Carnegie Mellon University

Getting Started

The information below will help you with your search for programs during the academic year, summer term, or academic break periods. We look forward to working with you as you plan an amazing experience abroad

Semester or Year Programs

Sponsored Programs

Students pay CMU tuition (junior-year tuition rates), room and board and Technology Fee while receiving the same financial aid package (minus work study) while abroad.  Carnegie Mellon will pay tuition, room*, board* and approved fees to the study abroad institution or program and will distribute funds to the student for other fees as appropriate.  *In cases where room and/or board are not included in the program's package, funds will be distributed to the student.

Exchange Programs

These programs are reciprocal. We also receive students from the institutions to which we send students. Carnegie Mellon students participating in these programs continue to pay tuition directly to Carnegie Mellon and receive the same financial aid package.  Students are responsible for paying all other fees, such as room and board, directly to the exchange institution.

View University Exchanges

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External Programs

External Programs offer many options for students in all majors for summer, semester, and full-year study abroad.  These programs are administered by another university or study abroad program provider.  External Programs allow students to pay the study abroad program directly, while still maintaining full-time enrollment status at Carnegie Mellon.  Students participating in External Programs do not pay tuition and fees to Carnegie Mellon for the time abroad.

Students cannot use institutional aid from Carnegie Mellon (grants, scholarships, etc. which are administered by Carnegie Mellon) on these programs, but students are eligible for federal and state aid and all loans normally received.  Some External Programs allow students to enroll directly in the university or institution, which is a good opportunity for students seeking language fluency and cultural immersion.  In addition, this is often the most affordable option.

Other Opportunities

Summer Programs

Many students choose to study abroad during the summer. It is important to note that university, state, and federal funding generally are not applicable for summer study abroad. Therefore, most students study abroad through the External Programs & Direct Enrollment option.  Students should apply to the plethora of scholarships to help offset the cost of this experience.

Work & Volunteer Opportunities

In addition to studying abroad, there are also many Work and Volunteer Opportunities abroad. Students can complete an internship or service learning project as part of a study abroad program or independently.

For students with significant Carnegie Mellon funding, opportunities to pay through Carnegie Mellon and use this funding are available through University Exchange Programs, Departmental Exchange Programs, and Sponsored Programs.

Students who do not have Carnegie Mellon funding may choose not to pay through Carnegie Mellon. External Programs and Direct Enrollment options offer unlimited study abroad opportunities and are ideal for students with limited or no Carnegie Mellon funding.

Most Carnegie Mellon students who study abroad during the academic year are able to utilize their existing Carnegie Mellon scholarships as well as federal and state financial aid. However, there is no institutional, federal or state funding for summer study abroad, so students will need to look for scholarships to help with summer funding.  A student's enrollment in a program of study abroad approved for credit by CMU may be considered enrollment at CMU for the purpose of applying for assistance under Title IV, of the Higher Education Act, as amended.

Tips for identifying and receiving study abroad funding:

  • Start early:  Most programs expect that students will apply a semester or year in advance of studying abroad.
  • Think broadly:  Students might be able to access funding specifically for women, certain racial or cultural minorities, targeted academic majors or study in less traveled parts of the world.
  • Look at a lot of resources:  It may take some searching before finding the right one.
  • Target the application:  Know the goals and interests of the funding agency when applying, and target the application specifically to them.
  • Ask for recommendations:  Recommendation letters, if required, should come from a current professor, supervisor or academic advisor.

There are many sources of funding for overseas study:

Study abroad staff conduct information sessions throughout the academic year to provide general information to students and answer questions interested students may have about studying abroad. View the calendar webpage for upcoming information sessions.

The study abroad staff advise on a designated college model. To schedule an appointment with your study abroad advisor, please visit the CMU Study Abroad Portal. We recommend, prior to arriving, to look into:

  • any course needs,
  • your financial aid package.
  • your passport's expiration date(!),

Please be sure to arrive on time for your appointment. We look forward to meeting with you soon!

Students are encouraged to visit OIE's Study Abroad Library to read through brochures and other materials related to study, work, and volunteer opportunities abroad. The library is located on the third floor of Warner Hall and is available between 8:30 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday.

The library is organized by country. Students may take copies of materials located in the library, as long as more than one copy is present. If only one copy is available in the library, students should make a copy for personal use. Although many programs and opportunities are highlighted in the Study Abroad Library, the resources are not exhaustive. Students should also explore options for study abroad utilizing web resources such as www.iiepassport.orgwww.goabroad.com, and www.studyabroad.com, was well as program review sites, like www.abroad101.com

We recommend making an appointment to meet with a study abroad advisor to discuss options in detail.

In light of increased interest by students to traveling abroad for short-term periods, OIE provides support for student groups and university planned initiatives. OIE's Guide for Short-Term Programs (pdf) provides a framework for most aspects of planning a short-term program abroad including budgetary planning, logistical factors, curricular issues, and emergency preparedness.

In support of these programs, OIE staff can advise faculty, staff and student leaders, direct interested students, support administrative functions, and conduct targeted pre-departure orientation sessions (required for all study abroad participants).

OIE encourages leaders of short-term organized international travel to contact our office early in the planning process.

Student groups may request financial support for their short-term organized international travel by submitting an application for the Tartans Abroad Group Trip Fund (pdf). This cohesive Carnegie Mellon fund supports undergraduate students in pursuing short-term organized international travel by streamlining the request and application process through OIE. Monetary support is provided by the Dean of Student Affairs, the Vice Provost for Education, colleges, academic departments and OIE.  

Applications deadlines are as follows: October 31 (Winter Break Trips), January 31 (Spring Break Trips), March 31 (Summer Trips).

For more information about the scholarship fund contact the study abroad staff.

Important Note:

We support students having safe, wonderful, educational experiences abroad.  As such, we monitor world events and encourage students to monitor events as well.  While situations impacting health and safety can occur anywhere, in support of encouraging a safe abroad experience, OIE does not recommend or fund travel to countries where the US State Department has a Level 4 Travel Advisory in effect.  In the case of a Level 3 Travel Advisory, we encourage students to reconsider travel and typically will not provide funding or recommend travel unless the advisory is location-specific within a country.  In that case, the request will be reviewed by the university on a case-by-case basis.  In addition to monitoring US State Department Travel Advisories, CMU also routinely reviews information provided by a security consulting firm, to help us advise students appropriately.