call 785-864-3742 or email nicholas.f.kellerman@ku.edu

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9th among public universities in the country for high quality, low cost study abroad programs — U.S. News & World Report
Longest-running exchange program in Western Hemisphere (begun in 1958) between KU and University of Costa Rica
18th in the nation among public universities for undergraduate participation in study abroad — Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange
28.1% of KU undergraduate students study abroad prior to graduation.
KU students who study abroad graduate in four years at twice the rate of students who do not study abroad
More than 160 study abroad programs in 75 countries, with instruction in all disciplines and 20+ languages
Students can study abroad for an academic year, semester, summer, spring break, or winter break
Programs include international study, internships, service, and research opportunities
Students participating in semester, academic year, and select summer programs fulfill Goal 4.2 of the KU Core curriculum
Students can fulfill major, minor, certificate, elective, and KU Core curriculum requirements abroad
Programs are available for students in every major at KU
Financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs, and most KU scholarships and grants can be applied to study abroad
The Office of Study Abroad and many academic departments offer scholarships to qualified KU students
By studying abroad, students gain a global perspective on the world and strengthen their career opportunities
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times