Selecting a Study Abroad Program

student abroad in Graz

Your journey starts here! Study Abroad & Global Engagement offers study abroad programs for students in every part of the world and in a wide variety of majors.

Many students know that they want to study abroad but are not quite sure when, where, what or how to study abroad. Below are some questions to help you define your goals and narrow down what study abroad program(s) will work best for you.


  • Have you discussed studying abroad with your academic advisor at KU?
  • Do you know what courses you can/need/or want to take abroad?
  • Would you like to take courses in English, or courses in a foreign language?
  • Would you like to complete research or field work while abroad?
  • Would you like to take courses with host-country students, international students, or both?

Cost, Financial Aid, and Scholarships

  • How much do you current pay to KU and how does that compare to your potential programs?
  • Do you utilize federal or state financial aid (loans, grants, other)?
  • How will your financial aid and scholarships apply toward your study abroad program?
  • Do you plan to secure additional financial aid to finance your term abroad?
  • What funding sources do you rely on that you may not have access to abroad (like a job)?
  • What can you do now to secure finances for your term abroad (e.g. save money, apply for scholarships, etc.)?
  • What study abroad scholarships are you eligible to apply for?


  • Semester, academic year, or programs with large scholarship awards attached to them are usually the most affordable for the amount of time you go compared to the price because scholarship awards are higher, airline tickets can cost the same whether you’re going for a week or six months, , etc. so you get more bang for your buck.
  • For semester programs, KU Exchanges and programs through ISEP and USAC are often very affordable.
  • If you receive a Federal Pell Grant, apply for a Gilman Scholarship.

For more information visit our Costs and Finances page.


  • Are you fairly flexible as to when you study abroad, or is there a specific term in which you must go?
  • What is your ideal program length – a semester, an academic year, a summer, or a shorter program of a few weeks in length?

Review the information on our Study Abroad in Your Major for program and term recommendations for your field of study.


  • Where do you want to study? Where do you not want to study?
  • Are you open to any location as long as you can meet your other objectives (academics, cost, etc.)?
  •  Are you comfortable with the health and safety environments in the countries in which you are interested?
  • Are you comfortable with how your identities are view in your host country? See our Identity Abroad page for more information.
  •  If you would like to travel while abroad, what are the travel destinations from your host city, transportation options to get there, and approximate cost?
  • Do you prefer a lively, cosmopolitan city with a vibrant social scene or smaller “Lawrence-esque” location?
  • Does the cost of living of your host city and country fit into your finances?

Review the information on KU International Travel Policies if you are interested in studying abroad in a country with a Level 3 or 4 travel advisory. 

Life Abroad

  • What type of accommodation do you prefer while abroad (host family, residence hall, student apartment)?
  • Would you like to live on your own or with a roommate?
  • Do you prefer to have meals provided for you or would you like a program where you provide your own meals?
  • Would you prefer a program that plans excursions and field trips for you, or do you prefer to travel independently?
  • To what extent do you wish to immerse yourself in the local culture i.e., participate in local events and projects, do volunteer work, join student organizations, and other activities that will bring you in contact with locals?
  • Do you seek a program in which there is an on-site office and staff dedicated to assisting students or one in which you work directly through offices at the host institution?
  • Would you like to be in classes and participate in extracurricular activities with mostly local students or students from U.S. universities?

Once you have considered the above questions, you will be better prepared to begin your program search. You can search for programs by academic term, country, region, academic discipline as well as many other criteria. To begin your search, visit the Program Search section.

Were you unable to find a KU program that fits with your goals? Not to worry! There are hundreds of study abroad programs that are run by other U.S. universities or study abroad program providers.  As a KU student your options are endless! Visit our Drop-In Advising Center to learn more about how to select a program that is the best fit for you!