Participating in a study abroad program as a transfer student is completely achievable! It just takes a little planning and forethought. The timeline below lays out information about the application process, provides important dates and deadlines, and answers some frequently asked questions.
Be sure to view the UCLA International Education Office (IEO) website for specific information about programs, finances, and deadlines, or call to make an appointment with a travel abroad advisor. You can also stop by the office to pick up brochures that describe the various programs available.
The IEO staff can connect you with general counselors and/or financial aid counselors for all International Programs at UCLA. For appointments, please visit or contact the office below:
UCLA International Education Office (IEO)
Location: 1332 Murphy Hall
In this timeline, we highlight the study abroad process of a transfer student who is participating in a study abroad program during the summer between their junior and senior year, or the summer after their senior year. Many transfers choose to travel during this time, but students can study abroad other times throughout the academic year given the various programs available.
Click here for a printable version of the study abroad timeline.
Understanding Your Options
UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP)
UCEAP is a collection of programs that take place at universities across the world. Over 400 programs are offered, spanning 42 different countries. Individual programs can last a year, a semester, or a quarter. You will find courses in almost all majors and in both the sciences and the humanities. In addition to specific courses, some programs also offer internships or research opportunities.
The number of units offered depends on the program and units earned transfer as UC credit and therefore do not fulfill UCLA residency requirements. Each program has specific GPA requirements, and only grades established at UCLA are considered in the application process, therefore your first quarter grades as a transfer are instrumental. Transfers can apply for programs during their first quarter, but they need to remember to update their GPA once they have established a UCLA GPA.
Remember that some UCEAP programs are very popular and fill up quickly. Eligible students are generally accepted on a first come, first serve basis until the program is full.
UC Summer Travel Study
UCLA Summer Travel Study programs only take place during the summer. Countries include Europe and the Americas with a few select programs in China, Latin America, and the Middle East. Program lengths vary from 3 to 6 weeks. Classes are partially held in a classroom setting, and UCLA professors lecture on location. Subjects covered are mainly in the humanities and social sciences. Travel Study Programs also include tours and cultural experiences.
Students earn between 8 and 18 units of UCLA credit which are counted as in residence. All courses must be taken for a letter grade. There is no GPA requirement to enter the program. A $300 non-refundable registration deposit is required in order to save a spot. A passport number is not required to hold a spot, but must be submitted within 90 days of registration.
There is no formal deadline for Summer Travel Study Programs. They open on November 15th and remain open until they are filled. The majority of programs tend to fill up in February, however, the more popular programs will fill up before then. Highly impacted programs can fill as early as mid-November. If you are interested in a highly-impacted program, we recommend you plan ahead and register on the same day the program registration opens.
Browse Summer Travel Study Programs offered.
Choosing a Program
How will study abroad fit into your schedule and your educational timeline?
There are many factors to consider when choosing a study abroad program.
You may already have an idea of where you want to study. In addition to location, there are three other important logistical constraints to consider when making your decision regarding a study abroad program. These are your educational timeline, focus of your program, and financial considerations.
- What time of year will you go?
- As a transfer, the earliest you can participate in a study abroad program is the spring quarter of your first year. Most transfers choose to study abroad during the summer between their 1st and 2nd years at UCLA.
- Programs vary in length and include summer, year long, semester, or quarter-long options. Almost all UCEAP fall, winter, and spring programs are based on a semester system. This means that students traveling in the winter or spring may be away from UCLA for two quarters instead of one. Therefore, if you wish to travel in the winter or spring, we recommend you meet with a counselor to ensure you will be able to graduate on time.
- If you have been accepted to UCLA and want to study abroad as soon as possible, you have a fairly narrow window in which to apply for a spring or a full year program. If this is your desire, you will need to submit your travel abroad application in mid-May. In order to submit a travel abroad application you must have already submitted your UCLA Student Intent to Register (SIR) .
- Will you graduate on time if you participate in a study abroad program?
- Discuss your UCLA residency and unit requirements and progress on major requirements with a counselor.
What will the focus of your program be?
Courses: Will your travel abroad experience count toward your major or general education requirements?
- If you will be taking courses abroad, prepare an agreement with your department before you take leave. Available courses vary depending on the program.
Internships or Research: Will you participate in an internship or research during your travel abroad?
- Some available programs involve internships and/or research. Meet with an IEO counselor to discuss your personal goals and find out what options are available.
How will you pay for the program?
- Financial Aid is only available for UCEAP and UCLA Summer Travel Study Programs. Financial Aid packages vary greatly by student. For information about your specific package, meet with a Financial Aid counselor.
- Several study abroad scholarships are available through IEO and the Scholarship Resource Center. See the Scholarships tab below for more information.
- Travel Study programs can be expensive, but support is available for eligible students. Meet with a counselor for program-specific information. Plan to pay for your own airfare and incidentals
Paying for Your Program
Everyone is eligible for financial aid when going abroad, regardless of Expected Family Contribution (EFC) determined by the FAFSA. However, EFC largely determines the type of aid you will receive (loans or grants). Call the Financial Aid Office to set up a meeting with a financial aid counselor. You can also contact IEO to see if there is a financial aid counselor with knowledge specific to your program. The amount of units you are taking while abroad will affect the grant amount you might receive, even during the summer.
- Study Abroad Scholarships are available from IEO and the Scholarship Resource Center.
- Browse all IEO scholarships. For more information, make an appointment with an IEO counselor. Scholarships may also be available for specific programs.
- Browse some scholarships offered through the Scholarship Resource Center. The SRC also maintains a library of available scholarships, many of which are not available on the internet. Visit with a SRC counselor to identify specific scholarships that may be available for your program.
Fall Quarter Timeline
- Visit the Study Abroad Fair: Each fall quarter, the IEO office hosts a week of events intended to promote study abroad programs. These include the study abroad fair, a great way to get exposed to the opportunities available to you. The fair usually happens during October, so keep an eye out on the IEO calendar for specific dates and times.
- Make an appointment with IEO. EO Advisors will give you tips on the most popular programs and tell you which programs fill up most quickly. Call to make an appointment.
- Contact the Financial Aid Office. Everyone is eligible for financial aid when going abroad, regardless of Expected Family Contribution (EFC) determined by the FAFSA. However, EFC largely determines the type of aid you will receive (loans or grants). To get an idea of your financial aid options, contact the program specific financial aid advisor at the financial aid office. Don’t forget that the amount of units you are taking while abroad will affect the grant amount you might receive, even during the summer.
- Choose your program and apply: Summer program deadlines and some UCEAP program deadlines occur during fall quarter.
Fall Quarter Program Deadlines
- Summer Travel Study Registration Opens: Registration for Summer Travel Study programs opens in mid-November. Impacted programs fill up quickly, so make sure to apply immediately once the application opens. Programs stay open until they fill up. Registration requires a $300 deposit. For an updated list of programs and their current capacity, see the online registration form.
- UCEAP Deadline A: The first of four annual UCEAP deadlines occurs in mid-December. To apply, access the application for your specific program through the MyEAP website, fill it out online and then print it out to turn it into the IEO in person. UCEAP programs require your UC GPA but if you have not have established one yet you can leave it blank, let them know you are a transfer student when you turn it in and then update your application next quarter once grades have been posted.
- Apply for a Passport: You do not have to hold a current passport to apply for a study abroad program, but will have to provide proof of passport possession within approximately 90 days. It takes approximately 60 days to process a passport application, so apply immediately after registering for a study abroad program through the US Department of State.
- Scholarship Applications: Many scholarships are submitted between January and March, including the first deadline for IEO scholarships. Begin preparing for these upcoming deadlines by searching for scholarships, then create a list of the ones you decide to apply to with their deadlines. For help with the application process, see the UCLA Scholarship Resource Center.
Winter Quarter Timeline
- UCLA IEO Scholarships: The deadline for the UCLA Summer Travel Study Scholarship and the IEO-UCEAP Scholarship for summer programs occurs in early winter quarter. Scholarship deadlines can be found on the IEO website.
- FAFSA Deadline: The federal FAFSA deadline occurs in early March. Everyone is eligible for financial aid when studying abroad, regardless of the estimated family contribution (EFC). Be sure to visit the financial aid office for more information, and be aware that you will still need 12 units to be considered a full-time student.
- Purchase airline tickets: Purchase your plane tickets about three months in advance for the lowest price. Many students find the best deals on flights through student-specific websites like Student Universe and Ryan Air (for travel within Europe).
Winter Quarter Program Deadlines
- UCEAP Deadline B: The second UCEAP deadline of the year occurs in mid-January. To apply, access the application for your specific program through the MyEAP website, fill it out online and then print it out to turn it into the IEO in person. For help with the application process, see the UCLA Scholarship Resource Center.
- UCEAP Deadline C: The third UCEAP deadline of the year occurs in mid-February. This is the last deadline of the year to apply to a UCEAP summer program. To apply, access the application for your specific program through the MyEAP website, fill it out online and then print it out to turn it into the IEO in person. For help with the application process, see the UCLA Scholarship Resource Center.
Spring Quarter Timeline
- The Summer Travel Study application closes in the beginning of April. Visit https://ieo.ucla.edu/travelstudy for more information.
- Summer Travel Study Financial Aid Application: The financial aid application for Travel Study students is due in the beginning of April. Grants are extremely limited in the summer, so prepare for a financial aid package that consists primarily of loans. For step-by-step instructions on filing for financial aid.
- Travel Study Program Fee Payment: If you are not applying for financial aid, your program fees are due in full in the beginning of April.
- Deadline to Cancel Enrollment: If for any reason you must cancel your enrollment in a Travel Study program, you must do so by April 3rd. The $300 deposit is not refundable under any circumstances. Any paid program fees, minus the deposit, are refundable until April 3rd. Failure to cancel before the April 3rd deadline will result in a bill for the full program fee.
Spring Quarter Program Deadlines
- UCEAP Program Deadline D: The last IEO program deadline of the year is in mid-May. These programs are usually for fall quarter or year-round. For a detailed list of deadlines, please refer to: https://ieo.ucla.edu/uceap/deadlines.
Preparing for Departure
- Apply for Visa: If your program requires a visa, you’ll need to apply in the early spring quarter. Check in with your IEO counselor for more information.
- Program Orientation: Most programs have a pre-departure orientation session, held on campus in spring quarter. Expect to receive an email notification with more information.
- Financial Aid Disbursement: Financial aid should disburse to your Bruin Bill five to ten days before the start of your program. Make sure to clear any holds on your record to ensure proper enrollment into courses and disbursement of financial aid.
Enjoy your travels!
Take plenty of pictures, document your experiences, and make lots of new friends!