Study Abroad

Put yourself on the map.

FAQs for Students

Is study abroad for me?


When is the best time for study abroad?

Students will work with their academic adviser to determine which semester/year is best for them. Most students study abroad during their junior year of college. Some programs allow freshman and sophomores to apply. Students can also opt to go abroad their senior year if they wish. We encourage students to begin planning their semester or year abroad as early as possible to ensure that the courses available to them will work with their degree.

Will study abroad delay my graduation?

With careful planning, study abroad should not affect your graduation date. Students who begin to plan their time abroad early, can often still graduate in four years. The key is to start planning right away. 

Get Started

How long can I study abroad

With numerous programs Cal Lutheran has options from as short as a week to as long as a year. We have many programs that last for six or eight weeks in the summer as well as many semester programs. Travel Seminars are offered during academic breaks. Note that a very high percentage of study abroad participant's report that they wish they had gone for a longer term!

What is the difference between a Partner Affiliate Program and a Cal Lutheran Program

A Partner Affiliate Program is one that is offered by a third party such as AIFS, Australearn, ISA, etc. Partner Affiliate Programs offer a variety of programs in a number of different countries. If a student chooses this option they are eligible to take any loans and Federal grant money awarded to them that semester, as they continue enrollment at Cal Lutheran.

A Cal Lutheran Study Abroad Program is a direct program between Cal Lutheran and the school abroad. The student is eligible to take all financial aid awarded to them for their semester abroad, including Cal Lutheran scholarships. There are currently 9 different Cal Lutheran programs. They include Australia, Austria, England, Hong Kong, France, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, and Washington D.C.

Will credits earned through study abroad count towards my major?

By going through the Study Abroad Center, we ensure that when you go abroad the classes you are taking will count towards your degree. Before leaving to study abroad you will fill out a course approval sheet where professors will sign, stating that the classes you take will count for Cal Lutheran credit. The Study Abroad Center and your academic advisor will work with you to get specific requirements fulfilled. Ensure you review your major requirements to plan ahead for what classes you will be able to take while abroad.

We do suggest that students save some CORE 21 classes for study abroad but there are many courses offered that can fit into almost all majors. If you stop by the Study Abroad Center, we have a sheet with the break down of courses by major that can be taken abroad.

Does the Study Abroad Center offer programs for graduate students?

Currently the study abroad center is only designed for undergraduate students.

Is there a language requirement?

Some programs do require a language requirement, where others will ask that you enroll in the language while abroad. Make sure to check the specific program you are considering for any language requirement.

Is there a GPA requirement?

A 3.0 minimum GPA is required for enrollment in all study abroad courses. Check the Cal Lutheran Study Abroad application for full requirements.

Cal Lutheran Study Abroad Application

Can I use my financial aid to study abroad?

For Cal Lutheran Programs, all Financial Aid can be taken towards study abroad. Students on Partner Affiliate programs are eligible to take their loans and any federal grants. We also encourage students to apply for outside scholarships. Financial Aid is only available for students studying during a semester or year program.

What do I do once I'm accepted to my study abroad program?

Once you receive your acceptance letter from your specific program make sure to email or bring a copy to the Study Abroad Center. Then stop by the office and you and we will then give you a packet and checklist of what you need to do next. 

Pre-Departure Steps

Do I need a passport and a student visa to study abroad?

All study abroad programs, regardless of duration, require a passport, and students should apply for passports at their local post office as soon as they begin to consider studying abroad. Passport photos can be taken in the Study Abroad Center for free. Depending on the country and length of stay a visa may be required; you will receive information from your study abroad program on whether you need one when you apply.

How to Apply for a Passport

Check the visas page to see if your study abroad location needs a visa.

Student Visas

If attending the Washington D.C. program a passport is not required, though it is always recommended to have one.

What is the tuition for a study abroad program?

Tuition costs vary. The costs for Partner Affiliate programs can be found on the web or in the bulletins for those programs. Cal Lutheran programs base tuition directly on the costs of attending a semester at Cal Lutheran. Additional costs and travel expenses vary according to the program.

What is housing like on a study abroad program?

Housing varies from program to program. Some programs house students with local families (homestays), others in dorms of local universities, while still others house students in apartments or flats with fellow students.

What happens if I go abroad and need to take a course I didn't have previously approved?

Sometimes when a student begins registration abroad, a course for which he/she had previously received approval is no longer offered. In this case, the student may find an alternate course and email the chair of the respective Cal Lutheran department as well as the Study Abroad Center. The department must then email the decision to the Study Abroad Center, who will then be in contact with the Registrar's Office. The best way to avoid this while abroad is to get extra classes approved before going abroad to allow for any necessary flexibility.

How are grades processed once the semester is over?

Once the registrar receives the grades from the abroad institution, they will be checked for Cal Lutheran approval and processed. All grades received abroad will appear on the official transcript.

What if I want to do a program that isn't offered by the Cal Lutheran Study Abroad Center?

If you find a program that suits you and is not offered by the Cal Lutheran Study Abroad Center you can still attend as an external candidate with approval. This means that you will take a leave of absence from Cal Lutheran and as apart of that no aid will be able to be taken with you. The Center will still help you along the process.

What is a Travel Seminar?

A Travel Seminar is led by a member of the faculty for a 2-3 week period during winter or summer break. Generally a preparation course is taken before the travel portion of the class and may be followed by an essay or project. It can qualify for core, major or minor requirements. Credits are given during the course and travel portion.

Current and Previous Travel Seminars

Is there a fee to study abroad?

A $200.00 enrollment fee is applied to your student account. This administrative fee confirms your participation in your chosen program. Students will be charged the fee if they withdraw after April 15th for summer and fall terms or November 15th for spring term.

Who do I conact with questions?

You can always call the Cal Lutheran Study Abroad center at (805) 493-3750 or email us at or stop by the office.

Contact the Study Abroad Center