University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College of ACES
ACES Academic Programs
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Apply and Go

We have created a pre-departure checklist to help students make sure they are as prepared as possible for their trip abroad.

View the Pre-departure Checklist

General Requirements

Most semester programs require the completion of at least one year of course work on the Ililnois campus, or one semester in the case of transfer students from off campus. Students must prove they can succeed academically in college before tackling a new environment, meaning most programs have a minimum grade point average. Some programs also have a language requirement or require students to complete certain courses before going abroad.

Because exchange programs are contractual agreements between our College and a Partner University who agree to “exchange” an even number of students, there is a limit to the number of students accepted. The College wants to send students who will embrace the opportunity, represent Illinois in a positive light, and generally act as ambassadors and model American citizens. Therefore, most ACES exchange program requirements are:

  • Must be enrolled in the College of ACES at the time of participation
  • Minimum 3.0/4.0 GPA
  • Other equally important criteria include character, number of completed hours, activities both within and outside your major, leadership qualities, and a demonstrated commitment to international business


Once you have selected a program using the Illinois Study Abroad Program Search, you will see an "Apply Now" button at the bottom of the program description. Much of your application can be completed online (essays, recommendation letters, contact information, etc.). Other parts of your application will need to be submitted directly to the sponsoring office (i.e. ACES, IAGE, LAS, etc.)

There are three types of documents that you will deal with during the application process:

  • Material submissions, such as an official transcript, which you submit directly to the office that sponsors your specific program. ACES programs will only accept electronic transcripts which can be sent to
  • Signature documents, such as the release of information form that you read and "sign" online.
  • Questionnaires, such as the personal essay, that you complete and submit online. 

Withdrawal, Cancellation, & Dismissal Policy

Before departing, students should familiarize themselves with the policies on changing or withdrawing from their program, as well as the policies for pram dismissal.

Read Program Policy Information

Documents, Travel, and Housing

Before leaving the country, it's a good idea to visit the U.S. Department of State website to review their tips for traveling abroad and consider enrolling in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

Passports & Visas

If you do not have a passport you will need to acquire one immediately. Most of the information you need for obtaining a passport can be found on the U.S. State Department website. It is your responsibility to determine whether a visa is needed fo your study abroad program. You can view more information on obtaining both a passport and a visa by clicking here.

Plane Tickets

Unless you are on a program that coordinates a group flight you are responsible for your own plane ticket to your study abroad destination. Your study abroad program will tell your start and end dates. It is recommended that you work with your program to determine appropriate arrival dates. Additionally, you cannot depart before your final exams. It is recommended that students educate themselves on travel rules such as FAA regulations and knowing the layout of your connecting flight airport. Remember to ensure that you have adequate time (including customs, passport control, and security) to make connecting flights both domestically and overseas.

Housing Abroad

Every program offers different housing options depending upon the city, country, and university abroad. Some Programs will set up accommodations or even require students stay in their facilities. Other programs might ask students to set up their own housing. Your host university will contact and inform you what type of housing you will have.

Insurance and Safety

Students and faculty are supported by the Illinois International Safety & Security office while travelling on university programs or for university business. For information on international insurance, safety and wellness tips, travel policies and emergency contact resources, view their website.

Visit the International Safety & Security Office Website