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Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to consider studying abroad at some point during their educational career. Most aspects of study abroad are handled by the Global Learning Office (GLO). If you are interested in studying abroad, it is a good idea to visit GLO before the end of your first year at NU.  

Some study abroad programs have language requirements, so it is important to plan early if you are interested in studying abroad. Also make sure to check out the section for SoC students on their website: Make sure to meet with your academic advisor to discuss such issues as which quarter(s) will be most advantageous for going abroad, and what implications studying abroad may have for your Undergraduate Registration Requirement (URR) and degree requirements.  

Northwestern Financial Aid can be used to pay for study abroad with a Northwestern or NU Affiliated program. The GLO website has information on financial support, and Krista Bethel ( is available to discuss financial resources and support for study abroad. 

Credit from Study Abroad 

Courses taken while on an affiliated study abroad program are usually transferrable back to NU. Depending on the specific courses taken, these credits may be applied to distribution or elective requirements. Courses taken in a student’s major discipline while abroad are not permitted to count toward the student’s major requirements; they will only count as elective credit. Some majors have a requirement for courses in SoC but not in the major department; study abroad credits may sometimes be applied to these requirements.  

After completion of study abroad, students must complete any processes required by the Global Learning Office, which includes having transcripts sent to NU. Transcripts are evaluated by the Office of the Registrar; courses must be similar to those offered at NU in both discipline and academic rigor in order to receive transfer credit at NU. Approved credits typically appear as general credits, which count toward elective requirements. In the event that students want to have credits count toward distribution requirements, they should make sure to retain their course materials, such as the syllabus and any assignments, so that the course can be evaluated upon return to NU.  

To petition to have any credits count toward SoC distribution requirements, students should fill out and submit to their SoC academic advisor the Study Abroad Credit Articulation Form, along with any appropriate course materials. To request that any credits be counted toward secondary plans, such double majors or minors, students should consult with their academic advisor in the relevant program.