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Step by Step

First Year at AU

Before you go abroad, make sure to explore and immerse yourself in DC. See AU's Get Involved page for opportunities to take advantage of at AU. 

Students will need a passport which is valid for six months beyond the end date of their study abroad program.

If students do not currently have a passport (or if their passport is set to expire soon), they should apply for or renew their existing passport.

Apply for a Passport
Renew Your Passport

Please keep in mind the minimum requirements to study abroad through American University: 

  • Minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA for semester/full-year programs, and 2.5 for summer programs. Keep in mind that many programs have higher requirements. Check the program's brochure page to find out the program specific GPA requirement.
  • Second-semester sophomore status for semester/full year programs. Please note that some semester/full-year programs require third-year standing. Summer programs are available to students after completing their first year at AU. Check the program's page to find out the program specific requirement.
  • Students cannot study abroad if they have a current Student Conduct sanction or are on disciplinary or academic probation.


Structured Direct Enrollment Hybrid
  • Set curriculum
  • High level of program support
  • Typically have classes with AU students or other Americans
  • Possibility of internship
  • Integrated into university as international student
  • Students must be flexible and adaptable
  • Students must be independent problem solvers
  • England: The London School of Economics
  • Argentina: Universidad Torcuato di Tella
  • New Zealand: the University of Auckland
  • All Direct Enroll programs
  • Contains elements of Direct Enrollment and Structured Programs
  • Classes with local students + AU or other US students
  • Activities or trips included in the program
  • Spain: Madrid Business Program
  • Chile: Santiago Program
  • Germany: Junior Year in Munich
  • All Hybrid programs
Summer Study Abroad

Students should carefully consider their goals for summer study abroad. For example, students should consider if they want language immersion, a full-time internship, or need a particular course to fulfill major or minor requirements. Students should also consider the financial impact of summer study abroad.

For summer study abroad, students have two main options:
  • An AU Abroad program at one of our AU Centers Abroad or the G-MEO China Program that offers full AU credit;
  • A program offered by another university or provider organization, for which students can receive transfer credit. Students choosing a non-AU Abroad program will need to complete a Summer Permit to Study Abroad after discussing all their options with an AU Abroad advisor. 
Non-AU Programs

AU Abroad hosts information sessions during the first few weeks of every semester, which students should plan to attend. Students should check the announcements section on the AU Abroad website for a calendar of events.

The AU Abroad Study Abroad Fair is also a great opportunity to learn more about program options. The fair takes place in the middle of September. Specific dates will be posted to the calendar of events.

Second Year at AU

  • Students must meet with their academic advisor to determine which courses they need to take prior to, during, and after study abroad.
  • If students have a specific program in mind, they can meet with their academic advisor to determine whether or not courses offered on that program will fulfill degree requirements. 
    • The Course Equivalency Database provides examples of courses offered on partner programs and information on how courses may appear on students' AU transcripts.

AU Abroad has over 100 programs in over 30 countries to choose from! Consult our Program List to access individual program pages with more detailed information about the academics, housing, budget and student life of each program.

Things to Consider

Completing a term abroad impacts students in many ways: academically, socially, financially and more. Students must consider their reasons for wanting to study abroad and the personal goals they have for the experience.

  • Consider how identity and intersectionality will shape the study abroad experience.
  • The length of a study abroad program directly impacts the student experience. It is important to remember relationship building and getting to know another culture takes time. While not everyone can go abroad for a full year, returning students often share that they wish they had spent more time abroad.
  • Many AU Abroad programs have a similar cost of attendance to a semester in D.C. Check out the Costs & Financing page to compare program costs and research scholarships.
  • Understand the difference between the types of study abroad programs outlined above. Students should consider their learning style and the level of onsite support and structure they need to have a productive and fulfilling experience abroad.
  • Discuss any concerns about ASAC accommodations with a study abroad advisor.
  • Consult the Major Advising Sheets.
  • 60% of AU Abroad programs require no prior language study and offer courses in English. For students interested in language study, the Language Abroad page will help them identify programs. 

Once students have identified their study abroad goals and a few programs of interest, they are ready to discuss individual programs in detail with a study abroad advisor.

Visit our Advising & Appointments page to create an advising application and make an appointment with a study abroad advisor. 

Semester Before Going Abroad

Starting an Application

After meeting with a program-specific study abroad advisor and identifying their first choice program, students can request that the corresponding advisor open an application. Applications open and are due in the semester prior to studying abroad. Students may only apply to one program per academic term. If students would like to change programs during the application process, they must email their study abroad advisor.

Completing an Application

The majority of application requirements are completed online through the AU Abroad portal. 

General AU Abroad Application Materials:
  • $50 non-refundable AU Abroad application fee - applications are not considered "in process" until an application fee has been paid
  • Statement of Intent (300-500 words)
  • Official transcript requested via MyAU portal
  • Major/minor academic advisor authorization 
  • Disciplinary Review from the Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution Services Office
Program-Specific Application Materials:

In addition to the general AU Abroad application materials, students may need to complete site-specific requirements.


Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program. Please see the Important Dates tab on the corresponding program page.