Independent Programs


Study Abroad Independently

While most UCSC students study abroad through EAP and other UC programs, each year several hundred students also study abroad independently. There are many options to study abroad beyond the University of California system.

Please note that financial aid is no longer available for students who study abroad independently. However, scholarships may be available through program providers or outside sources.

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Follow these steps to study abroad independently:

1. Choose a program and apply directly

Use the links below to explore online. Drop by to see a Programs Abroad Advisor for suggestions. Contact program providers directly with questions about the application procedure.

2. Determine if courses will transfer to UCSC

Request pre-approval of transfer credit by submitting a Proposed Program Evaluation to the UCSC Office of Admissions. Start early - the evaluation process may take 4-6 weeks.

3. Ask if courses may count towards your major

Meet with your major and/or minor advisors to discuss if the coursework you take abroad may count towards major/minor requirements.

4. File a Leave of Absence & Waiver

Make sure to complete a Leave of Absence and Independent Program Abroad Information Form and Waiver of Liability and file both forms with your College.  Only students studying abroad during the academic year need to file a LOA; it is not necessary to take a LOA to study abroad independently during the summer.  However, students participating on a summer program through an independent program provider still need to complete and submit the "Independent Program Abroad Information Form and Waiver of Liability" to the International Education Office. Students studying abroad independently should review the U.S. Department of State Current Travel Warnings prior to finalizing their travel plans.  

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Need more help:

Contact a Programs Abroad Advisor and use the Study Abroad Independently handout for reference.