Getting Started

Welcome to your guide on studying abroad with GEO! Study abroad is a unique experience that often leads students to personal growth and cultural immersion, and one that can help develop academic and professional skills. We hope that your upcoming program will be enriching, challenging, and rewarding. GEO looks forward to working with you as you decide to pursue a unique international experience as part of your education.

Explore the types of programs, including faculty-led, GEO Centers, exchange programs, internships, and more
Create an academic plan for success and check your eligibility
Review cost and financial aid details before committing to a program

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Program Options


Led by faculty from the UO or a partner university, these programs tend to focus on one topic or discipline, allowing for deeper specialization. Most faculty-led programs are designed to satisfy specific major and minor requirements in the department associated with the faculty leader.

  • Usually 2-6 weeks long, but some programs last an entire quarter or summer
  • Students complete coursework and go on excursions as a group
  • More structured program type with a preplanned itinerary

GEO Centers

GEO Centers act as a strong “home base” for students. These programs include the expertise and resources of local staff and a dedicated facility for students to use for classes, advising, studying, tutoring, and more. The four GEO Centers in London, Siena, Segovia, and Oviedo have dedicated on-site staff who arrange your housing, organize excursions, and offer emergency support among other services.

  • Some programs may be a month long in the summer, while others may be semester or full-year programs
  • GEO Centers offer a variety of classes and program themes such as language, journalism, liberal arts, business, and more
  • Some GEO Centers also offer faculty-led programs

Explore GEO Centers

Exchange Programs (open to UO students ONLY)

Exchange programs allow students to enroll directly at a foreign university for a semester or an entire academic year. Students have access to most courses that the university offers in a wide range of academic disciplines. Exchanges sometimes have lower overall costs than other programs of similar length. Depending on the program, students may be required to take courses in the local language with native speakers of that language. Students participating in exchange programs need to be prepared for an independent experience. An exchange program allows students the flexibility to customize their experience and get deeply involved in the local culture and community. Students should also keep the following in mind:

  • Classes cannot always be arranged or guaranteed before arrival
  • Registration often happens on-campus after the arrival date
  • Individual courses may need to be approved later once the student has access to the course syllabi

What is an Exchange?


Admission requirements, term dates, exam styles, and course load vary by location. Many exchanges are competitive; it’s a good idea to consider more than one exchange program in case there are limited exchange spots for one university. Consult with your GEO Advisor before applying to an exchange program.

International Internships

Some GEO study abroad programs offer internships blended with coursework. GlobalWorks Internships offers UO students full-time international internship opportunities in a wide variety of career sectors and locations.

  • In most cases, internships are unpaid and offer academic credit towards the student’s degree
  • Depending on the program, the internship placement may be pre-selected, or students may be able to customize their experience to meet their own needs
  • International internships are excellent for building practical skills and experience that can be added to a resume

Explore International Internships

Other Program Types

  • Research programs sponsored by GEO involve a field and/or lab research component in addition to classwork. Students can build practical experience to add to their research portfolio for a senior thesis or future graduate school applications.
  • Language Learning programs focus on the acquisition of language skills and are often very intensive and immersive. Students often engage in cultural activities and excursions as well. Some language programs allow a student to bring back up to the equivalent of one year of language coursework.
  • Service-Learning programs offered by GEO offer opportunities for students to earn credits through a service-learning placement, assisting with local issues while completing coursework abroad. Academic credit is awarded based on demonstration (through reports, papers, or multi-media projects) of learning associated with the service they performed.
  • Third-Party Sponsored programs are operated by organizations such as CIEE, IE3 Global, SIT, and DIS, and add to the wide diversity of programming options available to UO students. All of the programs from these organizations listed on the GEO website have been approved for UO credit. Students may choose third-party programs that satisfy major, minor, or elective requirements, as well as internships. Sponsored programs are great for students who are looking for on-site staff support and to study abroad with students from other colleges and universities all over the US.

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Academic Planning & Eligibility 

Academic Planning

Every student should consider studying abroad. There are over 200 GEO programs in over 60 countries to choose from. In order to stay on track to graduate, it’s important to do some academic planning. Here are some key steps to follow: 

  • Step 1: Talk to your academic advisor as early as possible about making study abroad a priority in your college plans.
  • Step 2: Pay attention to program eligibility requirements & pre-requisites. The eligibility requirements and pre-requisites can vary by program. These requirements can be found on each program page. Be sure to ask your GEO advisor if you have any questions. 
  • Step 3: Select your courses carefully. Your study abroad classes will become part of your academic record and your grades will be factored into your cumulative GPA. Be mindful as you select your courses in your study abroad program. 
  • Step 4: Ask about financial aid requirements. If you receive financial aid or have scholarships, speak with a financial aid counselor to learn what grades you need to maintain while abroad and how many credits you need to take.  


  • Pre-freshman programs are open to accepted UO students who have not yet started taking courses at UO. Program participants must be at least 18 years of age by the program start date.
  • First-year students can participate in a few spring quarter programs during their first year of college (before achieving sophomore standing).  
  • UO Seniors should plan to graduate at least one term after the end of their study abroad program. It can take 1-3 months to receive grades for courses completed abroad. The UO Registrar will need time to process those grades. 
  • Transfer students at the UO must spend at least one term on campus prior to enrollment in an off-campus study experience. 
  • Minors are not eligible to enroll in GEO programs. Students must turn 18 years of age by the start date of the program in which they plan to participate. 

Many scholarships require “full-time enrollment.” Make sure you understand what that means. If the program’s credit system is different from yours (e.g., semester vs. quarter), be sure to check with your GEO Advisor on how many credits you will likely receive on your selected program. 

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Financial Aid & Program Costs

Studying abroad is a significant financial commitment, which is why every program page has price and budget information. All students are encouraged to become familiar with their program’s budget and with GEO financial policies before committing to a program. Program costs can vary depending on several factors, such as program length, cost of living where the program is based, availability of on-site staff, program excursions and activities, etc.  

As you review program costs, please be aware of the following financial aid and scholarship information: 

  • Most forms of financial aid and scholarships can be applied to the cost of study abroad. Consult with your financial aid office to find out how your specific financial aid package (including FAFSA award letter and university scholarships) will work with study abroad. UO students can contact UO Financial Aid & Scholarships 
  • There are many GEO, departmental, regional and external scholarships available to students. Explore scholarships and their application deadlines or meet with a GEO advisor to discuss scholarship options. Financial aid and scholarships may not cover the entire cost of the program. Any gap between your financial aid resources and the program cost will be your responsibility. 
  • UO students who are currently receiving financial aid and have already been accepted to a GEO program can apply for a short-term loan ($300-$2,000) from GEO to help cover up-front costs such as airfare. The amount of the short-term loan would be charged to your UO student billing account along with a small loan processing fee. For more information, please contact geoinfo@uoregon.eduNote: this is not an additional loan; instead, it is early access to financial aid resources that you would be receiving at a later date.

Financial Aid for Study Abroad


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