Applications are due in February for the upcoming fall or full year and in October for the spring term. If you are considering a full year abroad in two locations (split year), you must submit application materials for both programs at the deadline for the first program.
- Application Checklist
- Eligibility Criteria
- Statement of Academic Intent
- Study Proposal
- Back-up, Split Year, and Independent Petition
Your myGUABROAD application consists of:
- Alumni Network Questionnaire
- Passport Copy
- Digital Photo
- Emergency Contact Information
- Statement of Academic Intent (500 Words)
- Statement of Rationale for Second Site (if applicable, 250 words)
- Foreign Language Statement of Academic Intent (if applicable, 500 words)
- Unofficial Transcript
- Study Proposal
- Student Conduct Form
- Application Submission
- 1-2 Faculty Recommendations
- 1 Language Assessment (if applicable)
Declaration of Major/Minor:
To facilitate the transfer of credit from courses taken abroad back to Georgetown, you must declare all of your intended majors prior to submitting your study abroad application. We also encourage you to declare minors and certificates, but there is flexibility with these.
With some exceptions for competitive programs, if you are applying to semester and full-year programs, you should have a cumulative GPA of 3.0.* If you are applying to GU summer programs, you should have a cumulative GPA of 2.7, unless the program requires a higher GPA. Additional program requirements can be found on each program’s webpage.
*If your GPA is currently below a 3.0 you are encouraged to speak with an OGE advisor early in the process to learn about options for semester study abroad and to inquire about the Eligibility Addendum form (see below).
Good Academic and Disciplinary Standing
Applicants are expected to be in good standing at Georgetown University or their home university. To remain in good standing, a student must maintain a strong, consistent academic record, meet the academic standards set forth by the University and exhibit a history of good citizenship and student conduct. Students are not eligible to participate in a study abroad program while on active academic or disciplinary probation. For full consideration, students should complete all student conduct sanctions prior to submitting an application.
It is important to remember that all nominations are inherently conditional. A significant decline in academic performance or a disciplinary sanction prior to departure may render a student ineligible for study abroad. This is true even if the student has already received a nomination from Georgetown or formal acceptance from an overseas institution.
Eligibility Addendum Form
If a student does not meet one or more of the requirements set forth in the program brochure, he/she may submit an Eligibility Addendum Form (EAF) to provide more information for the selection committee. This form is available after the mandatory advising appointment from an OGE regional advisor.
Students should begin the advising and application process early if they intend to submit an EAF. Students are also strongly encouraged to review their written EAF proposal with their curricular dean for input and advice. Submission of this form does not guarantee approval for study abroad. This process does not apply to any program with a GPA requirement higher than the institutional minimum.
Tips for Preparing a Strong Statement of Academic Intent
Your Statement of Academic Intent should effectively communicate your academic goals for study abroad and how your chosen program will help you achieve such goals.
What is the selection committee looking for?
The statement of academic intent is of central importance to the selection committee and it merits careful thought and preparation. This is your primary opportunity to demonstrate that you have a compelling academic rationale for studying abroad.
Provide examples to support your statement.
A well-written essay will “show” (and not merely tell) the reasons why the program is a good match for you. A well-written essay will also cover all four of the questions below:
- What specific components of the education abroad program to which you are applying make it the best fit for you?
- How are the country and language of this study abroad program relevant to your goals?
- How have your courses and/or experiences prepared you for the program?
- How do you think your study abroad experience will benefit you personally and professionally?
Remember your audience.
Your statement of academic intent will be shared with your OGE advisor and your dean. In many cases, your essay will also be given to your host institution. The Selection Committee reserves the right to reject or return applications which, in our judgment, contain incomplete or insensitive answers.
Tips for Completing the Study Proposal
Who will approve my classes?
The Study Proposal is the document which you use to familiarize yourself with the curriculum of the program to which you are applying and to outline, in consultation with your dean and (if applicable) departmental advisors, the parameters within which you plan to take courses abroad. The details outlined on the form will allow you to see how the coursework you select to take abroad may transfer back to Georgetown. OGE will provide assistance in finding the coursework for the program that you choose, but ultimately the academic advising staff and faculty of your school will approve or disapprove your proposed coursework. Therefore, you will want to make sure you read the following tips carefully.
Please note that OGE cannot approve study abroad coursework. All approvals must be obtained from the appropriate academic advising staff and faculty in your school.
Students in the College can consult their academic department's protocol for transferring credits from study abroad.
What is academically appropriate” coursework?
Typically, the selection committee will consider the following when reviewing the Study Proposal:
- Has the applicant chosen courses that are compatible with the guidelines given by OGE?
- Does the coursework allow for progression in major/minor requirements?
- Does the applicant possess the background and requisite knowledge for the chosen coursework?
- Do the courses selected fulfill the full-time course load requirements?
- Has the applicant selected enough alternate options in case some of the courses are not available?
Schedule the meetings necessary for course approval well before the application deadline and bring the appropriate documentation to assist those who will be reviewing your academic plan.
In some cases, those reviewing your Study Proposal may ask for additional documentation regarding the classes you have selected. For this reason it’s important to schedule your Study Proposal meetings well before the deadline in case follow up is required.
Supplemental information can often be helpful to those reviewing your Study Proposal too. If they are available, consider bringing course descriptions and/or syllabi to your meeting(s). That way if questions about the classes arise, you’ll have more than just a course title to work from to resolve any outstanding issues.
General Faculty Recommendation: Who should you ask?
Most programs will require that you submit one general faculty recommendation, while some will require two. The recommendation should come from a professor who has taught you. As all programs have different requirements, please discuss your recommender choice with your OGE advisor, as he/she will be able to offer advice on the best choice of recommender(s) for your specific program. The best letters will come from people who know you well and who can provide detailed comments about your academic work, and who can speak to how well-suited you are for the study abroad program you have selected.
Language Assessment : Who should you ask?
The Language Assessment is not a recommendation, but rather an assessment meant to gauge your linguistic and cultural preparedness to function effectively abroad. This assessment should not be confused with the language evaluation (or exam) that some departments administer during the application process. The Language Assessment will ask your instructor to evaluate your linguistic preparedness in all competencies (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) as they pertain to your intended program.
You should seek a language assessment from your most recent language instructor, as he/she can most accurately assess your current skills as part of the application process. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the language requirements of your desired program so that you can share them with your instructor. You may not ask the same person to write both a general recommendation and a language assessment for you. If a significant amount of time has passed (i.e., more than a semester) since you took a language class, your instructor may want to briefly interview you or give you a written assignment to evaluate your current skills. This step is at the instructor's discrection.
If you have not taken a language course at Georgetown, you should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) of the appropriate language department. If applying to a GU summer program, you should contact the faculty director of that program. In either event, the DUS or the faculty director will review your case and determine how to assess your language skills appropriately.
What does OGE ask the recommender?
Here are the questions on the general faculty recommendation form:
- What course(s) did the student take with you and in what term(s)?
- In what term was the course taken?
- Please provide a candid evaluation of the student’s performance in your course. Please comment on the student’s motivation and his/her academic strengths and weaknesses.
- Please comment on the quality of the work the student prepared for your course.
- Study abroad requires that a student be self-reliant and mature in order to successfully navigate a foreign and unfamiliar environment. Additionally, the student may be part of a program in which the structure differs from that of a typical US college/university. Is this student self-reliant and mature enough to perform well in a foreign and unfamiliar environment?
- Imagine that you are the faculty director of a study abroad program. Would you want this student to participate on your program? Please include comments on the student’s maturity level, independence, self-motivation, and discipline.
Letter of Recommendation Etiquette
We recommend that, when possible, you contact your recommender at least four weeks prior to your program’s application deadline to ask if they would be willing to write a recommendation for you. Consider stopping by your recommender’s office hours to discuss the recommendation, as well as your plans for study abroad.
We suggest that you provide your recommender with a resume and/or a copy of your statement of academic intent to provide an overview of your activities, experiences and academic goals. This will give your recommender a better understanding of why you have chosen your particular program. This is particularly critical if you do not have a well-established relationship with the recommender.
Once the recommendation has been submitted, write a quick thank-you note to acknowledge the time the recommender has taken to assist you.
How to request a recommendation through the OGE online application system:
- When you open an online application, you will see a section titled “Recommendations”. Below that, click “Request Electronic Recommendation”.
- Use the keywords box to enter the last name or GU NetID of your recommender. The system is linked to the Georgetown directory and will automatically locate the contact information for GU faculty. In order to prevent technical issues, please always use the Georgetown email address of the recommender (not a personal email address) when making your request. Click “Next” when you have selected your recommender.
- Fill in the course(s) you have taken with the faculty member, and add any relevant notes under “Additional Information”.
- Select whether or not to waive your right to read the recommendation after it is completed.
- Click save, which will email the request to the recommender.
- The recommender will complete and submit the form online. Your application will display a check mark when the recommendation has been received by OGE.
I need to resend my recommendation form. How do I do that?
Your recommender may contact you and say he/she did not receive or cannot locate the link to access your recommendation form. If this happens, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and include the following information:
- Your name
- The program and term to which you are applying
- Your recommender’s name
- A request to resend the link
Preparing a Back-Up Application
Most programs do not require students to have a back-up application, and it is therefore only possible to apply for a back-up program after discussing it with your OGE advisor. Your OGE advisor will be able to give you advice on appropriate back-up options. Back-up applications will require many of the same materials as primary choice applications, including the Study Proposal. You are responsible for completing all necessary materials for both applications. Please note that if you are nominated to your first choice, your back-up application will not be considered.
Preparing a Split Year Application
A split year is defined as a full year of study abroad with a different program each semester. Students should discuss the feasibility of their intentions with the OGE advisors for BOTH programs before submitting application materials for each program. Visa timelines and regulations may preclude certain split year combinations. In addition to a Statement of Academic Intent for each program, you are also required to write a Split Year Statement in which you will outline how studying at two different locations will support your academic plans and strengthen your background in a chosen field or fields.
Preparing an Independent Petition Application
In rare cases, a student may have a particular academic need that is not served by the OGE approved programs. In this case, a student may apply to a program that is not on the approved list; this is an Independent Petition. Students choosing to complete an Independent Petition must go through the regular application process but will have additional submissions as part of their application, including the Independent Petition application form and the Independent Petition Budget. Please note that Independent Petition applicants should have a higher level of independence and maturity, as often they are participating on a program with whom Georgetown does not have an established relationship.