When Can You Go?


You can go abroad almost any time during your undergraduate or graduate career at UNC Charlotte. It is each student's individual responsibility to determine which is the best semester for them to go abroad academically, financially, and personally. However, keep in mind the restrictions for freshmen, senior, and transfer applicants.

When Can You Go

You can go abroad over fall break, spring break, the summer, a fall semester, a spring semester, or an academic or calendar year. However, the types of program options from which you will be able to choose will depend on the term you intend to go abroad.

Fall or Spring

Fall Break or Spring Break

  • Faculty-Led Spring Break
  • Faculty-Led Fall Break


  • Exchange
  • Affiliate provider
  • Direct Enrollment


  • Affiliate provider
  • Faculty-Led Summer
  • Direct Enrollment

Host University Academic Calendars Considerations

While researching program options, it is important that students consider the academic calendar at the host university/host country. For example, if a student goes abroad during what is considered the Fall semester according to UNC Charlotte's academic calendar), based on the host university's academic calendar they may actually depart in July and return in November. Students should also consider the hemisphere of the location in which they would like to study abroad when considering when they would like to go there. For example, studying abroad in a country in the southern hemisphere during what is summer at UNC Charlotte will actually be winter in that location. Each program will have different program dates, so it is essential that students consider which dates will work for them individually. 

In most cases, studying abroad should not delay students' intended graduation date. However, students should note that it is possible for the host university's academic calendar to interfere with UNC Charlotte's academic calendar. For example, many programs that go abroad in Asia during what is considered the Fall semester at UNC Charlotte actually run from September to February. In these cases, the student would not be back in time for the subsequent Spring semester at UNC Charlotte. They are still able to participate in the study abroad program, but they would not be able to take courses at UNC Charlotte the following Spring and would have to be comfortable taking the semester off. For a majority of students, this would cause their graduation date to be pushed. Some students are okay with this, and other are not. In other cases, students may be ahead academically before going abroad, so taking a semester off may not affect them. This is a personal decision the student would need to make in consultation with their Academic Advisor(s).

How Many Times Can You Go?

Students are welcomed (and encouraged!) to go abroad more than once. Students often come back wishing they could go abroad again, so students may want to consider going abroad at a time when they would still have time to go abroad again before graduating

Generally, undergraduate students can go abroad a total of 3 semesters.  This is only a general rule of thumb as it ultimately will depend on how much total UNC Charlotte credit the student earns abroad. Graduate students should communicate with their graduate program director to determine how many times they would be eligible to go abroad.

All students are encouraged to consult with their Academic Advisors as necessary regarding when the best time(s) for them to study abroad may be based on their degree requirements.