Study Abroad on an Independent Program

Independent Non-UC Study Abroad is any study abroad program not managed or hosted by the University of California.  While most UCSC students study abroad through UCEAP or a study abroad program offered by another UC campus, we encourage students to consider programs outside the UC system if UC programs should not meet your academic needs. 

Please find the Independent Study Abroad Student Guide to assist you in your planning.

Fall, Winter, Spring or Year-long Programs


1) Meet with a UCSC Study Abroad Advisor

Before you apply to an independent study abroad program, meet with a UCSC Study Abroad Advisor to discuss the process and the necessary steps you need to take.
Email studyabroad@ucsc.edu or call the front desk (831) 459-2858 to schedule an appointment, or stop by for general drop-in advising.

2) Choose a Program & Apply

Explore program options and apply directly to the program by their deadline.  For assistance in the application process, you should contact the program provider directly.  Deadlines, application process, and eligibility requirements vary by program.

3) Complete a Proposed Program Evaluation

To determine if coursework taken abroad is eligible for transfer credit, request pre-approval by submitting a Proposed Program Evaluation online to the Office of Admissions.  Approval is at the discretion of the Office of Admissions.  Start early – this process can take up to 4-6 weeks.

**If you intend to apply your financial aid to your independent program, the courses you enroll in abroad MUST be approved for transfer credit at UCSC by the Office of Admissions.  Aid will NOT be released to you while abroad if your final course enrollment does not comply with your approved coursework.

Determine major/minor coursework

If the Office of Admission approves your coursework for transfer credit on the Proposed Program Evaluation, meet with your major/minor advisors to discuss if any of the approved courses you take while you are abroad may satisfy major/minor requirements.  Approval is at the discretion of your major/minor departments.

4) Complete an Independent Program Abroad Waiver Form

Complete an Independent Program Abroad Waiver Form and submit either in person to a UCSC Study Abroad Advisor or electronically to studyabroad@ucsc.eduUCSC Study Abroad MUST receive your waiver form 90 days prior to the start of the quarter that you will be away from campus in order for you to be approved to participate on your independent non-UC study abroad program AND to be eligible to receive Financial Aid.

FINANCIAL AID STUDENTS ONLY:
In order to be eligible to receive Financial Aid, UCSC Study Abroad MUST receive your Independent Program Abroad Waiver Form AND a copy of your confirmation email from the Office of Admissions confirming your approved coursework no later than 90 days prior to the start of the quarter you intend to be on leave for your independent non-UC study abroad program.  For example, if you plan to participate on a Winter quarter program, UCSC Study Abroad must receive your Waiver Form and confirmation email from Admissions in the Fall quarter, no later than 90 days prior to the start of Winter quarter. 
 
Upon receipt of your Independent Program Abroad Waiver Form and confirmation email from the Office of Admissions, UCSC Study Abroad will notify UCSC Financial Aid of your intent to participate on a non-UC study abroad program and you will be provided instructions to see a UCSC Financial Aid advisor.  UCSC Financial Aid will discuss your aid options and provide you with instructions for your program provider to complete a Consortium Agreement that must be returned to the UCSC Financial Aid Office no later than 60 days prior to your program start date.  The Consortium Agreement confirms program information that is required before the UCSC Financial Aid Office can package you for your program, including program details, course enrollment and program budget.

5) Complete a UCSC Leave of Absence (except summer)

Submit an online UCSC Leave of Absence (LOA) for the quarter(s) you will be away from UCSC on your independent non-UC study abroad program.  The Leave of Absence must be completed the quarter prior to your departure. 
**Students studying abroad during the summer term only do NOT need to complete a LOA; complete only the Independent Program Abroad Form/Waiver.

6) Go Abroad!

Follow the pre-departure process indicated by your program provider.


Summer Programs

1) Meet with a UCSC Study Abroad Advisor

Before you apply to an independent study abroad program, meet with a UCSC Study Abroad Advisor to discuss the process and the necessary steps you need to take.

Email studyabroad@ucsc.edu or call the front desk (831) 459-2858 to schedule an appointment, or stop by for general drop-in advising.

2) Choose a Program & Apply

Explore program options and apply directly to the program by their deadline.  For assistance in the application process, you should contact the program provider directly.  Deadlines, application process, and eligibility requirements vary by program.

3) Complete a Proposed Program Evaluation

To determine if coursework taken abroad is eligible for transfer credit, request pre-approval by submitting an online Proposed Program Evaluation to the Office of Admissions.  Approval is at the discretion of the Office of Admissions.  Start early – this process can take up to 4-6 weeks.
**If you intend to apply your financial aid to your independent program, the courses you enroll in abroad MUST be approved for transfer credit at UCSC by the Office of Admissions.  Aid will NOT be released to you while abroad if your final course enrollment does not comply with your approved coursework.

Determine major/minor coursework

If the Office of Admission approves your coursework for transfer credit on the Proposed Program Evaluation, meet with your major/minor advisors to discuss if any of the approved courses you take while you are abroad may satisfy major/minor requirements.  Approval is at the discretion of your major/minor departments.

4) Complete an Independent Program Abroad Waiver Form

Complete an Independent Program Abroad Waiver Form and submit either in person to a UCSC Study Abroad Advisor or electronically to studyabroad@ucsc.eduUCSC Study Abroad MUST receive your waiver form 90 days prior to the start of the quarter that you will be away from campus in order for you to be approved to participate on your independent non-UC study abroad program AND to be eligible to receive Financial Aid.


FINANCIAL AID STUDENTS ONLY: 
In order to be eligible to receive Financial Aid, UCSC Study Abroad MUST receive your Independent Program Abroad Waiver Form AND a copy of your confirmation email from the Office of Admissions confirming your approved coursework no later than 90 days prior to the start of the quarter you intend to be on leave for your independent non-UC study abroad program.  For example, if you plan to participate on a Winter quarter program, UCSC Study Abroad must receive your Waiver Form and confirmation email from Admissions in the Fall quarter, no later than 90 days prior to the start of Winter quarter. 

Upon receipt of your Independent Program Abroad Waiver Form and confirmation email from the Office of Admissions, UCSC Study Abroad will notify UCSC Financial Aid of your intent to participate on a non-UC study abroad program and you will be provided instructions to see a UCSC Financial Aid advisor.  UCSC Financial Aid will discuss your aid options and provide you with instructions for your program provider to complete a Consortium Agreement that must be returned to the UCSC Financial Aid Office no later than 60 days prior to your program start date.  The Consortium Agreement confirms program information that is required before the UCSC Financial Aid Office can package you for your program, including program details, course enrollment and program budget.

5) Complete a UCSC Leave of Absence (except summer)

Submit an online UCSC Leave of Absence (LOA) for the quarter(s) you will be away from UCSC on your independent non-UC study abroad program.  The Leave of Absence must be completed the quarter prior to your departure. 

**Students studying abroad during the summer term only do NOT need to complete a LOA; complete only the Independent Program Abroad Form/Waiver.

6) Go Abroad!

Follow the pre-departure process indicated by your program provider.