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Getting Started

Follow these simple steps as you begin to think about studying abroad. Engineering students ought to begin thinking about course equivalencies at this point. For all other students, this process is handled after selecting programs.

Five Steps to Study Abroad

Here are some recommended steps as you begin considering a study abroad experience:
  1. Attend a Study Abroad 101
  2. Fill out a Study Abroad Worksheet
  3. Research programs using our website
  4. Meet with your academic advisor
  5. Meet with a Study Abroad advisor: bring your completed Study Abroad Worksheet

General Eligibility to Study Abroad

In order to be eligible to study abroad students must:

  • Maintain a 2.7 cumulative GPA* at Vanderbilt, or a GPA at this level in each of the two most recent semesters*
  • Maintain good academic, financial and disciplinary standing
  • Have completed their freshman year

Vanderbilt University requires that students have at least a 2.7 cumulative Vanderbilt GPA, or a GPA at this level in each of the two most recent semesters*. Many programs have higher GPA requirements and/or language proficiency requirements. Students should carefully read all program materials to make sure they meet all of the requirements for their chosen program at the time of application through departure to study abroad.

The Global Education Office runs academic, financial, and disciplinary clearances on all applicants after they have submitted complete applications. Students who meet the minimum Vanderbilt requirements will be notified that they have been approved to study abroad. Final acceptance comes from the partner program provider. Prior to the start of programs, GEO again runs clearances to ensure that students have maintained their eligibility.

Students may study abroad as soon as Maymester of their freshman year or as late as their senior year. Transfer students will need to have completed at least one semester at Vanderbilt before applying to study abroad. Students who study abroad in their senior year require special permission from their school's Dean due to possible delays in graduation. Study abroad in spring term of senior year will delay graduation due the late transmission of grades from abroad.

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Application Process

To apply

Click the "Apply Now" button on the page of the program you have selected in order to begin an application. Applications typically consist of documents to e-sign, e-questionnaires, and material submissions such as photographs, passport photocopies and more. In addition to the GEO application, you may also need to complete an application directly with the Program Provider (CIEE, IFSA-Butler, etc.) by the GEO deadline.

After you apply

Applications will not be reviewed until they are complete. GEO will verify eligibility to study abroad and, if approved, forward eligible applicants' materials to the appropriate program provider. The program provider makes final acceptance decisions. Approved students will be notified via email and through their online account of application status.


If you change your mind about studying abroad prior to the application deadline and decision date, you must withdraw through the website from any applications you have started. If you have already received application approval, you may opt to decline to participate in the program through the website. All students must commit by GEO's commitment deadline, which is listed on their program acceptance instructions. If you opt to commit to a program after being approved, and then change your mind about participation, you need to submit an e-mail to Withdrawing may incur fees, depending on the program's policies and when the withdrawal occurs. Please see GEO's Policies page for more information.


Contact the Global Education Office with any requests to change programs or terms. Contacting us will prevent the loss of materials you already have submitted.

Application and Website Notes

  • Be sure to enter your primary email account into your GEO homepage profile. Make sure that whatever email you provide is one that you check often.
  • Upload an ID quality photo of yourself to the website for identification purposes.
  • Schedule an appointment with the appropriate GEO advisor using the calendar tool.
  • Login to the GEO website frequently to check your application status.
  • Watch the Worldwire pane on the website for informative programming to help you make the most of your experience.
  • Check the Resources section for newsfeeds with up-to-date information on topics such as weather, travel advisories, exchange rates and time zones. Share these resources with your friends and family as well.