Getting Started: Students

Why Study Abroad?

Spending a part of your university experience abroad will expand your understanding of the world and help you develop global skills – adaptability, intercultural communication, learning on the fly, etc. – that are in high demand by employers and graduate programs. For many students, studying abroad is a transformational experience.

My journey from dreamer to intern was not without its challenges, but it was a testament to determination and the courage to step outside my comfort zone. Korea welcomed me with open arms, and I left with unforgettable memories and a piece of its culture in my heart.

Sumaya Yusuf, UW Bothell Study Abroad Ambassador
UW Bothell Study Abroad Ambassador Sumaya Yusuf

Questions to Start Your Journey

Define your academic goals and objectives first. While it’s easy to imagine the best way to choose your program based on location, it is also important to consider the factors below.


  • Do you want to study a specific subject while abroad?
  • Do you need to satisfy degree requirements while abroad or do you prefer to take elective courses of personal interest to you?


  • What quarter, semester or year might be best for your graduation plan?
  • Are you flexible about the timing of your study abroad program?
  • How long can you be gone for?
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to discuss the specific credits you need in order to complete your degree.


  • How important is the program’s location to your decision to study abroad?
  • Are you interested in destinations in the developing world or the more developed parts of the globe?
  • How do you define your travel comfort zone and how far are you willing to push your boundaries?
  • Important note: international undergraduate students in the U.S. on a student visa cannot study in their home country through the UW Study Abroad Office. For more information, contact


  • Do you want internship experience while you’re abroad?
  • Do you want to expore an international workplace environment?


  • Do you want or need to take courses in a language other than English while abroad?
  • Do you want to take courses taught exclusively in English?


  • Can you adapt well to new environments?
  • Residence halls, homestays, shared or studio apartments are options available to students depending on the program

Start your Research

Utilize our website to see what programs are offered during a set time. A number of different study abroad program options are available that vary in location, purpose and duration. All approved programs earn academic credit towards degree completion and are eligible for financial aid and scholarships. If you are unsure about what program is right for you, read about the Types of Programs offered at UW.

Be sure to know to participation requirements before applying. Identifying logistical and financial constraints will also help you narrow down your program choices.

Resources to help you research:

Application Process

The most important tip in applying for a study abroad experience is to plan ahead. Planning two quarters ahead of when you want to go abroad will give you the best options in terms of programs and funding opportunities.

Consider the following:

  • Do you meet the program’s eligibility requirements?
  • Do you have any personal needs that require special accommodations or consideration?
  • Do you have degree requirements that might limit your options (e.g. program duration, timing)?

Once you’ve identified a program, you can click the “apply now” button! Most programs require you to fill out an application, obtain references from your recommender(s), submit academic transcripts, and write a statement of purpose.

Read about our study abroad applications tips and basics for UW Faculty Led programs.

Common Application Questions:

Some people we recommend you ask are faculty and staff. If you are just starting at UW Bothell, we recommend you ask faculty from the previous institution you were at. Any person you have a tight mentor to mentee relationships with (boss, tutor, etc.) We want someone who knows you well to write your letter of recommendation.

The Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) produces a report reflecting academic progress toward completion of an undergraduate degree.

Use this tool to get an idea of what credits you have left to work with. This will help you narrow down your study abroad options to see how the credits will count towards your degree.

Financing Study Abroad

With good planning, financial aid and external scholarships can help cover the additional costs associated with study abroad. When calculating the costs of a study abroad program, it’s important to consider the program’s duration, the number of credits you can expect to receive, and any other expenses the program includes/exludes.

Consider the following:

  • Does the program fee include housing, food, transportation, and books?
  • The costs of airfare, passport, visa, and insurance are typically not included in study abroad program fees.
  • If you have your eye on a semester-long program, to calculate a more accurate price comparison, multiply your UW expenses by 1.5.

Common Questions about financing study abroad:

Yes, check out our complete list of updated scholarships where you can see requirements, deadlines and more information.

Depending on your level of financial need, your expenses may be covered fully or at least partially. Your financial aid will carry over just like any other quarter. However, tuition waivers and work-study awards cannot apply towards study abroad program fees. To make sure you have done all the options to potentially cover all cost we recommend to fill out a study abroad revision request form.

The program fee is like a bundle package. It includes your tuition of the credits you will be getting while studying abroad as well as food and housing. The extra expenses, not covered in the program fee, include things like airfare, extra spending money, visas, etc.

Get practical tips for funding your study abroad experience from Jerica and Sarah, UW Bothell Study Abroad Ambassadors who shared their experiences on the UWBGlobal blog!

Learn more about Financing your Study Abroad experience

Meet with Study Abroad Advisors

There are several resources at UW Bothell and UW Seattle to help you plan a successful study abroad experience. Once you’ve narrowed down your options to a few programs or locations, schedule an appointment to discuss your selections and ask specific questions. Virtual and in-person advising is available.