The process of applying to study abroad is determined by the type of program for which you have chosen to apply. In general, there are three different program types available to students: UB Programs, Other SUNY Programs, and Non-SUNY Programs.
There is much more to studying abroad than just taking classes in a foreign country. Your perspectives will become global, your attitudes will become international, and you will make memories that will last a lifetime. Studying abroad may be that defining moment that will change your life. Your international experience builds a noticeable sense of independence and self-confidence and opens doors to new opportunities, new friends, and new career paths. The benefits of study abroad are endless, but it is important to consider your own reasons for choosing to study abroad. Do you want to learn a new language- or possibly build on the language skills you have already acquired? Do you want to conduct research in a new environment? Perhaps you are a philanthropist and want to give back to the global community in the form of service learning or volunteer opportunities abroad. Or maybe you want to gain first-hand experience working in an international business environment through an internship. Anything is possible, and preparation is the key to a successful study abroad experience.
Are you interested in completing specific degree requirements while abroad? Or are you looking to take something outside of your major to meet general education requirements? You can do both through studying abroad! We strongly encourage students to meet with their academic advisor to discuss degree requirements and estimated time to graduation to help find the best program fit.
The country you select determines both the cultural setting and the main language of communication. Some students know they want to study in a big city while others are looking for a more remote destination.
The language of instruction should be a main factor when
considering where to study abroad. It is a common myth that in
order to study in another country, one must possess the language
skills to communicate in the native language of that country. The
truth is that there are many, many programs in non-English speaking
countries where courses are taught in English. So, when reviewing
your options of study abroad destination, don't automatically rule
out non-English speaking countries.
If you are interested in increasing your proficiency in a foreign language, there is no doubt that the study abroad experience is the best way to immerse yourself in another language.
Many programs abroad offer language instruction at the beginner level, and therefore do not require any previous knowledge of a foreign language for admission. Some programs are designed to teach you a foreign language - a great way to fulfill your general education language requirement, while others offer courses taught in English regardless of the country's native language.
In general, a study abroad application will consist of the following core items:
As there are hundreds of study abroad programs available, one
could imagine the application process will vary slightly by
program. Some programs with partner institutions abroad may also
require students to complete a host campus application in addition
to the core items outlined above.
The University at Buffalo offers more than 80 study abroad
programs, many of which are directed by our faculty. UB has a large
number of exchange programs where students can study at
international partner institutions without paying additional
In addition to the almost 80 programs offered by UB, students can choose among the almost 1000 programs offered by other SUNY campuses in more than 70 different countries. Grades earned on other SUNY programs abroad are not factored into the overall UB GPA. UB students who participate on other SUNY programs will receive pass/fail grades for the courses taken abroad.
Students who choose to study abroad outside of the SUNY system
are required to complete a Leave of Absence Form with the
Registrar's Office. UB's Study Abroad Office should also be
notified of student's plans to study on a Non-SUNY program
Credits earned on a study abroad program administered by a Non-SUNY institution or SUNY Community College will be viewed as transfer credits at UB. Grades earned will not be factored into the overall UB GPA. There is no guarantee that credits earned abroad on these types of programs will count as credit toward graduation or toward a major/minor/general education requirement.
All University at Buffalo students studying abroad through UB or any SUNY 4-year school and non-SUNY students participating on a University at Buffalo Study Abroad or Exchange Program are registered through UB Study Abroad Programs for the academic credit hours to be earned during their studies abroad. University at Buffalo students electing to participate on non-SUNY study abroad programs are required to notify the UB Study Abroad office. Students who will be abroad on non-SUNY programs during the Fall and/or Spring semesters must also complete a Leave of Absence Form with the Registrar's Office.
Classes completed abroad may fulfill degree requirements (major, minor, general education) with the approval of your academic department. Prior to your departure, complete the Course Approval Form, available from Study Abroad Programs, attach overseas course descriptions and submit them to your academic advisor for approval. Your advisor may require that you submit documentation upon completion of the study abroad program (e.g. syllabi, course texts, exams and papers). It is strongly recommended that you secure approval for more courses than you intend to take, to allow for flexibility when registering for courses at your host institution abroad.