Skip to main content

University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP)

[ UC Global Seminars | Opportunities Abroad Program ]

Study Abroad UC San Diego
Matthews Quad Building U409
(858) 534-1123

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

The University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) has established more than 171 study abroad programs in more than forty countries worldwide. UCEAP offers full-year and short-term programs in a wide range of academic disciplines, research opportunities, and internships. Please see the UCEAP website ( for the most up-to-date information about all aspects of the program. UCEAP participants are eligible for financial aid and many study abroad scholarships.


The University of California Education Abroad Program offers undergraduate (sophomores, juniors, and seniors) and graduate students opportunities to integrate into the academic and social life of select universities and study centers abroad while continuing to work in major fields of study or otherwise fulfilling UC requirements. UCEAP provides students access to distinguished academic programs that complement those of the UC campuses and where students can make normal progress toward their degrees at a cost as close as possible to that of education on a UC campus. UCEAP helps students acquire the knowledge, sensitivities, and skills necessary to function confidently and compete successfully in our global environment.

The program stimulates the intellectual development of the participants, broadening their general education, and giving a new depth to their particular academic interests. Many gain fluency in a language other than their own, and all grow in their ability to engage in independent study. Perhaps most valuable of all are increased self-understanding, clarified life purpose, and a broadening and deepening of personal values.

The University of California also hosts reciprocity students from more than one hundred institutions in approximately thirty countries. Reciprocal exchange students attend the University of California for up to one academic year on a no-fee-exchange, nondegree basis. Reciprocal exchange students earn degrees at their home university though they are enrolled at UC San Diego during a portion of their academic studies. Undergraduate and graduate reciprocity students are nominated by partner institutions under the provisions of specific contractual agreements.

The Academic Program

The University of California Education Abroad Program places students at the finest universities abroad. In many cases students take courses side by side with local students in a wide range of academic fields. In some programs UCEAP students pursue language study and take special courses designed for international students. In others, they pursue specialized studies in their major, take courses to add breadth to their general education, concentrate on language or area studies, participate in internships, and conduct research.

Each student is concurrently enrolled on the home campus of the University of California and at the host university. With advance planning and careful selection of courses abroad, students can make normal progress toward completion of major, minor, and/or general-education requirements for their UC San Diego degree. Our campus data shows that students who study abroad graduate more quickly than their peers who do not venture abroad.

Academic Planning and Advising

In order to make normal progress toward graduation, students should counsel in advance with departmental advisers and an academic adviser in their college provost’s office in order to ascertain how participation will affect their academic program. Descriptions of individual courses currently approved for UC credit may be found on the UCEAP website ( Many of the same or similar courses will be available in future years, but students should plan programs that are sufficiently flexible to allow them to take alternate courses. Each year new courses taken by UC students are added to a particular program’s approved offerings. Although courses approved by the University of California carry full credit, each department retains the right to determine the extent to which it will accept specific courses to fulfill requirements for its own majors. UC San Diego students can find specific types of credit (i.e., major, minor, and general education) that students have previously received for courses abroad here:

Cost, Financial Aid, and Scholarships

The cost of studying abroad can be comparable to the cost of studying on a UC campus. Additional program costs may include a program fee, round-trip transportation, on-site orientation, and personal expenses beyond what normally would be spent at home. Programs in some countries may actually cost less than a comparable period of study at a UC campus.

Many forms of financial assistance are available to UCEAP students. Those already receiving UC financial aid maintain their eligibility for grants, loans, and scholarships while studying on UCEAP. Financial aid is based on the cost of studying at each UCEAP location and on individual need. Students who might not normally be eligible for financial aid may qualify for the period they are on UCEAP. In addition to UC financial aid, scholarships are also available from UCEAP, the Friends of the International Center, various campus offices and departments, federal and outside organizations. Annually, UC San Diego students access about $650,000 in special scholarships available only for study abroad. Information about these scholarships is available in the Study Abroad UC San Diego office and on the UC San Diego Financial Aid website (

Prospective participants who require financial assistance should counsel early with the Student Financial Solutions Office.


It is not too early to begin planning for an experience abroad prior to or during one’s first year. Students are then able to be aware of prerequisites needed for certain programs, as well as plan which degree requirements to fulfill at UC San Diego and which to take abroad. Early planning also allows students to apply for the many programs now open to sophomores. Students must attend a First Steps workshop prior to meeting with an adviser in Study Abroad UC San Diego. These workshops provide detailed information about the various program offerings, academics, and funding and they are held throughout the year.

Information on deadlines and related matters such as course offerings, selection, schedules of departures, and payment of fees may be obtained from Study Abroad UC San Diego, and online at and

Graduate Students

Graduate students can be accommodated at most UCEAP-affiliated host universities. Graduate students may take courses, conduct research, and participate in short-term language programs for a semester or year. Students must meet minimum UCEAP requirements, including language prerequisites; have completed at least one year of graduate work; and have the support of their academic department and graduate dean.

Transfer Students

Transfer students from other colleges and universities are eligible to participate in UCEAP. Applications may be submitted prior to their first quarter at UC San Diego if appropriate for the specific program. Please contact Study Abroad UC San Diego for further information.

Safety, Student Conduct, and Parental Approval

The University of California Education Abroad Program considers student health and safety while abroad one of its top priorities. All participants in UCEAP are covered by a mandatory health insurance policy while abroad. While no one can guarantee student security either in the United States or abroad, the program makes every reasonable effort to assure a safe environment in its programs abroad, and to counsel students on potential risks and necessary precautions. In return, participants have a responsibility to pay careful attention to safety and health information provided in predeparture materials and at orientations in the United States and abroad. The university provides comprehensive medical and hospitalization coverage for all participants.

It is anticipated that the students selected for the University of California Education Abroad Program will be of high caliber, committed to profiting from both the intellectual and social aspects of the experience. Since they will be guests in another country and at another university, their conduct will reflect on both the University of California and the United States.

Participation in the program by students who are minors must be approved by their parents or guardians. In approving such participation, parents and guardians should be aware that a greater degree of personal freedom is afforded to students in the foreign university and that the University of California cannot take responsibility for closely supervising the activities of individual students. The directors and staff in the host country will be available to students with problems and will maintain contact with the student group as a whole.

Related Programs

For other study abroad opportunities, see Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP) and UC San Diego Global Seminars (GS).