Study Abroad

Are you considering studying abroad? Study abroad can be an exciting opportunity, but to make the most out of it, students must plan ahead. 

For most Social Ecology students, it is best to take General Education requirements and electives while abroad. GE Category 1B: Upper Division Writing must be taken at UCI. Careful planning is required to ensure you can complete all degree requirements and have sufficient courses to take abroad.


Considering studying abroad through a UCEAP program? Here are the steps to take:

1. Visit the Study Abroad Center and explore their website. Consult with the Study Abroad Center regarding how far in advance you need to prepare, when deadlines are, etc. 

2. It is strongly encouraged that you meet with an Academic Counselor to go over where you stand regarding your degree requirements and the course waiver petition process.

3. Courses taken through UCEAP will count as elective units. If you would like a course to satisfy a specific General Education, School, or Major requirement, you must submit a Course Waiver Petition for each requirement you are trying to fulfill (see below). Petitions can be submitted before or after going abroad. 

4. After your return: If you did petition a course before going abroad and it was approved, once the course shows up in DegreeWorks under the “Electives” section, fill out a DegreeWorks update form so we can update your DegreeWorks accordingly.


Course Waiver Petition Process

Courses taken through UC EAP will count as elective units. If you would like a course to satisfy a specific General Education, School, or Major requirement, you must submit a Course Waiver Petition for each requirement you are trying to fulfill. You must obtain a current syllabus for the course you plan to take abroad to submit with the Course Waiver Petition; course descriptions taken from the catalogue will not suffice. You may petition before you leave or upon your return. The course waiver petition process takes approximately 6-8 weeks, so please plan ahead. 


Special Considerations for Social Ecology Students Studying Abroad

  • Plan ahead with your Field Study requirement! Field Study has an extensive process (often involving interviews), so it can be difficult to do Field Study the quarter immediately following your return.
  • Consider taking Social Ecology 10 before studying abroad since it is a prerequisite.
  • For students going abroad their senior year, please be aware that it takes time for the units from your coursework abroad to be posted to your UCI transcript. Thus, depending on this speed of this process, if you study abroad your final quarter, please be aware your degree may not be certified until a quarter after your return (i.e. if you study abroad in Spring and your transcript is not received in time, you may not be certified for graduation until Summer). 


Can I fulfill my Field Study requirement abroad?

  • There are a few opportunities already established for students who would like to fulfill the Field Study requirement while abroad. 
  • For student who are seeking opportunities outside of those listed here, they are encouraged to review the Field Study minimum standards. Students that complete experiences that appear to meet the requirements and learning outcomes concurrently my submit a course waiver petition upon return. The petition and materials submitted will be reviewed in accordance with the standards to determine if the experience and course work meets the standards to waive the course. This is an good option for students going abroad in their Junior year.
  • For questions regarding this, please contact Field Study Advising


Study Abroad Center

The mission of the Study Abroad Center is to foster a culture at UCI in which study abroad is expected and achievable for all students. The Center assists students in participating in programs abroad that offer unique academic opportunities, international learning and personal development while making progress toward their UCI degree.  Graduates who have studied abroad become future leaders – in public, private and non-profit sectors – with a more nuanced understanding of other countries and cultures as well as greater self-awareness and self-confidence.  We aim to ensure that our students’ study abroad experiences help them affect positive change in the world, both locally and globally.

1100 Student Services II (across Ring Road from the UCI Bookstore)

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Phone: (949) 824-6343
Fax: (949) 824-9133