Carnegie Mellon University

Tartans Abroad

For many students, studying abroad is the highlight of their college career. It is a time to explore new places, new languages and new cultures. It is also a time of adjustment and self discovery. We hope this section of the website will prove useful for students while they are away from Carnegie Mellon. Included in this section is practical information about adjusting to the host culture and searching for jobs while abroad. We will also use this section to communicate with study abroad students. Please visit this site periodically to see if any updates have been posted. We hope that all our students enjoy their time abroad and keep in touch!

Students will undoubtedly enjoy their time abroad and become immersed in the host culture, but it is important to remain in contact with OIE while abroad. OIE will communicate with students periodically to check-in, request information, report new university policies, and provide cultural adjustment advice.

In the past, OIE created a Study Abroad Newsletter, "Tartan Travels" as the primary OIE shared news resource for and about students' experiences abroad.

We've now, of course, moved into Social Media platforms to share experiences more relevant today's travelling and involved students. Feel free to visit us and post on our Facebook and Instagram acounts!

Students are also encouraged to submit their stories and photos online, and participate in our annial Photo Contest each Spring (around March). Exchange students also hold a photo contest each term, sharing their photos of their experience in the USA.

Students who are abroad occasionally need to contact Carnegie Mellon staff and faculty. We have compiled a list of Department Contacts.

Adjusting is a major component of study abroad. Students have to adjust to the host culture, and then re-adjust to life in the U.S. For some students, the transition seems almost seamless; for others it can be an emotional and trying process. We hope that the information below will provide students with information and tips to make the adjustment easier. We encourage students to stick with it and ask for help when they need it. Most importantly, stay healthy!

View the following helpful resources:

There are a few academic considerations that must be addressed while abroad:

Follow-Up SATC Form

Students must often make changes to their coursework abroad due to cancelled classes or time conflicts. Because this happens so frequently, OIE has developed a simple procedure for gaining new course approvals abroad. Students who have made changes to their course registration abroad should use the Follow-Up SATC (pdf) form to update their courses with their academic advisors.

Please complete all categories, including URLs for specific courses. Once this is completed with signature approvals, email the form to

Course Registration for the Return Semester

Students currently abroad who plan to return to Carnegie Mellon must register for courses while abroad. This can be done online during the designated time. Students who do not have regular internet access may request that their academic advisor register for them. Be sure to gain approval for all courses and discuss registration with all academic advisors before going abroad.

One question many students have while studying abroad is how to search for a job or an internship to take place upon their return to the U.S. We recommend that students meet with their career consultants before going abroad and continue to connect over email while abroad. Career consultants are excellent resources in all phases of the internship and job search processes.

If students are thinking about returning abroad in the future for internship and job opportunities we highly recommend they try to make contacts while they are abroad. Working abroad has many benefits (similar to study abroad) including gained confidence that comes with taking risks, international contacts in professional fields, foreign language skills, marketability, personal and intellectual growth, appreciation for different methods and contexts, and cross-cultural skills and understanding. The Career & Professional Development Center has additional information on its website with regard to international job searches.

The skills that students gain by studying abroad are highly marketable throughout the job search process. We encourage students to find ways to talk concretely about the intra-personal, inter-personal and professional skills they have learned while abroad. Students should work with their career consultants to add these skills and others to their résumés and interviews:

  • Flexibility
  • Proven ability to adjust to new situations and environments
  • Work well with people from different cultures and countries
  • Willingness to learn new methods and strategies
  • Adapt to different management styles
  • Demonstrated perseverance in solving problems
  • Foreign language skills