Study Abroad - Carnegie Mellon University

Where in the world will your path take you?

The study abroad staff of the Office of International Education (OIE) support Carnegie Mellon students through every step of the process! To begin exploring opportunities for a study, work/intern, or research abroad experience, we encourage students to first submit an electronic Study Abroad Interest Form via our CMU Study Abroad Portal.

Our CMU Study Abroad Portal is the best place to find out how to schedule a one-on-one meeting with a study abroad advisor, when to attend a Study Abroad Information Session, and search for opportunities abroad.  [This is not an exhaustive list.  Please contact OIE if you do not see the program on which you wish to participate.]  Students should also consider attending our annual Study Abroad Fair or connecting with returned students via the E-Peer Advisory. We also recommend that students communicate with their academic department and attend departmental information sessions on studying abroad if available.

Carnegie Mellon students and alumni report that studying abroad was one of the most valuable experiences of their lives.  It is a time of growth and change in many areas: academic, professional, personal, and intercultural.  Students report that studying abroad provided them with increased problem solving skills, better foreign language abilities, new professional contacts, more independence, an enhanced awareness and appreciation of their home culture, and a stronger interest in other cultures.

Have a question about Study Abroad? Check out our FAQs.

Timeline

SAB Timeline      

To Note: In order to be eligible for funding from OIE you must be studying in any country not currently under a U.S. State Department Travel Warning.

Traveling over Winter Break?  Apply for our Tartans Abroad Scholarship! Deadline: Oct. 31st! 

See our winning student study abroad photos of 2013-14 HERE!

Quick Links

  • "No one who has lived through the second half of the 20th century could possibly be blind to the enormous impact of exchange programs on the future of countries…"

    -Former President Bill Clinton

  • Gaius Charles, a 2005 CMU Drama graduate, who plays Brian "Smash" Williams on NBC's Friday Night Lights studied abroad in Australia at NIDA (National Institute for Dramatic Arts).

  • In an episode of "The Simpsons", Bart Simpson participates in a student exchange program in France for 3 months.

  • In an episode of "The Simpsons", the family hosts a student from Albania.

  • Theodore Seuss Geisel, Dr. Seuss, an American author and artist studied abroad at Oxford University.

  • Desmond Tutu, the first black South African archbishop of Cape Town and activist studied abroad at King's College in the UK.

  • Marie Curie, best known for her discovery of radium and the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, studied abroad at the Sorbonne in France.

  • ABC's This Week host and former communications director for President Clinton, George Stephanopoulos, was a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College at Oxford.

  • Approximately 28% of Carnegie Mellon students study abroad at some point during their Carnegie Mellon careers.
    Office of International Education

  • Over half of Carnegie Mellon students who study abroad are women.

    Office of International Education

  • Approximately half of the Carnegie Mellon students who study abroad do so during short-term period like spring break, winter break and summer.
    Office of International Education
  • The UK, China, Italy, and Spain were top destinations for Carnegie Mellon students in 2007-08.

    Office of International Education

  • 95.5% of Carnegie Mellon study abroad students said "Yes!" they would do it again, according to a 2007 survey.

    2006/2007 CMU Study Abroad Survey

  • Carnegie Mellon students studied in 44 foreign countries around the world in 2007-08.

    Office of International Education

  • 80% of returned Carnegie Mellon students apply study abroad units to their primary major, per an OIE study.

    2006/2007 CMU Study Abroad Survey

  • The number of US students studying abroad for academic credit has increased by 47% from 1998 to 2004, per IIE’s Open Doors.

    IIE’s Open Doors Report

  • It is one thing to read about another culture, but another entirely to experience it yourself.

  • Employers value foreign language and cross cultural competence, per a recent study by the National Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.

  • Recent federal reports cite language and cultural skill shortages in more than 70 U.S. agencies.

    Commission on the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Act of 2006

  • Study abroad accelerates skill building and strengthens strategic relationships

    2006 The Year of Study Abroad

  • Living in a foreign country helps students better understand the world at large.

    2006 The Year of Study Abroad

  • HR personnel believe that study abroad produces valuable interpersonal skills which are ranked as the most important ability for job candidates.

    2006 The Year of Study Abroad

  • 40% of U.S. study abroad students go to non-European destinations, per IIE’s Open Doors.

    IIE's Open Doors Report

  • 60% of U.S. study abroad students study in Europe, per IIE’s Open Doors.

    IIE's Open Doors Report

  • 97% of students said that study abroad made them more mature, per a 2004 study.

    2006 The Year of Study Abroad

  • 96% of students felt more self confident after studying abroad, per a 2004 study.

    2006 The Year of Study Abroad

  • 50% of U.S. college bound high school students express interest in study abroad.

    2006 The Year of Study Abroad

  • 75% of U.S. students think it’s important to study or participate in an internship abroad.

    2006 The Year of Study Abroad

  • U.S. students studying abroad should register with the STEP program (the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program through the U.S. Dept. of State.

    Department of State

  • Check the Centers for Disease Control website for health and vaccine suggestions.

  • Be familiar with basic laws and customs of the country before you travel.

  • Apply for any visas as early as possible.

  • If you have a hobby or interest at home, why not pursue it abroad?

did you know?

  • "Studying abroad was a unique opportunity to learn about a new culture as well as teach others about my own. It was a learning experience about respect, confidence, challenges, and independence. I’m so glad I had this opportunity and would do it again in a second."

    Katherine Pukinskis
    CFA
    Music Composition
    Bristol, England
    Butler University

  • "It’s still difficult for me to wrap my head around my experiences…People ask how China was, and the first thing I can say is 'crowded'. The China we think of here in the US is mostly 100 years gone. In addition to the language I gained it was useful for me to see what things are really like right now."

    Sara Bobo
    H&SS
    German/International Relations
    Shanghai, China
    SISU

  • "Study abroad was one of the greatest, eye-opening experiences I’ve ever had. I most enjoyed seeing all the nature, world heritage, and animals that were in Australia and New Zealand. I gained a greater appreciation for nature and the beautiful wonders of the world. With my travels, I also met people from all over the world and gained a greater understanding of different cultures."

    Kelly Koser
    MCS
    Mathematical Sciences
    Australia
    Direct Enrollment

  • "Being in Spain was an eye-opening experience. It made me much more aware of how much cultures differ and gave me a new perspective on the world."

    Jamie Boschan
    H&SS
    International Systems
    Madrid, Spain
    ISA

  • "Being with a host family opened my eyes to a dimension of the French culture and lifestyle that I would have missed out on otherwise. To be immersed in the culture in the center of the capital of France made me face and be able to accurately judge social and cultural stereotypes. The independence of living with a family, yet still without the comfort of my real family and home environment, helped me learn more about my abilities to handle new situations."

    Jessica Len
    Tepper
    Business Administration
    Paris, France
    IES

  • "Australia was hard to adjust to at first… I was homesick being so far away but I gained confidence, cultural awareness, lifelong friends, and had a great experience in general."

    Nicoletta Karvelas
    CFA
    Art
    Australia
    UNSW Exchange

  • "[Studying Abroad was] one of the greatest experiences of my life. I learned about the culture of a city with Spanish, Mediterranean, and its own Catalan influences and how to enjoy life for the moment. "Live and enjoy each day of your life" is one of the greatest lessons I took back with me."

    Manuel Monasi
    CIT
    Civil Engineering
    Barcelona, Spain
    IES

  • "South America is fun, lovable, and real… Everyone [in Colombia] is so kind and easily approachable. The spiritual presence there is strong… and while the people may have been poor, they are thankful and embracing of foreigners."

    Nathan Frank
    Tepper/H&SS
    Business/Spanish
    Colombia

  • "… if you’re in a Mexican cab driving through the city, even if you don’t believe in God, you understand why they all have a string of rosary beads in the window. It was always an adventure."

    Aftyn Giles
    CFA
    Architecture & International Relations
    Mexico

  • "I went to Germany hoping to learn the German language and culture, but what I got was a lesson in world culture. From the elderly Japanese woman sitting next to me, to the Mexican guy at the other end of the table, to the Polish sisters across the room, my classroom experience was a valuable lesson in not only German, but also all the values of everyone in the room."

    Stephanie Sharick
    CIT
    MSE, MBE
    Schwäbisch Hall, Germany
    (4 weeks)
    Goethe Institute

  • "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but in the end, I’ve grown up and become wiser for it."

    David Lettieri
    H&SS
    Japanese & International Relations
    Tokyo, Japan
    Exchange w/Keio University

  • "This study abroad experience was the best time of my life. I learned a lot about myself and how to be more independent. I also learned how to be more understanding and respectful of other cultures and people. I absolutely loved the culture, the people, and the experience I had. I’m very thankful to have had the experience. I wouldn’t trade it for the world."

    Victoriya Kovalchuk
    BHA
    Creative Writing & Modern Language
    Aix-en-Provence, France
    IAU

  • "My favorite part of studying abroad this summer was the confidence I gained from throwing my cares to the wind and fully taking advantage of the opportunities available. I’m realizing how incredibly lucky I was to just spend time being in another place."

    Nicole Hallinen
    SHS & H&SS
    Psychology & French
    France
    IAU

  • "To be able to wake up each morning and see the Uffizi, The Palazzo Vecchio, the Ponte Vecchio, and Santa Croce from my apartment windows was something that never ceased to amaze me. And by the end of the two months, my apartment mates and I came to think of such important monuments of history as 'ours'."

    Anita Shih
    SHS & H&SS
    Psychology
    Florence, Italy
    API

  • "I plan to live in Rome someday, simply put."

    Anthony Falleroni
    H&SS
    History
    Rome, Italy
    Richmond in Rome (AIFS)

  • "Studying abroad has motivated me to keep traveling."

    Ruth Hogan
    H&SS
    Logic & Computation
    Cyprus
    Outside

  • "What has most changed about me is my perspective on business and the environment. Seeing where our clothes are made and the abuses people incur because of the capitalist system really changed my view of what kind of profession and system I want to be a part of. I was already environmentally conscious before going abroad, but seeing the immediate effects of pollution and environmental degradation (i.e. garbage in the river, not in the landfill) has made me even more aware and active in protecting the environment."

    Abby McUmber
    H&SS
    Psychology
    Dominican Republic
    CIEE

  • "Even with the many challenges I faced, my study abroad experience was by far the best time of my life. I learned how much I can truly accomplish on my own and came back with much more confidence in myself."

    Michelle Forkosh
    CFA
    Communication Design
    Florence, Italy
    Direct Enrollment

  • "Chinese has no alphabet. Study extensively before you go and get a language partner over there. Teach! Pack light! Haggle over every price!"

    Alex Kalke
    H&SS
    Policy & Management
    Beijing, China
    KEI

  • "Through and through best four months of my life. Magical and opening, my semester abroad has made me more aware of my environment as well as myself as a person and how I fit into that environment. ...[I] am now comfortable in calling myself 'international' (and actually believing it)."

    Daria Maximov
    H&SS
    Economics and Decision Science
    Milan, Italy
    Direct Enrollment

  • "My semester in London was definitely a huge shift from CMU. As a huge fan of British music and art, being able to actually live in London was a fulfillment of one of my big-time dreams. I really enjoyed having nothing but unstructured painting time and being able to explore London and the rest of the country on my own. I only wish I had stayed a full year at St. Martins, and I’m already starting to consider moving to England after finishing my last couple semesters at Carnegie Mellon.

    Mollie Echevernia
    CFA
    BHA Art/History
    London, UK
    Direct Enrollment

  • "Even with the many challenges I faced, my study abroad experience was by far the best time of my life. I learned how much I can truly accomplish on my own and came back with much more confidence in myself."

    Michelle Forkosh
    CFA
    Communication Design
    Florence, Italy
    "Direct Enrollment

  • "Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime experience, if I hadn’t made use of the opportunity, I would have regretted it for the rest of my life."

    Ritu Saksena
    CIT
    ECE
    Sydney, Australia
    University Sponsored

  • "Challenge yourself by getting out of your comfort zone. Meet different kinds of people and immerse yourself in the language and culture. That’s the best advice I have and what I found most valuable."

    Maria D’Aliesio
    Tepper
    Business Administration
    Florence, Italy
    Study Abroad Italy

  • "Let go of expectations- your society of study abroad is NOT America."

    Michele Anthony
    MCS
    Chemistry
    Paris, France
    Cultural Experiences Abroad- Sorbonne University

  • "When I first left for Denmark, I wasn’t sure what to expect for the next 4 months. I assumed my life would change, that I would grow, make friends and then I would come back home. I never realized the friends I made and the ways I grew would make leaving Denmark one of the hardest things I have ever done."

    Megan Shinn
    Tepper
    Marketing
    Copenhagen
    DIS

  • "Dublin is the best city in the world. No where else can you find a population as friendly and loud as Americans, which allowed me to really submerge myself in their amazing society."

    Katie White
    Tepper
    Business Administration
    Dublin, Ireland

  • "Studying abroad has been the most amazing and challenging experiences of my life."

    Bryan Arsham
    H&SS
    Policy and Management
    Melbourne, Australia
    University Sponsored

  • "I loved Denmark, the country and seeing a different way of life. With a population of only 5.4 million, it is a small nation. Its charm and beauty is not spectacular or grand, but all the little tings add up to one beautiful place and people."

    Emily Giacomarra
    CFA
    BHA
    Denmark
    DIS

  • "Studying in New Zealand really was like living in a parallel universe. But even with all the differences, more important similarities came across. Now I feel like I have a second home in the south pacific."

    Andrea Irwin
    CFA/SCS
    Industrial Design & HCI
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Direct Enrollment

  • "Get over yourself - human beings do more or less the same thing regardless of location. People get too caught up in external differences to notice that a Frenchman will cry the same way as an American when punched in the stomach."

    Shingai Samudzi
    CMU
    Policy Management
    Aix-en-Provence
    IAU

  • "Don’t expect too much, just enough to get to where you’re going to live... Get out there, do something new and definitely don’t isolate yourself from incredible experiences that will change you forever."

    Lauren Feierstein
    H&SS
    Psychology
    Barcelona, Spain
    IES

  • "Go abroad – go anywhere or anytime…just go!"

    Christina Maksymiuk
    MSC
    Chemistry
    Rome, Italy
    Temple Rome

  • "Being abroad presents an array of new and unique opportunities one would not encounter while at home. The personal, interpersonal and academic growth that occurs is truly invaluable. It really challenges how and why one thinks the way one does!"

    Jen Johnson
    H&SS
    Anthropology and History
    Rome, Italy
    Siena, Italy
    Lexia Rome and Siena School for the Liberal Arts

in their own words