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Study abroad requires advance planning, some flexibility, and communication with the study abroad office. While most students study away their junior year, it is possible as early as second semester in your sophomore year or as late as your senior year. You may also choose a semester, year-long, May term* or summer program. Whatever you choose, it takes careful planning and it’s never too early to start.  The Office of Study Abroad & Away provides holistic advising through all stages of the process, from application through returning home. We also encourage students to speak with family, faculty and program ambassadors throughout the process.

Freshman/Sophomore Year

Step 1:  Review Requirements

  • Learn about what you should do now to prepare to meet the requirements of your program and to Clark when you’re ready to apply.

Step 2: Attend Study Abroad 101 and the Fall Fair

  • The first step for all students who plan to study abroad is to attend a Study Abroad 101 Information Session, which are held monthly throughout the semesters.  This is required for all students.
  • Students should also attend the fall Study Abroad Fair, held every October, as well as any additional information sessions or events as appropriate.


After you’ve learned the basics, it’s time to do some research! Utilize our website, our network of Global Ambassadors and attend events and info sessions offered by the office to learn more. Read about how to choose a program. It is really important that you know what to expect in terms of classes, housing, support on site and budgeting.

Sophomore Year

Step 3: Choose a program and declare your intent

  • Continue researching, narrowing down your choices to just 1 or 2.  Approximately one year prior to your desired semester away, students should be ready to declare their intent to study abroad with the Study Abroad and Away office. Submitting an intent form does not commit students to studying away, but it does “reserve your spot”.  Students who do not submit an Intent Form may be ineligible to study away.
  • Finalize your program choice at least one semester in advance of applying by submitting an Intent Form.
  • Intent forms are due on December 1st of the academic year prior to the desired study abroad period. (Why is it important to submit an Intent Form so early??)

Step 4: Solidify your plans

  • After you have narrowed down your program choice, you should be researching courses and obtaining approval from your faculty advisor for any major or minor requirements you wish to fulfill abroad.
  • At this point, you should also have declared a major. You will also need to narrow down a choice for a faculty reference, so be sure you are thinking about a faculty member with whom you’ve taken a class that you might be able to ask.

Sophomore/Junior Year

Step 5: Apply!

  • Students should be applying both to their program of choice and to Clark, both by the Clark deadlines. For example, if you plan to study abroad in the Spring, your application will be due the preceding Fall.
  • No late applications are accepted.

*The Luxembourg May Term program is run through the Henry J. and Erna D. Leir Luxembourg Program.

Contact Information

Study Abroad and Away Programs

See Us
  • Alumni & Student Engagement Center 108
    939 Main Street
    Worcester, MA 01610
  • 1-508-793-7363