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Encouraging Students to Go Abroad

Graduate Students

Fulbright Opportunities

Financial support for graduate work abroad is available from a number of sources. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is one source of support for graduate study or research abroad and CU-Boulder fares well in these annual competitions. Nancy Vanacore (; 303-492-6016) is the primary Fulbright advisor for our campus. Current CU-Boulder students must apply for Fulbright grants through OIE.  We will also work with our alumni.  The Fulbright deadline is once a year; early in the fall semester.

Other opportunities

The Office of International Education also has resource books and announcements of other fellowships and grants for graduate research in other countries. If you wish to promote international study, you are welcome to discuss possible opportunities for your students with the OIE staff at any time.

In pursuing opportunities abroad for graduate students, there are certain restrictions or limitations to keep in mind. Linguistic ability is probably the most important single element to consider regarding foreign study for graduate students. International fellowships and grants inevitably require the recipient to have an adequate command of the host country language. Without adequate knowledge of the language, students will not move efficiently toward the completion of their dissertations or theses. If a department hopes to establish a continuing exchange of graduate students with a country where the native language is not English, the department might want to consider a rigorous international language requirement for its own program.

We also need to keep in mind the limitations on the number of credit hours from another institution that can be counted toward a graduate degree at CU-Boulder. Most graduates who go abroad for academic work have already completed necessary course work and wish to go abroad to do thesis or dissertation research.

If you're interested in establishing a formal graduate student exchange with an overseas institution, please see our section on How to Establish a New Affiliation or Exchange. These need departmental and college approval as well as Graduate School approval. One must realistically assess the departmental interest in a single country or institution if one wants to make an exchange continue over time.

More information about opportunities for graduate students can be found at  Fulbright opportunities.

Undergraduate Students

The University has conducted study abroad programs and undergraduate exchanges with international institutions for over 40 years. Under the academic guidance of the Study Abroad Committee, the Study Abroad Programs unit of the Office of International Education offers nearly 400 different study abroad programs for CU-Boulder students.

Various types of programs

Study abroad programs come in various forms. They can be student exchanges where we receive a student from a host institution for every student we send there. They can be one way programs, where we sent students abroad, but don't receive international students in exchange. And they can be faculty-led programs where a CU-Boulder faculty member takes a group of students overseas for a CU-Boulder credit-bearing course work. All of these programs must be approved by the Study Abroad Committee (our academic oversight committee). Contact OIE if you like to submit a proposal for a new program to the committee.

Proposing new programs

If you do plan to propose a new program, you are strongly urged to consult with OIE staff as early as possible. It takes time to develop a program that is academically and logistically sound. It is best to start planning at least a year before the program is to begin.

If the program you're interested in establishing is a formal student exchange with an overseas institution, please see our section on How to Establish a New Affiliation or Exchange.

If you are interested in leading a short-term Faculty-led Global Seminar, please see our web page describing that process.

Working with existing programs

Of course, not all opportunities have to be created from scratch! We currently offer nearly 400 study abroad programs for CU students. We encourage your support of these programs and your students' participation on them. Many students say that they did not think about study abroad until a faculty member mentioned it. You can play an important role by mentioning study abroad and its importance to your students.

We are particularly interested in working with departments, schools, and colleges who would like to help us integrate the course work abroad with their degree programs here. Currently, individual students work with a study abroad advisor to determine what courses will be available for them abroad and with their academic advisor to determine how these course will count towards their degrees. If you are interested in working with us to set up pre-approvals that will apply to all students in a particular major, please contact Cindy Kraft (; 303-492-7741). Cindy is heading up our curriculum integration project.