Application FAQs

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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, the Civilization Programs, and September 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. 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. You can, however, withdraw your application at any time after you have submitted it.

How long should my statement of purpose be?

We allot 2000 characters (not including spaces) for each statement of purpose.

If I am interested in multiple Civilization programs, how do I rank my location preferences?

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 three additional alternate Civilization programs, if you choose. If you are interested in other locations in addition to your first choice and the three 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 I am ranking more than one Civilization program, should I focus my statement of purpose on my first-choice program or on all programs?

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.

If I do not rank alternates, do I have a better chance of getting into my first-choice Civilization program?

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

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

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.

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, 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.

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 in the online application system. You will see a list of applications that you have started or submitted as well as your recommendation status.

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.

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 application account.

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 undergraduate students only. Applications from outside the University are not accepted.

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?

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

Can I defer my application after applying or being admitted to a program?

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

I am having technical difficulties with the online application. Whom should I contact?

Chrome is the recommended browser. Please log in using Chrome if you are having difficulty accessing parts of the application site. Please contact for technical issues. For any questions related to Study Abroad, please contact