With a focus on supporting as many students as possible in becoming effective and influential leaders in civil society, SAO strives to: internationalize the curriculum through program opportunities on six continents; engage UIC’s highly diverse student population to become intentional learners with increased global awareness; and assure student access to scholarship and grant support for an international academic experience.
  • Our Vision . . .

    . . . is that studying content in context, with the right linkages to text-based curricula, can best develop and enhance the critical literacies students need for success regardless of academic discipline:

    • Comprehension skills of drawing inferences
    • Finding the main idea
    • Making analogies
    • Resolving the contradiction
    • Distinguishing fact from opinion
  • Our Goal . . .

    . . . is to provide access to a variety of international academic programming opportunities and remain committed to making overseas study and international cultural immersion an integral part of the undergraduate educational experience, preparing students to better meet the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly global society.

The How, When, Where, and Why


Students choose to go abroad for a whole range of academic and non-academic reasons.

Because they remain registered in coursework abroad if they go through the Study Abroad Office, it’s usually a combination of these.

Helping the student think about their motivations and then be able to make the right curricular and personal choices will be important for a successful experience abroad.

Study Abroad staff are always available for any questions or clarifications.

Our Office

The Study Abroad Office is the primary gateway at UIC for undergraduates wanting to study abroad.

We are a staff of professional international educators who collectively speak several languages, have breadth and depth in cross-cultural experience and learning environments, and have an administrative system of protocols to move the student through advising, enrollment, and actualizing a final transcript.

We have strong relationships with over thirty-five domestic and international universities and academic consortia. Since 2007, students studying abroad have been supported by over $1 million of scholarship and grant funding.


The Study Abroad Office is also an administrative unit with clear protocols around student affairs and safety/ risk management issues.

We represent the best of the university parameters to both support and protect the student while they are abroad as a registered UIC student.

We are the main university unit liaison for the UI system-wide international health insurance plan. We are full members of the Forum on Education Abroad, recognized by the US Department of Justice as a standards development organization for best practice in international education.

Moving the Student from Interest to Participation

The Study Abroad Office Resource Room in 502 University Hall has an extensive collection of program information sheets, discipline charts, brochures, catalogs, and scholarship information. Our Resource Room is open 8:30 am – 4:30 pm Monday-Friday.

First Step advising sessions are mandatory for all study abroad applicants as a starting point for the application process.

A 20 minute First Step PowerPoint presentation will review how to select the best program for your needs, and review the application, advising, course approval and registration processes.

Everything a student needs to know about programs is on our website, including site-specific information, curriculum choices, syllabi, excursion possibilities, costs, and often a page with information on how to contact alumni from all over the US who have been on a particular program.

These sessions are for the student who wants to talk more about their program, curriculum, and/or funding options before making a decision to complete an application.

The schedule is under the First Step tab of the SAO website.

Once a student has chosen a program and filled out the SAO application, they are ready to meet with an advisor in a one on one meeting.

Students can have as many meetings as they need. Each lasts for about 30 minutes.

Ultimately the SAO advisor will sign off on the student’s application to a specific program.

The special review is required for activities in countries under a U.S. Department of State “Travel Warning.”

There are a variety of nationally competitive, regionally focused, UIC housed, and program sponsor scholarship opportunities for study abroad.

In addition to the Study Abroad Office advising staff, the Office of Special Scholarships is a great resource for assistance with applications.

The office is located at 2550 University Hall. Visit the Scholarship and Costs / Financial Aid page.

These sessions are held twice each year following an application and enrollment cycle in April and November.

Students are required to attend in order to be registered for Study Abroad.

Topics covered include final checks on all application materials, international insurance, financial aid, health, safety, and risk management.

All transcripts for Study Abroad students are sent by the host institution/sponsor to the Study Abroad Office for processing.

They usually arrive within a few weeks after the end of a term but may take up to several weeks.

SAO checks the credit articulation signed off on by the college/department, creates a Supplemental Grade Report, routes for a signature to the appropriate college, and forwards to the Registrar’s Office for entry into DARS.

Students should check their DARS report to make sure the credit is properly distributed according to their original Study Abroad Course Approval Form.

All credit earned abroad through the Study Abroad Office is considered UIC residential credit – not transfer credit.