Undergraduate Catalog 2024-2025

Education Abroad

Education Abroad Overview

Education Abroad programs include bilateral exchanges with partner institutions, direct enrollment at a university abroad, multi-lateral exchanges through approved third-party providers, and faculty led study abroad programs. Students engaging in study abroad experiences must complete UNC’s study abroad application process and receive approval from the Education Abroad office prior to travel.

Education Abroad is part of the UNC Office of Global Engagement overseeing all student-related travel for UNC academic credit and works closely with academic departments, faculty, staff, and advisors across the university to advise and support students throughout the pre-departure, travel, and during their experience abroad.

Approved programs

Education Abroad at UNC operates on an approved program portfolio model. The Education Abroad staff can provide students with information on what programs are currently approved. The Education Abroad website houses all the currently approved programs in our portfolio. Some programs have a limited number of available spaces and may not always be open for applications. Please check with the Education Abroad team for availability. Our approved program portfolio is subject to change based on current contracts and agreements. Anything outside of our approved programs will require students to go independently of UNC. Participation in non-approved study abroad programming may result in losing financial aid eligibility, transfer of credits taken abroad, and delay graduation. We are not able to advise on anything outside of our current approved program portfolio.


Eligibility is subject to change based on program and provider requirements, but minimum standards for study abroad applicants include:

  • A cumulative 2.5 GPA and one academic year of college level courses
    • Students may be subject to additional program specific GPA requirements
    • Conduct clearance from the Dean of Students
    • Proof of language proficiency as required by the study abroad program

Nomination from UNC to a particular provider or exchange program does not guarantee admission by the provider or program.

Travel Documentation

For travel and study abroad, students must have a valid passport issued by the country of their citizenship. A student’s passport should be valid for the period they are abroad and six months after the date of departure from the country in which they are studying. Many programs will require students to have their passports well in advance of departure to receive the proper visa and travel documentation, according to the legal requirements of the destination country, with which students must comply.

UNC operates a U.S. Passport Acceptance Facility on campus. All eligible individuals are invited to apply for a U.S. Passport by scheduling an appointment. UNC Education Abroad and/or the study abroad program staff will provide guidelines and requirements about the visa application process for host countries, as appropriate. However, students are solely responsible for obtaining the correct visa for their program in a timely manner. The authority to issue a visa rests solely with the consulate or embassy of the host country. UNC Education Abroad has no control or authority for visas and is not responsible for complications, delays, or denials.

Health and Safety

Detailed information about international insurance, health and safety while studying abroad is provided during mandatory pre-departure orientation.

Students who participate in our approved study abroad programs are automatically enrolled in UNC’s international health insurance coverage through AIG at no additional cost. The AIG insurance covers major emergencies abroad but is not designed for routine care. Students must download the AIG app and register before going abroad. Additional insurance coverage may be required by the study abroad provider or the host country for immigration purposes. Students are required to understand and manage their health insurance requirements.

Education Abroad provides a risk management software called Alert Traveler to all students going abroad on an approved study abroad program. Students submit their travel itinerary information and activate the Alert Traveler app before departure.

Cost Structure

Every student applying to go abroad on a UNC approved study abroad program will be required to pay $50 non-refundable application fee. Students going abroad through approved UNC study abroad providers are also subject to a separate provider application fee. Students who are accepted into a program and go abroad for Fall, Spring, and summer programs will be charged an administrative fee of $500 per term abroad. Academic Year study abroad participants pay $800 administrative fee for fall and spring semesters. Faculty-Led Study Abroad Program costs differ by program.

UNC offers a range of programs that are set up to meet different needs, and each program has specific costs and billing structures. Programs may be billed through the following methods: direct UNC billing, study abroad provider billing, the host university billing, host country billing, or any combination of these. Details are provided for each program, and students are responsible for understanding their program costs and billing structure.

Students are responsible for any personal expenses associated with the study abroad program including, but not limited to passport fees, visa application fees, flights, transportation.

Coursework Abroad and Transfer Credits

Students must be enrolled full-time, a minimum of 12 credit hours, every term while studying abroad. Students must consult their academic advisor and check the Academic Requirements section in Degree Works to determine what courses taken abroad meet degree requirements.

Once a program is selected and before departure, students must complete and submit a form to the Office of the Registrar listing desired classes to enroll in abroad. This form contains information about the classes the student intends to complete while abroad. The Office of the Registrar will review the course information and provide feedback about how classes will apply to the student’s respective UNC degree program. Course selection adjustments may be suggested to ensure appropriate transferability of credit.

Students are registered in an administrative placeholder course, ISE 100 or ISE101, for their study abroad program.

Students must be aware that courses taken abroad with a pass/fail grade assigned may have difficulty transferring back to UNC. Verification of Enrollment (VOE) requires students to list all courses taken abroad for correct credit transfer and financial aid eligibility.

All credit taken abroad through UNC-approved programs will initially transfer back to UNC as “Department or University-Wide” elective credit. Credit is transferred back upon successful completion of each course where a grade of C- or above was earned. Any grade below a C- is non-transferable and may impact a student’s federal financial aid, if applicable. Students can refer to the International Transcript Evaluation section of the UG catalog for expectations transcript evaluation.

Students may have their academic advisor submit a Course Adjustment form for course(s) completed from their study abroad program to assign as an appropriate academic program substitute.

Graduating seniors should be aware that translation and transfer of transcripts may take several weeks or months and may postpone their degree conferment if not transferred back by the deadline.

Financial Aid

Financial aid eligibility varies from program to program. Federal, state, and institutional aid eligibility are subject to each individual program. To be considered for financial aid, students must apply by completing the appropriate year’s FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and meet all other aid eligibility requirements. Students are encouraged to apply for UNC Foundations Scholarships through Ursa.

Please check with the Education Abroad Office and the UNC Financial Aid to determine eligibility.

To receive financial aid disbursement, students are required to submit a completed Verification of Enrollment (VOE) form signed by their host university. This document confirms courses taken abroad and the number of credits that meet UNC full time enrolment requirement.

Students studying abroad for an academic year must submit a completed and signed VOE for both semesters abroad. Academic year students must also get their transcript from their first semester abroad submitted to the registrar before aid can be released.