Application FAQs

How many program applications can I submit each academic year?

Students are permitted to submit up to three study abroad applications in a given academic year. (The collective applications for the British/Irish University Programs and the Civilization Programs each count as a single application.)

Can I make changes to my application once I have submitted it?

Prior to submitting your application you can save your progress and make changes at any time. Once your application has been submitted, however, you will only be able to change the portions contained in the “Applicant Profile” section. Therefore, it is important to check carefully all sections on the review screen prior to clicking “Submit Application.” Once an application has been submitted, only UChicago Study Abroad will be able to make changes. You can, however, withdraw your application at any time.

How long should my statement of purpose be?

We allot 3000 characters for each statement of purpose. As text is entered, the character counter beneath the online entry field displays the remaining characters available.

Why does the character counter on the application display a different number than indicated on my word processing program?

Some word processing programs such as Microsoft Word count characters differently from our application system. For example, Word will count a double-space after a period as one character, whereas our system counts the double-space as two characters. The easiest way to fix this problem is to save your Microsoft Word document as plain text (go to Save As, Other Formats, Plain Text), and then copy and paste it into the online application.

If I am applying to more than one Civilization program, should I focus my statement of purpose on my first-choice program or on all programs?

If you are applying to multiple Civilization programs, we strongly suggest that you devote the majority of your statement to your first-choice selection, making the strongest possible case for that program. Because competition for the limited places in these programs is quite fierce, you should do your best to make this statement succinct and persuasive.

How should I frame my response to the Travel Experience question?

The Travel Experience section provides you with another opportunity to engage with the notion of international travel, as well as your preferred location. For example, you may wish to explain how a previous trip abroad has inspired you to either explore new ground or return to a familiar location in a new context. Or, if you have not yet traveled internationally, you could explain why your selected location would be a meaningful first experience abroad. What we are not seeking is a simple list of destinations you have visited.

How do I know if a program has a language prerequisite?

Each program page specifies whether or not a program has a language prerequisite.

Can I fulfill my language competence requirement abroad?

Please see the College catalog for more information.

What does the recommendation entail and whom should I ask to write on my behalf?

Our online recommendation form solicits feedback on your personal and academic attributes as relevant to your participation in a program abroad. If a recommender already has a letter prepared, that text can be entered into the online form. If your recommender cannot access a computer, he or she should contact UChicago Study Abroad:, 773.702.9442.

In general we prefer a recommendation from a resident head or an adviser who could comment on your motivation and preparedness to study abroad, as well as your presence within a group. A previous employer, coach or an instructor who knows you well are also acceptable. If you are applying to a program with a language pre-requisite, you are encouraged to ask a language instructor to complete your recommendation.

Can I submit additional recommendations beyond the required amount?

Each application indicates the number of required recommendations. The online application system cannot accept recommendations beyond this number. Having additional recommendations sent to our office will not increase your chances of being accepted into a program.

How do I change or correct the recommender information?

If you enter incorrect information for your recommender or need to change recommenders you will need to contact UChicago Study Abroad:, 773.702.9442.

How do I know if my recommendation has been submitted?

You can track your application status via the “My Home Page” section of the online application system. On this summary page, you will see a list of all applications that you have started or submitted as well as your recommendation status. You will also receive an email notifying you when your recommender has completed the online recommendation form.

It is your responsibility to notify your recommender that an email request to complete your online recommendation form is forthcoming, and to keep that person informed of the deadline. If your recommender misplaces the email with the link to complete your recommendation, please contact UChicago Study Abroad so we can re-send the recommendation request on your behalf:, 773.702.9442.

When will I hear if I’ve been accepted?

Civilization program admission decisions will be communicated by the beginning of spring quarter.

Thematic and Language program decisions are typically communicated within a month of the application deadline.

Students applying to Direct Enrollment programs are subject to the acceptance timeline of the host institution. UChicago Study Abroad does not determine and cannot control the timeframe for these admission decisions. You should consult the specific coordinator for each of those programs for more information regarding the decision timeline.

How will I receive my admission decision?

Once admission decisions are made, you will receive an email notifying you that your decision has been posted to your UChicago study abroad home page.

I’m an athlete. Can I study abroad?

We fully encourage students involved in UChicago athletics to study abroad. We are happy to talk to you about programs that would be a good fit with respect to timing for your particular sport, and available facilities for maintaining a training regimen. In addition to talking with your College adviser, we also suggest you discuss your plans with your coach as early as possible.

Can I apply to a University of Chicago Study Abroad program if I am not a University of Chicago student?

Study abroad programs sponsored by the College of the University of Chicago are open to University of Chicago students only with the exception of Northwestern students applying to the Toledo program. Applications from outside the University are not accepted.

How do I apply to the Toledo program if I am enrolled at Northwestern University?

Students enrolled at Northwestern University who wish to apply to the Toledo Intermediate Spanish program must contact UChicago Study Abroad for a hard copy of the application:, 773.702.9442.

How do I apply for or renew a US Passport?

If you are a first-time applicant please visit the Department of State website for instructions on how to apply for a US passport.

View instructions on how to renew your US Passport.

View information on US Passport processing times.

If I want more information about a study abroad program, whom should I contact?

We welcome you to stop by the Study Abroad office in Harper Memorial 203 to talk with a Program Coordinator. Our office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary.