Study Abroad & Exchange

Frequently Asked Questions

 How do I make an appointment to speak with someone? 

You must first attend a Study Abroad & Exchange Information Session and create a TREK account before scheduling a one-on-one advising session with a Study Abroad & Exchange Advisor. After you have attended an information session, you can make an appointment via MS Bookings or call (530-898-5415) to make an appointment with one of our advisors.

Students are always welcome to visit our office without a scheduled appointment to ask general questions at our Front Desk. Students can also make an appointment with a Peer Advisor and conduct research.  

What is the first step to studying abroad?

The first step to studying abroad is to attend a Study Abroad & Exchange Info Session (times and dates on CatsConnect). These meetings are held throughout the week at the same time every week and are given by the Study Abroad & Exchange team. This information session will cover the basics of study abroad/away through Chico State, including program options, costs, financing options (e.g., financial aid), requirements, and more. After you have attended an information session, you will want to create an online TREK account (link on the Study Abroad & Exchange website) and complete the online student research guide before you schedule a one-on-one appointment with a study abroad advisor (step 2 in “Getting Started”).

Where can I study with my major?

Almost anywhere! Students can study abroad and do coursework not only in their major of study, but also for their minor, and general education. To find out more about the options for your major, visit the “Where can I Study” page or use our Study Abroad Crosshatch.

I need to graduate in four years. Can I still study abroad?

Absolutely! The majority of past study abroad participants have reported that they still went on to graduate on time. Students can take classes abroad that fulfill requirements for their major, minor, and general education. You can go abroad and still complete requirements to graduate in a timely manner!

Will my credits transfer?

Yes, they will! Every unit you earn abroad will be reflected on your Chico State transcript. Before you leave for your time abroad/away, be sure to meet with your major, minor, GE and/or pathway advisors.  You can discuss which classes will count toward specific graduation requirements so that your courses will transfer back accordingly.  Just make sure to get your program courses approved before you go abroad. Refer to our Getting Academic Credit page.

What are the minimum requirements to study abroad/away? 

This varies by program. Some programs have a minimum GPA of 2.5, and others are 2.75 or 3.0 and higher for the minimum requirement. In addition, most programs require at least Sophomore or Junior standing or higher. If you are unsure of your GPA or have questions regarding requirements, be sure to meet with a Study Abroad & Exchange Advisor.

Can I study abroad/away with a GPA lower than what is required?  

The flexibility of the GPA requirement varies by program. We have a “special circumstances” appeal packet for students with a GPA lower than the requirement for the program. The final decision, however, is at the discretion of the program or host university abroad. Students should make an appointment to chat with a Study Abroad & Exchange Advisor to discuss their specific situation.

I don’t speak another language; can I still go abroad?

We offer many programs which are located in English-speaking countries or at English-speaking Universities all over the world. In addition to these options, many of our programs in non-English speaking countries offer intensive foreign language courses on the CSUIP, AIFS, or USAC programs. We also have “study away” programs through National Student Exchange (NSE).

How much does it cost to go abroad? 

Fees vary by program and location of study. For USAC & AIFS programs, the fees and estimates for cost of living are listed in the catalogs or on the programs’ websites. For Direct Exchange and CSUIP programs, students pay the same tuition fees as Chico State, and the cost of living for those programs will vary by study location. The Study Abroad & Exchange team has created the Study Abroad on the Cheap flyer to highlight the least expensive programs available to students. There are some programs where students will spend roughly the same amount OR LESS than they would have spent at Chico State. Refer to our Financial Planning page.

Are there scholarships available?

There are many scholarships available to students who study abroad/away. We recommend starting to research scholarships early. In addition to the resources on our Scholarship page, never be afraid to conduct a simple Google search on study abroad scholarships!

I am graduating in May/December; Can I study abroad the following semester?  

You can study abroad through our AIFS or USAC program independently after graduation, or you can declare a double major or minor to take additional classes abroad. Visit the Graduating Seniors page for more information. You should speak with a Study Abroad & Exchange Advisor to talk about the details of your specific situation.

Where can I go to take classes for my General Education (GE) requirements?

Almost anywhere! General Education at Chico State is very compatible with study abroad. Students can substitute up to 18 units of coursework taken abroad toward their GE requirements. For more information on this, please make an appointment with a Study Abroad & Exchange Advisor or your GE Pathway Coordinator. You can also check out our GE Credit Abroad page.

Who do I talk to to get my classes abroad signed off? 

To get classes to count toward your major, minor, or general education requirements, you should first meet with a Study Abroad & Exchange Advisor who will advise you on the right programs for your academic goals and personal preferences. You will then work with your major, minor, or GE pathway advisor to ensure the courses you take abroad will be substituted toward your requirements here at Chico State. You should do your homework before meeting with an advisor and research potential classes that will be offered at your host institution. Please visit our Getting Academic Credit page for more information.

How many classes can I take abroad? 

Students must maintain full-time enrollment while abroad (the equivalent of 12-15 units for undergraduates at Chico State, depending upon the program). This is necessary for financial aid, student visa requirements and insurance purposes. Students can take between 12-18 units while studying abroad. Please note: Countries do not always have a one-to-one unit conversion. Your Study Abroad & Exchange Advisor will assist you in determining course unit conversions for your specific program. 

Can I take online Chico State classes while I'm abroad?

Students are not allowed to take online Chico State classes while they are enrolled in classes abroad. This is because they are placed in the “study abroad/away placeholder units” during their time abroad, which does not allow for students to enroll in additional course units. There may be exceptions made for Direct Exchange students.

What is ________ country like?

To find out what a specific country, culture, or location is like, you should meet with one of our peer advisors who have recently studied abroad. If they cannot answer your specific questions about a particular city, they can give you the contact information of study abroad/away alumni for any of our programs.

Where can I find a major, minor, and/or GE course substitution form or GE pathway substitution form?

Course substitution guidance can be found on the Getting Academic Credit page. For General Education (GE) approved courses, please visit the AIFSCSUIP & USAC approved GE Course Substitution forms.

Where do I turn in my forms?

You will turn in the forms to the organization which gave them to you. For instance, if the forms were given to you by your Chico State Study Abroad & Exchange Advisor in an application workshop, you should upload them onto your online TREK account.  If the forms were mailed to you by AIFS, USAC for CSUIP, you should read the forms carefully and submit them to the organization that is listed.

Do I need to enroll in Chico classes while I am abroad?

You DO NOT enroll in Chico State classes during the term(s) you are studying abroad/away, the Chico State Study Abroad & Exchange team will enroll you in “placeholder units” for the term(s) you are abroad so all campus officials at Chico State know you are studying abroad/away through one of our programs. 

Do I have to pay fees to Chico if I am studying abroad through AIFS, USAC or CSUIP?

If you go abroad on an AIFS, USAC or CSUIP program, your Chico State fees will be waived for the term(s) you are abroad, with the exception of a small overlay insurance fee, and you will only need to pay AIFS, USAC or CSUIP program fees.

I studied abroad last semester, and my grades have not been posted yet.

Depending on the program and location where you studied abroad, transcripts can take several months to arrive and be processed from overseas. You will be notified when your official transcripts have been uploaded to your online TREK account. The Office of the Registrar will then post your grades onto your Chico State portal. We ask that students are patient during the process, as it can often take a month or two once grades are received to be posted.

I am transferring to Chico State soon. When can I start planning to study abroad/away?

ASAP! Whether you’re still deciding on which school or which semester you may be transferring to, we want to talk to you about the opportunities.  We actually prefer to chat with transfer students before they enroll in classes so we can talk about options and courses that can be taken abroad/away. Some transfer students decide to go abroad or away during their first semester at Chico State!