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Apply

Step 1

First Step Advising

Before applying to study abroad, all students must complete First Step Advising 

Step 2

Stay Informed about Northwestern Application Deadlines

Term Date
Fall, Fall-Winter & Full-Year Programs February 10th
Summer Programs February 10th
Winter & JR Programs June 10th
Winter-Spring Programs September 10th
Spring Programs November 10th

Step 3

Review the Northwestern Application Checklist

The following is a checklist of the various sections in the Northwestern application for permission to study abroad.

For programs administered by the Global Engagement Studies Institute: go to GESI application process.

ULA Application Checklist

Personal and Academic Information

  • Create a profile. You may create your profile at any time and return to the system when you're ready to start an application.
  • Enter passport information. If you do not have a passport or your passport is set to expire, you can continue with your application and add that information later.

Program-Specific Requirements

All Northwestern Exchanges and some Northwestern Study Abroad programs require an interview as part of the application process. You’ll be prompted to complete an interview if any of your program choices have this requirement. See also: "Program Requirements" on your individual program page(s).

Preliminary Course Plan

Personal Statements

Respond to the following prompts:

  • Identify and describe your primary academic, pre-professional, and personal goals for your study abroad experience. Consider using the ULA study abroad goals assessment worksheet in helping to formulate your response. (200-300 words)
  • Describe in detail how the specific features of your first-choice program will help you to achieve the goals you listed in question one. Consider the research that you have done on your program, conversations you have had with study abroad advisers and/or past students, and/or planning tools on the ULA website. Please comment on any or all of the following: interest in the program’s host city/country, the academic environment and types of course offerings, opportunities for experiential learning (e.g., internships, service-learning, volunteering, research), peer group for the program (e.g. Northwestern students, host university students, etc.), language of instruction for courses/work, level and degree of on-site support services (e.g. local university staff, program staff, etc.), where you will live and with whom, and any other relevant details. (400-600 words)
  • If applicable, describe in detail how the specific features of your second-choice program will help you to achieve the goals you listed in question one. Consider the research that you have done on your program, conversations you have had with study abroad advisers and/or past students, and/or planning tools on the ULA website. Please comment on any or all of the following: interest in the program’s host city/country, the academic environment and types of course offerings, opportunities for experiential learning (e.g., internships, service-learning, volunteering, research), peer group for the program (e.g. Northwestern students, host university students, etc.), language of instruction for courses/work, level and degree of on-site support services (e.g. local university staff, program staff, etc.), where you will live and with whom, and any other relevant details. (400-600 words)
Students applying to study abroad for the full year on two programs in two countries must explain their academic rationale (100-200 words).

Transcript

  • As part of your application, you must upload an unofficial transcript.
  • You can access your unofficial Northwestern transcript from CAESAR (Academic Information - My Academics). Make sure the transcript includes all terms, grades, and GPA. You can upload this as a Word Doc or PDF to your Northwestern application.
  • Need an official transcript for your program application(s)?
    • The easiest way to request an official Northwestern transcript is online via CAESAR (Academic Information - My Academics - Request Official Transcript). You can also order your official transcript directly from the Northwestern Office of the Registrar's site.
    • If your program requires an official transcript, you should have it sent directly to the program. ULA will not forward official transcripts to program sponsors.

GPA Requirements

If your cumulative GPA is below 2.5, you must supply the following additional information:

  • An essay explaining reasons for the low GPA and giving a plan for how it will be raised (300-500 words).
  • Letter of recommendation from a professor or teaching assistant who has had you in class at Northwestern. Letter of recommendation guidelines may be used to assist in requesting and writing the recommendation. Completed letters should be sent to learningabroad@northwestern.edu
  • School letter of explanation, completed and submitted by your school representative.

School Approval: Adviser Signature

  • Meet with and obtain approval from your School Representative (listed in application). You will not be able to submit your application without their signature.
    • Don't wait until the last minute! Request an appointment with your School Representative early - calendars fill up quickly.
  • WCAS students must notify their school representative via email when their application is complete and ready for their signature.
  • Dual degree students (receiving degrees from two schools must get signatures from both School Representatives.
  • Once the school representative signature is provided, you must return to this section, review their signature, and click "Save" to complete this step.

Step 4

Apply for Permission to Study Abroad

Apply for permission to study abroad through Northwestern. Remember to submit your application by the appropriate deadline (see Step 1 above).

Step 5

Apply for Your Study Abroad Program

All affiliated programs and all Northwestern exchange programs require an external program application. Please check your program page and provider website for details and deadlines. Northwestern study abroad programs do not require an additional application.

Technical Questions?

Having technical difficulty with the application? Please email learningabroad@northwestern.edu.