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Summer Session

Studying abroad during the summer can be a wonderful complement to your academic program here at Columbia. Summer programs have several important differences from a spring or fall semester abroad.  Summer programs generally only include international students, rather than classes with local students. If you are a CC or GS student, you can only take courses that are either language immersion courses or courses specifically related to your major/concentration that have an in-situ component. Summer abroad generally has less Columbia financial aid (unless you are a GS student), but more fellowships and external scholarships may be available for the summer. Some of the benefits of going abroad during the summer include not missing a semester here (including various student groups, athletic team events, and internship opportunities that you may be pursuing), as well as the opportunity to focus on one skill, such as language, in a really intensive fashion.

Eligibility for summer session:

Academic Standing (CC/GS/SEAS)
Students are permitted to study abroad during the summer following their first year at Columbia. All students should have completed at least one semester before applying to go abroad. General Studies (GS) students who are admitted for the spring semester, MAY be permitted to go abroad during the following summer under certain exceptional circumstances.

3.0 Cumulative GPA (CC/GS/SEAS)
To ensure that study-abroad students can adapt to the challenges of studying abroad and successfully integrate their major work abroad into their Columbia curriculum, students must have a GPA of 3.0 or above by the time they go abroad. Students must maintain the minimum GPA of 3.0 during the semester prior to going abroad.  Students may be permitted to go abroad with a GPA slightly lower than a 3.0 during the summer session under certain exceptional circumstances.

A review of each student's academic and disciplinary records is conducted as part of this process. Students on academic or disciplinary probation are not permitted to study abroad during the term of their probation.

Clearance procedures and eligibility will vary by Columbia School.

For more information about Study Abroad requirements for General Studies students visit the General Studies Study Abroad page.

For more information about Study Abroad requirements for SEAS students, please visit the Global Initiatives Site.

Finding a program
Columbia is continually working towards building a network of opportunities around the world designed to provide a broad portfolio of international options to its undergraduates. Reviewed and approved by the Faculty Committee for Study Abroad, Columbia students can choose to study abroad on over 150 programs in over 100 cities for academic credit.

Columbia-run and Columbia-approved programs database

If the programs listed above do not meet your needs, please review how to find and petition an unapproved program.

Financial Considerations
Columbia College (CC) and Engineering (SEAS) - Summer
Who Pays What and to Whom?

Students pay all costs (tuition, room, board, etc.) to the program directly whether attending a Columbia or non-Columbia run program. Some costs you will have to pay to a vendor directly (i.e. an airline). Please note that many programs DO NOT organize group flights and students are responsible for booking their own travel. Financial aid does not apply to the summer session. Students should talk to their study abroad program of choice about potential funding options. 

General Studies Finances - Summer
Who Pays What to Whom?

  • If attending a Columbia Program: GS students who study with a Columbia program are responsible for the following payments: Columbia tuition at the regular Columbia rate per point, and any program-specific fees such as housing, and other program fees.  Students who receive financial aid at Columbia will remain eligible for financial aid when they study abroad on a Columbia program. Students must speak with their financial aid officer as soon as they have budget information from the foreign study program and before they register to go abroad

  • If attending a non-Columbia Program:  All GS students studying with non-Columbia programs abroad for which they will receive credit will pay a study abroad administrative fee to General Studies.  Students are responsible for payments to the School of General Studies: an administrative fee of $750 per semester. Summer study counts as one semester.  Students are also responsible for paying all academic and non-academic fees to the study abroad program.

The Columbia clearance, or permission, process is due April 15th. Summer study abroad programs may have deadlines earlier or later than April 15th. Please make sure to keep a close eye on the deadline for your preferred summer study abroad program.

Other Summer Opportunities
Study abroad is only one of many possible ways to spend your summer session. 
Fellowships: The fellowships office can advise you on a number of summer funding opportunities for not only study abroad, but conducting independent research, and internships. 
Center for Career Education (CCE): The Center for Career Education is a wonderful resource for both domestic and international internship opportunities.