Application FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about the Study Abroad Application

    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, the Civilization Programs, and September Programs each count as a single application.)

    Prior to submitting your application, you can save your progress and make changes at any time. Please check carefully all sections on the review screen prior to clicking “Submit Application” since you will not be able to make any edits after submitting your application. If you would like to withdraw your application after you have already submitted it, please email before withdrawing your application in Via TRM.

    Some of the fields in the Traveler Information section are prepopulated from your UChicago account and cannot be edited in the Via TRM application. In order to update these fields, please log in to your my.UChicago portal and update your information there, which will soon be reflected in your Via TRM application. You may need to log out and log back in for the changes to take effect. Please do this before submitting your application.

    We allot 2500 characters (including spaces) for each statement of purpose.

    If you are applying to multiple Civilization programs, you should apply ONLY to your FIRST-CHOICE Civilization abroad program. At the end of the application, you will be prompted to rank up to four additional alternate Civilization programs, if you choose. If you are interested in other locations in addition to your first choice and the four alternates that you have selected, please list them and explain your interest in your answer to the “Alternative Location Statement” question on the main page of the application.

    If you are ranking 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 can be competitive, you should do your best to make this statement succinct and persuasive.

    No. You have a better chance of being admitted to a Civilization program if you rank alternates.

    The Travel Background question provides you with another opportunity to engage with the notion of international travel, as well as your first-choice program. 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.

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

    Please see the College Catalog for more information.

    Please note: Only a select few programs require recommendations. To determine whether a recommendation is required for a given program, please check its application. The Study Abroad Office will not accept any recommendations submitted for programs that do not require a recommendation.

    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, they should contact UChicago Study Abroad:, 773.702.9442.

    In general, we prefer a recommendation from a resident head, adviser, or instructor (grad students/TAs or faculty) 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 prerequisite, you are encouraged to ask a language instructor to complete your recommendation.

    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.

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

    You can track your recommendation submission status in the Study Abroad Recommendation section of your application. After you enter your recommender’s email address and submit the request, the status will change to: “Sent to (email) on (date request was sent).” Once your recommender submits the recommendation form, the following phrase will be displayed: “Completed on (date the recommendation was submitted).”

    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.

    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 manager for each of those programs for more information regarding the decision timeline.

    Once admission decisions are made, you will receive two emails from the Via TRM application website: one will notify you that your application status has changed and another one will include a copy of the decision letter that has been sent to your Via TRM account.

    No. Although the online application has a defer button, this is not an option for UChicago programs. You may, however, decline your offer and apply again next year.

    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.

    Study abroad programs sponsored by the College of the University of Chicago are open to University of Chicago undergraduate students only. Applications from outside the University are not accepted.

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

    View instructions on how to renew your U.S. passport.

    View information on U.S. passport processing times.

    Each program page on the Study Abroad website includes information on how to contact and make an appointment with the Program Manager.

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