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Have a question that's not answered below? Complete Rams Abroad 101, a self-paced first advising session, or contact us at for assistance. 

Why go abroad?
Education abroad can include studying, internships, research or service-learning abroad. It is an invaluable experiential learning opportunity that allows students to explore their studies from a different perspective, experience the world, make connections through friendships and networking while abroad, and gain valuable employability skills. It sets them apart from other college graduates because of the key skills that they gain from their experience abroad.

Where can I study abroad?
There are programs all over the world that you can consider! Use our map search to check out some of the most popular destinations. You can also explore programs by term. Some programs are led by VCU faculty, some are VCU exchanges and some are independent of VCU. 

When can I go abroad?
Students can go abroad as early as the summer after freshman year, which gives them time to transition well to VCU and adjust to collegiate life. You can go abroad for a summer, semester, academic year or a shorter-term spring or winter break program. Some students go abroad more than once! Though it is not recommended, students can go abroad senior year. The ideal time to go abroad would be sophomore or junior year. We recommend beginning the study abroad process up to a year in advance so that you have time to work through all of the logistics and apply for scholarships.

Will I be able to stay on track to graduate?
Learn more about the credit transfer process and check out Major Advising Sheets to see where other students in your major have studied abroad before.

Can we talk about money?
  • How much does it cost to study abroad?
    • Costs vary from program to program, but most Rams who study abroad for a semester aim to pay the same in tuition and housing as they do for a semester on-campus. As long as you’re fairly flexible with location, there’s no reason that study abroad needs to cost more than VCU! Some programs cost even less than a semester at VCU.
  • Can I take my financial aid and institutional scholarships with me to study abroad??
    • Yes! VCU financial aid and institutional scholarships, such as the Pell Grant or Presidential Scholarship, are fully portable for study abroad. If you have certain types of aid, such as the GI Bill, VA 529 plan, VA pre-paid tuition, or athletics aid, please tell your Education Abroad Advisor. Check out the funding section on our website to learn more and see additional scholarship opportunities.
Do I need to know a foreign language?
Not necessarily! Study abroad offers an to develop foreign language skills in an immersive environment, but foreign language competency is not required. Many programs in non-English-speaking locations will offer academic coursework in English. And of course, there are many study abroad programs in English-speaking countries if that’s your preference.

Is it safe to go abroad? 
Your safety and well-being is priority #1. You will work with your Education Abroad Adviser to select a program that fits your comfort level, provides the support you need in preparing and while abroad. We offer advising appointments and a mandatory pre-departure orientation. If you have specific concerns about your health or safety abroad, be sure to discuss with your Education Abroad Adviser. VCU provides all Rams studying abroad with international insurance coverage. VCU continues to support all Rams while abroad, in addition to in-country support through the abroad program. Learn more about how COVID-19 is impacting study abroad through our Keep on Studying Abroad page.

What charges should I anticipate from VCU beyond costs related to my study abroad or exchange program?
In addition to any program fees or tuition and fees directly related to your education abroad program, VCU may charge tuition and fees if you are concurrently enrolled in additional VCU credits, including VCU online courses.