Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience. Students discover new passions, develop a broader perspective of the world, gain skills and experiences that can improve their employability, and make friendships that last a lifetime.
We understand that the decision to support your student’s participation on a study abroad program may be a difficult one: there are safety and financial issues to consider as well as many program options and experiences to choose from.
We also understand that the decision to study abroad often involves the entire family. Below are some links to additional resources that you may find useful in making an informed decision regarding this academic opportunity. We encourage you to communicate with your student traveler about their goals and expectations long before they set out on their journey. Your support and enthusiasm is critical—at every step of their education.
Why Study Abroad
Studying abroad enriches students’ academic experience. They have the opportunity to complement and enhance their UCSC studies, live in an international location, visit historically and culturally significant sites, and interact with local students and faculty. Many will study at an institution abroad where they will need to learn to adjust and thrive in a new academic culture. Some will pursue an internship to better prepare for their career. All study abroad options require maturity, independence and initiative. Many returned students tell us they came back to UCSC after their time abroad more focused, more committed to their academic studies and completing their degree, and with a better idea of their career path or post graduate studies. No matter their plans after they graduate, an international experience, where they gain a more global perspective and intercultural communications skills, is advantageous for success.
Supporting Your Student
Study Abroad is a unique educational and cultural opportunity for all UCSC students. We do our best to help and support your student throughout the study abroad process to ensure they have a productive and enjoyable experience abroad, but we know that your support is critical to their success.
Finances and Scholarships
Financial aid can be applied to all UC Santa Cruz and other UC study abroad programs. In many cases, aid may even be increased to cover travel costs and additional living expenses abroad. In addition to financial aid, there are many scholarships available to students, including from the UC and UC Santa Cruz as well as national scholarship organizations. Students are encouraged to work closely with their UC Santa Cruz Study Abroad advisor and their financial aid advisor when planning their study abroad experience as it is important to consider the overall cost and evaluate your options for both financial aid and scholarship assistance. You may be surprised to find that there are many study abroad programs that cost less than what it does to be at UCSC in a given term. Each year, UC Santa Cruz students are awarded more than $150,000 in scholarships to support their study abroad experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please take the time to review the most common study abroad questions we receive from students and their families. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have a question you do not see listed or would like to learn more about the study abroad experience.
Health and Safety
The health and safety of students while abroad is of utmost importance. While no one can guarantee the safety of anyone anywhere, UC Santa Cruz is committed to promoting a safe experience to students abroad and preparing as much as we can to respond quickly and appropriately to emergencies abroad. All students will have a pre-departure and on-site orientation to learn about local customs, laws, and safety information in addition to emergency protocol. Students are covered by insurance while abroad and UC Santa Cruz works closely with insurance providers, campus Risk Services and UCEAP to assess and plan as much as possible to mitigate risks abroad.