Transfer and Re-Entry Abroad

Transfer and re-entry students, a big welcome and warm belongings to you here at UC Santa Cruz! Congratulations on your next big step in your undergraduate academic career.  It’s wonderful that you are interested in Studying Abroad or Away! The sooner you begin planning for this next journey, the better. If this is your first quarter here at UCSC, you are two steps ahead of the game! If you are reaching the end of your time here at our university, please know that it may not be too late for you to explore your intercultural learning opportunities!  Applications can be due up to 8 months prior to the program start date and you can check the deadlines here. If you have completed your GE requirements already, consider programs that allow you to take courses in your major/minor, develop language skills, or help you towards your chosen career path.


Academic Planning 

To get started, all students should make an academic plan that matches their academic goals. Consider what classes are required to achieve this degree, when they have to be taken, how long it will take to execute this plan, and where you can fit study abroad or away into all of this. On a study abroad or away program, you can receive major, minor, GE, or elective credit - it really is up to you what you want to get out of the program and do with your time away. If you want to start brainstorming this process, you should fill out this program exploration worksheet.  

Explore Program Options

Next, start exploring the different program options on the UCSC Study Abroad website. Consider programs that match your academic, personal, and professional goals. Does the program you’re interested in offer coursework in your major if you need upper-division elective major credit? Or coursework that will count toward GE credit? Does it offer internship or research opportunities if that’s what you’re looking for? What about an opportunity to practice your language skills? You should choose a program not only because it’s in a place you desire to go to, but one that will serve you academically, personally, and professionally - this way you are sure to get a well-rounded experience! Below is a breakdown of different program types and if you would like more information, please take a look at the more detailed Program Type Comparison Chart. 

UCSC Faculty-Led Programs

  • There are different program offerings every summer
  • You earn UCSC credit, not transfer credit. This is important so that way you don’t max out on the number of transfer units that can count towards your degree
  • Financial Aid applies, though is limited to summer financial aid 

UCSC Global Exchanges 

  • Study abroad or away for either a semester or a year 
  • You earn UC credit, not transfer credit. This is important so that way you don’t max out on the number of transfer units that can count towards your degree 
  • Pay UCSC tuition and living costs away; our financial aid package applies


  • There are over 40 countries and more than 400 program options to choose from! There are (some) quarter programs, semester programs, year-long programs, and summer programs  
  •  Earn UC credit for all courses taken abroad, not transfer credit. This is important so that way you don’t max out on the number of transfer units that can count towards your degree
  • Financial Aid applies to your program costs

UCEAP tip: You should check the course descriptions listed on the UCEAP program pages or EAP Course Catalog to preview what coursework might be offered and what requirements the courses might cover. If you want to see what coursework might fulfill GE requirements while you’re away, you can check out the UCSC Campus Credit Abroad Database

Other UC Study Abroad 

  • There are summer and quarter program options available both in the U.S. and abroad 
  • Earn UC credit for all courses taken away on these programs, not transfer credit. This is important so that way you don’t max out on the number of transfer units that can count towards your degree 
  • Financial Aid applies to your program costs

Non-UC Study Abroad (NUCSA) Programs

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Study abroad or away Doesn’t Have to be International: Programs in the U.S. 

Know that there are also study abroad or away programs in the U.S. to choose from! Such programs include those designed for all UC Students during the academic year: UCDC, UC Sacramento, UC Ecology and Natural Reserves Program and the UC Intercampus Visitor Program. UCSC offers UCSC Domestic Exchanges at the University of New Mexico and the University of New Hampshire. There are also UC Summer Away options offered in the U.S.. And lastly, there are some Non-UC study abroad or away programs in the U.S. as well, including Spanish Studies Abroad in Puerto RicoIES Abroad Summer Internship in New York City, CIS Abroad in Hawaii, and CIEE Summer Global Internships in Boston, San Francisco, and New York

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Don’t have a UC GPA? 

Some programs might state that a UC GPA is a requirement to apply. However, if you don’t have a UC GPA at the time you apply to UCEAP, you may use your transfer GPA for most programs. Once you receive a UC GPA after your first quarter, you will be required to meet the UC GPA requirement. 

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If you are a Student with a Family or Dependents, or might require Disability accommodations, please take a look at the information and resources listed in these sections of our Identities Abroad and Away website. 

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What If I Missed the Opportunity to Experience Study Abroad or Away Under My Graduation Plan?

We at UCSC Study Abroad understand how busy student life can be, especially as a Transfer or Re-entry student! Know that it is okay if you missed the latest deadline that would have allowed you to fit a study abroad or away program into your current graduation goals. If this is a pressing issue for you and you have an extremely strong desire to study abroad or away during your undergraduate experience, you could consider extending your graduation plan. We recommend that you first speak with your financial aid advisor to understand the potential financial aid packaging you may qualify for and other financial considerations that extending your enrollment may entail. The next step would be to meet with your college advisor and discuss the possibility of extending your academic plan in order to fit a study abroad or away experience into your undergraduate career. 

If extending your enrollment is not possible, do know that there are plenty of opportunities to engage in an intercultural learning experience after your undergraduate career. Such opportunities include the Fulbright, Peace Corps, Teaching English Abroad, Conducting Research Abroad, and Service Learning and Volunteering Abroad. You could also pursue a Masters or Ph.D. program away or abroad! Learn about more international graduate school opportunities at Lessons From Abroad. 

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Resources and Student Perspectives

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