Study Abroad Guide
Courses and Majors
Global Business Certificate
Campus Study Abroad
Faculty and Staff
Business Buddy Program
UIUC Study Abroad
515 East Gregory Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 244-7245
Emergencies: (217) 333-6322
Fax: (217) 244-9992
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why study abroad?
- How do I decide where to go?
- When and how do I apply?
- How much will it cost?
- What courses can I take?
- How do I receive credit for courses taken abroad?
- How do I maintain honors while studying abroad?
- How can study abroad help in my job search?
You've heard the buzzword: globalization. What does it mean to you? As a business student it should mean that the economies of different countries are no longer isolated. In today's world of fast paced technology, businessses are no longer only concerned about domestic issues. The rapid movement of people and information across borders has integrated the economies of different countries.
Today's firms recognize this integration of economies and are moving towards educating their employees in international business. By participating in a study abroad program, you will have a competitive edge in the job market. Employers now seek individuals who have had international experience. As more and more opportunities are being offered by the College of Business and across the entire campus, there is little excuse for graduates who lack exposure to the international business environment. Developing an understanding of the world beyond the boundaries of the United States will be a huge advantage as you begin your business career.
On a more personal note, students who study abroad almost always come back saying that their study abroad experience was the best experience they have had in their lives. Students who come back often have friends from all over the world.
1st: START PLANNING EARLY and figure out what is best for you
What is most important to you - Location? Cost? Available courses? Travel with friend(s)? What do you want from the experience? Are you a veteran traveler or more likely to want the security of extra assistance from program administrators in residence at the international location? Do you meet the requirements (e.g. grade point average, year in college, completed prerequisite courses, etc)? Study abroad programs are all unique so the more you know about programs of interest, the better you can plan. Begin with an understanding of the different types of programs:
Exchange programs - Universities who sign "exchange" agreements are literally trading students on a 1:1 basis. Almost always, this type of program passes some tuition savings onto their students which often covers airfare and some incidentals inherent in relocating to an international setting. Therefore, the cost of studying abroad can be comparable to a semester at the home school; especially in countries with less visibility. For example, students in business are encouraged to consider the program in Norway where courses are taught in English and whose administration is user-friendly. One caution however, because a balance must be maintained in the number of students participating, exchanges in popular places such as London can be competitive.
Direct enroll programs - There are recognized institutions that specialize in international education and offer programs in the most popular places. Typically, students are offered additional services including residential staff at the international location. While these programs are an excellent choice for students who might be hesitant to venture out on their own, they usually come with a higher price tag.
Summer, faculty-led courses or other short programs - Some students have commitments which necessitate staying on campus during the academic year; however, even athletes, work study students, officers of clubs, or others with reasons to remain on campus can take advantage of the increasing number of shorter programs. For example, the College of Business sponsors a variety of different program models:
- College organized programs (Example: Summer School in London)
- Courses organized by business faculty (Example: International Business Immersion Program)
- Programs offered by College of Business Partner Schools -
ESSP - Manchester Business School European Summer Study Programme
Before students assume that they are unable to participate in an international activity, they should explore the many options available. New short term programs are being developed every year to accommodate the needs of different students.
2nd: Do your research and obtain information about programs of possible interest:
- You can see all study abroad programs offered at UIUC at www.studyabroad.uiuc.edu
- Pick up handouts in the Study Abroad Offices
- In 1055 BIF for programs sponsored by the UIUC College of Business - contracts are primarily with business schools.
- In 124 International Studies Building, 910 South Fifth Street for programs sponsored by the UIUC campus Study Abroad Office as well as other U.S. Universities/International Consortiums - contracts are primarily with schools which offer broad based curriculums.
Attend information meetings and/or talk to students/friends who have studied abroad. The College of Business Study Abroad sponsors such meetings every fall.
Check the websites of the programs you are interested in attending.
3rd: Decide when you should go:
Students are eligible to study abroad after successful completion of one year on the Urbana-Champaign campus, or in the case of transfer students, successful completion of one semester. Similarly, students are no longer eligible once they complete all of their degree requirements. Additionally, students must receive written approval from the Office of Undergraduate Affairs to study abroad their last semester. While graduates are always invited to participate in Commencement festivities, they are warned that graduation is not official until degree requirements are satisfied and host school transcripts are properly recorded. This often takes another entire semester to be processed and likely pushes a student onto a later degree list.
Lots of factors go into this decision. There are obvious constraints such as finances, housing contracts or student employment. Students are also advised to review how many and what type (i.e. general education requirements, major courses etc.) of courses they need to complete and whether the host school offers such courses. There are also timing constraints involved with commitments to clubs/student groups, leadership opportunities/responsibilities, future plans for internships, etc. It is generally recommended that students to abroad sooner rather than later if possible.
4th: Make sure you meet the requirements of the program you want:
- A fairly universal requirement for all international programs is completion of at least one year of course work on the UIUC campus, or one semester in the case of transfers from off campus. Students must prove they can succeed academically in college before tackling a new environment.
- Most programs have a minimum grade point average for the same reason.
- There may be a minimum language requirement depending on the program
- Plan to complete any preparatory courses prior to departure so you are prepared for the courses offerings at your host school (YOU CAN NOT ASSUME CERTAIN COURSES WILL BE AVAILABLE)
Because business exchange programs are contractual agreements between our College and a Partner University who agree to "exchange" an even number of students, there is a limit to the number of students accepted. The College wants to send students who will embrace the opportunity, represent UIUC in a positive light, and generally act as ambassadors and model American citizens. Therefore, the exchange program requirements are:
- Must be enrolled in the College of Business at the time of participation
- Minimum 3.0/4.0 GPA. Other equally important criteria include character, number of completed hours, activities both within and outside your major, leadership qualities and a demonstrated commitment to international business
WHEN AND HOW DO I APPLY?
|September 15||for spring semester exchange programs|
|February 15||for fall semester exchange programs|
|Summer Programs||variable for each program|
Apply online at http://www.studyabroad.uiuc.edu. Make sure to list alternate College of Business program choices.
Most of the semester programs sponsored by the College of Business are exchange programs as opposed to fee-paying study abroad tours/programs. By definition, the College "exchanges" an even number of students with partner schools whereby both home institutions cover the tuition, and most fees of the incoming visiting students. Due to special contractual arrangements with other business schools, the College of Business programs are comparable in cost- and sometimes cheaper - than a semester on the University of Illinois campus. The cheapest programs are those in Asia. See the finances section for more info.
See the course section for more info about courses.
Students must complete the bright orange college of business course planning form before they go abroad in order to use the credit/no credit option. If not signed prior to departure, all courses will transfer back to UIUC with grades.
Follow the instructions on the Course Approval Form for students enrolled in the College of Business and drop it off in 1055 BIF. Although required core business courses must contain certain content, the College of Business attempts to customize course approvals according to the student and his or her major.
When studying abroad, students are officially registered at UIUC. During the UIUC advance enrollment period prior to departure, students register for 12 hours of BUS 399. This is a temporary placeholder which merely preserves a student's registration until a transcript can be sent by the host school. This process maintains registration at UIUC as a full-time student for insurance, financial aid and residency purposes. Because the registration process is now web based, students are also able to advance enroll abroad for their next semester courses at UIUC just as if they were still on campus.
Some host schools ask for your course choices as part of their application process; however, because of the different academic structure of most European systems, some schools do not schedule their courses until shortly before the term begins. Most students need to adjust a few courses once they are at the host school. Therefore, if the student has a signed course planning form on file in the College office, they can use the e-mail email@example.com one time to document 1) the title of the course change, 2) the grade option and 3) what degree requirement the course satisfies.
When a student elects a course for GRADE: (Grades from the host school are reflected in both the UIUC grade point average as well as the overall cumulative grade point average, including failed courses.)
If a grade of D-minus thru A is earned: then the specific letter grade will appear on the UIUC transcript with the amount of hours earned.
If an F is earned: then F will appear on the UIUC transcript along with the amount of hours failed.
When a student elects a course for Credit/No Credit: (Credit/No Credit courses do not affect the UIUC grade point average whatsoever. Exceptions to the 18 hours campus maximum limit will be considered for students studying abroad for an entire academic year)
If a grade of C-minus thru A is earned: then CR (Credit) appears on the UIUC transcript along with the amount of hours earned.
IF a grade of D or F is earned then NC (No Credit) will appear along with the amount of hours failed.
- Failed courses DO appear on transcripts. If taken for GRADE, then it is also calculated in your UIUC grade point average.
Upon your return
Often transcripts are not sent until the end of the following semester at which time it begins a lengthy journey through the UIUC system before they show on your final transcript. Your courses, credit and grades (if elected) will eventually replace the 12 hours of BUS 399 once the multi-step process is complete. It typically takes another whole semester to complete this process so do not be alarmed.
College of Business Honors Program
There are no additional requirements for students in the College of Business Honors Program while studying abroad to maintain status in the program.
Because the Campus Honors Program is campus-wide, students must comply with CHP policies.
A student's grades abroad must convert back to UIUC as 3.65 GPA or above while taking 14 hours of graded courses at the international host institution to qualify for College of Business Dean’s List during the semester the student is studying abroad..
Students on study abroad programs need to be enrolled in at least the minimum number of hours required by the host institution for full-time status to maintain or earn James Scholar status; there is no requirement for the number of graded hours during a study abroad semester.
Summer international programs will be evaluated as part of the academic year that follows the summer work.
Almost everyone agrees that study abroad is valuable, especially for business students. Greater knowledge of other cultures is academically and personally enriching; it also increases your cross-cultural awareness, your problem solving skills and your flexibility. Employers, especially those who have studied abroad themselves, recognize that study abroad students are likely to be more successful in the global economy because of cross-cultural communication skills and understanding of other cultures. The question is how to convey these experiences in the job search.
Spend some time thinking about how your experiences help with specific skill sets. Try to think of specific stories from your travels that demonstrate the following skills.
- Problem solving
- Foreign languages
- Multicultural understanding
The most successful interview answers often take the following form:
- describing an almost impossible situation
- telling how you creatively solved the situation
- giving the amazing results that came as a result of your creative solution.
Before an interview, try to think of appropriate stories from your study abroad experience that you could fit into this type of answer.